Leslie Feinberg Arrested in Solidarity with Chrishaun McDonald
Out on bail, still calling for everyone to support CeCe!
On the evening of June 4th, Leslie Feinberg–renowned transgender activist and author of Stone Butch Blues and Trans Liberation–was arrested in solidarity with Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald. CeCe McDonald is a 24-year-old African American transgender woman who was walking with a group of her friends in Minneapolis on the night of June 5th, 2011. As CeCe and her friends walked by the Schooner Tavern, a group of white bar patrons began shouting racist and transphobic slurs at them. One of the women in the group smashed her beer glass across CeCe’s face. In CeCe’s struggle to defend her life from this violent attack, one of her attackers died. CeCe was quickly arrested and charged with two counts of second degree murder. In May 2012, CeCe accepted a plea agreement to a reduced charge of second degree manslaughter by negligence, and on June 4th she received a 41-month prison sentence. On June 5th, 2012, she was transferred to a men’s prison in St. Cloud, MN.
Leslie is currently being held in the Hennepin County Jail. Ze has been charged with felony property damage. Bail was posted for them and we are awaiting their release. At 8:30am on Thursday, June 7th Leslie Feinberg will appear in court for arraignment.
Leslie has been a vocal supporter of CeCe’s, showing deep dedication to raising awareness about CeCe’s case and connecting her fight with broader struggles. Leslie flew to Minneapolis from hir home in Syracuse, NY in early May for the beginning of CeCe’s trial, and returned to Minneapolis for CeCe’s sentencing hearing on June 4th.
Leslie was arrested almost exactly a year–within the hour–after the attack against CeCe and her friends that led to CeCe’s arrest. Leslie and CeCe spent the night of June 4th, 2012 in the same jail, before CeCe was transferred to St. Cloud on the morning of the 5th. Leslie has been extremely clear that their actions have been in solidarity with CeCe, intended to draw greater attention to the injustice that CeCe is facing.
“I took this action to support CeCe McDonald in her struggle to defend her own life and to free herself. I’m so ill at this time that I have taken this action in order to demonstrate my solidarity, but I am not able at this time to do many of the activist tasks that go with a solidarity arrest like this: media interviews, written political statements, etc. And that is appropriate! This arrest is not about me. It’s about keeping the focus on CeCe McDonald’s struggle!
Leslie took a brave action to call attention to the racism, transphobia, and violence inherent in CeCe’s case. In Leslie’s own words, “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-LGBTQ/+ and sexist wars at home and abroad!” We encourage all of those who are following Feinberg’s arrest to plug in to the various ways to support CeCe (by visiting supportcece.wordpress.com & going to her Facebook page: FreeCece McDonald), and to join local struggles in your communities to fight the violence of the criminal legal system.