Protesters break windows, clash with police at G20

By Michelle Nichols
Thursday, Sep 24, 2009

PITTSBURGH (Reuters) – Protesters demonstrating against capitalism at the Group of 20 summit ran through central Pittsburgh on Thursday, smashing shop windows as police in riot gear used pepper gas and batons to disperse them.

During the evening rush hour in Bloomfield, Pittsburgh’s Little Italy, about 300 rowdy protesters remained from a crowd that originally numbered 2,000. Some threw rocks at police.

The crowd broke windows at Boston Market and KFC fast-food restaurants, a BMW dealership and a Fidelity bank in the area, about a mile from the fenced-off convention center where the G20 talks were taking place.

Police in body armor with plastic shields threw pepper gas canisters and fired pellet-filled “beanbags” to disperse the protesters, charging in to make some arrests.

Protests — usually against some aspect of capitalism — have marked major gatherings of world leaders on the economy for years, sometimes turning violent and forcing summit organizers to use fortress-like security.

Earlier, police dispersed the 2,000 people who had gathered during lunchtime for a march…

…Leaders of 19 leading developed and developing economies and the European Union are meeting on Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh for a gathering to discuss how to improve financial reforms to avoid another global economic crisis…

…U.S. Secret Service spokesman Darrin Blackford said the gas used on Thursday was OC Vapor, which contains the active ingredient in pepper spray and causes the eyes to tear.

He confirmed three people were arrested and said he had unconfirmed reports of another four. He denied local media reports that police used rubber bullets on the crowd.

The marchers overturned dumpsters and hurled anything they could find at police, who gave chase and broke them into ever smaller groups.

Ear splittingly loud sirens sent protesters fleeing…

The entire article is here.

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