The crowd of more than 100 sang songs and recited Jewish prayers. The event was organized by progressive Jewish group IfNotNow Pittsburgh and held at the corner of Murray Avenue and Darlington Road.
But the gathering was also political.
“We know that Trump is responsible for the violence in our city,” said Arielle Cohen of IfNotNow Pittsburgh. “We know that white nationalism and fascism have taken root.”
Cohen said that Trump’s policies of restricting immigrants and refugees from coming into the U.S. are interconnected to other things happening throughout the country. Robert Bowers, the alleged shooter, had an extensive social media history of anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant posts. Bowers posted on the Saturday of the shooting a criticism of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and claimed the group was bringing “invaders in that kill our people.”
People chanted, “More cops in shuls will not make us safer. More cops in schools will not make us safer.”
There were also many signs at the event, including some criticisms of Trump and other signs reminding people to vote.
The crowd eventually marched into the streets and met with another larger crowd that was meeting a few blocks away, organized by progressive Jewish group Bend The Arc Pittsburgh. They combined in the middle of Forbes Avenue, and totaled more than 1,000 marchers all together.
The crowd then continued down Shady Avenue to the corner of Northumberland Street. A police barricade was set up at the intersection. Trump was likely inside the synagogue shortly before or during the march.
The groups combined and are now marching through the neighborhood. The combined groups numbers in the thousands and extends longer than a city block. These marchers are critical of Trump’s presence in PGH. pic.twitter.com/1Kk6Iu42eS— Ryan Deto (@RyanDeto) October 30, 2018
Toward the end of the gathering, some police cars were attempting to get through the crowd. One man didn’t move out of the way, and he was apprehended by police.
After that, the crowd resumed its largely peaceful affair, eventually dispersing and thanking the Pittsburgh Police for keeping order.