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Testimony Submitted by Emmelia Talarico

Steering Committee Chair and Organizing Director, No Justice No Pride

My name is Emmelia Talarico and I am the Steering Committee Chair and Organizing Director of No Justice No Pride. Thank you for this opportunity to address the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety.

No Justice No Pride (NJNP) is a collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia that exists to fight for the most marginalized members of DC’s trans and queer communities. …


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Photo by Dylan Comstock

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, January 24, the Capital Pride Alliance announced substantial changes to its leadership structure and board membership. No Justice No Pride released the following statement in response:

“We are encouraged to see Capital Pride taking steps to make its board more representative of the communities it serves,” said Emmelia Talarico, Chair of No Justice No Pride’s Steering Committee. “But make no mistake. These changes would not have come about without direct pressure applied by No Justice No Pride and our supporters.”

“In our interactions with Capital Pride’s new leadership, we have experienced a level of openness and communication that did not exist with their previous leadership. This is a step forward. Nonetheless, Capital Pride has its work cut out when it comes to making the transformative changes necessary to truly make Pride an event that the entire community can be proud of.” …


No Justice No Pride, joined by Trans Woman of Color Collective and GetEqual, tells HRC: “Complicity is Horrifying”

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WASHINGTON — Today, trans and queer activists with No Justice No Pride (NJNP), Trans Woman of Color Collective, and GetEqual, blockaded the entrance to the Human Rights Campaign’s National Dinner fundraiser, in protest of the organization’s ongoing partnership with Wells Fargo. The groups used bike locks and PVC pipes to hold locked blockades in front of multiple entrances to the Walter E. Washington convention center, where HRC was holding its $400-per-plate fundraiser.

Protesters demanded that HRC immediately end its relationship with Wells Fargo and no longer accept Wells Fargo’s funding, citing Wells Fargo’s significant investments in private prisons, predatory lending practices, and financing of pipelines that desecrate Native land. …


Despite ample reasons to divest, HRC maintains its partnership with Wells Fargo at the expense of trans and queer communities of color and others on the margins.

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Racism isn’t just a by-product of Wells Fargo’s actions — it is at the core of its practices across the board. From its financing of the private prison system, immigrant detention facilities and the Dakota Access Pipeline to its predatory lending practices that target communities of color, to the way it treats its own employees, Wells Fargo demonstrates a toxic disregard — if not outright disdain — for people of color, immigrants and Native communities.

In the current political climate, when people of color, trans folks, immigrants, and working class folks are under attack, HRC continues to celebrate and promote — of all possible corporate sponsors — Wells Fargo. …


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The fight for Black lives is inseparable from the fight for trans and queer liberation.

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, August 9, a grand jury declined to file criminal charges against MPD Officer Brian Trainer for the fatal shooting of Terrence Sterling last fall. No Justice No Pride (NJNP), a local coalition of trans and queer organizers and activists formed to challenge DC’s LGBT community’s silence regarding police violence, white supremacy, and other forms of systemic oppression, released the following statement in response:

“That no one in the Metropolitan Police Department will be held accountable for the murder of Terrence Sterling is a tragic reminder of MPD’s systemic failure to ‘protect and serve.’ Just like in Charlotte, Baton Rouge, Tulsa, New York City, Chicago, and Ferguson — where locals today mourn the three year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown — and cities across the country, DC police officers are given the unjust power to take Black lives with impunity. …


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We are frustrated but not surprised by Trump’s ban on trans individuals’ ability to serve in the U.S. military. This is a clear attempt to attack trans communities in order to drum up support among the administration’s transphobic base as the it seeks to distract from its failures and embarrassments. And the administration’s insistence that trans-competent health care is an unnecessary “financial burden” not a fundamental right sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to the future of trans healthcare.

While we are concerned for the well-being of trans individuals currently serving in the military, we are skeptical of the “outrage,” calls for protest, and fundraising appeals we are seeing from LGBT folks and their allies. Many of those coming out the loudest against the ban on trans military service have been silent as trans folks across the country continue to be killed, as they continue to suffer harassment and violence at the hands of police, and as they continue to be denied housing, jobs, healthcare, respect, and dignity. …


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WASHINGTON — Following their direct action at last month’s Capital Pride parade, No Justice No Pride, a coalition of local trans and queer organizers, activists and community-based organizations, took to the the streets once again on the evening of July 13. The rally and march, entitled, “All Out For Trans Women: When Under Attack, We Fight Back!” kicked off at Freedom Plaza, where where local activists and organizers shared testimony about the consequences of Washington, D.C.’s severe neglect of trans women of color. Following the rally, the group took to the streets and marched to MPD headquarters.

“No Justice No Pride is here today because since our inception we promised to fight for the most marginalized members of D.C.’s trans and queer community,” said Emmelia Talarico, chair of No Justice No Pride’s steering committee. “We’re tired of the symbolic support we see for the LGBT community during Pride never translating into real concrete action to address the ongoing crisis faced by trans women in our city. All the cops, politicians, and corporations that were so eager to march in the Pride parade are nowhere to be found when we need them most.” …


Silence from MPD after hit-and-run lands Black trans woman in ICU

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Boo Boo Washington

WASHINGTON — On the night of July 4, Boo Boo Washington, a Black trans woman was brutally run down by a car near the intersection of 5th and K Street, NE. She was left stranded in the street until she was later rushed to the intensive care unit for treatment of her life-threatening injuries. Three days later, Boo Boo remains in the ICU, struggling to recover.

Many attempts have been made by No Justice No Pride (NJNP) and our community partners to get more information from the Metro Police Department about the incident and MPD’s response. To date, no information has been released. MPD has yet to publicly acknowledge that it took place and has chosen not to identify the incident as a crime, despite witness accounts to NJNP that the assault appeared intentional. …


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No Justice No Pride protestors locked down in a blockade blocking Wells Fargo’s float in the Capital Pride Parade. (Photo by Dylan Comstock)

The decision of leadership of Capital Pride to ignore requests to center marginalized voices within the LGBTQ2S community and remove Metropolitan Police and corporations who profit from pipelines and war such as Wells Fargo and Lockheed Martin led to a #NoJusticeNoPride protest during yesterday’s Pride parade that exposed continuing divisions within DC’s LGBTQ2S community.

The protesters wanted a more expansive vision for Pride that honored its roots as a protest started by Black and Latinx trans and queer leaders. They took issue with the corporate prominence — especially of companies actively investing in the Dakota Access pipeline and in arms manufacturing — as well as the presence of a police department plagued with issues of violence against DC residents — particularly those who are Black and transgender. …


Protesters Bring Capital Pride Parade to a Halt to End Participation of Institutions that Harm Historically Marginalized LGBTQ2S Communities, Demand Pride Planning Leadership Center the Marginalized

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No Justice No Pride Demands Capital Pride Sever Ties with Private Prisons, Police, Pipelines and Weapons Manufacturers

Follow #NoJusticeNoPride for photos and video

WASHINGTON, DC — DC’s queer and trans community is no longer willing to accept that Pride isn’t possible without support from deeply problematic corporate sponsors. …

About

#NoJusticeNoPride

No Justice No Pride is an ad-hoc coalition of activists that seeks to end the LGBT movement’s complicity in systems of oppression that harm LGBTQ2S communities.

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