Anarchist group promotes vandalism, anti-police sentiment at Pitt

UPitt Anarchy, which describes itself as 'involved in the proliferation of anarchist idea and action,' says that it 'aim[s] to introduce individuals to the wider radical scene in Pittsburgh.'

The group's website says that it is composed of both students and non-students, and its activities include vandalizing rentable scooters and posting flyers that read, 'DEAD PITT COPS.'

A new student group at the University of Pittsburgh (UPitt) is promoting vandalism and anti-police sentiment. 

UPitt Anarchy–a group that appears from posts on its website to have formed in the fall 2022 semester–describes itself as “involved in the proliferation of anarchist idea and action.”

Though UPitt Anarchy is not an official student organization, according to the university’s website, the group announces that it is open to students and non-students alike. “We aim to introduce individuals to the wider radical scene in Pittsburgh so that they may start acting autonomously towards their own destructive and creative desires,” the description of UPitt Anarchy continues. 

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UPitt Anarchy’s promotion of vandalism includes a post admitting to vandalizing rentable scooters on campus. 

“There are months during which on every street corner along Liberty Avenue lie dozens of Spin Scooters, toppled over with their QR codes covered by ink, waiting to be cleaned,” the post reads. “The heads of scooters peek out of dumpsters, and their beautifully mangled corpses dot the bottoms of high drops.”

The justification provided by the group is that the scooters’ app-based payment system, unlike a public transit system that accepts cash, is a means of surveillance. 

In Feb. 2023, UPitt Anarchy also shared a flyer on its Instagram page with the headline “BORN TO DIE.”

While the purpose of the flyer is unclear, it declares that “PITT IS A F**K,” with a subheading that reads, “DEAD PITT COPS.”

A more recent flyer obtained by Campus Reform depicts UPitt Chief of Police James Loftus in an image that appears to use a negative photo effect. 

In response to a media inquiry from Campus Reform, UPitt Anarchy sent graphic photos showing bruised, bloody faces and referenced an Apr. 7 post on its website, “UPitt Anarchy is Cringe.”

The post says that “Pittsburgh has a lot of anarchists.” 

“The University itself probably has more than the average large university,” the post continues, “but by no means do we have a large presence as a milieu outside of certain academic departments.” 

UPitt Anarchy describes the group as “loosely organized enough that one of [its members] could do something–creative or destructive–acting as UPitt Anarchy, and none of the rest … would know.”

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Sal Zuber, a UPitt student, calls the group “wholly idiotic.”

“These people are at least morons and at worst have bad intentions,” he wrote in a statement to Campus Reform. “Their focus on the occult is disturbing, or at least per their website and flyers I’ve seen on campus it certainly would paint them as such.” 

The headline of one post on UPitt Anarchy’s website declares, “CATHEDRAL OF LEARNING LEVITATES, MILLIONS STUNNED.”

“By calling upon the forces of too many deities to list, use of powerful sigils, and publicly sacrificing an effigy of University of Pittsburgh Chief of Police James K. Loftus in the form of a meat-filled baby doll,” the post reads, “the insurgents successfully levitated the Cathedral of Learning fifty feet in the air.”

Campus Reform contacted all relevant parties listed for comment and will update this article accordingly. 

Follow Logan Dubil on Twitter.