The organizers of Pittsburgh’s annual Bike Fest might have been happy about conditions in downtown yesterday. The streets were closed to local traffic starting late Wednesday, and will remain blocked until the G-20 summit closes later this evening. The majority of the Golden Triangle is still open to pedestrians and bicycles though, and if you’re able to ignore mounted police, state troopers in riot gear, SWAT cars, and helicopters, the streets feel like an organized bicycle cyclovia.
The following photos were taken throughout the day yesterday in downtown Pittsburgh. For good coverage of the protester/police clashes in Lawrenceville and Oakland, visit the Post-Gazette.
Ethiopians gathered from around the U.S. for the summit
SWAT in PGH
Rally for a free Tibet
More photos and stories tomorrow, when its all over.
By Andrew Moore
The city of Pittsburgh can hardly wait for the G-20 summit to begin. Along with humidity, constant rain, and murky skies, the atmosphere is a mix of anticipation, dread, annoyance, and excitement.
In fear of the destruction that could occur between police and protesters, some businesses are boarding their windows and glass doors. Others have chosen to remain open. In the Strip District, a few shops, including restaurants and art galleries, have posted signs in the windows announcing, “Will be open for G-20.” Much of downtown, though, has chosen to board-up.
Boulevard of the Allies
Catholic Charities Diocese of Pittsburgh
For the past few months, local officials, the media, and most anyone else with some kind of an audience locally, has been speaking out about what the G-20 means for Pittsburgh, and how it is a chance for our city to showcase itself to the world. It will be a chance to tell our story of success, they have said.
Yet when world leaders get here tomorrow, Pittsburgh will seem more like a ghost-town, or a police state, or some weird Walt Disney studio set, than a place anyone calls home.
The city has installed banners and ads over vacant store-fronts in an attempt to make the abandoned spaces seem more appealing and vibrant–like a band-aid. However, they seem to draw more attention to the amount of empty and unused spaces that downtown actually consists of (which is contrary to the narrative of a vibrant, reinvented Pittsburgh).
Banners and Boards
At the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Natural History, civic art—such as statues of Shakespeare and Galileo, a large replicated dinosaur, and other abstract sculptures–have been either covered in bags, or boxed in by wood. There is a real sense of fear that anarchists will destroy parts of Pittsburgh.
More stories and photos will be posted throughout the coming days. Check back soon.
Sculpture will be boarded to protect from protestors
Post and Photos by Andrew Moore
Along with the Penguins being in the Stanley Cup finals, the city of Pittsburgh got some exciting news last week: it will host the G-20 summit this fall.
Part of the reason the city was chosen is to highlight its recovery from the loss of the steel industry during the 1980s.
I’m not sure everyone in Pittsburgh would agree that the city (and the surrounding Mon Valley) would really agree that the area has “recovered” – ever been to Braddock? But compared to the economic problems the rest of the world is experiencing, a lot of folks think Pittsburgh is looking pretty good these days.
And I’m happy to see people recognizing that Pittsburgh is a pretty darn cool city.
By the way, I’m glad everyone set this guy straight.