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Leslie Feinberg speaks out for CeCe McDonald

‘The oppressed have the right to fight back!’

Published Jun 6, 2012 11:08 PM

The following statement was given by Leslie Feinberg on June 4 prior to the sentencing of CeCe McDonald. Feinberg was arrested later that night at a protest outside the county jail in downtown Minneapolis.

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 this courtroom 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 Sanford, Florida, to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to this courtroom in 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 [on June 5, 2011].

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 — now! An injury to one is an injury to all! Come out against racist, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT/+ and sexist wars at home and abroad!

Justice for Trayvon Martin and victims of the Tulsa massacre, for Paige Clay and Brandy Martell! Free CeCe McDonald — now!

The oppressed and 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!