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julia reinstein 🚡 @juliareinstein
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Large group gathered for @IfNotNowPGH protest as Trump prepares to arrive in Squirrel Hill.

“He’s fostered an administration of white supremacy and he is not welcome here in our time of mourning,” says one of the organizers, Arielle Cohen.
Giulianna Lamanna is protesting to “honor the eleven people who were lost to hatred, and to send a message to Trump, who has fanned the flames of hate and is partially responsible for this tragedy, and is only making things worse by coming.”

She’s also wearing this jacket.
Protestors are setting up food. This is intended not just as a protest, but a public shiva.

“We’re sitting shiva as part of the grieving process for the eleven victims of the mass shooting. We want to respect the Jewish tradition of mourning,” said Mariel Shlomchik.
“I remember the intense pain of the Pulse massacre, so I had to be here,” said Maggie Oats.
Protestors are now singing “Ozi v’Zimrat Yah vayahi li lishuah” - “My strength balanced with the song of God will be my salvation”
The @IfNotNowPGH protestors just said the Mourner’s Kaddish for the eleven killed at Tree of Life.
The protestors are singing the Mi Sheiberach, the Jewish prayer of healing, with their arms wrapped around each other.
Someone is carrying this sign. “Tikkun Olam” is the Jewish concept of repairing the world.
“Olam chesed yibanei,” the protestors are singing. “We will build this world with love.”
The organizers are sounding the shofar in honor of the Tree of Life victims and as a “wakeup call” in the face of white supremacy.
Now I’m at a protest by @bendthearcpgh, and the crowd has filled an entire street.
A woman here brought this sign, which I’ve on lawns all around the neighborhood. It’s inspired by Mister Rogers, who lived here.

“I love the neighborhood,” she said. “We’re a very multiethnic place and I want to make the point that anyone is welcome here.”
This protest is full of homages to Squirrel Hill hometown hero Mister Rogers.

“There’s so much hatred right now, and I love Pittsburgh because it’s a city of immigrants,” said 12th grade teacher Sherri Suppa.
I don’t know how to estimate how many people are here but the crowd is enormous. An entire street is filled with people.
This is David Long. He made everyone soup because “people need soup.” He’s asking everyone if they’re hungry and ladling it out for the crowd. (It’s beef bourguignon.)
I couldn’t guess how big the Bend The Arc protest crowd is (it’s huge) so I ran down the extent of it.
The crowd is singing “Olam Chesed Yibanei”
Bend the Arc leaders are reading their open letter to Trump, who is in town today.

“President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.”
This enormous crowd is marching down the street in Squirrel Hill, quietly singing “Ozi v’Zimrat Yah vayahi li lishuah” - “My strength balanced with the song of God will be my salvation”
Some of the signs I’ve seen here:
The protest now stretches three intersections (police are stopping them from getting closer to the synagogue).
Protestors just ripped a piece of black cloth and raised them in the air. This is the Jewish mourning ritual of “kriah.”
Protestors are shaking the police officers’ hands as they pass them and saying thank you.
Now the entire crowd is clapping and cheering for the police to thank them for their work at Tree of Life on Saturday.
One of the Bend The Arc organizers just told me she hears there’s more than 5000 people protesting here.
The protestors are now singing Oseh Shalom, the Jewish prayer for peace
I’ve never seen a protest like this through a place that’s such a neighborhood. I keep seeing people I recognize and have spoken to these past three days.
Protest has been pretty chill and peaceful but local reporter @colin_deppen saw one arrest
Protest has now stopped at Sixth Presbyterian Church for speakers, and people are singing, clapping, and playing guitars. This is the church where Mister Rogers worked as a minister.
“Thousands of neighbors are walking down the street together,” one of the speakers just said.
It’s just a sea of people. I can’t see the end of it.
“Pittsburgh is the friendliest city in the country, as so many say, and so many of us are committed to keeping it that way. Love thy neighbor, no exceptions,” a Bend The Arc organizer said.
Jewish and Muslim high schoolers Simone and Anya, who lead an interfaith club, are speaking now.

“Tree of Life was targeted for being Jewish, but also for their support of refugees.”
Safdar Khwaja, who leads the local chapter of @CAIRNational, said hatred is “tolerated and sometimes endorsed by our elected leaders for short term political expediency.”

“We stand solemnly in mourning with our neighbors, the Jewish community, because their loss is our loss.”
Monica Ruiz, director of Casa San Jose, said “our whole world has changed and the driving force is Trump.”

“We don’t want you here. We will not allow you to politicize our tragedy for your racist agenda. You do not know how to be a good neighbor,” she said. Applause at last line
The protest mostly ended but now a small group of protesters are sitting in the street. Many police here but haven’t acted yet. I heard one man yell “Call the mayor before you make a mistake.”

“What side are you on my people, what side are you on?” the protestors are singing.
The remaining protestors said one more Mourner’s Kaddish. Then they said they’ll go eat some food (from the protest shiva earlier) and head home. Lots of police still here but keeping a distance and letting them finish their protest.
They’ve got a little shiva going on the sidewalk with lots of food. I’m hanging across the street till it ends and one of the organizers brought me an apple.
Looks like the cops left and the shiva is still going strong.
Just wanted to thank everyone who said they read this thread, and everyone who was involved in today’s events. This was the most powerful protest I’ve ever covered and the Jewish-est act of resistance I’ve ever seen. Pittsburgh, you’re amazing 💕
Oh and here's my story about tonight! Pieced together by my fantastic editor @davidmackau…
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