Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Protesters gathered this morning downtown for a “speak out” against the treatment of residents and peaceful organizations by police. Jeff Puget, a resident of Uptown says he’s not associated with a protest group, but felt compelled to call out the police for their behavior. He says many friends who are residents have been harassed and intimidated — whether its having high beams flashed through their windows at night, a constant police presence outside their homes or a crack down on "non-issues" like tickets for parking the wrong way in an alley or not having the correct reflectors on bikes. Puget says at the heart of the matter is a lack of accountability for the thousands of out of town law enforcement officials that have converged on Pittsburgh. He says administrators like Mayor Luke Ravenstahl should have created a mechanism to keep police behavior in check when he agreed to hold the G20 in Pittsburgh. Puget also noted that police haven’t been doing their homework on protest groups and are wrongfully cracking down on peaceful activists like “Seeds of Peace” — a group that provides food to protesters at demonstrations around the country.