Friday, September 25, 2009

Violent Tea Partiers Disrupt G-20: 'This is What a Police State Looks Like'

Oh, they're not tea partiers? They're leftwing anarchists?

Never mind.
In spite of a strong police and army police presence, around 300 protestors managed to congregate just minutes from the summit venue, the David H Lawrence convention centre, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet with the leaders of the other 18 countries plus the European Union.

Police threw canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers as US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived for a meeting with leaders of the world's major economies.

The protest close to the summit largely involved members of a Free Tibet lobby group, as well as individuals demonstrating for more jobs, and one man whose face was daubed in black and red paint and was seen taunting officers.

Police managed to contain the scuffle, however, with the giant "ring of steel" surrounding the summit venue, ensuring no protestors managed to get even close, although chants from the crowd could be heard at the convention centre.

Elsewhere in the city, there were reports of rocks being thrown at buses in the Bloomfield district, where the windows and ATM of one bank were damaged.

Many local businesses prepared for the summit by boarding up their properties, while around half of the shops, restaurants and bars in the downtown area – close to the summit – have closed for the duration.

Police have been drafted in from around the country to cope with the protests, with officers from Tuscon, Arizona – some 2,100 miles from Pittsburgh – seen stationed outside the PNC Bank headquarters, while soldiers, special agents and Federal Bureau of Investigation staff are also visible in and around the city.

In the city's Lawrenceville district, about a mile from the summit venue, police deployed tear gas in order to disperse crowds after warning everyone in the area to "leave the immediate vicinity regardless of your purpose." Protestors responded by throwing bottles at the officer.
Funny, but despite the media portrayals of Tea Parties as raucous and angry, we never saw any scenes like this.

More here.
According to Pittsburgh police, 24 people were arrested during the day and another 42 people were arrested overnight as protesters and students thronged in the city's Oakland section, home to the University of Pittsburgh. Police said six people were treated for injuries and other medical problems, including heat exhaustion and reaction to pepper spray; two people were taken to hospitals, but details weren't available.

Protesters complained about the city's response, saying their rights were trampled and that violence would not have broken out if police had allowed the marchers their say.

Jesse Ericson of the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project, an umbrella organization of protest groups, condemned the city for a "bumbling and violent police action."

The G-20 Resistance Project has encouraged "affinity groups" to protest Friday morning at companies that it says represent greed, exploitation, warfare and other social ills, with potential targets including banks, Starbucks, McDonald's, grocery stores and a Marine Corps recruiting center.
In a stunning development, this report actually put a label on someone.
The National Lawyers Guild, a liberal legal-aid group, said one of its observers, a second-year law student, was among those arrested during the march. Its representatives were stationed among the protesters, wearing fluorescent green hats.
Others are whining about a police state.
Later Thursday, hundreds of protesters, including a handful of anarchists, massed near the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden where the G-20 summit was beginning with a welcome ceremony.

"Tell me what a police state looks like. This is what a police state looks like!" the protesters chanted as several hundred riot police blocked them from getting any closer.

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