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