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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

This Land is MY Land, Hippie

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 2:40 PM

There's plenty of G-20 stuff going on today, but we've been busy trying to put out a print edition on top of everything else.

But one trend that we are noticing is protesters being tripped up by pseudo-public spaces ... courtyards (like PPG Place, say) that look public, but aren't. I was at a protest this morning, held by some environmentalists concerned about burning coal, which began on the new parklet across from PNC's Firstside Center. Several of the protesters, including some who were looking for a place to secure their bikes, did not realize it was corporate property. 

Also today, CP's Bill O'Driscoll interviewed an activist who said her group had been chased from one seemingly public area to another -- from PPG Place to Steel Plaza, to the new Mellon Plaza just off Grant -- the one with the fountain in it.

In fact, O'Driscoll personally witnessed the police remove protesters from the Mellon parklet as they were trying to eat lunch -- something Downtown office workers were doing nearby, with no interference from law enforcement.

"What's the difference between us having lunch there and everybody else having their lunch there?"asked the demonstrator, Delyla Watson. "Suddenly it became private property. It's theater of the absurd."

And this is just the opening act. 

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