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Thousands honor trans Black people at Stonewall on 5th day of NYC protests

By Michela Martinazzi |
June 3, 2020
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(Fight Back! News/staff)

New York, NY - On day five of the protests that have overtaken New York, one took place at the Stonewall Inn. On June 2 at 5 p.m., over 7000 protesters gathered at the historic location of the Stonewall Riots to honor Black trans lives lost to police violence.

The protest was one of the later ones in the day and had to be moved back from its original starting time as Governor Cuomo enforced a new week-long 8 p.m. curfew.

The speakers covered the gamut of topics but focused on how the police targeted Black trans people, and how cops have never been friends to the LGBTQ community. Two names that continued to come up were those of Tony McDade and Nina Pop.

Tony McDade was a Black trans man who was brutally gunned down May 27 by the Tallahassee, Florida police. Their excuse was that he was a suspect in a stabbing investigation. The details around McDade’s murder are still murky as laws on Florida protect officers involved in shootings.

Nina Pop was a Black trans woman murdered in Saint Louis on May 3. While the Saint Louis cops vacillate on whether her murder was a hate crime, it took them weeks to make an arrest.

Protesters understood that these two examples showed how the police is either negligent or overtly murderous towards trans people.

Throughout the event, there were chants of “Black lives matter” or “No justice, no peace! Fuck these racist ass police!”

The rally ended with the thousands joining the rest of the city as they demanded justice for George Floyd and an end to police brutality. As the protesters marched down Grove Street, a UPS truck driver got caught in the fray. Rather than try to barrel through the crowd, the driver joined the protesters and helped some get on top of his truck.

The protests have broad support among workers in NYC, as the bus drivers refuse to drive those arrested to precincts, construction workers clap and work to the beat of the chants, and UPS drivers join in during a march.