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Old 09-25-2009, 08:03 AM
 
20,274 posts, read 17,323,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by groar View Post
i think the lack of numbers alone made it impossible for that kind of confrontation to develop. and yeah, it was probably around 1000 at the very most.
In cases like Seattle and London it started with small numbers of actual anarchists as well. The problem is when you let these groups gain control of territory near the summit sites they tend to eventually attract large crowds.

In fact, we saw a little of that in Oakland last night: the actual number of anarchists was undoubtedly pretty small in number, but they attracted a crowd once they controlled some territory, including many Pitt students.

Quote:
i think the more space you give the protesters to work with, the less people will be moved to violence. the police did well to avoid the hemming people in that occurred at protests in other cities, but they could have gone more in that direction.
But initially all the police were doing was preventing them from going Downtown. So really they had as much space as they wanted.

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yeah, once you get to a barricade, wherever it is, some people are going to try to breach that barricade, or at least camp out there chanting and whatnot.
Those are two very different categories. I think when they started rolling dumpsters at the barricades is when they crossed the line.

Quote:
the big anti-globalization marches in the late 90s were practically built around police barricades. but the barricade didn't need to be 4 blocks into the march. i really think that if they'd been allowed to march for longer, less people would have felt that their right to protest was being squelched and less people would have reacted badly.
I guess I just don't think this is realistic. Suppose the police blocked them at 25th Street instead of 35th Street, or whatever we are talking about. Would the anarchists really have said, "OK, fair is fair, they gave us 14 blocks to march, let's go home"? I suspect not, and that instead we would have gotten the exact same dynamic, just ten blocks closer to Downtown. And that is because I think it was the blocking them from going Downtown that caused them to challenge the barricades, not the short length of the march.

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oh and i can see the point in refusing to obtain a permit, although i can see the point in requiring them as well. i'm actually ambivalent about the issue - on one hand i don't see why permission from the government should be required to dissent, but on the other hand protests can disrupt the flow of daily life in a city and it seems fair to let people know where you'll be in advance.
Yeah, the permit issue is a difficult one, and I wouldn't view it as enough on its own. But again, in this case it was combined with the stated aims of this particular group plus their tactics during the march. That was enough to convince me these particular people wanted a repeat of Seattle and so forth.

Quote:
it's all speculation, of course; we can all talk about what might have happened all day long but we'll never know for sure.
Fair enough.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:06 AM
 
40,271 posts, read 43,452,438 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
The protesters in Seattle from the beginning were preventing the delegates from attending the convention. That isn't really "peaceful".
Peaceful means nonviolent. Seattle's protests were 'successful' without violence. The entire point of a protest is to stop something. When union workers walk off the job and picket, they're stopping a lot of things. They stop work. They stop people from entering. You can stop things without violence.

The escalation of violence by Seattle police ultimately caused the deterioration of the summit entirely when representatives from small countries stood up for their countries and left. If the police had found a non-violent way to clear the intersections, the smaller countries might have stayed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
The police in Seattle arguably overreacted at that point, but
There is no but when it came to what Seattle's police did.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:08 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
And think about it---most went elsewhere and caused problems in small groups away from the police. If they were hell bent on confrontation, they all would have stood their ground and fought. That didn't happen.
Well, you could view this as indicative of the success of the police's tactics. They confronted the anarchists well before they could attract a large crowd, and the relatively small number of non-anarchists who had joined the march quickly dissipated. So the police had an overwhelming numeric advantage over the remaining anarchist blocs, and the police weren't exactly shy about using things like the LRADs and pepper gas, so the anarchists quickly broke off the confrontation.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianTH View Post
Well, you could view this as indicative of the success of the police's tactics. They confronted the anarchists well before they could attract a large crowd, and the relatively small number of non-anarchists who had joined the march quickly dissipated. So the police had an overwhelming numeric advantage over the remaining anarchist blocs, and the police weren't exactly shy about using things like the LRADs and pepper gas, so the anarchists quickly broke off the confrontation.
I'm not buying it. The anarchists wouldn't have left if they wanted confrontation. They stay even when there is LRADs and pepper gas when they want confrontation. They want to milk the violance for all they can. That wasn't the case with the protesters last night. I think Pittsburgh's version of anarchy isn't chaos.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
Peaceful means nonviolent. Seattle's protests were 'successful' without violence. The entire point of a protest is to stop something.
No, the point of a protest can simply be to communicate your message, something which is protected by the First Amendment. Stopping other people from doing something they are lawfully entitled to do, like attend a summit, is no longer just an exercise in First Amendment rights.

