Downtown Rally Tomorrow to End Violence Against Women



A local advocacy group hosts Pittsburgh’s incarnation of One Billion BEEN Rising, a global day of action to end gender-based violence.

New Voices Pittsburgh: Women of Color for Reproductive Justice notes that, according to the World Health Organization, one in three women and girls globally have experienced physical or sexual intimate-partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

OBBR, which is being marked in 207 countries, calls for people of all genders and ages to participate what’s billed here as both a rally and a dance party.

The Pittsburgh event begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow, at the City-County Building, with a press conference and rally to end domestic violence. At 11 a.m., there’s a march to the County Courthouse Courtyard in memory of Ka’Sandra Wade, a young Pittsburgh woman who a year ago was murdered by her boyfriend and the father of her child.

New Voices Pittsburgh and Let’s Get Free will also deliver a letter asking Allegheny County District Attorney to re-open the case of Charmaine Pfender. New Voices says that 30 years ago, at age 19, Pfender was sentenced to life without parole for defending herself against rape.

“We will also march for Marissa Alexander who in 2012 was sentenced to 20 years in the Florida criminal correctional system for defending herself from her abusive estranged husband,” says a press release. “Marissa successfully appealed the trial, overturning the guilty verdict on September 26, 2013. On November 26, 2013, Marissa was finally released on bond and is currently under house arrest. Her new trial is scheduled for July 28, 2014.”

At 11:30, a vigil to end domestic violence takes place at Downtown's Downtown DoubleTree Hotel.

The OBBR program continues at noon, at the DoubleTree. The program includes “an energetic, colorful, dancing demonstration to celebrate women’s right for peace, dignity and lives free from violence.”

Groups that have endorsed OBBR include: ACLU of Pennsylvania, Center for Victims, Black Political Empowerment Project, Women’s Law Project, Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, JUDAH Fellowship Christian Church, UFCW Local 23, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. - Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter and First Unitarian Church.

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