Shattered glass. Spray painted messages. Boarded-up windows.
These were the scenes Sunday morning in Downtown Pittsburgh as the cleanup started vigorously, a day after pandemonium occurred during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Jam Hammond was clearing glass off the Wood Street walkway around 9 a.m. He was with a gathering of Pittsburghers who sorted out volunteer cleanup efforts on Reddit.
“I feel bad for small businesses and the organizers of the original protest as well,” he stated.
He said it’s reasonable the first peaceful protest was co-opted by brutal agitators. He said he dreaded the devastation would plant division between the protesters and city citizens.
Squirrel Hill citizen Rachel Myers said she had planned to take an interest in the peaceful protest yet couldn’t make it. She said she trusted it was her responsibility as a city inhabitant to help tidy up her city.
“It’s been really encouraging just to see so many people coming together to help out,” she stated.
Myers stated that she and her companions as of late have been becoming familiar with the historical backdrop of prejudice in Pittsburgh and need to accomplish more to act against racial discrimination.
“We feel like we haven’t given much focus to the issue for a long time,” she stated.
Ryan Wysocki runs a volunteer gathering called Sheraden Neighbors. Although the gathering typically concentrates its efforts on the Sheraden neighborhood, they got together their brushes and came Downtown on Sunday.
“We said this is what we’re about, so let’s help our neighbors Downtown,” he stated.