Tag Archives: rallies

April 11: Action to support Monica Jones and end Prostitution Free Zones

Join HIPS, DC Trans Coalition, GLAA, and Best Practices Policy Project and groups around the U.S. and the world standing in solidarity with Monica Jones on her trial date, April 11, 2014. We are joining this global day of action against criminalization and profiling of trans women of color, and calling on DC to repeal the discriminatory Prostitution Free Zones.

Monica Jones, a human rights defender in Arizona and an advocate for the rights of transgender people and sex workers, was profiled and wrongfully arrested for “manifestation of prostitution” by a police sting operation and anti-prostitution diversion program known as “Project ROSE”. Ms Jones had been a speaker at a rally protesting Project ROSE—which is run by Phoenix police and Arizona State University’s School of Social Work—the day before. At the time of her arrest, she was not engaging in sex work, but was in fact walking down her street to the local bar.

On April 11 at 8:30 am (U.S. Mountain Standard Time) Monica’s case will go to trial at Phoenix Municipal Court. She will plead not guilty and an action is planned outside the court to show the City of Phoenix Prosecutor that we won’t tolerate the systematic profiling and criminalization of transgender people of color and sex workers. In DC, we will rally at noon in front of the Wilson Building in solidarity with Monica and trans women of color throughout the U.S. subject to such mistreatment. We will also call on the DC Council to repeal the discriminatory Prostitution Free Zones and promote the human rights of sex workers in our city.

What: Rally against criminalization of trans women of color and for human rights of sex workers
WhenApril 11, 12pm-2pm
Where: Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Click here to RSVP on Facebook.

Letter Sent to DC Council on Anti-Trans Violence, Hearing Next Week

Next Wednesday, November 2, the DC Council’s Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing on hate crimes, with an emphasis on looking at violence committed against trans folks this summer. In preparation for the hearing, yesterday we sent a letter to Councilmember Phil Mendelson, chair of the Judiciary committee, with questions we would like to see him ask Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and U.S. Attorney Ron Machen. We’ve raised the issues in our letter with both MPD and U.S. Attorney representatives in meetings this summer (and for years, really), and have thus far gotten unsatisfactory answers. Our hope is that by raising our questions in advance, we might actually get something resembling real answers.

We’ll of course be testifying at the hearing next week. If you’ve been a victim of violent crime in DC and are willing to speak publicly about your experience, please feel free to get in touch with us over the weekend to learn how to participate. You can email us or call 202.681.3282. Check back here next Wednesday for a copy of our testimony.

Finally, be sure to save the date for the following super important events:

  • Thursday, November 17, 1pm: Transgender Day of Action — Rally Against Violence. Outside MPD Headquarters, 300 Indiana Avenue NW.
  • Sunday, November 20, 5pm: Transgender Day of Remembrance. Metropolitan Community Church, 474 Ridge Street NW.
Stay tuned for many more details, and be sure to get involved!

Trans People Say: End Economic Inequality, Solidarity with the 99%!

The DC Trans Coalition has decided to formally endorse and offer our support to the OccupyDC movement. We also encourage all of our members to attend today’s protest gathering at 4pm at Freedom Plaza and marching to the International Monetary Fund.

The Occupy Together movement started in New York City as Occupy Wall Street, which began on September 17th. The protests have grown progressively larger as increasing numbers take to the streets in nonviolent opposition to a society in which 1% of the population controls a quarter of all income. Inspired by this model, similar occupations are occurring in dozens of cities across the country, some being attended by tens of thousands. The demonstrators have highlighted that the current economic crisis is caused by corporate greed, and demand jobs and resources for oppressed people. In DC, Occupy K Street protestors have been in McPherson Square for several weeks.

As a whole, socially-marginalized communities (such as low-income trans people and trans people of color) suffer the most directly from poverty and are the most likely to be impacted by inequalities that arise from economic injustice. The DC Trans Coalition’s major priorities — as decided upon by our grassroots base through community forums and consultations — are creating inclusive, accessible jobs and services for all marginalized people in the District. We thus stand in solidarity with the grassroots Occupy Together movements.

Additionally, we especially encourage everyone who is able to attend the march that will take place today shortly after 4:00pm, leaving from Freedom Plaza, through McPherson Square, and ending at the International Monetary Fund. Today’s march was started by a group of women, queer people, and people of color in order to highlight the connection between multiple forms of oppression, both at home and globally. For this reason, DCTC especially wishes to express our full support for this action. It is critical that we recognize the links between our oppression and the oppression of others, and that we all work together to end inequality.

