Student rally concludes “occupation” peaceful

Student protesters occupied a small section of the Cathedral of Learning after delivering a letter to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s office Tuesday. (Photo by Anna Bongardino | Assistant Visual Editor)

About 50 students participated in a rally held on Towers patio Friday afternoon.

The rally marked the end of an “occupation” of the Cathedral of Learning which began. A small group of students went to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s office Tuesday with a letter of 15 demands, including disarming the Pitt police, divesting from fossil fuels and implementing a $15 minimum wage.

According to a rally organizer, who didn’t want to be named for safety reasons, the Friday rally was also held to coincide with the first anniversary of a protest last November against student debt and President Donald Trump. Pitt police arrested two people during the protest last year after an altercation took place in Towers lobby.

“We wanted to show [the University and Pitt police that] we are still here, still taking action,” the organizer said.

Students attending the rally joined hands and formed a circle in front of Tower B around 4 p.m.  Several individuals spoke at the rally — including a Pitt alum who recounted their experiences at last year’s protest and another student who read an account said to be from one of the individuals arrested at the protest last November.

Associate Dean of Students Linda Williams-Moore and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner were present to observe the rally. About 10 to 15 Pitt police officers stood inside Towers lobby while four to five stood outside the entrance of Towers. There were no violent confrontations between rally attendees and the police occurred.

After the rally, students took their banners and marched down Fifth Avenue and through Schenley Quad onto Forbes. They ended their march on Oakland Avenue around 5 p.m.

Editor’s Note: In an earlier version of this article, Associate Dean of Students Linda Williams-Moore was incorrectly identified as Senior Vice Chancellor Kathy Humphrey. The story has since been updated. The Pitt News regrets this error. 

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