I got back from Pittsburgh, and it has sobered my ideas of American Democracy.
On this permitted "PEACE MARCH" there were officers in riot gear carrying batons and tear gas lining the entire (over 5 mile) route. There were children on this march who now understand that the police are not our friends.
Officers came from as far as Alabama to take part and tried to provoke the marchers, but we would not be provoked. Even the militant anarchists agreed to behave themselves, and did.
We were there to protest the direction the participants in the G-20 summit were taking the world. Some were there to protest capitalism, others were anti-war, while others advocated for environmental sustainability, but no one was in the mood to "start something." This wasn't the time.
The police didn't like that. Under the auspices of a free concert, the police rounded up over 100 potential attendees, and arrested them, many are still unaccounted for.
I read in the local paper that authorities expected protests to be as far as Pittsburgh Airport. The airport is very far. IF they had bothered to ask the people planning the protest, they would have known no one was interested in that.
We simply want to exercise our first amendments rights and apparently the authorities don't like that.
Visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/40256030@N08/ for more photos.