Supporters are urged to write McDonald to let her know she is not forgotten and that the struggle for her release continues. Please address correspondence to: Chrishaun McDonald, OID #238072, Minnesota Correctional Facility-St. Cloud, 2305 Minnesota Blvd. S.E., St. Cloud, MN 56304.
2012-09-06 "Court re-charges transgender author Leslie Feinberg for action supporting CeCe McDonald" by Kris Hamel
Editor’s note: A campaign has been initiated to demand that the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office drop the charges against Leslie Feinberg. Contact the office by phone (612-673-2010), or through their website at [www.minneapolismngov/attorney/index.htm]. A Sept. 13 court hearing is pending.
This article uses the gender-neutral pronouns hir and ze.
Leslie Feinberg has been recharged, this time by the Minneapolis City Attorney for hir solidarity action in support of CeCe McDonald on June 4, the date of McDonald’s sentencing. Feinberg’s charge, which is classified as a “gross misdemeanor,” carries with it a possible 1-year prison term plus a $1,000 fine.
The case of CeCe McDonald in Minneapolis roused support and solidarity from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer activists and supporters around the country. This young, African-American, transgender woman was the victim of a violent, racist, anti-gay, anti-trans attack in June 2011. She and her friends were set upon by three bigots as they walked past a bar. One of her attackers smashed a bar glass into McDonald’s face, puncturing her cheek and salivary gland.
A melee followed in which McDonald was the only person arrested. She was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and eventually accepted a plea deal that allowed her to avoid possibly decades in prison for a crime she says she did not commit. For defending herself against a violent attack, McDonald was given a prison term of 41 months.
Feinberg is an award-winning author, transgender warrior and trailblazer in the LGBTQ liberation movement. Ze is also a revolutionary Marxist and a managing editor of Workers World newspaper. Despite being in poor health, Feinberg traveled to Minnesota to visit McDonald in jail prior to her sentencing, and again for McDonald’s June 4 sentencing. A large “noise” protest took place outside the county jail that night to let McDonald — and her state captors — know she was not alone.
Feinberg was arrested and jailed for three nights without bond for hir participation in the actions outside the jail. Mass pressure on the county attorney resulted in Feinberg’s release and the dropping of felony charges.
McDonald’s case and unjust incarceration were raised at Pride events in June around the U.S. and in several other countries. “Free CeCe McDonald!” has become a rallying cry for many in the struggle for LGBTQ liberation, against racism, and for the right to self-defense against violence fueled by hateful bigotry.
On Aug. 30, Feinberg announced the recharging on hir Facebook group page. “I hope to see friends and other activists in court,” Feinberg wrote. “As defendant, I welcome parents and other caregivers bringing children of all ages, including infants and toddlers. I’ll bring crayons and drawing paper. Please wear purple/buttons/t-shirts in solidarity with CeCe McDonald! I’ll be wearing the free CeCe t-shirt designed by artist/activist Ricardo Levins Morales.
“I’ve made a sign in support of CeCe to take with me to court. If you make and post your own sign in support of CeCe McDonald and/or have already posted one online, send me a copy of the photo/credit/location via social media and I’ll do my best to include your solidarity in the multimedia dedication to CeCe.”
Feinberg has been ordered to appear in court on Sept. 13, 8:30 a.m., at the Hennepin County District Court, 401 S. Fourth St., in Minneapolis.
CeCe McDonald touches hands with Leslie Feinberg, WW managing editor, author and LGBTQ leader, through the plexiglass barricade during a visit in April 2012.
WW photo: Leslie Feinberg
‘I will not be silent!’ Statements by Leslie Feinberg [https://www.facebook.com/notes/leslie-feinberg/leslie-feinberg-re-charged-for-solidarity-action-for-cece-mcdonald/10151141939389784]:
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." --Martin Luther King Jr.
I have been re-charged by the Minneapolis City Attorney prosecutor with 3rd-degree Gross Misdemeanor which carries a maximum of 1-year prison & $3,000 fine, for my June 4 demonstration.of solidarity with CeCe McDonald.
I've been ordered to appear: Sept. 13 at 8:30 am, PSF 141, "Public Safety" Facility, 401 South Fourth Street, Minneapolis, MN
I hope to see friends and other activists in court.
As defendant, I welcome parents and other caregivers bringing children of all ages, including infants and toddlers. I’ll bring crayons and drawing paper.
Please wear purple/buttons/t-shirts in solidarity with CeCe McDonald! I'll be wearing the free CeCe t-shirt designed by artist/activist Ricardo Levins Morales.
I've made a sign in support of CeCe to take with me to court. If you make and post your own sign in support of CeCe McDonald and/or have already posted one online, send me a copy of the photo/credit/location via social media and I’ll do my best to include your solidarity in the multi-media dedication to CeCe.
