Black Lives Matters demonstrators shouting “say her name” disrupted a Hillary Clinton campaign stop in Cleveland on Thursday. The two women called on Clinton to “divest from private prisons and invest in the liberation of black transgender women.”
The women said the disruption was part of a series of actions this week calling attention to the number of black transgender women who have been murdered this year. At least 20 transgender women have been killed this year, 14 of them black women. In nine of those cases, Fusion found last week, charges have been filed.
“We called on [Clinton] to actually have a conversation with black trans women and take their lead,” said Angela Peoples, one of the women who disrupted the event. Peoples leads the grassroots LGBTQ network at the civil rights group GetEQUAL.
Peoples said she decided to disrupt the event after she heard there was a call for cisgender black men and women “to show up for black trans people.” She was referring to a call to action that Black Lives Matter activists in New York issued this week asking members to hold rallies in honor of trans women. She carried a sign that read “Hillary: Divest from Private Prisons, Invest in Black Trans Women.”
“Hillary Clinton must stand with Black people, especially Black trans women, by refusing to accept funds from or bundled by executives of or lobbyists for private prison companies—and investing the money she’s already accepted from those companies in the work toward Black trans liberation,” said Rian Brown, an organizer with GetEQUAL, in a statement sent to Fusion. “Until that happens, we cannot for a moment think that Hillary believes Black Lives Matter.”
Earlier this week, nearly 100 civil-rights groups wrote a letter to the White House urging the administration not to transfer transgender immigrant detainees to a private prison in California with a history of alleged abuse.
Peoples said she did take make eye contact with Clinton at one point during the rally.
“I’m happy to meet with you all at another time,” Clinton said at the event, according to Peoples.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.