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M30 March
by Ryan Hunt Sunday, Mar. 30, 2003 at 4:47 PM
HuntRW110@aol.com (412) 303-1897 819 S. Braddock Ave.

Police attacked the crowd with tear gas or pepper spray. The attack was vicious and completely unprovoked.

As the M30 March moved south past Hutchinson on Braddock through the business district in Regent Square, police ordered everyone onto the sidewalk. Protesters were complying, moving onto the sidewalk as quickly as a large crowd can, barring a few people who were standing in the parking lane and not moving. One very heavy-set officer was yelling at the crowd and chasing after protesters. He was very, very angry and obviously looking to provoke a confrontation. He began pepper-spraying (?) people out of the blue with no provocation on the part of the crowd except for not moving down the sidewalk and "dispersing" as fast as he would have liked. There was a short wrangle when one man with a bullhorn was shoved down on the street and grabbed by four cops. At the same time a woman was being handcuffed in the middle of Braddock. She had pepper spray coating her face and was crying. THe cops were bending her over a cop car to cuff her wrists behind her back, and she was screaming as loud as she could through the pepper spray "It's a broken wrist! It's a broken wrist! It's a broken wrist!" desperate for anyone to hear her, but no cops heard or cared what she was saying. Unconfirmed estimates are that between 3 and 5 people were arrested and maybe between 6 and 10 had pepper spray sprayed directly in their faces. In my opinion the aggressivity of police in this march was far higher than on M20.

After the march, a small group of protesters gathered on the front lawn of two of the marchers who lived on Braddock in order to regroup and make a symbolic stand before going their separate ways. It was a group of about 30 people peacefully holding signs and flashing peace signs to honking cars. Three cop cars came after there a neighbor called to complain, but then left after briefly talking to the residents. We're now going to reconvene at the Swissvale Jail. We've already put a call in to the P-G reporting some of these events (with OUR spin!)

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