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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

Civil Liberties

Rick Leventhal

New York, NY

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G20 Protesters Gathering for Mass March

September 25, 2009 - 10:48 AM | by: Rick Leventhal

Police in riot gear and some on horseback are assembled along 5th Avenue on the University of Pittsburgh campus where anti-G20 demonstrators are gathering in preparation for a protest march scheduled for noon today.

An estimated 5000 demonstrators are expected for this permitted march, advertised as non-violent.

Yesterday police fired tear gas, O.C. vapor pepper spray and rubber bullets at anarchists who refused to disperse at numerous locations during the day and again last night.  Police also made 66 arrests when demonstrators allegedly turned violent, throwing bricks and other objects at officers and breaking windows of some 19 businesses including KFC and Subway restaurants, two banks and a car dealership.

Six people including three police officers were treated at local hospitals for injuries but none were described as serious.

Police also deployed a “sonic cannon”, a long range acoustic device emitting a high pitched warbling noise designed for crowd control, but contrary to at least one published report this was NOT the first time it’s been used in the U.S.  The NYPD deployed it during the Republican National Convention in 2004 and police in California used it to clear gang members from a house earlier this year.

A group of demonstrators just arriving on scene armed with hula hoops, chanting “throw down your badge and pick up a hoop!”  They’re using them now on the front lawn of the Allegheny County Soldier’s Memorial building.

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