[JURIST] Several demonstrations at the Pittsburgh Group of 20 (G-20) Summit [official websites] turned violent Thursday afternoon and late evening as protesters clashed with police. In the city's Oakland neighborhood, home of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, police in riot gear cleared protesters and student onlookers [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report] from an area around Phipps Conservatory, where President Barack Obama had hosted a dinner for world leaders. Police ordered the crowd to disperse, then moved down nearby Forbes Avenue past the University of Pittsburgh School of Law using smoke canisters and rubber bullets as some protesters threw stones and broke the windows of several local businesses.
This video was shot on the corner of Forbes Ave. and Bouquet St., where the law school is located:
The law school building, JURIST's headquarters, was not damaged.
Earlier in the day, police dispersed an anarchists' march in the city's Lawrenceville neighborhood with pepper spray canisters and rubber bullets after announcing that it was an unlawful assembly.
More than 60 people were arrested [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report] during Thursday's protests, and several others were injured, though none seriously. Protests and demonstrations are expected to continue Friday. The largest march [protest website], organized by the Thomas Merton Center [advocacy website], is expected to move from Forbes Avenue to downtown around Noon local time.
The violent protests stood in marked contrast to peaceful protests [JURIST report] that took place earlier in the day when protesters took to Pittsburgh's streets to call attention to a range of global human rights issues. A group of Tibetan protesters [WPXI report] from across the US held a march to call Chinese President Hu Jintao's attention to recent human rights abuses in that region [JURIST news archive]. The march is scheduled to continue Friday. Another group rallied for freedom to practice Falun Gong [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report], a religion whose followers face persecution in China [JURIST news archive]. On Pittsburgh's North Side, a group of Burmese monks marched in protest of human rights conditions in Myanmar [JURIST news archive]. The Coalition of Ethiopians for Human Rights marched downtown seeking fair elections [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report] in Ethiopia and the release of imprisoned opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa.
Editor's note: read eyewitness coverage of Thursday's Lawrenceville protest on JURIST Dateline.