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J26: Breaking News from the Convergence
01/26/2003
panoramic view of SEI rally -- jan 26, pittsburgh IMC

The Pittsburgh Indymedia Convergence space is up and running from now until Sunday night! Check out what's going on with this live webcam from the IMC space. The space will be staffed by many PGH IMC collective members as well as a representative from the Cleveland IMC Collective.

Current temperature 23, and it's snowing like crazy. 14 mph winds make it feel like ~11. Bundle up!

12:30Students starting to gather at Carnegie Mellon University

12:30Webcam captures of Bigelow Blvd, site of the beginning of the rally/march.

1:00 pmThe rally has begun on Bigelow Blvd at Fifth Ave. Police are on the scene but not in riot gear. Food Not Bombs is serving from the porch of the Wm Pitt Union.

1:20 pmA group of Carnegie Mellon students arrived from a feeder march that they held from their campus to the rally. Pitt spokespeople apparently have told organizers that the reason they were not allowed to use the lawn of the Cathedral of Learning was that the university has never seen a crowd this big there.

1:50 pmThe march has begun! The marchers turned right onto Fifth Avenue, followed by police. No confrontation has been reported.

2:10 pmThe march has wrapped around Forbes to Schenley Drive. One injury has been reported. Street medics are treating it, no word on the nature of the injury. Word is that there will be a suit next week pertaining to the permit that was granted then revoked for the use of the Wm. Pitt Union.

2:23pm riot police and paddy wagons are spotted near SEI/mellon (otherwise light police presence until now). march has rounded craig street on fifth avenue and is nearing SEI, lead by two motocycle cops. the march is several blocks long and stretches back onto craig street from fifth.

2:27pm pittsburgh's raging grannies are performing at SEI in front of at least nine riot police. police and CMU security are also perched in the SEI balcony. the front of the march is at SEI watching the raging grannies, while the tail end is still turning onto fifth from craig.

2:31 pm marches are STILL turning the corner onto fifth ave. there are far more people here than expected, despite the snowstorm. Tim Vining has been told by City police that 5000 has been their estimate, and that the crowd had steadily grown since.

2:33 pm -- though the front of the march has been stopped for over ten minutes at SEI, the march is still backed up all the way to forbes on craig street (the entire length of south craig street is filled with marchers, with the front already on fifth ave). riot police are assembled at citizen's bank on fifth and craig as well as at SEI and mellon institute. city police are reporting that 25-30 people have expressed their intent to be arrested for civil disobedience actions, presumably at the die-in at 3:15. speakers will be addressing the crowd at SEI, followed by music by Mike Stout while people prepare for CD actions.

2:40 pm The marchers are gathering in front of SEI, the end of the march is being brought up, followed by police on horses. The march took up about 5 blocks.

2:50 pm The reported injury earlier was apparently at the Wm. Pitt Union earlier during the rally, and is presumably not related to the march.

3:04pm -- legal support has reported that the Die In / Civil Disobedience will begin. Pitt police are reporting widespread power outages on pitt campus, unknown if this is protest-related. Power outage includes Hillman Library, Frick Fine arts, Forbes Quad. Pitt police also report that many are leaving the area as unpermitted civil disobedience begins. People are instructed to move to the sidewalk if they do not wish to be arrested. City police are referring to the FBI in radio chatter, you draw your own conclusions. The die in has not begun as of yet, but a mass drum circle is continuing near SEI.

3:15pm -- the die-in has begun. people with large puppets are circleing the die-in. there are approximately 80 people lying in the street in defiance of police. the numbers are vague because people are piled on top of one another. breaking die in photo available, more will be posted as they come in. new content: video footage of the circle pit for peace.

3:37pm -- BREAKAWAY MARCH -- a breakaway march has left the SEI area in an unpermitted march on dithridge avenue towards forbes. plainclothes police are trailing the group. the black-bloc is leading the group with a "no war between nations no peace between classes banner." breakaway march is moving west on forbes avenue near the cathedral of learning -- two lanes have been taken, the march is charging into oncoming traffic. more news as it comes in...

3:42pm -- breakaway march have turned north on bigelow blvd. police are attempting to follow the march on motorcycles but have been unsure of which direction to anticipate. pitt police are all around the campus, presumably to deal with the power outage and various alarms that were triggered by it.

4:00pm -- the march has come back across bigelow blvd on forbes, possibly going down towards schenley park.

4:05crossing craig street going towards CMU
crossing craig street going towards CMU 4:05

4:06 turned left on Craig St going towards Fifth Ave

4:11 Police: redirecting traffic around Central Catholic

4:13 Roving Workman: Down in front of SEI. People still dying in and have been there for over an hour. Still 4 people dying in. A small crowd around them. Police are still in front of the SEI.

4:15Heading towards Centre. Dwindling numbers, about 40-50. Some people stopped down by Schenley Plaza. Marchers worried that would be trapped at Fifth Ave, but that didn't happen.

4:24Andy M. -- Breakaway march has turned up Centre ave. May go all the way down to Shadyside."I don't know where we're going, I don't think anybody knows where we're going." Motorcycle cops ahead and City cops far ahead. Also a number of cops on horses and other cops behind. Still about 40 people. It's quieted down, people are getting tired.

4:26Radio chatter - police believe that the breakaway is heading down into Shadyside, perhaps to the military recruiting station there. At the recruiting station on Meyran, one protestor reportedly threw a "water balloon filled with a suspicious liquid."

4:39Call out to people to come out to the die-in to bring blankets and food.

4:42Big group heading from Centre->Fifth ave. Crossing a four lane bridge in the streets. Carrying a banner.

4:56Mounted police overheard saying -- "we're going to let traffic run through the protest." Most of the mounted police have left. Only one car with police lights on right behind the protestors. Protest is proceeding down Fifth near the Oakland Catholic. Traffic is now being allowed to follow the protest very close behind. Fair amount of traffic backed up on Fifth ave.

5:15 The police have asked people to leave the die-in and everyone is going. The crowd is dispersing.

5:27The crowd is completely gone. The breakaway march came back to the die-in and as the police asked people to leave, everybody cheered. No arrests have been reported. One report of a broken window at the Meyran Street Marine Corps Recruiting station, apparently broken with a flag pole.




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