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Competing Protests Gather In Shaler Township

SHALER TOWNSHIP (KDKA) - Two opposing rallies gathered on opposite sides of Mount Royal Boulevard in Shaler Saturday afternoon.

A Black Lives Matter rally of over 100 people stood outside of Shaler Area School District.

Across the street, a few dozen gathered for a Back the Blue rally.

One man, who only gave the name Mike, attended the Back the Blue rally and said they were there to support the police.

"The police put their lives on the line every single day," he said. "They don't care what color you are."

Sophia Kachur, an organizer of the Black Lives Matter rally, said it was important for people of the Shaler area to show support for people of color.

"We just wanted to show there were people willing to listen to Black and Brown people in this community," she said.

Any confrontation between the two sides was through words.

For several minutes, both sides stood facing one another while chanting.

Black Lives Matter attendees held signs with various messages like "no justice, no peace."

They also chanted "Black Lives Matter."

On the other side, attendees of the Back the Blue rally chanted "All Lives Matter."

Many at the Back the Blue rally were wearing apparel supporting President Trump and waiving thin blue line flags, which are intended to show support for law enforcement.

Kachur said organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest were not expecting counter-protesters.

"We believe in supporting Black and Brown people, so it's like why would anyone think that's a bad message?"

While some of those at the Back the Blue rally did walk out into the street, both groups mostly stayed on their respective sides.

A video sent to KDKA by a viewer did show a particularly tense moment - when a person appearing to be from the Back The Blue rally began shouting, "kill transgenders."

Many nearby are heard reacting in shock.

After that, speakers addressed the Black Lives Matter group about their experiences in the community, while those from the other side continued to chant.

Shaler Police were on hand to block the street.

Both groups left without incident after 5 p.m.

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