Protesters march to Pittsburgh mayor's office, demand racial justice
The singing, chanting protesters who marched from the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard to a sit-in outside the Pittsburgh mayor's office on Wednesday said they didn't get much response from public officials to their demands for racial justice.
“We didn't expect much response,” said Nazura Asaseyeduru, 35, of Pittsburgh, who said she attended the rally on behalf of the National Black United Front. The black nationalist group formed in Brooklyn in the 1970s and is headquartered in Chicago. It established a Pittsburgh chapter in March.
Organizers linked the march to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida. They issued 14 demands, including that the city renounce “state-sanctioned murder.”
Dozens of protesters carried signs denouncing white supremacy, patriarchy and racism.
In the hallway outside the Mayor's Office and City Council chambers, they sang and chanted for the mayor to appear.
Jim Sheppard, a special assistant to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, told the crowd the mayor would not be able to meet with them.
“That's the problem!” one protester shouted.
Another commented: “You've got all these police here to protect the mayor.”
Uniformed officers, including a sergeant wearing a bulletproof vest, stood watch at the glass entrance to Ravenstahl's office, and several others stood behind the crowd and at elevators.
Public Safety Director Michael Huss briefly met with one of the organizers in the mayor's conference room.
Council President Darlene Harris accepted the group's list of demands, promising she “will pass it along” and consider something to put before council, though she stopped short of agreeing to present the entire list. A heckler told her: “To do nothing is racism.”
Members of groups that call themselves Pittsburgh for Trayvon, New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice, Pittsburgh Defending Black Bodies and Pittsburgh Standing our Ground, composed the list. It included demands that the city denounce the state's version of a stand-your-ground law, support development in predominantly black communities and provide greater access to fresh food in poorer neighborhoods, among other things.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Quarantine fears jeopardize volunteer work in Ebola-stricken West Africa
- Young leads Pitt’s new-look lineup past IUP in exhibition opener
- Peters Township boys top USC to win back-to-back WPIAL Class AAA titles
- Penn State renews ‘rivalry’ with Big Ten foe Maryland
- Mt. Pleasant steamrolls Shady Side Academy, 38-0
- Woodland Hills’ potent rushing attack deflates North Hills, 41-2
- Central Catholic fights its way through decisive win over Norwin
- Steelers defense takes aim at Ravens QB Flacco
- West Allegheny’s stout defense paves way for 38-0 victory over Knoch
- Plum upsets Penn Hills, 17-6, in 1st-round playoff game
- Penguins GM Rutherford: Malkin’s play belies fact he missed training camp