Port Authority to offer free bus rides to vigil honoring New Zealand victims
Residents of greater Pittsburgh can take advantage of free bus rides to a Sunday vigil to mourn New Zealand’s shooting victims and express solidarity for the local Muslim community.
From about 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Port Authority of Allegheny County will allow passengers free rides to and from the vigil, which begins 6 p.m. at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in the city’s Oakland neighborhood.
Free rides only will be available on routes that already travel through Oakland, such as bus routes departing from Squirrel Hill or Downtown Pittsburgh, Port Authority spokesman Adam Brandolph said. Buses will drop off riders within close walking distance to the museum, including via a stop at Fifth Avenue and Bigelow Boulevard.
The vigil is being held as a showing of interfaith and community support for Muslims following the Christchurch, New Zealand attack that killed 50 people. It involves collaboration among local Muslim leaders, the Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania and the Muslim Student Association at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
The service will feature prayer, readings and commemorations of Christchurch victims.
Speakers will include Wasi Mohamed, former director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, and Arno Michaelis, who identifies as a former white nationalist. They plan to discuss how to combat Islamophobia and other forms of hate and what individuals can do to help.
“All violent extremist ideology requires fear to function,” Michaelis said in a release. “When we define ourselves by what we’re for, rather than what we’re against, we set contagious examples of courage that make our society a place where hate has no home.”
The free public event begins at 6 p.m. at 4141 Fifth Ave. Doors open at 5 p.m.
Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Natasha at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter .