Originally posted to the PghFashWatch twitter on 9.10.22.
The counterprotest yesterday [September 9th] (which was awesome) was a great example of why we can’t rely on the government to protect trans people. Gainey can make whatever declarations he wants but the City’s actions are louder than its words.
TL;DR – Despite claiming to support trans people, Ed Gainey and members of his administration took concrete action that protected TERFs and endangered counterprotesters.
From the time things got started to when the police (ayy fuck the pigs) told us that 30 minutes was a “reasonable amount of time to exercise your first amendment rights” and sent in the riot line, the TERFs were unable to broadcast IRL or online.
In an attempt to avoid sending in the cops (bad optics), the city attempted to get the protest to cede its position voluntarily. @/TheMariaMontano, press secretary for Gainey, entered the crowd and asked to speak to a leader. This action is unacceptably dangerous.
Asking to speak to a leader removes the autonomy of everyone else present! And also conveniently may identify a person for police to target. Whatever Maria’s intention, that is cop shit and we condemn in the strongest possible terms. Dangerous af, do not engage with that.
When told that the demonstration was autonomous (no leaders, lfg), Maria requested that the crowd move back because she wanted to “keep you safe from the police”. Let’s be clear. There is no safe distance from the police.
The City’s actions of sending in a declared ally of the cause of the counterprotest to defang its potency was entirely cynical. There was no real interest in preventing police harm, just a desire to avoid using the cops against a cause the City claims to support.
Then, because we didn’t move, Ed Gainey’s police department shoved the crowd across the portico. The TERFs were pretty happy about it and able to livestream better. There is no doubt that if the cops hadn’t done that, the event would have ended even earlier.
So, Ed Gainey can write a statement to the City Paper about how much his administration loves trans people. But in the streets, he’ll gladly use the police in a way that protects TERFs and puts trans counterprotesters and their allies in danger.
Pittsburgh turned the fuck out and shut down the TERFs. Ed Gainey and his administration worked to prevent us from doing so. You’ve got some nice words there Ed, but your actions speak much louder. Fuck the state, they won’t protect us. We will.
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