Activists rally to condemn recent rise in violence against Black Pittsburghers | Pittsburgh City Paper

Activists rally to condemn recent rise in violence against Black Pittsburghers

Photos from the "Defend Black Lives" rally in Downtown Pittsburgh

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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
The Alliance for Police Accountability (APA), 1Hood Media, TransYOUniting, Black Lives Matter Pittsburgh of SW PA, and other supporters hold a rally at the City-County Building.
A group of local activists gathered in Downtown Pittsburgh on Feb. 22 for a "Defend Black Lives" rally to bring awareness to a recent rise in violence against Black Pittsburghers.

The Alliance for Police Accountability, 1Hood Media, TransYOUniting, Black Lives Matter Pittsburgh and SW PA, and their supporters rallied at the City-County Building where they also called for justice and further investigation into the deaths of recent vicitims.

“Organizers believe inadequate and inequitable policies, silence from elected officials, racism, gentrification, and a lack of investment in Black communities are driving factors in creating an unsafe environment for Black residents," organizers wrote in a release ahead of the rally. "Today’s call to action is one of many steps being taken in the ongoing fight for justice and accountability.”

Family members of local victims of violence, including those of Amariey Lej, a Black trans woman who was murdered in January, and Peter Spencer, a Jamaican immigrant from Pittsburgh who was shot and killed in Venango County while on a camping trip with white coworkers, joined the community in sharing their stories and calling for justice.

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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Miracle Jones of 1Hood Media shouts during the rally.
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Family members of Amariey Lej gather at the rally.
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Erin Perry, the cousin of Amariey Lej, speaks while other family members gather around during the rally.
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Conrad Lee Spencer, the father of Peter Spencer, speaks at the rally on Tuesday.
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Jasiri-X of 1Hood Media speaks at the rally on Tuesday.
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
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CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
click to enlarge Activists rally to condemn recent rise in violence against Black Pittsburghers
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Erin Perry, the cousin of Amariey Lej, dances in the middle of Grant Street following the rally.