Outnumbered in Pittsburgh: The Anarchist March from Arsenal Park Sept. 24

I’ve returned from the Pittsburgh G-20 protests a little shellshocked but still whole.  Memories of police in riot gear keep waking me up in the middle of the night; I’ve never seen such a thing before.

Meetings in Friendship Park before the afternoon march

Culinary Arts student from WV and a Sociology/Environmental Studies student from Binghamton

Culinary Arts student from WV and a Sociology/Environmental Studies student from Binghamton (p.s.- I think the culinary student was really an undercover cop)

Saint Paul for Peace group from FL.

Saint Paul for Peace group from FL.

A Communications Studies and an International Relations students from West Chester University

Communications Studies and International Relations students from West Chester University protesting for peace

A French reporter (left), culinary arts student (center, back) and students from Binghamton and Cincinnati

A French reporter (left), culinary arts student (center, back) and students from Binghamton and Cincinnati

The walk to Arsenal Park was about a mile.  On the way it was pretty easy to spot some of the protestors as opposed to the locals.  Most of the locals declined to comment on the G-20 or the rally, but later that day many were seen cheering on the march as we were chased down side-streets and alleys by the police.

A protestor on his way to Arsenal Park bearing the American Flag above the ancient military's "Don't Tread on Me" flag

A protestor on his way to Arsenal Park bearing the American Flag above the ancient military's "Don't Tread on Me" flag

Upon entering Arsenal Park, protestors were dancing, chanting, drumming, and blowing whistles and kazoos.

Dancing, Drumming, and Chanting in Arsenal Park

Dancing, Drumming, and Chanting in Arsenal Park

A Drum Jam in Arsenal Park

A Drum Jam in Arsenal Park

Tides of protestors gather

Tides of protestors gather

About 100 protestors had red crosses taped to shoulders, chests and packs declaring themselves as impromptu field medics, ready with water, bandages, and eye drops for pepper spray relief

About 100 protestors had red crosses taped to shoulders, chests and packs declaring themselves as impromptu field medics, ready with water, bandages, and eye drops for pepper spray relief

After a few brief words by crowd rousers the march began.  We were cut off relatively quickly by the riot police and I was not able to capture images of the tear gas and violence used against protestors because I was too busy running away.

Anarchists dressed in black lead the procession out of Arsenal Park

Anarchists dressed in black lead the procession out of Arsenal Park

A protestor wearing war paint whom I later saw being arrested

A protestor wearing war paint whom I later saw being arrested

"Whose streets?!"

"Whose streets?!"

"Our streets!"

"Our streets!"

Gathering in the streets, the first turn on our route in our attempt to get downtown

Gathering in the streets, the first turn on our route in our attempt to get downtown

This is all I have from the initial march on Pittsburgh organized without a permit.  The police caught up to us and cut us off demanding that we disperse or the use of “riot control agents” and “less lethal munitions” would be used.  Then they used them anyway; sound cannons, tear gas/pepper spray gas (it felt great to have democracy clear my sinuses for me), rubber bullets, and bean bags fired from guns.  I think it necessary to report  that the police used their gas and “less than lethal munitions” on an unarmed, dispersing crowd.  It wasn’t until after their move that the protestors began smashing windows and I left the scene.

A tear gas canister similar to those used on protestors

A tear gas canister similar to those used on protestors

"Super Sock"- a gun propelled beanbag fired at rioters

"Super Sock"- a gun propelled beanbag fired at rioters

Rubber bullet like those fired at the crowd

Rubber bullet like those fired at the crowd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later that night at the “Bash Back” (a gay pride march protesting the G20) police surrounded protestors and U of Pitt students then told them to disperse.  I did not attend but here are some clips shot partly by AU students who attended.

Protestors and students alike could not disperse and due to the absence of ACLU observers police responded with all force.

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