Black and white drawing of four people holding their fists up with signs that say Black Pride 4

JVP Central Ohio stands with the public in demanding that City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien drop ALL charges against the four people who were arrested by Columbus Police officers at Columbus Pride 2017, especially Deandre Miles who faces an unjust felony charge for peacefully protesting.

We acknowledge that police violence against queer and trans people, particularly Black trans bodies, has been a constant reality since before the Stonewall and Compton’s Cafeteria Riots. We recognize and uplift the work of the #BlackPride4 as the latest example of Black trans resistance in the legacy of Marsha P. Johnson and Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and are proud to stand in solidarity with the #BlackPride4. As Jews, we acknowledge that the police often use extremely violent surveillance and suppression techniques against Black and Brown bodies in the United States, in the name of protecting privileged communities, among whom Jews are often explicitly named and included. We know that under the guise of so-called “counter-terrorism”, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs participated in a #DeadlyExchange trip to Israel, training in tactics that are being used against peaceful protesters here in the U.S Meanwhile, the FBI has designated peaceful Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists”. We vehemently reject the so-called “protection” of these institutions, and their claims that they act in our benefit.

These four Black queer and trans protesters were nonviolent and silent while exercising their constitutional rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. This violence that occurred during the Columbus Pride disruption was initiated and carried out by only Columbus police officers. As the #BlackPride4 themselves stated, Stonewall was an anti-police riot, and police have no place at a pride parade! As an elected official, the City Attorney should honor the needs and demands of the public -- JVP demands that Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien drop ALL charges against the #BlackPride4. Whether in the United States or in Palestine, we stand against anti-blackness and the criminalization of dissent. End the #DeadlyExchange, and free the #BlackPride4!