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Gender Rebel Street Party in Soliarity with CeCe McDonald & Brandy Martell, 5/4/12: photos
by Dave Id
Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
A street party in Oakland was organized surreptitiously but came out in a big way at First Friday's Art Murmur on April 4th. The party was organized to show solidarity for Brandy Martell, shot to death in downtown Oakland on April 28th, and CeCe McDonald, convicted of Second Degree Manslaughter for defending herself against Neo-Nazis. Both are transgendered African Americans. Oakland Rebels/Gender Rebels kicked off the street party by bringing a bumping sound system into the intersection of 23rd Street and Telegraph Avenue and hanging a large banner from the building above the Rock Paper Scissors' collective storefront. Fliers explaining the solidarity action were distributed to the hundreds of Art Murmur goers who came into the street to join the dance party.
[Pictured above: Oakland Rebels/Gender Rebels/Fuck OPD banner hangs high above; Strike Everyday banner on the street]

Check out a reportback from Gender Rebels at

§Oakland Rebels. Gender Rebels. Fuck OPD
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
§Occupy Oakland
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
§Roving dance party
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
§Caution tape across Grand Avenue
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
§Strike banner holds back traffic on Telegraph
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM
After having completely avoided the area for over two hours, in a part of town where police can be seen rolling by regularly -- and this despite the street party fully blocking traffic at 23rd & Telegraph, then Telegraph and Grand, and back again at 23rd -- Oakland police were on the scene in a matter of minutes following the attack. The Gender Rebel street party and the Art Murmur crowd largely dissipated of their own volition once police arrived. Heard numerous times amongst those remaining, as people tried to process the brutality of what had just happened seemingly out of the blue, was that the many-on-one attack was too sudden and too methodical to be some random street brawl. The feeling amongst witnesses to the beating was that the attackers who appeared out of nowhere -- actually coming directly out of the "Para Diso" bar at 2272 Telegraph to attack a single person in the middle of the crowd -- were actually provocateurs allied with law enforcement, sent to scare off the crowd by the sight of bodily violence and to offer a pretense for police to finally move in and disperse the crowd.
§Stars over Oakland
by Dave Id Monday May 7th, 2012 8:14 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by some guy
Monday May 7th, 2012 6:22 PM
I dont agree that many art murmur folks came into the streets, and im thankful they didnt. I was kinda bummed to even be near art murmur but when i realized that we were in fact a bit of a nuisance i felt better. then i just laughed the whole time about how the art murmur folks stayed packed on the sidewalk even though the whole street was free to walk and be in.

a 2009 research report cited findings that transgender offenders experienced sexual victimization at a rate twenty times higher than a random sampling of offenders in the same facility. Such evidence indicates that LGBTI offenders are at increased risk for sexual victimization while in custody, and agencies that ignore this may be placing themselves at risk for litigation.
by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines
Monday Jun 4th, 2012 3:01 PM
CeCe McDonald

Monday, June 4 2012, 3:28 PM EST

CeCe McDonald, the young black transgender woman who accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter last month will be incarcerated by the state of Minnesota as a male. McDonald was arrested after she stabbed a white male who was part of a group of that physically and verbally attacked her with transgender and racial slurs.

The plea agreement calls for a sentence of three years and five months in prison, according to the Star Tribune.

Upon sentencing, McDonald, 24, will be taken into custody by the state Department of Corrections and housed as a male “because he is being housed as a male with Hennepin County,” corrections spokeswoman Sarah Russell told the Star Tribune on Monday. “We will intake him as a male at St. Cloud prison.”

Russell went on to add the state will make its own determination of McDonald’s gender.

“We will assess him as any other offender would be assessed,” Russell said. “The assessments include, but are not limited to, screening for potential vulnerability to sexual assaults, tendencies to act out with sexually aggressive behavior and any disabilities” as defined by federal law.

The Transgender Law Center gathered testimonies from former prisoners, sheriffs, and others, about the risks that many prisoners face and found that sexual violence is an “ever present fact of life for far too many transgender prisoners.” [PDF]

Kenyon Farrow described the sequence of events that resulted in McDonald’s arrest for last month:

It is true that McDonald was not out looking for a fight. On the night of June 5, 2011, McDonald walked past a bar with four other black friends in Minneapolis. She and her friends were attacked by two white women and a white man, first with words, “niggers,” “faggots,” and “chicks with dicks.”

But the words, while enough to incite a response, were not the end of it. McDonald was struck in the face with a cocktail glass by one of the women, slicing all the way through her cheek. A fight ensued as more people joined in to attack the group of black folks, and eventually Dean Schmitz, the white man who was among the first to start harassing them, was stabbed and died later in the hospital.

Even if there is not physical evidence in place to secure the conviction the prosecutor originally sought, it doesn’t really matter. A black person who fights with white people, even when self-defense is clear, is going to likely be arrested. This is often true also in transphobic and homophobic contexts, even when the violence is between people of the same race. The burden to prove one didn’t deserve to die or be brutalized often falls on black, queer and/or trans bodies. In fact, McDonald’s judge ruled that the swastika tattooed on Schmitz’s body was inadmissible by her defense as evidence of his racist assault.

Akiba Solomon will bring you more detailed reporting on McDonald’s story later this week.