Teen-led demonstration outside the City-County Building turns into a march through downtown Pittsburgh
About 200 people took to the street Saturday afternoon in front of the City-County Building Downtown for a protest organized by Black, Young and Educated that turned into a march by the evening.
The event continued the daily string of protests that has gone on for three weeks in Pittsburgh following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, while in police custody in Minneapolis.
This demonstration is part of the Civil Saturday series of protests from BYE, an activist group made up of local teenagers. Much of the day’s demonstration focused on Black transgender people and Black intersectionality.
Nick Anglin, 18, read the names of every Black trans woman killed in 2020, followed by a 16-minute moment of silence — one minute for each name read.
Local activist and rapper Jasiri X spoke at the event, focusing on reading, explaining and rallying the crowd behind the list of 12 demands The Allegheny County Black Activist/Organizer Collective presented to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald this week; the list includes calls to defund police, disband private police departments and end cash bail. Jasiri X referenced the City-County Building lighting up green, red and yellow in honor of Juneteenth when he explained he wants to see concrete policy change.
“We’ve had enough symbols,” he said. “We need some substance.”
Much of the event was spent doing organized chants. A few times, those with megaphones would instruct each side of the crowd to chant separate, related phrases.