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Pittsburghers To Combat White Supremacy, Remember Victims A Week After Shooting

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Liz Reid
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90.5 WESA
Just blocks from Tree of Life synagogue, a house in Squirrel Hill displays the sign welcoming all as neighbors and urging residents to vote.

Pittsburghers will continue to gather this weekend in the wake of the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue which left 11 people dead, looking for ways to heal and move forward.

On Friday night in the South Hills borough of Whitehall, the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh will hold a vigil honoring the memory of those who were killed.

“We are doing this to express our support to the Pittsburgh Jewish Community who stood with us during our difficult times as refugees,” said the association’s executive director Khara Timsina.

Also on Friday, Carnegie Mellon University’s chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, a music fraternity, is inviting the public to an open-mic benefit. Donations collected will go to the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Then, on Saturday, religious and civic leaders in the Mon Valley borough of White Oak will gather for a service of remembrance for victims. It’s being organized by the White Oak Interfaith Ministerium, organization of local faith communities.

The Ministerium says the service will unite people in grief and hope, in defiance of hatred and division.

Two events will be held this weekend aimed at combating white supremacy.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh chapter of Democratic Socialists of America hold a training about white nationalism and how to fight it. The DSA said this two-hour workshop will include a discussion on what motivates white nationalists, how they perceive the world and how to combat this ideology.

On Sunday afternoon, Antifascist Pittsburgh is hosting an anti-Nazi demonstration in Squirrel Hill. Organizers said that anti-Semitism and fascism are intertwined and must be stopped.

The suspected shooter, Robert Bowers, has been charged on 44 federal counts of hate crimes and firearms offences. He's accused of fatally preventing the free exercise of religion.