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Jennifer Laude killing highlighted in LA rally for transgender rights

/ 10:15 PM November 20, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Hundreds of transgender rights advocates shut down, on Nov. 19 (Wednesday in Manila) a busy intersection in Hollywood to protest violence against transgender people, including murder victim Jennifer Laude.

“We’re calling attention to the murder of Jennifer and the violence that continues to victimize transgender people in the Philippines, here in the US and around the world,” said Filipino-American Iris Boncales-Strauss, who represented the feminist organization AF3irm.

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AP FILE PHOTO

AP FILE PHOTO

AF3irm and Gabriela USA joined Hispanic transgender activist groups, including Translatina Coalition, Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement and El/La Para Trans Latinas, in a rally organized under the transgender movement TransLivesMatter.

“We have gathered here to demand dignity, justice and safety for our (transgender) community” said Translatina Coalition president Bamby Salcedo. “This is the beginning of a national movement.”

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The rally highlighted the stories of Jennifer Laude, who was allegedly killed by US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, and Aniya Parker, a 47-year-old transgender woman who was shot at close range in East Hollywood last month.

Organizers have cited a national study showing that transgender women face the most severe violence within the LGBT community. They also claim that transgender people are 400 times more likely to become victims of violence than the rest of the population.

“We’re adding (Jennifer’s) story to the voices here today,” said Terrie Cervas, Gabriela USA national vice chair.

Cervas said they would like Pemberton to go through the Philippine judicial process “and not see him run away, as we have seen in the case of Daniel Smith.”

In 2006, US Marine Lance Cpl. Daniel Smith was convicted of raping a Filipino woman, identified as Nicole, whom he met at a bar inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. The conviction of Smith was later overturned.

The protesters linked arms and surrounded the intersection of Vermont Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, blocking traffic and prompting heavy police presence.

Tension grew as traffic built up and some commuters tried to push through the human barricade. Protesters claimed one pedestrian tried to physically assault some of them, including Salcedo.

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TAGS: advocacy, AF3irm, Aniya Parker, Bamby Salcedo, Crime, crime suspect, crime victim, Daniel Smith, El/La Para Trans Latinas, Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Gabriela USA, Global Nation, Human Rights, Iris Boncales-Strauss, Jeffrey "Jennifer" Laude, Joseph Scott Pemberton, march, murder, Nicole rape case, picket, Protest, rally, Subic rape case, transgender people, transgender rights, Translatina Coalition, TransLivesMatter, violence vs transgender people
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