Police tactics used to disperse a large student assembly at the University of Pittsburgh on Friday evening have become the focus of an Internet media firestorm.


Multiple videos of the police action against apparently peaceful students have surfaced on the Internet. Confirmed details apart from recordings are scarce at this hour, but the first clip included below shows two officers in riot gear hitting a young female with batons, while others show numerous seemingly random arrests taking place as students were forced out of the public areas on campus by police firing tear gas and other projectiles.

"The group, estimated at close to 500 people, gathered near Schenley Plaza around 10 p.m., with students saying they were drawn because they were angry over Thursday’s protests and how the riot police treated students," reported The New York Times. "Some students say their curiosity was piqued by a university message warning them to stay off the streets."

According to the Associated Press, police say they arrested 60 people after declaring the student gathering to be "illegal" -- a figure that makes up the bulk of the 83 arrested all across Pittsburgh during the G20 summit.

The G20 summits routinely attract crowds of activists for scores of causes as well as anarchists opposed to what they see as inhumane free market policies.

An earlier, larger demonstration took place without any incident.

Security forces in Pittsburgh said there were up to 4,500 marchers, but Peter Shell, president of the Thomas Merton Center which helped organize the march, estimated the number at twice that.

"It was the biggest protest march in Pittsburgh since the 1970s protests against Vietnam," Shell told AFP.

The videos below contain profanity and some violence.

This video was uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 25, 2009.

This video was uploaded to YouTube on Sept. 25, 2009.

With AFP.