Protesting In Pittsburgh|
by Feyler (Jan.29.2003)
We drove from Buffalo to Pittsburgh and arrived late on Friday January 24th. Saturday, we braved
the bitter cold and demonstrated outside of the UU Church on North Avenue. Several people had
gathered with signs, music and a positive energy. We received several encouraging 'Honks For
Peace'. It was amazing for me to see that the local news media had come over to talk to the
demonstrators. I had been used to Peace Demonstrations being completely ignored.
There were several other events going on all day in the city. There were movies, peace poetry,
speeches, legal training, workshops, and protest vigils. There was also a parade with creative
Sunday was the big peace demonstration. People were gathering all over the Oakland area in groups
to converge at the Pitt University Campus. There were creative characters at the demonstration and
in the march including a giant earth, a giant Uncle Sam, and many great signs. There were also
dogs who got involved with peace signs, 'Paws For Peace' and 'Puppies For Peace'.
There were many excellent speakers at Pitt University before the March. The speakers
included Rev. Tom Smith of the Baptist Church (Pastors For Peace), Hon Jim Ferlo the State
Senator, Nia Edmondson of POG, Ceci Wheeler of the Anti-War Committee, Carol Lambiase of the
United Electrical Workers, Br. Michael Bartko of the Islamic Council of Pittsburgh, Renee
Wilson of People Against Police Violence, and Celeste Taylor of the Society of Friends and
The march started off when all the speakers had given their empowering speeches, letting us
know that our voices were being heard. We moved in masses through the cold around the blocks.
We still received some 'Honks For Peace', and bystanders watched and thanked us for our efforts.
There were very few people who called out that we were being 'Anti-American'. I guess they didn't
pay attention when it stated that the people rule the government, and that it was up to us to
protest when the government got out of line and acted without the interest of the public. At
the end of the march, we stopped in front of the Pax Christi church and watched the Raging
Grannies that were across the street in front of about seven policemen with batons and shields.
Despite the intimidation, the Raging Grannies gave encouraging songs like, We Don't Run Run Run.
It was great. Other speakers included Mike Epitropoulos of the Allegheny Green Party, Beth Daponte
of the Squirrel Hill Chapter, Marty O'Malley of the Vietnam Vets Against the War, Mazin
Qumsiyeh the Founder of Al-Awda, Tom Blancato, SOA Arrestees Group, and Moly Rush of the
Thomas Merton Center.
All in all, the entire weekend was full of empowering speeches, and positivity and hope, the
elements of peace.
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