Peaceful Demonstrators demand the continuation of social progress even after Biden/Harris take office

By November 7, 2020 No Comments

Current Photo by Jake Mysliwczyk.

Dannys Marrero
Pittsburgh Current Contributing Writer

On Saturday, just two hours after the Associated Press and a majority of major news outlets projected that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris captured the White House, hundreds of demonstrators marched through the City of Pittsburgh promising to continue the fight for progress.

“It’s not about a party,” said Brandi Fisher, one of the protest organizers and a member of  the Alliance for Police Accountability. “We have had the Democrats for a very long time. We are not focused on party, we are focused on progressive people, we are focused on freedom and liberation.”

And although the timing was perfect, the march had been planned since Tuesday. At 2 p.m., more than 100 demonstrators had already gathered in front of Representative Mike Doyle’s office in the South Side. The number only continued to grow with more than 250 demonstrators joining in as they started their march down East Carson Street and into Downtown Pittsburgh.

Before the group stepped off, however, State Representatives Summer Lee and Ed Gainey delivered powerful remarks promoting social change and acknowledged the history made by  Kamala Harris becoming the first woman of color to be elected Vice President:

At 2:11 p.m., Andraé Holsey, another organizer and member of ‘Progress for People of Color’ lead the cheerful crowd as they began their march chanting “there’s no power like the power of the people, because the power of the people don’t stop”.

“Accountability and integrity are values that we should see in every politician,” said Holsey. “The fight for racial equality doesn’t stop with one progressive candidate being put in office.”

The crowd marched peacefully without interruption, constantly growing and absorbing bystanders as well as other small demonstrations, like the one organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Once the demonstration occupied the intersection between South Tenth Street and East Carson Street, it had grown to over 400.

“Donald Trump’s supporters are white supremacists and they’re not going to stop fighting, so neither will I,” said Blake Billmaier, a Biden supporter who also agrees with the continuation of other similar demonstrations.

At 3:26 p.m., the demonstration moved across the Tenth Street Bridge with a new destination in sight, the City-County Building on Grant Street. They crossed the Tenth Street Bridge as many demonstrators held up “Black Voters Matter” signs and the chants shifted to well-known Black Lives Matter chants.

Chrissy Carter (Current Photo by Dannys Marrero)

The large demonstration did reach its final destination at 3:54 p.m. and occupied the steps of the City-County Building. Many local black activists, like Chrissy Carter, took this time to deliver additional remarks and several calls-to-action to the crowd.

“There is still a lot of work to be done because the numbers don’t lie, almost nothing has been done in white communities,” said Carter, a member of ‘Take Action Mon-Valley’.

At 4:24 p.m., Fisher took the mic one last time and not only thanked the crowd for showing up but to remind everyone that local politics is just, if not more important than national races. The crowd cheered and left the Downtown area knowing that they still had a lot of work to do and that there are a handful of local organizations that will keep fighting.

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