Report from the Filler Collective about the recent street protests in the wake of the police officer who murdered #AntwonRose being found not guilty.
No one is surprised.
Michelle Kenney, Antwon’s mother, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “It isn’t what I hoped for, but it’s what I expected.”
A white cop can shoot a black kid three times in the back and get away with it. Of course the “justice” system would never incarcerate officer Michael Rosfeld of 1519 Hudson Street, Verona PA 15147.
“I hope that man never sleeps at night,” Michelle Kenney said of Mr. Rosfeld. “I hope he gets as much sleep as I do, which is none.”
The following is a short list of what I saw in the streets of Pittsburgh last night, which only includes the later action in East Liberty. I did not include powerful moments of collective mourning and outrage—if you wanted to read about those, just show up next time and live it instead.
1. On the way there, I encountered several groups of people who seemed liked they were looking for the action but couldn’t find it (looking confused, scrolling furiously through social media, etc). My friends and I just told them to follow the helicopters or the police caravans speeding by—a reminder that this isn’t as obvious to others as it may be to “us.”
2. The action began by shutting down intersections near the Target on Penn. This allowed time for the protest to grow in size before beginning to march and getting harder to people to track down.
3. Many crews, medics, and organizers brought free food, drinks, handwarmers, etc, but I noticed two separate street corners where a few boxes of supplies were left behind. Shopping carts or bike carts are probably a good look for next time.
4. People stormed yuppie restaurants, which was cool… except most of the yuppies used it as a selfie opportunity and even pretended to join the protest for a few minutes before returning to their meals.
5. Out of several hundred people, I noticed maybe 20-30 masked-up folks dispersed throughout the crowd. However, there was never an actual “black bloc” to speak of—for whatever reason, we were unable to stay tight and form a visible presence. Without a bloc, there’s no focal point in the march for potential accomplices to cohere around. Instead, militants remained isolated and easy to police. We should make every effort to find each other and roll together. Side note: I usually remember to bring extra masks but forgot this time, which sucked ‘cos several folks actually asked me for some. Don’t forget to bring goodie bags.
7. In my experience, a trashcan only gets knocked over once somebody realizes that the bloc has formed and they want to start hyping shit up. Wasn’t the case this time, but shout out to that kid anyway.
8. A lot of people seemed to get really pissed as soon it became clear that nothing was going to pop off. How many more kids are we going to let the pigs murder before we actually shut this shit down? This is not the time to be another jaded critic commenting from the sidelines. It’s better to at least show up, even if you’re pessimistic about what can be achieved.
It should go without saying that I don’t speak for anyone but myself. I hope other people write better report-backs than this.
– some kid