Protesters marched in support of Black, queer and trans people. Celebrating as a community with dance performances during Friday’s protest at the Capitol. 

Protesters gathered on the steps of the Capitol, organizers led the group as they chanted, “Black lives matter, “Black queer lives too!” and “No justice, no peace!”

Mahnker Dahnweih, a protest organizer with Freedom Inc., spoke at the protest. 

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“Queer Black folks and trans Black folks and intersex Black folks are a lot of times at the front leading these mass mobilizations,” Dahnweih said. “When our people die, when our people are murdered by the police and by the state … we have to say we out here in these streets for queer people too.” 

Organizers held a moment of silence for all the Black queer and trans people who have been killed by police and oppressive state systems. Dahnweih urged protestors to sign petitions in support of defunding the police to help make change within the community. 

Organizers then led protestors in a march around the Capitol towards Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Protestors chanted “Satya, we’re putting you on notice!” in reaction to Mayor Rhodes-Conway’s video to police, as well as “Police-free schools!” and “Take back our schools!” — encouraging the removal of police officers from public schools in Madison. 

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“Our leaders are either silent, or they’re actively hurting us, and that needs to change,” Dahnweih said. “They are accountable to us — we elected them to represent our interests, and goddammit we are going to hold them accountable.” 

After reaching the MLK Blvd, protestors gathered to watch queer Black drag and musical performers, emceed by Sami Schalk. Schalk led the crowd with chants and encouraged protestors to donate to Freedom Inc. and Urban Triage. 

Protestors danced to a DJ following the performances — organizers said they would be out on MLK Blvd. until 10 p.m. tonight.