Please check that morning for the assigned courtroom.
My thanks to lawyer Bruce Nestor and the National Lawyers' Guild for helping me defend myself in the court of the 1%.
August 30, 2012 statement:
I will not be silent!
As a revolutionary activist, journalist/author, and proud member of the National Writers’ Union/UAW Local 1981—I will not be silent!
STOP the WAR AGAINST TRANS WOMEN of COLOR! FREE CECE McDONALD NOW! [http://supportcece.wordpress.com]
TO NATIVE NATIONS: MY GREETING of RESPECT: I send my greeting of respect to Indigenous Nations on the land now claimed as “Minnesota.” I vow to continue to defend your land and treaty rights, rights to sovereignty and self-determination, and defense of this planet that sustains all life. I am a proud neighbor of the Onondaga Nation. As violent weapons of rule by the 1%, the police, prosecutors, judges and prison officials invoke “law.” I recall that in 1862, this racist injustice system proclaimed it “legal” to lynch 38 Dakota men in a mass execution in Mankato, after convicting the defendants of “war crimes” after 15-minute trials. The Dakota people were forced to march into concentration camps, and many were deported to reservations far from the land of their ancestors.
STOP DEPORTATIONS: NO WORKER IS ‘ILLEGAL’: I send my heartfelt solidarity to immigrants who are courageously defying apartheid passbook laws. Stop racist apartheid laws, ICE immigrant-bashing, detentions & deportations!
STOP BRUTAL POLICE OCCUPATIONS In OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES! End racist profiling, the school-to-prison pipeline, racist, mass incarceration, the Prison-Industrial Complex, and prisons for profit!
FBI: HANDS OFF ACTIVISTS! [www.stopfbi.net] FREE MICHAEL WILLIAMS NOW!
Solidarity with Muslims & Sikhs in the U.S. and around the world! [https://www.facebook.com/events/429647060388717/]
STOP ENDLESS WARS for PROFIT!
Solidarity with Pakistani sex(es)/gender(s)/sexualities in Sukkur who protested Pentagon drone attacks. Those killer drones leave from the same small airport in Syracuse, N.Y., U.S. as the plane that will take me to Minneapolis, M.N.
Bring all the troops home!
Disband private corporate armies!
Free Pfc. B. Manning!
Hands off Assange & Wikileaks!
JOBS, HOMES, FOOD, HEALTH CARE, EDUCATION!
NOT PRISONS & PENTAGON WARS!
JAIL the real criminals: the 1%!
JUNE 4, 2012 statement:
Overturn white supremacy & transphobia!
"My name is Leslie Feinberg. Many people across the U.S. and around the world are watching, and history will record, what happens today— June 4, 2012--in South Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
CeCe McDonald survived a fascist hate crime; now she’s being sentenced today as she struggles to survive an ongoing state hate crime. As Martin Luther King Jr. reminded: “Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”
As a white, working-class, Jewish, transgender lesbian revolutionary I will not be silent as this injustice continues! I know from the lessons of histories what it means when the state—in a period of capitalist economic crisis--enacts apartheid passbook laws, rounds up and deports immigrant workers, and gives a green light to white supremacist, fascist attacks on Black peoples--from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to South Minneapolis, Minnesota.
This prosecutor and judge are upholding the intent of the infamous white supremacist Dred Scott ruling in 1857.
That same year Frederick Douglass concluded: “Without struggle, there is no progress!”
CeCe McDonald is being sent to prison during the month of Juneteenth: celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation—the formal Abolition of “legal” enslavement of peoples of African descent. The Emancipation Proclamation specifically spelled out the right of Black people to self-defense against racist violence.
Yet today, the judge, the prosecutor, the jailers—are continuing the violent and bigoted hate crimes begun by the group of white supremacists who carried out a fascist attack on CeCe McDonald and her friends.
CeCe McDonald is being sent to prison in June--the month when the Stonewall Rebellion ignited in the streets of Greenwich Village in 1969. From the Compton’s Uprising to the Stonewall Rebellion, defense against oppressions is a law of survival.
This Pride month, I will be bringing the demand: “Free CeCe--now!” to the regional Pride march where I live. I believe many other individuals, groups and contingents will help thunder that demand in Pride marches and rallies all over the world—informing millions who take part, and millions more who support.
The prosecution hopes this struggle is over. But it is not over:
* Free CeCe McDonald--now! An injury to one is an injury to all!
* Justice for Travvon Martin & victims of the Tulsa massacre, for Paige Clay & Brandy Martell!
* The oppressed & exploited have the right to fight back!
* Overturn white supremacy & transphobia!
* Come out against the racist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT/+ and anti-women wars at home and abroad!”