CLEVELAND — Organizers with GetEQUAL and Black Lives Matter disrupted Hillary Clinton’s grassroots campaign event in the City by the Lake demanding that she divest from private prisons and invest in the liberation of black transgender women.
The organizers interrupted Clinton’s speech in order to name the three black trans women who have been recently murdered in the state of Ohio including Cemia Dove, a black trans woman murdered in Cleveland, carrying signs that read: “Hillary: Divest from Private Prisons, Invest in Black Trans Women.”
The action was part of a series of demonstrations happening this week across the country celebrating black transgender women and demanding accountability for the violence that Black transgender women face on a daily basis.
“Bankrolled by private prison companies and lobbyists like Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, Hillary Clinton is part of the system of violence that criminalizes and kills Black trans people — how can we take her policy suggestions to curb mass incarceration and detention seriously while she’s accepting this money?” asked Angela Peoples, co-director of grassroots LGBTQ network GetEQUAL and a disruptor of the event.
Peoples continued, “These companies and their lobbyists profit from the incarceration and abuse of Black people, especially Black trans women — an overwhelming 41% of Black trans women report having been arrested at some point in their lives, often after having been profiled by the police.”
“Hillary Clinton must stand with Black people, especially Black trans women, by refusing to accept funds from or bundled by executives of or lobbyists for private prison companies — and investing the money she’s already accepted from those companies in the work toward Black trans liberation,” said Rian Brown, GetEQUAL state lead and local Cleveland organizer taking part in the disruption. “Until that happens, we cannot for a moment think that Hillary believes Black Lives Matter.”
Brown added: “The actions that took place across the country on Tuesday were a call for cisgender Black folks to show up for Black trans people; we’re here to demand that Clinton divest from private prisons in solidarity with our Black trans family.”
See more from today’s action and this week’s “Trans Liberation Tuesday” under the hashtag #BlackTransLivesMatter. Pictures and video of the disruption are available on GetEQUAL’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/getequal.