The June 19 killing of Antwon Rose II at the hands of a police officer once again revived the age-old conversation about civil disobedience. Activists and residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas banded together to call for accountability and justice. Protesters made noise and blocked roads, disrupting traffic and other daily activities.

Residents not partaking in the action seemed split over what these demonstrations should look like and what they accomplish.

For a deeper understanding, we looked to activists and history to offer a clearer view of the debate over civil disobedience.

This is the first installment in a three-part series in which we are taking a step back to explain important concepts bubbling below the surface of topical issues in Pittsburgh.

Jourdan Hicks is a community reporter at PublicSource, she can be reached at

Ryan Loew is PublicSource’s visual storyteller/producer. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @RyanLoew.

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Jourdan is a senior community correspondent at PublicSource. Previously, Jourdan was engaged as a community-based educator in the Hazelwood section of the city. A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, she’s...