Thanks for this excellent perspective on the events surrounding the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Mr. Eshelman really hit the nail on the head in the way he described the strangeness of tho scene here last week. I was there for the protests Thursday afternoon and have been trying to really understand what happened.
Eshelman makes a great observation, "Rather than communicating with the general public, protesters so isolated become engaged in a rehearsed ritual of confrontations with the police that the police will win." That's exactly what it was. Some moderate percentage of the protesters were seasoned activists, mostly out-of-towners who show up at all of these things. Some small percentage of them were looking for a confrontation. Or if not looking for one, they were ready, even eager, for it.
But most of the people there were regular people. A lot of young folks who had a nagging sense that their interests are largely unrepresented, and wanted to show themselves in the street.
For what it's worth, near the end of the article I think the author means to say Phipps Conservatory, not Phipps University. There are two universities in that area: University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.
Thanks again for this solid piece of journalism. It scratched a nagging itch in my brain that's been there since Thursday.