#FreeTheBlackPride4 March and Petition Drop Planned in Columbus

BQIC/Facebook

Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus (BQIC) is calling for charges to be dropped against the ‘Black Pride 4,’ who were arrested on June 17 at the Columbus Pride Parade.

Tomorrow at noon, BQIC will march from the Columbus City Prosecutor’s office to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office to deliver a petition calling for the cases against the four to be dropped.

The ‘Black Pride 4’ – Wriply Bennet, Deandre Miles, Kendall Denton and Ashley Braxton – were arrested while demonstrating against the lack of diversity and intersectionality shown at pride events. They also protested the murder of Philando Castile, the subsequent acquittal of his killer and the rampant violence against trans women of color.

Their plan was to silently block the parade for seven minutes to “hold space for black and brown queer and trans people,” according to BQIC’s official press release.

Instead of allowing the demonstration to continue, officers from the Columbus Police Department “rammed protesters with bikes, maced them, shoved them to the ground, chased them with horses, etc,” according to the press release.

The four were charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Miles was accused of trying to disarm a police officer and charged with aggravated robbery, a felony charge.

The CPD, in turn, claims that four officers were injured while trying to arrest the protesters.

All those arrested have since been released on bail, and their trials are set to begin on November 20.

BQIC declared this day of action “Black Trans Liberation Tuesday” to show its commitment to ending all forms of oppression against the black queer community, including mass incarceration and police brutality.

Black Trans Liberation Tuesday has been sponsored by local and national organizations such as TransOhio, No Justice No Pride and OSU Divest, among many others.

Organizations interested in sponsoring this march can show their support to BQIC by sending people to Columbus to join the protest, participating in an upcoming prosecutor-calling campaign, hosting solidarity events and actions or providing any available resources to help the cause.

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