See you in the streets! For more information on OccupyDC and today’s march, see below. Continue reading Trans People Say: End Economic Inequality, Solidarity with the 99%!

Take Action! Next Steps After the Rally Against Police Violence

Thank you to everyone who came to the emergency Rally Against Police Violence! Around 70 people turned out with under four hours notice. (Click here for photos and media coverage.) Violence takes an emotional toll on all of us, and seeing such tangible support goes a long way toward community healing and regaining our sense of empowerment. We heard from representatives of DCTC, HIPS, Latin@s en Accion, Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, and Rainbow Response. Ward 6 City Council member Tommy Wells and individual survivors of violence also spoke. You all have our deep, heartfelt thanks!

So, what next? Already in 2011, MPD has reported 1 murder, 3 assaults with deadly weapon, 1 rape, 2 simple assaults, and 1 incidence of threats against trans women linked to anti-trans bias. Due to police failures in recording bias-motivated crimes and many trans people’s distrust of police, community groups unsurprisingly report much higher numbers. HIPS noted a 300% increase in violent incidents reported to them since last year. Most of these crimes targeted transgender women of color, and most were never reported to police. This must stop immediately.

Here are two ways YOU can get involved to stop violence against trans women:

*Demand Justice: Keep the Heat on MPD! DCTC and our allies will continue to put the pressure on Police Chief Cathy Lanier and to demand accountability and transparency. We want to see consequences for both Officer Furr and Officer Radon, who also assaulted a trans woman while off-duty last year. Regardless of Officer Furr’s motivation for harming members of our community, MPD must be held responsible for re-instating an officer who opened fire on innocent people while drunk and unauthorized to carry a weapon. Additionally, we demand that MPD:

  • Expand training for its entire force on the existing laws and protocols to protect trans people,
  • Take crimes against trans and queer people seriously,
  • Track and report crimes against trans people accurately, as they are required by law to do,
  • Notify DCTC and the Critical Response Team immediately with any developments in incidents that impact trans people,
  • Stop profiling trans women of color and abusing communities they assume to be sex workers, and
  • End the the disastrous Prostitution Free Zones and other anti-prostitution initiatives that force sex workers into dangerous situations where they are more likely to encounter violence.

Let the Police Department know that you are concerned about it’s treatment of transgender women. You can contact Chief Lanier at cathy.lanier@dc.gov. Also, Officer Furr’s trial and investigation are getting underway. Follow our blog or Facebook for updates!

*Work Toward Prevention: Fight Poverty, Unemployment and Job Discrimination! Trans communities face a rate of unemployment and levels of poverty that are double the already devastating rates in the United States. D.C. Mayor Gray recently promised to create a jobs program specifically targeting trans communities. Social programs will help decrease violence by solving the underlying housing instability and job precarity that put so many trans people, especially of color, in harm’s way.

Support our efforts to decrease barriers to employment and increase access to jobs for trans people in DC as we follow-up on Mayor Gray’s promised jobs program. Learn more and write him in support of these initiatives at eom@dc.gov.

***

For background on the recent apparent rise in violence against transgender women in D.C. (including how it relates to police, racism, sex work, city budget cuts, gentrification and more) … see here!

TONIGHT AT 6PM! EMERGENCY RALLY IN RESPONSE TO POLICE VIOLENCE

ETA: We now know the officer’s name: Kenneth Furr. He has been charged with DWI and assault with a deadly weapon. We have also learned that he was previously removed from the force and then re-instated, and that he was not authorized to carry a weapon. We still don’t know what caused the altercation or what Officer Furr’s motives were. Regardless, it is inexcusable for a police officer to open fire on individuals for any reason. This is another typical example of the violence that trans women face, and we demand justice!

Today, we were notified by the Metropolitan Police Department of a shooting involving transgender individuals in the area of First and Pierce Streets NW around 5:30 AM this morning. We are still attempting to gather information, but preliminary accounts indicate two vehicles collided at the site, one driven by an off-duty MPD officer, and the other containing five people, three of whom are trans.  The off-duty officer jumped on top of the car and fired a weapon inside, hitting at least three people inside. Community activists have visited the two trans women in the hospital, where they were treated for non-life threatening injuries. One other person was also wounded. We have learned that the shooter and at least one victim may have known each other previously, and had an altercation at a nearby store before the shooting, but we do not yet know the nature of their relationship.

