October 28, 2017 at 10:32 pm EDT | by Michael Key
‘Zombie’ protest blocks doors at the HRC National Dinner
HRC National Dinner, gay news, Washington Blade

Activists affiliated with No Justice No Pride march around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Oct. 28, just before the 21st annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner was about to take place. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Protesters, many dressed as zombies, on Saturday marched around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center where the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner was about to begin. Following the march, a number of activists blocked the front entrances to the convention center.

Other doors on the side of the convention center were opened to accommodate guests.

A statement released by the activist group No Justice No Pride stated the protesters dressed as zombies to “reflect the horror done by HRC partnering with a monster like Wells Fargo.”

Wells Fargo served as the presenting sponsor of the 21st annual HRC National Dinner.

“In June, at the Pride Parade, we targeted Capital Pride’s willingness to sell our communities out to harmful corporations,” said Emmelia Talarico, chair of No Justice No Pride’s steering committee. “Today, we’re targeting HRC’s willingness to do the same.”

Talarico was referring to the activist group’s disruption of the Capital Pride Parade in a non-violent direct action last June.

“For decades, the LGBT movement has cast aside the most marginalized in pursuit of ‘equality’ for the most privileged members of our communities,” continued Talarico. “Our hope is that No Justice No Pride’s actions begin to wake the LGBT establishment up to the fact that there is a new generation of trans and queer folks with bigger, broader and more radical dreams of liberation. Dreams inspired by the lives of our ancestors — like Sylvia Rivera, Marsha P. Johnson and Audre Lorde — which are fundamentally incompatible with entities like Wells Fargo.”

“We have had enough of the juggernaut non-profits profiting off the lives of black bodies, brown bodies, indigenous bodies, undocumented bodies: Fuck HRC,” said Lourdes Ashley Hunter, executive director of the Trans Women of Color Collective as she was bound to the security fence around the convention center. “Now more than ever it is important for our voices to be heard. We cannot continue to let these organizations represent us. They don’t represent us, number one, and we know that.”

Hunter continued, “They represent their capitalist interests. They represent their white, cis gay pajama parties, they represent everything that liberation is not standing for. And so we’re here today to not only say ‘fuck HRC,’ ‘fuck Wells Fargo,’ well fuck everybody who paid $400 to come up in here and continue this shit.”

“It is really important now more than ever that we identify who is on our side and who is not,” said Aaryn Lang of the activist group GetEqual. “HRC hasn’t gotten clear, so we’re here to ease them along the process. Until they decide to make a choice that is honorary of the LGBT movement that actually wants to see the liberation for black and brown bodies, we will continue to fuck HRC.”

No arrests were made and the group dispersed after the HRC event started.

From left, Emmelia Talarico, Aaryn Lang and Lourdes Ashley Hunter protest in front of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at the beginning of the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

 

Michael Key has worked as a photojournalist for the Washington Blade since 2009 and is currently serving as the photo editor. He has worked on Capitol Hill, in the White House, on the campaign trail and in cities along the East Coast taking iconic photos documenting the extension of marriage benefits to same-sex couples, the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and other events of interest to the LGBT community. Follow Michael

12 Comments
  • What does the HRC actually do besides throw a fabulous party??

  • The Human Right Scampaign IS a zombie organization. It has been stumbling around eating the community’s money for decades.

    • What is any organization for GLBT really doing to advance our rights? The very nature of all these groups is to collect money so if they were able to solve all the issues, they would cease to exist.

      But can you just blame them? It seems our own self-appointed leadership always derails our rights. When we had ENDA passed in the Senate and waiting for a fair hearing in the House, activists wanted to derail it because they felt it had too many religious exemptions. Why can’t we ever just agree on passing something? It has to be perfect or nobody wants it!

      Then you had all those people saying because the EEOC said we were all covered, we didn’t need it until Sessions said otherwise.

  • Great folks. Now let’s hear solutions. You all griped, now let’s hear viable alternatives.

  • They don’t have solutions. They just like attention, and honestly agree with them about HRC!
    But seriously. Lourdes Hunters tactics are nothing but PR for her shell organization. How about the Blade does an article on that? TWOCC is NOT a non profit or5013C. The donations go into her now fat pockets
    HRC WAS trying. But I don’t see it anymore

  • Bullying to get $$$. TWOCC IS NOT A NON PROFIT. Follow Lourdes Ashely Hunter on FB and see her brag about flying first class. She bullies /guilts people into giving her money. Yet places like Casa Ruby or the DC Center HIRE and PAY TPOC!!

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