Cracks in the Steel City: Anarchist News from Pittsburgh || N.1 – D.31

Cracks in the Steel City is a filler column that recaps local anarchist news that you may have missed while doom-scrolling, with a particular focus on autonomous, illegalist, and insurrectionist activity as well as updates on state repression.

All news content is sourced from anonymous communiqués, social media, police reports, or capitalist media outlets. Because of this, all dates are approximates and may vary in accuracy.

Let us know what we missed.

What Went Down

End of October & November 1

  • A variety of leftist posters and event flyers are wheatpasted across the city in seriously huge numbers. One poster was a beautiful tribute to the memory of our Jewish neighbors who were murdered in the fascist attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in 2018. We will outlive them!
  • Filler received dozens of submissions from various crews and individuals competing to steal the most election propaganda.
  • A Subway restaurant in Carrick got robbed. As of this writing, police have yet to identify any suspects.
  • A man wearing a radio earpiece robbed the Dollar Bank at 537 Smithfield Street. As of this writing, Pittsburgh police have yet to identify the suspect.

November 2

  • Several Pittsburgh politicians homes and offices were vandalized with anti-electoral and revolutionary messages. Probably Maoists but interesting regardless.

November 4

  • Filler received this anonymous communiqué:

On N4, about ~50 people interrupted a Socialist Alternative speech for the first militant breakaway march Pittsburgh’s seen in a hot minute. Even though it quickly became clear that this bloc had no consensus of what to do with their brief moment of autonomy – dispersing after a riotous 30 minutes with 3 arrests – it should still be celebrated as the first real break with “the” leadership that has sought the pacification of the movement ever since the riots of May 30 & June 2. This is how we find each other.

November 10

  • KDKA reports “Police Looking For Man Suspected Of Killing Juvenile Probation Officer In East Liberty.” As of this writing, the accused person continues to evade capture.

November 17

  • Anti-fascists clean up MAGA and infowars graffiti in Bloomfield and North Oakland.

November 20

  • Several magistrates’ offices were vandalized in the Pittsburgh area. The post gazette reports, “The front doors & window of the office were damaged, as foam had been sprayed between the double doors, epoxy was poured into the hinges & keyhole…” & the doors were u-locked shut and covered in the message “EVICTION IS VIOLENCE.” One person was arrested for their alleged connection to the action after their vehicle was identified at the scene via security footage. When police searched the vehicle, they claim to have found plans for the action still inside, including maps and a note that read “don’t leave stuff behind, ditch it.” Police suspect that there were other accomplices, but as of this writing they remain unidentified. Nice.

November 23

  • Pittsburgh police raided the home of a local anti-fascist and BLM community organizer without a warrant. The pigs brandished weapons at the comrade’s child and did not Mirandize upon arrest.

November 24

  • Around 1am, an unarmed individual robbed the BP gas station along West Liberty Avenue. As of this writing, Pittsburgh Police have yet to identify a suspect.

November 27

  • Pittsburgh Police report that at around 2am, a man entered the Sunoco on North Craig Street in Oakland, went behind the counter, smashed the register, and stole everything in it.
  • At 5am, another store is robbbed on Banksville Road.

November 29

  • A man suspected of robbing a Rite Aid now faces a slew of charges related to serial robbery. Pittsburgh Police claim that, during interrogation, the alleged suspect confessed to robbing three convenience stores in three days.

November 30

  • An anonymous anti-fascist spots American Defense Skinheads and other Nazi propaganda stickers in the North Side and alerts their community. Several hours later, Filler received the following anonymous communiqué:

Crew removed 15-20 ADS stickers w ‘blood and soil’ & ‘diversity is not our strength’ wording in the 4 square blocks encompassed by E North Ave, Cedar Ave, East St, E Ohio St

December 1

  • Welcome to ACAB World”
  • Filler received an anonymous communiqué and several photographs:

Last night we vandalized 13 parking meters because fuck parking tickets.
With love,
– some anarchists

December 4

  • Pittsburgh Police and local capitalist media resume their pathetic attempts to identify alleged May 30 rioters. A spontaneous campaign to flood the snitch hotline with false tips organically materialized.

December 5

  • Two people robbed a gas station at gunpoint in Bethel Park. One suspect has been arrested. KDKA reports that police are still asking for the public’s help in identifying his alleged accomplice.

December 8

  • Two individuals shoplift over $2,100 in merchandise from a Walmart in Indiana County. As of this writing, police have yet to identify any suspects.

December 10

  • After piece-of-shit-pig Paul Abel got fired from the Pittsburgh Police force, Pittsburgh Fash Watch revealed that he was trying to join the gig economy. A community warning is issued.

December 14

  • The East End is drowned in anti-police slogans and Bleach.

December 15

December 16

  • Anarchist graffiti writer Sappho passes away. Her name still echoes across Pittsburgh’s streets.

December 18

  • A graffiti message declaring solidarity with political prisoners in Denver, Colorado is spotted on the North Side.

December 19

  • Security camera footage circulating on social media shows three individuals with sleds cut a hole in a fence that obstructs access to a steep hill.

December 20

  • After a pig got shot, police retaliate against the entirety of McKeesport, raiding random homes without warrants and establishing illegal checkpoints at major roadways. Shit was fucked, but not surprising. We encourage folks to look at the logistics of what happened and study the counter-insurgency tactics police deployed.

December 22

  • A Washington County convenience store is robbed at gunpoint. As of this writing, police have yet to identify a suspect.
  • A Subway restaurant in Rochester Borough is robbed. As of this writing, police have yet to identify a suspect.

December 31

  • The following report-back is circulating social media:

There’s no better New Year’s Eve tradition than a noise demo, and maybe because of this #FuckCOVID19 year, there was no better noise demo than the one outside Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh. Mutual aid projects, begun or solidified during the pandemic, with relationships inside and outside this huge jail’s walls, organized this display of “We 🖤 you” (including the illuminated banner pictured here) with utmost regard for #CollectiveCare from start to finish. The playlist for loud mobile sound system, for instance, was gathered by getting call-in requests from incarcerated folks this past week, and promotion for the demo was via trusted yet diverse circles (rather than social media) based on a framework of what makes for solidarity and a desire to strengthen bonds over the longer haul, including with family supporters of those inside. The approx 100 of us included everything we needed or could have wanted—from medics, scouts, emotional aid, and legal observers to a live samba band, projected words of solidarity, hot chocolate setup, hand warmers, and tons of ways to make noise, light, and dancing. The demo was timed with when folks inside could still call out, so we heard via phone that they could, say, see the “We 🖤 you” banner outside, though that was clear too from the many hands held up inside the jail windows forming heart shapes to us. People inside the multistoried fortress danced along with us, flashed their cell lights off and on, and made quick DIY signs to share outward in reply to us, including one that said “We ❤️ yinz” (a sweet Pittsburgh thing). Our noise and light demo didn’t abolish prisons, or help alleviate the death sentence that prisons have become under COVID-19; it didn’t change this miserable, fascistic world. Yet for about 3 hours, the walls fell just enough to allow joyous connection, and a sense that our love and solidarity is stronger than their cages.

You are not alone. We are everywhere. Find each other.

merry crisis and a happy new fear,

You can send your report-backs, zine submissions, critiques, graffiti/action photos, demo tapes, hate mail, & memes to…

We’ll try to publish your report // promote your content // reply in a reasonable amount of punk time.

Send reports in email form, as an attachment, or better yet, on an easy to use (and free) Riseup Pad or CryptPad.

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