despite the media portrayals of Tea Parties as raucous and angry, we never saw any scenes like this.
in spite of a strong police and army police presence, around 300 protestors managed to congregate just minutes from the summit venue, the David H Lawrence convention centre, where Prime Minister Gordon Brown will meet with the leaders of the other 18 countries plus the European Union.
Police threw canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers as US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived for a meeting with leaders of the world's major economies.
The protest close to the summit largely involved members of a Free Tibet lobby group, as well as individuals demonstrating for more jobs, and one man whose face was daubed in black and red paint and was seen taunting officers.
Police managed to contain the scuffle, however, with the giant "ring of steel" surrounding the summit venue, ensuring no protestors managed to get even close, although chants from the crowd could be heard at the convention centre.
Elsewhere in the city, there were reports of rocks being thrown at buses in the Bloomfield district, where the windows and ATM of one bank were damaged.
Many local businesses prepared for the summit by boarding up their properties, while around half of the shops, restaurants and bars in the downtown area – close to the summit – have closed for the duration.
Police have been drafted in from around the country to cope with the protests, with officers from Tuscon, Arizona – some 2,100 miles from Pittsburgh – seen stationed outside the PNC Bank headquarters, while soldiers, special agents and Federal Bureau of Investigation staff are also visible in and around the city.
In the city's Lawrenceville district, about a mile from the summit venue, police deployed tear gas in order to disperse crowds after warning everyone in the area to "leave the immediate vicinity regardless of your purpose." Protestors responded by throwing bottles at the officer.
Funny, but despite the media portrayals of Tea Parties as raucous and angry, we never saw any scenes like this.
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