Hundreds in Pittsburgh march from Oakland to the Birmingham Bridge | Blogh

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hundreds in Pittsburgh march from Oakland to the Birmingham Bridge

Posted By on Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 1:50 PM

click to enlarge Protesters march through Oakland - CP PHOTO BY LUKE THOR TRAVIS
CP photo by Luke Thor Travis
Protesters march through Oakland

"Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here."

"No borders, no nations, stop deportations."

"My body, my choice. Her body, her choice."

"Black lives matter."

"Love wins."

From the protest chants alone, you get a sense that last night's peaceful protest from Oakland to the Birmingham Bridge was organized to bring attention to the wide range of equality issues facing Americans.

"Equality for all people brought me here tonight," said Jamie Scafuri, a Pittsburgh resident. "I hope this promotes peaceful activism in our country."

While the protest mirrored similar events occurring around the country and in Pittsburgh in the wake of the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the two-mile walk wasn't branded as an anti-Trump rally. Instead, organizers said it was designed to bring attention to rights they feel should be respected moving into the next presidency. Among the priorities identified in speeches throughout the march were diversity, the environment, religious tolerance, police brutality and  LGBT and immigrant rights.

"It's not an anti-Trump protest," said Brandi Williams, an African American University of Pittsburgh student. "We just want progress. I want people to know my life matters. I hope people can understand the points we're making."

Overwhelmingly, the more than 200 protesters stayed on message, but there were several in the group who called for more drastic measures like rioting or marching beyond the permitted route blocked off by police. But even for those championing for peace, the pall of Trump, and his attacks on marginalized groups over the past year weighed heavily.

"I'm very passionate about my rights," said Lark Blackson, co-president of a feminist organization. "I honestly don't think Trump is a good president for anyone but white people, especially white men. People need to know what they say matters."

Check out our slideshow from photographer Luke Thor Travis for more scenes from the march.

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