via Torin Jacobs of Activist Arts, Twitter

While Many Celebrated Inclusivity This Pride Weekend Four Were Arrested Fighting For That Very Idea

Protesters attempted to halt the Pride parade to bring attention to violence against queer and trans people of color.

Over the weekend many descended on High Street to celebrate inclusivity and LGBTQ Pride. They were clad in rainbow scarves and colorful shirts and random light up accessories of flickering bright lights. They were jubilant in their celebration, smiling and dancing through the parade route, hugging one another. They were happy to share each other’s company for such a loving and diverse cause and they were mostly completely unaware that four protesters were just arrested for that very same reason.

The four activists lined High Street, their goal was to halt the parade for a 7 minute moment of silence in recognition of Philando Castile, an African-American shot to death during a traffic stop last year. Within moments the police organized against the protesters, using their bikes as crowd control shields, forcing them back. A scuffle ensued, ending with one officer with a torn ACL.



Photo credited to Torin Jacobs of Activist Arts

The protesters were arrested and has since then been released on bail with the exception of Deandre Miles, who has been arrested for aggravated robbery after they allegedly attempted to disarm an officer’s firearm.

In a press release, Black Queer and Intersectional Columbus (or BQIC) has called for the immediate release of Deandre, that all charges be dropped against the demonstrators, and that the city investigates the use of excessive force by Columbus Police. They’ve also clarified that in addition to protesting the acquittal of the officer that shot Philando Castile, their other goal was to bring awareness about violence against queer and trans people of color.

video via Tom Morgan

More protests organized outside of the Franklin County Municipal Courthouse this morning, demanding the immediate release of Deandre Miles of what they’re now calling “The Black Pride 4”. As of now, there’s no indication whether the police have any intention of giving in to these demands.

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