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Pittsburgh officers on high alert for downtown equality march - The Pitt News

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Pittsburgh officers on high alert for downtown equality march

Police+secure+the+area+at+a+past+event+at+the+David+L.+Lawrence+Convention+Center.+Wenhao+Wu+%7C+Senior+Staff+Photographer+
Police secure the area at a past event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

Police secure the area at a past event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

Victor Wu

Victor Wu

Police secure the area at a past event at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Wenhao Wu | Senior Staff Photographer

By Alexa Bakalarski / News Editor

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Community organizers have been planning the 2016 People’s March downtown for several weeks, but recent shootings in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas have upped safety concerns for the gathering, meant to protest inequality and injustice.  

More than 100 people have RSVP’d on Facebook to the  “Still we Rise People’s March,” hosted by One Pittsburgh, a coalition of community organizers and activists. The march will begin outside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center at 2:30 p.m. on Friday at the same time as the People’s Convention inside the center.

In preparation for the march, the Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety released a statement Friday saying officers will “exercise extreme caution.”

The statement came amidst nationwide tension following the shooting of unarmed black men in several cities across the U.S. and sniper fire in Dallas, Texas Thursday night that left five police officers dead and several wounded.

“The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police is committed to keeping people safe during this afternoon’s planned [march],” the statement said. “There will be a visible presence of uniformed officers along with a not so visible presence of plain clothes officers.”

The statement also said the Public Safety Department is “in communication” with the FBI.

Organizers for the People’s March say it is a response to toxic messages from political candidates.

“We will march to rise up against Trumpism and the right’s politics of hate.” the description on the Facebook page for the march reads.  “We will march to demand and win the radically different vision for the country that our families and communities deserve — the people’s vision.”
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Pittsburgh officers on high alert for downtown equality march