Two female youths were arrested on Nov 20 and charged with mischief for hanging a banner from the Queensway overpass on Elgin St. The banner, which read “Remember Stonewall,” was a protest against police involvement with Trans Day of Remembrance (TDOR).
This year, because of friction between two groups — those who supported police involvement with TDOR and those who did not — the march started from two different points. TDOR kicked off in a ceremony at Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin St; from there, participants marched to Minto Park, where they met with a second group that felt uncomfortable with the police’s involvement.
A third group of about 15 youth staged a protest against police involvement by hanging a banner at the Queensway overpass. The police arrested two youth after responding to phone calls from residents who reported the incident.
The two were kept at the police station, where 50 people staged a sit-in in the station lobby in solidarity. They were released in the evening, under the conditions that they not speak to each other or the media.
A statement was issued by Fierce and Fabulous — a support committee for the pair — which said the banner was “hung as a reminder that the Trans Day of Remembrance is about commemorating and celebrating the lives of our friends, families and lovers. This includes trannies, genderqueers, gender-neutral folks, crossdressers, two-spirited folks and anyone whose gender presentation threatens the state, who have resisted to submit to targeted ID checks, arrests and police brutality, and who have lost their freedom and their lives for doing so.”
The two are set to appear in court on Dec 20.