“Totalitarianism Takes Campus Captive
Seizing Students Freedom First!”
Few trigger happy police could not stop their
fingers from hitting the tear gas & pepper spray buttons as innocent
Pitt students standing in the balcony of Forbes Hall were tear
gassed as they were watching the riot police chase away protestors
and reporters on Thurs, Sept 24 on the first night of the G-20
Summit in Oakland.
When parents who expect the police to
‘serve and protect’ their children have to fear the ones that are
trusted to ‘serve and protect’ them, what has happened to serve and
The Pitt students living in Forbes Hall had
every right to assemble in the balcony of their own terrace without
being subject to abuse by riot geared officers.
Why did some of the police do it?
They cannot say it was because the students
were illegally assembling since the terrace is part of their home in
This is the worst sort of action seen by
police in Oakland in recent memory. It makes me wonder if the police
that sprayed Pitt students were outside contractors who could care
less who they injured.
Were certain officers afraid that the Pitt
students would be taking incriminating pictures and videos of the
officers doing things that were not supposed to be done?
For example, were they afraid that evidence
would be gathered concerning their actions involving a Pitt student
near Forbes Hall who was gunned down with rubber bullets and
collapsed having to be taken to the UPMC Presbyterian Hospital
because police injured him!
The riot police scared Pitt students that
few of them rushed into Forbes Hall and closed the door behind the
marching riot police even as they took pictures. This however did
not stop concerned friends from inquiring about their friend who was
gunned down by rubber bullets or ensuring my own safety when I tried
to go outside to cover more abuses by the officers.
These totalitarian police who thought it
was ok to tear gas students and use rubber bullets at their whim
need to think how they would have felt if anything like this
happened to their son or daughter especially when the students were
not breaking the law.
These totalitarian actions by few riot
police did not stop with the Pitt students but went a step further.
A reporter for the Post-Gazette was sprayed savagely with tear gas
at close range, while writing his notes, by a blonde-straight
haired, medium built Caucasian officer sporting a military
It does not matter to be in the press,
remarked the Post-Gazette reporter after being severely sprayed. I
was in the cross-fire of the officer’s spray dispersed at very close
range at the reporter.
Other reporters used gas masks to protect
themselves from many of the vicious riot gear officers.
There should be an investigation into the
actions of the officers who sprayed the Pitt students at Forbes
Hall and who sporadically sprayed reporters as cameras in the area
should be watched.
The police had no right to single out
certain reporters and violate their first amendment rights of the
freedom of the press no matter how many times they reminded the
assemblers of the consequences of remaining on the roads and
The Citizen Review Board should investigate
every officer engaged in this type of conduct so students living in
their own facilities and press reporters do not have to fear being
abused by trigger happy riot officers.
It should be noted that majority of the
officers were very cordial and patient but as always there are a few
officers who are trigger happy and hungry who give a bad name to
thousands of faithful officers who do serve and protect our student
All photos by Ramesh C. Reddy of
More coverage of the G20 protests and
aftermath coming in the weekend edition of Pittsburgh Standard
including what anarchists did to the Oakland community.