Rally against murders of Trans people of color

From the November-December 2015 issue of News & Letters

New York City—Over 200 Trans people of color and allies rallied in downtown Brooklyn on Aug. 25 at an emergency rally called by Black Lives Matter, Fierce, Sylvia Rivera Law Project and the Audre Lorde Project. We were there to confront the fact that over a dozen Black Trans women have been murdered in the two weeks preceding the rally. We held up posters with the names and photos of some of those killed. Others held up handmade protest signs, which denounced the murder and also the attacks on Trans people by the cops and other repressive forces.

Graphic for the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Graphic from the Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Speakers included: Trans people of color from their organizations as well as from Black Lives Matter; a well-known Trans poet and community organizer; Trans women of color; Black cis men who united their rage over the murder of so many Black people with the rage of the Trans community over the murder of so many Trans people, especially Trans women.

Unity was evident in the clapping, singing and cheering during the rally. The speeches were powerful and were accompanied by frequent applause. The crowd repeatedly chanted “Black Trans Lives Matter.” 

It was a powerful testimony to the growth and maturity of Black Lives Matter, which broke with a certain transphobia and homophobia and embraced Trans people as a natural ally in the struggle for human freedom and justice. The fact that so many showed up on such short notice was impressive, showing the possibilities for ongoing revolutionary activities in both the Trans and cis communities.

—Natalia

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