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When union workers walk off the job and picket, they're stopping a lot of things. They stop work. They stop people from entering. You can stop things without violence.
You can picket your employer without stopping people from entering. And once you do that, you have once again crossed the line from protected First Amendment conduct, because you are now interfering with the rights of that person you stopped from entering.

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If the police had found a non-violent way to clear the intersections, the smaller countries might have stayed.
Maybe, but that is easier said than done. Anyway, my point is that one thing that police have learned from Seattle is that it is better for all concerned, except perhaps the anarchists, to stop things from getting to the point that you have to forcibly remove people from intersections in order to hold the event.

Quote:
There is no but when it came to what Seattle's police did.
Sorry, I didn't finish that sentence originally. My point was that even if the police overreacted in Seattle, they can't simply let this group decide unilaterally that the summit is going to be cancelled by blocking intersections. They simply have no right to do something like that.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:24 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopes View Post
I'm not buying it. The anarchists wouldn't have left if they wanted confrontation. They stay even when there is LRADs and pepper gas when they want confrontation.
But that is precisely what happened at first. Most of the marchers quickly dispersed, and in fact they started dispersing as soon as the police ordered them to. But the anarchist black blocs were confronting the police long after the police first started using pepper gas and LRADs. Eventually they left Lawrenceville, but not right away--they kept up the confrontation for a while.

And even after they left Lawrenceville, they kept reassembling. So I think their leaving Lawrenceville was more of a tactical retreat than an actual decision to end the confrontation.

By the way, please note I am talking here exclusively about the organized anarchists. Most of the original marchers were not anarchists, and as you say they immediately dispersed once a confrontation started. You are absolutely right that implies that most of the marchers were not seeking any sort of confrontation.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:18 AM
 
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Tourism suggestions for G-20 visitors:

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Pittsburgh - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090925/lf_nm_life/us_travel_pittsburgh_2 - broken link)

Not a bad list, but you could organize it more efficiently as far as getting around, and good luck getting taxis in the way they suggest.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:24 AM
 
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So far I haven't seen much sign of the scattered protests supposedly planned for this morning. This is the only report I have seen:

post-gazette.com

Quote:
Two protestors briefly tried to block the exit driveway of Whole Foods Market in East Liberty this morning, but police officers moved them along so quickly most customers didn't realize anything had happened.
Of course yesterday morning was pretty quiet too, but I am reasonably hopeful the big legal marches planned for today will go off well.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:35 AM
 
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Pictures from Oakland last night pulled together by the Pitt News:

Protesters Come to Oakland | The Pitt News (http://www.pittnews.com/node/20076 - broken link)

Judging from those pictures, particular 13 through 19 or so, I'm actually inclined to think it maybe wasn't Pitt students doing the window smashing and other destruction of property.
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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i think it was a combination of pitt students and "anarchists". obviously some of the anarchists were up for some smashing, as evidenced by what happened in bloomfield. but pitt students are not averse to smashing things themselves, as evidenced by what they did all by themselves after the superbowl. and i think the fact that no independent businesses were touched in bloomfield and several were vandalized in oakland is an important difference between the two events that could be attributed to the presence of nonpolitical students.

i really hope the march today goes off without any problems.

and there wasn't much planned for yesterday morning - those "protest everywhere" things were planned for all day today. i'm not sure what to make of the fact that they don't seem to be happening.
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