On Friday, the permitted march began in a section of greater Pittsburgh called Oakland. This initial march was modest in size and intensity, but as it made its way from Oakland to downtown, a number of other marches combined with it, resulting in a demonstration whose size and intensity was perhaps what activists, reporters, and spectators were hoping for. The route from Oakland to downtown involved passing through an area called SoHo where there were many run-down buildings. Nearby, the new stadium for the Pittsburgh Penguins is being built.

The BNY Mellon arena may lead to the neighborhood being gentrified, said Lois Mufuka Martin who helps to run a homeless shelter in this neighborhood. "They will want to make this area more inviting for people to come here, but what's going to happen to the people living here? I'm not against the transition if we're not displaced," Martin said, in front of the Bethelehem Haven homeless shelter. The building appears to have housed a bank long ago. A bronze plate near the door of the homeless shelter read "Merchant Banking and Trust Company."

At a People's Summit meeting in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, Sept 23, Carl Redwood Jr. of the Hill District Consensus Group, said the Penguins "threatened to leave town if the city didn't build them a new arena" and that the Penguins "got $750 million in welfare from us."