Activists Show Up for Court in Solidarity with the BlackPride4
Members of the activist community joined together in front of the Franklin County Municipal Courthouse in support of the BlackPride4. This demonstration was organized by Black, Queer, and Intersectional Columbus (BQIC), and led by founding members, Dkeama Alexis and Ariana Steele.
The arrests of the Black Pride 4 — Wriply Bennet, Kendall Denton, Ashley Braxton and Deandre Miles — took place during the 2017 Columbus Stonewall Pride Parade while the group was staging a peaceful protest against the lack of safe space for black and brown people at the Pride parade and in the LGBTQIA+ community. The activists are facing charges ranging from misdemeanors to one felony charge of aggravated robbery for allegedly attempting to disarm an officer during the incident.
The trials are scheduled to begin on February 5, 2018. The following is a statement from BQIC about todays events:
“Five months after the #BlackPride4 were brutalized and arrested by CPD officers during their peaceful protest at the Columbus Pride parade, two of the #BP4 are scheduled to return to court on November 20th, 2017. This is the same trial date for the twelve No Justice No Pride (NJNP) protesters arrested during the NYC Pride Parade. This date is also the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that queer and trans people should be honoring their fallen siblings, not going to court after being victimized by the state. In a display of solidarity with both the #BlackPride4 and the NJNP protesters in NYC, we are calling for a rally to take place in front of the Franklin County Courthouse (375 S. High St) on November 20th, 2017 at 8:30 AM.
After our rally, we will all go inside to pack the courthouse in a collective demonstration of support for the #BlackPride4 during their 9:30 AM court proceedings. We are OUTRAGED that these heinous, trumped-up charges stand after all this time, so we invite community members from Columbus and beyond to join us in demanding that prosecutors drop all charges against the #BlackPride4, in addition to demanding justice for our comrades in New York! We will also be holding space for the individuals that we have lost to transphobic violence.”