ActivismRaceSex & Gender

queer and trans blm demonstrators convicted for protesting pride event

February 15, 2018
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Pride is supposed to be a celebration of resistance. It is supposed to commemorate the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which were started by trans women of color who had had enough of state violence. It is supposed to be about protecting those who otherwise would go unprotected, especially the Black LGBTQIA+ population.

So the fact that queer and trans Black people were criminalized for resisting state violence at a Columbus Pride event last year is very telling of how far the mainstream gay rights movement has come from its roots. White cis men have little connection to what queer liberation really looks like, and yet maintaining their comfort seems to be what Pride is all about now.

According to Columbus Alive, On Monday, a jury convicted three LGBTQ activists on six of eight misdemeanor counts stemming from their June 2017 protest. Wriply Bennet was convicted of disorderly conduct, failure to comply with a police officer’s orders and resisting arrest. Ashley Braxton was convicted of disorderly conduct and failure to comply, and Kendall Denton was convicted of disorderly conduct. Sentencing is expected in the coming weeks.

A fourth activist, Deandre Miles, still faces a felony charge of aggravated robbery after being accused of reaching for a police officer’s gun, and will be tried separately.

Commonly known as the Black Pride 4, the demonstrators were part of a larger group that attempted to block the Columbus Pride parade as a means “to raise awareness about the violence against and erasure of black and brown queer and trans people,” among other concerns.

The Black Pride 4 need our help. You can contribute by donating to the legal defense fund established for them here.