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Murrysville veteran organizes 'Vets for Black Lives' protest Downtown on Sunday

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 8/1/2020

Aug. 1--When Aryanna Hunter of Murrysville organized a protest in her hometown to speak out against the police killing of George Floyd, she wasn't sure what to expect.

More than 100 people showed up to the event and marched down Old William Penn Highway.

"I was overwhelmed with the turnout," said the Army veteran, the youngest of 10 children in a biracial family.

On Sunday, Hunter is organizing a "Veterans for Black Lives" protest in Downtown Pittsburgh.

"I was really impressed by everyone (in Murrysville), and the other space I operate in is the veteran space," she said. "I thought this would be a really good way for veterans to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement."

The protest is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 2 in front of the William S. Moorhead Federal Building on Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh.

The idea for the event sprang from a nonprofit Berringer recently formed, called What a Veteran Looks Like. Communicating primarily through a podcast, Hunter and co-host Patti Gerhauser, a fellow veteran, feature stories and perspectives from minority veterans.

Gerhauser, of Mars, said in the podcast's first episode that she wanted to get involved to clear up some misconceptions about female veterans, who within the military are also a minority, making up roughly 10% of the current veteran population, according to

"I think for this specific event we definitely are focused on the Black Lives Matter movement," Gerhauser said. "But, in general, when you're looking at any minority population, in the military especially, there are a lot of parallels in the systemic and policy areas that affect those populations."

Hunter said several Black veterans will address the audience, and extended an invitation to all veterans as well as people who support Black Lives Matter.

"The Army taught me many things but most of all it taught me that when we work together as a team, we can fight anything," Hunter said.

"Even racism in America."

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter .


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