Before the moment Donald Trump puts his hand on the Bible and takes an oath to become the 45th president of the United States of America, The Pitt News took to its Twitter analytics to see which Pittsburgh political events cause the most online frenzy this year. Here are the top five:
No. 5 — Birmingham bridge protest (Nov. 16)
More than 700 students and Pittsburgh locals marched from Oakland to the Birmingham Bridge and back on the night of Nov. 16 as a peaceful reaction to the 2016 presidential election. The march, which started around 9 p.m., was meant to focus on positivity.
That was where Ebenezer Queen, a first-year nursing major, wanted to put his attention after he felt nothing was truly done during the protest on Pitt’s campus on election night.
“Since this election, even before, we’ve had so much anti-this, anti-that,” Queen said that night. “We haven’t had any positivity … we’re going to need that to get through the next few years.”
No. 4 — The Hillary Clinton and Trump debates (Sept. 26, Oct. 9 and Oct.19)
During the presidential debate trilogy, Clinton and Trump battled it out on stage for the role of commander in chief.
“Even if you feel empty, perplexed and frustrated, voting is just as important as having debates,” former Opinions Editor Kirsten Wong tweeted during the third debate. “It is the essence of our democracy. We can all decide who won by showing up to the polls Nov. 8.”
Staff Writer Rachel Glasser joined Pitt students as they laughed, yelled and played presidential debate bingo during a first debate-watch party.
Kait Pendrak, president of the Political Science Student Association, said Clinton made a stronger argument during the first debate, but she didn’t automatically win because of it.
“Given the short time to reflect, I don’t really think there was a clear winner, just because not a lot was said that was new,” Pendrak, a junior political science and philosophy major, said.
No. 3 –– Sen. Bernie Sanders visits CMU to campaign for Katie McGinty (Sept. 11)
About 800 people listened to Vermont senator and primary Democratic candidate for President Bernie Sanders speak about the American economy and getting millennials involved in the political process on CMU’s campus in early September. Sanders visited to campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty, who eventually lost the Senate race to Republican incumbent Pat Toomey.
“We’re talking about the future of Donald Trump. We are talking about saying ‘no’ to racism and bigotry,” Sanders said at the event. “We are talking about saving this: an economy that works for working people and not just the one percent.”
No. 2 –– First Lady Michelle Obama visits Pitt (Sept. 28)
Obama spoke to about 3,000 people at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House on Sept. 28 about the importance of voting in the upcoming presidential election –– a little more than a month away when she spoke. Besides urging people –– particularly college-aged people –– to vote, Obama campaigned for Clinton, making her one of several political figures to do so in Pittsburgh.
“I’ve seen what it takes to do this job, for eight years, and I know [Clinton] is the most qualified,” Obama said. “She’s the real deal.”
No. 1 –– Protesters take to Oakland’s streets in the early morning after Trump’s win (Nov. 9)
As poll results began to point to a Trump win, about 300 students marched around Pitt’s campus, down Fifth and up Forbes avenues in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Students began to make their way Downtown but eventually circled back to Hillman Library and the Cathedral of Learning, where police blocked off entrances. A group of students –– which dwindled to about half of the number at the start of the protest –– formed a circle outside of Hillman, staying there well past 3:30 a.m.
Honorable Mention: President Barack Obama speaks at Frontiers Conference (Oct. 13)
Obama spoke about innovation, America’s future and his love of “Star Trek” on Oct. 13 for the Frontiers Conference, a one-day event hosted by University of Pittsburgh, CMU and the Obama administration. The conference focused on science, technology and innovation, hosting speakers from NASA, Uber and pharmaceutical company Pfizer among other science, innovation and technology leaders.
“Innovation is in our DNA. Science has always been central to our progress,” Obama said at the conference. “And it will play a leading role in overcoming so many of our challenges.”