Pittsburgh City Paper

Over 100 protest in Pittsburgh, calling on Pennsylvania to "Count Every Vote"

Nardos Haile Nov 5, 2020 10:56 AM
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Protesters with the “Don’t Let Trump Steal The Election" rally march through Downtown Pittsburgh on Wed., Nov. 4, 2020.
On Wed., Nov. 4, more than 100 protesters gathered at the City-County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh, joining demonstrations across the country to “count every vote” in wake of the highly contested 2020 presidential election and President Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations of an illegitimate and fraudulent election.

Multiple Pittsburgh political action committees organized several demonstrations throughout the evening.
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
The presidential election hasn’t yet been decided, as hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots are still being counted in Pennsylvania. There are still more than 35,000 mail-in ballots to count in Allegheny County, which won’t resume until Friday due to a court order. Mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania have heavily skewed toward Joe Biden, and when all are counted, could likely push Biden to a Pennsylvania victory.

Yesterday’s first demonstration started at 4 p.m. and was organized by several groups like Pennsylvania United, Pittsburgh United, United Steelworkers, Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, and Bend the Arc.

The crowd chanted “every vote counts,” as the news broke that Trump prematurely declared a win with many battleground states still counting mail-in ballots. In response to the election’s uncertain outcome for him, Trump and his administration filed lawsuits in hotly contested states like Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. While Pennsylvania still remains to be called, votes continue to be counted and Trump wants to block the state’s Supreme Court-approved mail-in ballot extension period.
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
In response to the post-election complications, an Every Vote Counts speaker said, “In order for democracy to work, it has to work for all of us.”

Another demonstration continued at 5:30 p.m., hosted by the Socialist Alternative and many other leftist political organizations including the Pittsburgh Chapter of Democratic Socialists of America, the Green Party of Allegheny County, and Stop the Station. The turnout increased with hundreds of people occupying the front of the City-County Building, specifically young college students.
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
More groups like Carnegie Mellon Labor Coalition, PITT students for Bernie Sanders, and Carnegie Mellon University for Bernie were a part of the large demonstration.

Julia Mente, a member of the United Library Workers Union of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Socialist Alternative, was the first speaker of the night.
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
“We are all here today because we woke up this morning to find what millions of Americans have been fearing now for weeks. Trump has declared himself the winner of the election even though millions of votes still have not been counted. Shame,” Mente said. “Republicans all over the country, on Trump’s cue, are preparing to use their lawyers and the courts to stop the count of votes. They want to invalidate your mail-in ballot. They want to let their conservative [U.S.] Supreme Court decide who wins the election. We know Donald Trump does not accept reality, and he will not accept defeat.”

After several other speakers from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Sunrise Movement addressed climate change, imperialism, and workers’ rights, the protest started moving on Grant Street with chants of “Trump lies, Trump cheats. Build a movement in the streets.”

The growing crowd of more than 100 people walked down Sixth Avenue, followed to Wood Street, crossing through the YCMA and Point Park University’s campus, and then returning onto Boulevard of the Allies, headed back towards the City-County Building for the remaining speakers of the night. 
CP photo: Jared Wickerham
Randall Taylor, an activist from Stop of Station and a former candidate who ran for Pittsburgh City Council, was one of the closing speakers of the demonstration. Taylor also gave a speech earlier in the afternoon at the first protest.

“There’s change coming not only in Pittsburgh, but in this country. But I do have to speak to today about where we are,” Taylor said. “We also have to take a moment to pause and remember the moment we were in yesterday was one of the most consequential elections in the history of his country, and we know if Donald Trump had been re-elected we would never be the same country again.”