Reading the papers and listening to the news it looks more like the city is preparing for war and not the G-20 summit. Sure we are going to beautify the city and airport corridor, but what will be written when the entire business district is empty, the cultural performances have all been rescheduled and office buildings, restaurants and schools are closed?
People are both being encouraged and more than happy to avoid Downtown during the G-20, which I do not understand. We have been trying to show the world for the past 30 years that Pittsburgh is not "hell with the lid off," we are not a city full of smog relying solely on steel and coal for our survival, that we can be a global leader in green technologies, that we are a revitalized urban center full of culture and intellect. I have heard a lot about how we want to show the world that Pittsburgh is a great place to work, visit and live. Now we are going to completely avoid the opportunity because people are planning to exercise their legal right to demonstrate!
True, there were several demonstrations in London, but do not forget that the majority of them were peaceful. The violent clashes occurred mainly between police and rioters.
Pittsburgh is 3,725 miles from London. Does that mean there will not be any protests? No. Does that mean there is not a possibility of violence? No. Does that mean we should open our restaurants, office buildings, schools and cultural centers even though there could be demonstrators to show the world what Pittsburgh has become? You bet.
KURT LESKER IV