Ugh, those look like really standard Vibram soles used on like every other work boot?
Majority of the people who cause trouble are either teenage shitheads or are not local, to answer the question "Why would they destroy the city they live in?" They travel from all over the place to protest. And most of the stuff we see in the pictures in action - the perfectly framed black bloc smashing Starbucks - is probably planted (police or press) to justify either future police violence or to create a more compelling narrative. And speaking of the police, at least in the USA, most of them at these events are not local, as well.
Concerts don't help. They are an excuse for police to arrest everybody attending for unlawful assembly and conspiracy to riot, basically (in US)
Unfortunately, I worked and lived in a mile radius from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Repub ... Convention
I managed to avoid most of the drama by leaving work a few hours early and staying in, but on the last day I ended up stranded downtown because all of the overpasses were closed by the police, anticipating protesters. Being shoved by a Blackwater dude thrice my size is not something I want to go through again.
I know people whose houses were raided, they didn't plan protesting at all, just lived in the wrong part of town, I guess? A few people I know who lived in the area were maced. Again, not protesting, just trying to go home.
For every protester there is probably at least 3 policemen. They tend to overuse their powers during big events, and since I'm the resident tinfoil hat wearer, I think the practice of having these meetings in urban densely populated areas will continue to create a sense of fear in general public and to justify police militarization that's been going on for a while. Sort of a "How far can we push civil rights and get away with it?" litmus test (in US)
Or something. Blurgh. I need coffee.