How to Prove: Racist Treatment of Protesters By Police and Officials

When unemployed Black men in Pittsburgh demanded integration of the overwhelmingly white construction trades, where jobs were passed down through families, they got training programs. 

When the training programs never led to jobs, Black workers and their supporters protested. 

In response, police arrested more than 180 of the demonstrators— while white workers on job sites targeted protesters with “discarded lunch, fruit, and then stones, bricks and bottles” and “bags of liquid” dropped from 60 stories up. 

When white union workers counter protested, a news broadcast documented a counterprotester shouting “white power,” another holding a sign reading “[George] Wallace for president. He will fix the blacks,” and four white counter protesters climbing the facade of the municipal building and shouting through bullhorns to supporters below. They charged the mayor’s office—and got a respectful meeting with officials.

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