OAKLAND (KDKA) – For two straight weeks, people across the area have been marching through the streets demanding an end to systemic racism and excessive force by police.
The protests continued this weekend, this time in Squirrel Hill and Oakland.
Peaceful protesters gathered around 3:00 at the intersection of Murray and Forbes Avenue. They want changes to Pennsylvania’s laws about police use of force, specifically found in section 508 of our statutes.
“We need legislation,” said Nick Anglin the organizer. “We don’t need kneeling, we don’t need police to kneel with us at protests. We don’t need ‘cop-oganda.’ We need actual policy change.”
Jaiell Eleam and Anglin are with a group called “Black, Young, And Educated” which led today’s march.
The march went down Forbes and into Oakland and passed nearby neighborhoods and stopping traffic.
“We have to let our senators know we are serious about social change,” said Anglin.
After two weeks, some people may be asking ‘why?’ For these young protesters, it’s about shattering systemic racism.
“My family comes from Jamaica and I had some white girl come up to me one time and asked me if my family lives in elephant poop,” recalled Anglin. “This is our life that we’re trying to better.”
“‘Can I touch your hair, is it real?’ That’s what I usually experience, as well,” said Eleam. “When I walk into certain spaces, just being stared at.”
Organizers say they’re happy to see such a diverse crowd and after two weeks, they are feeling heard.
They are telling those that want to support the cause to contact their local legislators about section 508.