Pittsburgh Police vs. G20 Protesters
In the spring of 2000, we took our kids to Washington DC. One evening, we came upon a group of 20-30 Cuban Americans demonstrating in front of the White House. They were protesting President Clinton’s decision to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba. They carried signs and sang and chanted, “Don’t send Elian back.” A policeman on a bike watched from nearby, but it was a peaceful protest and he appeared unconcerned.
As a parent of school-aged kids, I seized on this teachable moment like a bird dog chasing a rabbit. I spent one day behind the Berlin Wall, but it was enough for me to understand the value of free speech. “This is free speech!” I nearly shouted. “You can’t do this everywhere in the world. This is freedom.” It didn’t even matter to me that they thought Mom had fallen off her rocker. This mattered, and I wanted them to observe it and understand.
Contrast that with this video of some protesters in Pittsburgh last Friday:
I’m not familiar with what was going on at the G20 or what the protesters were protesting. What strikes me is the appearance of the Pittsburgh police marching toward them in lockstep and threatening force if they don’t cease and desist.
I wonder: will my kids raise their children in a country as free as the one they grew up in?