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LGBTQ Protesters March For Black Lives In Downtown Louisville

Louisville Metro Police said they arrested 76 people Friday in the NuLu area.

 A crowd of people had set up, what appeared to be, a block party on Market Street, between Shelby and Clay, with tables, tents, music, art and a trampoline. U-Hauls delivered supplies, and there were chants of “Whose streets, our streets” and “This is what democracy looks like.”

Around 5 p.m., police declared it an unlawful assembly, told everyone to disperse, and warned they’d deploy chemical agents and arrest people, according to tweets from reporters in the area.
J. Tyler Franklin | wfpl.org

LMPD spokesperson Lamont Washington, in an email to press, said the charges included obstructing a highway, disorderly conduct and “a few assault charges for people throwing bottles at police.”

A few hours later, a crowd of about 100 with an “LGBTQ for Black Lives” march cheered for the folks who had been arrested at the earlier event.  

The demonstrators had gathered starting at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, where Andrea Sinclair had set up a table with a sign that said: “Therapists for Protestor Wellness.”

Sinclair, who is a counseling psychology student, said it’s an organization that “has sprung up in response to the trauma that people are experiencing in Louisville right now.” She’s been handing out resources and trying to help connect protesters with crisis counselors. 

“We're trying our best to get people to pay attention to their mental health in this process,” she said. “Protesting is a draining experience. And we really want them to know that they're not alone in this.”

The marchers left the center, chanting phrases like, “United we stand, divided we fall” and “When trans lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back,” eventually making their way to the Department of Corrections building.  

Kathy Coyte, who is white, said this was the first night she had come to a downtown protest and, “as a representative LGBTQ,” she felt it was important to show up. 

“George Floyd just made me see that slavery's got to end,” she said. “It's got to quit changing forms.”  

Hakeem Harvey, 17, at one point, seemed to lead a spontaneous song and dance in the streets near Metro Hall. He said it’s important that when you say Black Lives Matter it includes Black LGBTQ lives. 

“We was just making sure that we're recognized, too, but also that our main agenda is also for Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, George Floyd, Sandra Bland and everybody else,” he said.

Hakeem said the plan is to be back next Friday, and every Friday following “doing the same thing, making sure the police hear us because we did not come to play.” 

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