June 17th, 2017A group of Black queer and trans protesters and their allies gathered with the intent of silently blocking the parade for seven minutes to hold space for Black and brown queer and trans people. Instead of allowing the Columbus Pride protesters to exercise their First Amendment right undisturbed Columbus Police Department (CPD) officers promptly rammed protesters with bikes, maced them, shoved them to the ground, chased them with horses, etc. This all took place within the first two minutes of protesters blocking the street.Of the protesters attacked by the violent police officers, four Black queer and trans folks now known as the #BlackPride4 – Wriply Bennet, Deandre Miles, Ashley Braxton, and Kendall Denton — were arrested and slammed with misdemeanor charges ranging from resisting arrest to disorderly conduct. Deandre was also wrongfully charged with the felony of aggravated robbery.
June 19th, 2017Community organizers held a demonstration outside of the Franklin County Courthouse while Deandre Miles of the #BlackPride4 awaited bond and release from jail. Protesters called to condemn the wrongful charges being pressed against the#BlackPride4, namely Deandre’s heinous felony charge of aggravated robbery.
July 17th, 2017Shame on Stonewall ProtestExactly one month after the #BlackPride4 were arrested, SWC called for a community conversation ‘for a renewed focus to end discrimination based on race, gender identity’ without directly calling attention to the police violence against the #BlackPride4 that occurred at Stonewall’s own event.Organizers around the #BlackPride4 peacefully demonstrated against SWC for their blatant disregard for the #BlackPride4 and LGBTQ+ people of color. After the rally, protesters went inside to interrupt SWC’s community conversation and allow the BP4 to share their own narratives.
July 24th, 2017The #BlackPride4 led their own community conversation to talk about the Pride parade protest, and how Stonewall Columbus’ negligence continued to harm them after the arrests.
September 17th, 2017
Protesters interrupted Stonewall Columbus’ Signing Day Ceremony.
October 20th, 2017BQIC Presents: Art Against Police Brutality was an art benefit show and silent auction where all proceeds went towards the #BlackPride4 and BQIC’s organizing efforts to support Black queer and trans folks and fight police brutality. The event had live music, food trucks, and a market featuring local artists’ work.
November 7th, 2017BQIC organized a #FreeTheBlackPride4 march on #BlackTransLiberationTuesday and invited community members to deliver the petitions and demand that prosecutors drop all charges against the #BlackPride4.
November 8th, 2017BQIC launched the Two Dials A Day Campaign for people to make daily calls into the City Attorney’s and Franklin County Prosecutor’s offices to vocally demand that they drop the charges against the #BlackPride4.#FreeTheBlackPride4 Selfie Support
February 5th, 2018The #BlackPride4 are scheduled to start trial. Follow BQIC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay updated on the #BlackPride4’s cases.