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05/19/2010

A G20 souvenir for Pittsburgh: a civil rights lawsuit

An American civil rights group is suing the city of Pittsburgh on behalf of the 100+ people arrested during last year's G20 summit.

The American Civil Liberties Union says police made "unwarranted and overzealous arrests" of protesters during the September 2009 summit in Pittsburgh and violated demonstrators' First Amendment rights. The group will focus on arrests made during the so-called "Oakland sweeps" on the eve of the 2009 summit, when riot police faced off with hundreds of university students and protesters in a five-acre park called Schenley Plaza.

According to the ACLU's website, protesters tried to disperse but were prevented from doing so by the 1,000 riot police that encircled the area.

The group lists on their website various allegations of improper law enforcement during Pittsburgh's summit. The ACLU reportedly plans to launch its lawsuit by late September, the one-year anniversary of the 2009 summit.

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