On September 25, the last day of the G20 conference, several groups organized a “People’s March” from the University of Pittsburgh campus through downtown. Weeks ago, the city granted a permit for the march and accompanying rally, but that didn’t stop scores of riot cops from escorting the estimated 5,000 protesters through the city. At one point, the crowd stretched eight blocks long, the hodgepodge collection of activists chanting, beating drums and holding every manner of protest signage. Here’s the people that stood out:
On September 24, the first day of the G20 summit, activists affiliated with Resist G20 gathered at Pittsburgh’s Arsenal Park for a rally and march to downtown. The organizers did not have a permit to march; in fact, they never even applied. They had this strange notion of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which allows people to assemble and petition the government for grievances. Nothing about a permit in that document.
But city would not be outdone. They sent a phalanx of bike cops, state troopers and riot cops to prevent protesters from leaving the neighborhood. To prove their point, they blocked several streets not allowing activists or residents out or in, and then rolled out the newest form of crowd control: the L-RAD or Long Range Acoustic Device. The device — popular with the Communist government of China and the repressive former Russian satellite country, Georgia — emits an ear-splitting siren. The L-RAD had never been used in the U.S. before the G20 summit.
Eventually, a stand-off ensued between protesters and police. After a few anarchists stoked the tension, police fired teargas, cordoned off the protest and waited until factions of anarchists took the police to another part of the city.
Best Pittsburgh Photo Op
Best Assassination Threat on a Bed Sheet
Best Undercover Cop
Best Use for a Stuffed Bird
Most Annoying Riot Control Device
The G20 is officially over.
All the delegates from various countries are gone. Last night, President Obama left for the airport via motorcade (and severely screwed up my exit of the city, I might add). And most protesters have left the couches and squat houses of Pittsburgh. Well, at least those that are not still in jail.
Everybody is calling the event a success: President Obama, the other G20 members, the city of Pittsburgh, even the perpetually angry anarchists. I’m not so sure about “success,” but that’s for another blog post I’m working on.
Unfortunately, due to a lack of electricity where I was staying for the week, regular updates of the events surrounding the G20 were not possible. But I did attend numerous protests and meetings, some more successful than others.
To let my readers digest the myriad of groups and causes, I’ll post a guide of the most important, interesting or humorous aspects of the protests surrounding the G20. All of the photos and videos were shot by me unless otherwise noted.