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Protesters Return To East Liberty, Chanting Support For Black Trans Women

Ariel Worthy
90.5 WESA
Protesters gather outside the East Liberty Target on Friday, June 26, 2020, to demonstrate against police brutality of Black and brown communities.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Target in East Liberty on Friday to protest the treatment of Black people by law enforcement. Such protests have taken place in Pittsburgh since late May, following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. 

The action was a return to the site of a June 1 protest, when Pittsburgh Police broke up a crowd using “less-lethal” dispersion methods, including tear gas and bean-bag rounds

Nique Craft, an organizer who appears frequently at Pittsburgh demonstrations, laid out the focus of Friday’s demonstration: Justice for Black trans women and Black women. 

“Black trans lives matter here!” protesters chanted. “It is our duty to fight for freedom!”

So far in 2020, 16 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Organizers encouraged the crowd to educate themselves about the struggles of the transgender community, which include discrimination in housing and education.

“Start learning people’s pronouns,” one organizer chanted. “It’s not that hard.”

The crowd marched through parts of the East End, making their way down Centre Avenue.


At one point, a man called the protesters "racist" for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

"Nazi lives don't matter here," the demonstrators responded. As they chanted, one protester flew the Pan-African flag, also known as the Black liberation flag, in front of the man recording the interaction on his cell phone. 


Katie Blackley is a digital editor/producer for 90.5 WESA, where she writes, edits and generates both web and on-air content for features and daily broadcast. She's the producer and host of our Good Question! series and podcast. She also covers history and the LGBTQ community. kblackley@wesa.fm
Born and raised in Birmingham, Ala., Ariel finally made a “big move” 45 minutes down the interstate to the University of Alabama where she studied Journalism and International Studies. During her time in college she interned with Tuscaloosa News, a daily newspaper in her college town. After college, she got her first job back in her hometown with Birmingham Times, a weekly where she served as reporter and editor. Ariel made an even bigger move to Pittsburgh and joined the 90.5 WESA family as digital producer. She is adjusting to experiencing actual cold weather.
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