Yesterday I put on my mask, and put aside my fear, as I went out with a camera in hand to march alongside a thousand allies and people of color. Our peaceful protest looped around East Liberty in Pittsburgh. This historically black neighborhood has been majorly gentrified over the years, and is virtually unrecognizable even from when I first moved to the city a decade ago.
We marched like so many others around the country, and around the world. We demand justice not only for George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, but for all of the other people of color who have been subject to brutality throughout history. Pittsburgh has our own list of names to be remembered, including young Antwon Rose Jr. who was murdered by the police two years ago. Now is the time to stand up, to speak out, to demand justice.
This protest was entirely peaceful. However, that did not stop the police from tear gassing the protestors and firing rubber bullets into the crowd at the end of the day. This happened after I left East Liberty, so unfortunately I do not have photos or a personal eyewitness account of what happened. What I do have is photos of a community coming together, protesting peacefully, and standing up for what is right.
Now is also a good time to donate to organizations led by people of color, or bail funds for the protestors. Please consult this list for options on where to donate. I also recommend utilizing some of these resources to educate yourself and gain a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. We all must do the work to dismantle oppressive institutions, and to unlearn cultural conditioning. Practice empathy and be open-minded. Stay safe, and protect people of color.