G20 protesters blasted by sonic cannon
Only a few hundreds protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh to mark the opening day of the G20 summit of world leaders, but the police were taking no chances.
Sonic weapons or long-range acoustic devices have been used by the US military overseas, notably against Somali pirates and Iraqi insurgents.
But US security forces turned the piercing sound on their own citizens to widespread outrage. Pittsburgh officials said that it was the first time the "sound cannon" had been used publicly.
Video here and here.
This has been sitting in my inbox for a few days, sent to me by James. I think it's pretty horrifying, and I planned to post it.
Then late last night after work, mindlessly flipping channels looking for some "fall asleep" TV, I caught Jon Stewart skewering it on The Daily Show. ("Dudes, they're anarchists, they'll be downloading that for their ring tone!") So I thought, I guess everyone knows about this already, and I missed it.
But after doing a few searches this morning, I think it's more likely everyone but Jon Stewart missed it.
It was reported by The Guardian in the UK - that's linked in the blog post above - and the same post post made its way into BoingBoing, fortunately. Progressive and protest sites wrote about it, specialized websites (law enforcement, prison, technology) picked it up, and a few wingnuts cackled about protesters getting what they deserved. Local Pittsburgh media reported on it, which is often how we find out about these things (thank you, internet).
BoingBoing linked to this New York Times story, but the story doesn't seem to come up in any search. (Does it for you?)
I found nothing on CNN. For CNN to report that protesters were hit with sonic cannons would mean that (a) CNN would have to acknowledge that there are protests, and (b) they'd have to acknowledge those protesters are not always granted their constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Much safer to stick to celebrity gossip and Where The White Women At.
Just another day in the police state.