Hundreds gathered outside Pittsburgh Allderdice High School on June 11 to support the Black Lives Matter movement. The student organized demonstration featured addresses by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha, Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale) and representatives of Allderdice’s Black Student Union, as well as a period of silence lasting two minutes and 43 seconds, and musical performances of the “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (often referred to as the “black national anthem) and “Rise Up.”
While calling for systemic change, student organizers recounted the names of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Antwon Rose Jr. and others, and asked attendees to say each individual’s name aloud.
Myers implored listeners to refrain from using the word “hate.”
“Misunderstanding, fear, loathing, eventually the ‘h word,’ leads you down the path to the dark side as we know it,” said the rabbi, whose Squirrel Hill congregation was one of three attacked by an anti-Semite on Oct. 27, 2018. “Only when you do your part, that’s when we’re going to change America.”
“Change cannot wait,” said Lee. “We can’t wait for these kids to grow up. We can’t wait for y’all to grow up because liberation refuses to wait any longer. If you can’t tell, something is different now. If it doesn’t feel different to you then wake up, something is different now.” PJC
– Adam Reinherz