Statement of Solidarity, from Defend J20 Resistance to the Black Pride 4
The first Black Pride 4 trial has brought guilty verdicts for three people we admire and support. Kendall, Ashley, and Wriply have bravely faced police aggression and overt racism from the time of their arrest through the course of their trial. Their action at Columbus Ohio’s Pride parade last summer was a purposeful disruption to protest the acquittal of the officer who killed Philando Castile. They also brought attention to a critical issue largely ignored by mainstream LGBT organizations: the many black and brown trans women who have been killed by hate crimes nationwide.
What happened to Kendall, Ashley, Wriply and Deandra is itself indicative of the police violence that they came to protest. The Pride parade was heavily policed, the attendees were mostly white, and four Black activists were specifically targeted and physically restrained. The charges of disorderly conduct and police assault are a cover-up for the officer’s brutality to the Black Pride 4 on that day. The guilty verdicts in this case have nothing to do with what actually took place – instead they have everything to do with the widespread violence against people of color by Columbus police.
The guilty verdicts will not be met with defeat or acceptance. There are many actively fighting state repression in the court system – facing absurd lists of charges and raising money to cover the costs of being accused. The J20 defendants and supporters stand in strong solidarity with the Black Pride 4 as their fight enters its next phase. We denounce the arrest, the prosecution of protestors, and the cooperation with prosecuctors and police by Stonewall Columbus during trial. We denounce the felony charges for Deandra. We stand with the Black Pride 4 as supporters and allies who are also actively fighting police repression and the criminalization of dissent.
Please, please donate to their legal funds here: