We’re pleased to present breaking news from the first day of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, which has seen a great deal of spirited resistance and confrontation—perhaps as much as has occurred at any anarchist mobilization in North America in half a decade. This hastily composed account presents the context of the demonstration, attempts to convey the spirit of the day, and raises a few preliminary questions.
In short, the basic narrative of the day runs as follows. The protesters attempted to reach the summit site but were brutally forced back by police. They eventually turned around and marched through Pittsburgh neighborhoods and shopping districts, where the police pursued and attacked them. Property destruction intensified in response to these attacks, and the conflict culminated in a standoff between police and students during which a black bloc destroyed a business district.
One might interpret all this as legitimate acts of revenge for the police murder in London at last spring’s G20 summit; but it also signifies the survival of militant street resistance in the Obama era.