Demonstrations for lives lost

  • Emily Previti
Today’s Smart Talk episode will delve into the inconsistencies in contact tracing across Pennsylvania. Host Scott LaMar also will interview the head of Church World Services Lancaster’s office as she prepares to retire after resettling thousands of refugees during her three-decade career. You can listen live at 9 a.m. or stream the audio later here. — Emily Previti, staff writer
Rev. Andrea Lamour-Harrington, an associate minister at Whosoever MCCP, speaks at the Queer March for Black Lives.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Rev. Andrea Lamour-Harrington, an associate minister at Whosoever MCCP, speaks at the Queer March for Black Lives.

Protests over racism and police brutality continued across the commonwealth this weekend, coinciding with events for Juneteenth, the holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States.

Philadelphians rallied Saturday to rename a South Philly street currently bearing the moniker of a 19th-century Supreme Court Chief Justice who wrote “the majority opinion in the Dred Scott case that declared enslaved people were not citizens and could not sue in federal courts,” the Philadelphia Tribune reported Saturday. WHYY also covered demonstrations across the city this weekend, including the Queer March for Black Lives on Father’s Day and Saturday’s West Philadelphia march down Market Street to honor Breonna Taylor, a Black woman killed by Louisville police as she slept in her home, and Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, a Black trans woman found dismembered along the Schuylkill River earlier this month.

In the Pittsburgh region, demonstrators remembered Antwon Rose, who was fatally shot by East Pittsburgh police two years ago Friday — and “his death was made all the more tragic as it occurred on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans,” Jared Wickham writes for Pittsburgh City Paper.  Meanwhile, his mother Michelle Kenney told Spotlight PA she thinks reforms proposed by state lawmakers don’t go far enough.

And just outside Harrisburg, there was a silent protest in front of waterfront restaurant Dockside Willies Saturday after a group wearing Juneteenth T-shirts initially said they were denied service there Friday night. Saturday’s demonstration, however, led both sides to conclude the incident was a misunderstanding, according to reports from ABC27 and PennLive.

A coalition of Franklin County organizations focused on love and unity with their Juneteenth celebration Saturday, the York Daily Record reports.

Demonstrators at an Allentown protest Saturday, flag raising there Friday and march in Bethlehem Friday noted recent protests are just the beginning of the resistance movement “to reallocate or redirect funds from law enforcement to education, social service and other agencies,” The Morning Call reports.

Further reading: 

Stories from around the state:

  • The FBI has been warning about video teleconferencing hacks as the technology has become ubiquitous during the pandemic. Governments are turning to it to continue to operate without running afoul of public access laws, but aren’t immune to proceedings being hijacked by intruders. Kurt Brassein details a spate of recent public meetings in the Lehigh Valley where participants were subjected to “racial slurs and hardcore pornography,” how officials are responding and what experts recommend for prevention in his latest for Lehigh Valley Live.

  • State officials say they recently filed criminal charges against major natural gas drilling companies — not their executives or other workers — because the allegations stem from corporate actions and not individual behavior. People can be charged in similar situations, and have been before — but it’s rare. StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips takes a look at why in her latest story.

  • Republican state legislators are fast-tracking a bill that would expand video gaming terminals in Pennsylvania, with big potential benefits for a major campaign contributor — who might’ve scripted the language of the legislation. Spotlight PA and The Caucus looked into it for this story ahead of lawmakers reconvening Monday.

Coronavirus update:


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