Self-Defense is Not a Crime!
Stand up Against Racism and Transphobia!
An important case demands our support. Crishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a young Black transgender woman faces two counts of second degree murder for defending her friends and herself from physical attacks by a group shouting ugly racist and homophobic insults.
Please contact the Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman and demand he drop the charges against CeCe:
612-348-5540 fax * 612-348-2042 * firstname.lastname@example.org
Please bring this case before local GLBTQ groups, Black Community organizations, Unions and community groups, Occupy assemblies and anywhere people are struggling for freedom and justice. An Injury to One is an Injury to All!
According to the Support CeCe website http://supportcece.wordpress.com:
“Around 12:30 am on June 5, CeCe and four of her friends (all of them black) were on their way to Cub Foods to get some food. As they walked past the Schooner Tavern in South Minneapolis, a man and two women (all of them white) began to yell epithets at them. They called CeCe and her friends ‘faggots,’ ‘niggers,’ and ‘chicks with dicks,’ and suggested that CeCe was ‘dressed as a woman’ in order to ‘rape’ Dean Schmitz, one of the attackers.”
“As they were shouting, one of the women smashed her drink into the side of CeCe’s face, slicing her cheek open, lacerating her salivary gland, and stinging her eyes with liquor. A fight ensued, with more people joining in. What happened during the fight is unclear, but within a few minutes Dean Schmitz had been fatally stabbed. CeCe was later arrested, and is now falsely accused of murder.”
The coroners report showed Schmitz had a large nazi swastika tattoo.
CeCe now faces a Justice system that is anything but. African-Americans are imprisoned in Minnesota and the U.S. at rates far disproportionate to the population. Black defendants incur greater rates of conviction and harsher sentences than whites, especially when the alleged victim is white. In fact the CeCe Support Committee has documented four separate recent instances when the local Hennepin County Attorney has declined to press charges when a white person killed an alleged attacker.
Likewise the Criminal Justice system is grossly discriminatory against transgender defendents. Trans people are routinely placed in isolation and/or subjected to increased sexual violence, harassment, and abuse at the hands of prisoners and corrections facility staff. Cece herself “was kept in solitary confinement “for her own protection”; she had no say in this matter. Finally, she was transferred to a psychiatric unit in the Public Safety Facility. It was nearly two months before she was taken back to a doctor to check up on the wound on her face, which by then had turned into a painful, golf ball-sized lump”, according to the CeCe Support Group website.
The Hennepin County Attorney, Mike Freeman, is the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party politician responsible for prosecuting CeCe. Previously Freeman unsuccessfully prosecuted an Anti-Racist Action activist for defending himself from a neo-nazi at an anti-fascist demonstration in 1993. Freeman’s office also led the racist railroading of the young African-American men known as the “Minnesosta 8” for the shooting of a police officer in 1992.
CeCe had every right to defend herself and her friends from this assault. Black folks, queer folks, and trans people deal with enough insult and abuse from bosses, the police, school, and other official institutions without having to worry about physical attacks just for being who they are. Racist and transphobic violence cannot be tolerated. Silence and inaction will only aid the perpetuation of white supremacy, sexism, homophobia and transphobia inherent in the structure of this oppressive and exploitive system. The necessary unity to defeat this system requires the solidarity of all of us – not just lowest common-denominator unity that favors the most privileged – but defense of the most oppressed and exploited. As the social crisis sharpens, the need for self-defense from both individual bigots and from a system built on white supremacy and patriarchy will only increase.
A strong support group, based among young transgender activists and including anarchists, has come together to defend CeCe. First of May Anarchist Alliance pledges our solidarity as well. We will work to make this case well known among working class activists and organizers and help to raise the costs for the prosecutor and the system he represents for carrying out this injustice.
First of May Anarchist Alliance