We are gathering at 6PM at the site of the incident to demand accountability and transparency from MPD on the clear trend of violence against trans and queer communities coming from its officers. This incident is just another in a long line of systemic violence that trans women, and particularly trans women of color, face on a daily basis. Many members of our community have noted that this summer has been particularly violent. MPD reports at least eight violent crimes against trans people this year, but service organizations have collected information about many more. This is also the second violent attack involving an off-duty MPD officer in the past ten months. Tonight we hope to draw attention to the police department’s complicity in the ongoing violence that our communities must confront. Please spread the word and join us at First and Pierce NW. This violence must not go unacknowledged.

Bully Free DC Day, Thursday, April 21 — Rally at Noon!

Tomorrow is the first ever Bully Free DC Day, designed to raise awareness about bullying in schools, and to promote new anti-bullying legislation currently pending before the DC Council.

A rally is being held tomorrow at noon on the front steps of the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW).  The mayor, several council members, and community activists — including DCTC’s Sadie-Ryanne Vashti — are scheduled to speak.  Please join us tomorrow!

A brief snapshot of the DC anti-bullying bill, from our partners at GLSEN:

This anti-bullying measure will emphasize preventative education and will require DC Public Schools and other District agencies that work with youth to pass comprehensive anti-bullying policies. The bill will help provide teachers with the tools they need to prevent bullying, harass­ment and cyberbullying and encourage these agencies to establish bullying prevention programs.

  • DC Public Schools, DC Public Charter Schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, DC Public Libraries, and the University of District of Columbia are the entities required under this bill to adopt anti-bullying policies and encouraged to establish prevention programs.
  • This bill provides protection for ALL students while specifically identifying those characteristics that are frequent targets of bullying and harassment. Listing these enumerated categories is critical to ensure protection for all students. Research has shown that students who attend schools with policies that enumerate categories report less bullying and harassment than students who do not.

Click here to RSVP for the rally on facebook.  See you tomorrow!

News and events from DCTC

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, April 14, 6:30pm:  Hate Crimes Town Hall with MPD, the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs, and the DC Attorney General — Community Room @ Reeves Center, 14th & U Streets NW
  • Tuesday, April 19, 7:30pm:  Bi-monthly DCTC Meeting — Austin Center @ Whitman Walker Clinic, 14th & R Streets NW
  • Thursday, April 21, 12:00noon:  Rally for a Bully Free DC — Front Steps @ The Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  • Tuesday, April 26, 7:30pm:  Needs Assessment Working Group — Soho Coffee, 22nd & P Streets NW
  • Tuesday, May 3, 7:30pm:  Bi-monthly DCTC Meeting — Austin Center @ Whitman Walker Clinic, 14th & R Streets NW

What we’ve been up to

As always, we value your input and your help!  If you want to get involved in a project, write to dctc@dctranscoalition.org or call us at 202.681.DCTC (202.681.3282), or better yet, come to a meeting!

Jail Campaign.  The DC Department of Corrections is currently taking applications for trans community representatives on the DOC’s transgender housing committee.  It’s super important that lots of folks apply!  The transgender housing committee determines where trans inmates are safely housed.  To apply, please send a resume and cover letter explaining why you’re a good fit for this role to Carolyn Cross, Deputy Director of the Department of Corrections, at 1923 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 112 North, Washington, DC 20001 or by email at sylvia.lane2@dc.gov.

Police Liaison.  Last month we submitted testimony to the DC Council about the work of the MPD over the past year.  Check out one of the things we talked about! We also continue to train officers in the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit.  Be sure to come to the Hate Crimes Town Hall this Thursday (details above) to make your voice heard!  If there’s something you want to say to the police department, this is a good time to say it!

Anti-Bullying Law.  We’re now a part of the DC Safe Schools Coalition and are working hard to get a strong anti-bullying law passed by the DC  Council.  Show your support at the rally on April 21 (details above there too), and make sure the Council and the Mayor know how important it is to keep youth safe in school.

Needs Assessment.  We’ve nearly completed our community roundtable meetings!  Our goal is to explore and document many issues facing members of the trans community, and we’re currently holding roundtable discussions with trans communities throughout DC as the first phase of the project.  If you would like to participate in a roundtable or volunteer to help plan phase two (launching a survey), please write to dctransneeds@gmail.com.

Trans Pride.  Our friends at Capital Trans Pride are gearing up a day of exciting events on Saturday, June 4.  Check out their page on Facebook!