Thursday, October 1, 2009

of all the places in all the world....

After weeks of government preparation, various causes organizing, general populous anticipation, and a lot of local media build-up the G20 made its Pittsburgh debut. Approximately two months shy of the 10 yr. anniversary of the WTO Riots in Seattle, WA (NOV1999); where I was residing at the time. My experience with both events being somewhat removed (not actively participating), although I was reminded I do know someone who participated in a peaceful protest during the WTO extravaganza and someone who wore a suit to work and was accosted (despite his having nothing to do with the World Trade Organization, just wearing similar attire)…

In Seattle my commute involved passing by the general vicinity of the marches and riots in the downtown area, but it was easily avoidable, and avoid I did. Here in pBurgh I didn’t even have to try and avoid the action, it seemed to be avoiding me despite my best attempts at getting out to photograph it. I did see some smoke bombs and police activity from the bus on Thursday, but I was on the wrong side of a crowded bus. On Friday the People’s March which started in Oakland (the neighborhood where I spend my work hours) was blocks away from where I was and by the time I was able to leave for lunch it was long gone. All I got were some pictures of sidewalk missives left the night before and a band of ragamuffins who must have eaten a pan of special brownies prior to heading out to join the march… they didn’t really know where they were going, they became distracted by the same sidewalk missives which had caught my eye… and half of their group wandered off ahead while the others stayed behind to photograph this and that.

Most of the staff in my area took vacation days, worked from home, or worked a compressed week; which meant it was uber quiet around the office. The handful of us here went out to lunch; although I am trying not to become too personally involved with anyone in the work place it was nice to be invited along and feel l
ike part of the gang (I am pretty sure they are all mostly trying to avoid being personally involved with coworkers as well). We were let out of work early both days… which was great, except that the first day my bus didn’t come for 40 minutes… which meant I could have stayed at work and caught the same bus I normally do, and continued to dick around on-line. Ah well… luckily that was not the case on Friday and I did arrive home before anyone else and took the opportunity to crack open a beer, a bag of peanuts and listen contentedly to the local NPR coverage of Obama’s G20 Closing Remarks.

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