Tag Archive: lgtbq

Luke O’Donovan and the Criminalization of Self-Defense

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Mask Magazine

My name is Luke O’Donovan. In the early morning of January 1st, 2013, I was attacked by a group of men at a party because of my sexuality. In an attempt to defend myself from the attack I thought could end my life I stabbed 5 of them, while also being stabbed 3 times myself. It is regrettable that anyone had to come to harm, but given the choice of whether to lose my life to a hateful attack or fight for the chance to live, I will always choose the ferocious refusal to go quietly into the night. This refusal was not fueled by hate for my attackers, but by my love for life. It is this passion for life that came in conflict with my attackers, and this same passion that was arrested by the cops and is being punished by the courts. It is this passion that they are trying to chain, to cage, to rehabilitate me away from, but it is this passion that will pull my gaze – always forward – through the dark. I can already glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be home soon.

Statement from Luke posted on the Luke O’Donovan Support Committee website

On New Year’s Day in 2013, I was halfway across the world when I started receiving frantic messages from friends. Our mutual friend Luke was in an Atlanta jail,they said, being held without bond. He wasn’t my only friend to get arrested that week, and it’s not unusual for me to receive messages that someone I care about is going into or getting out of jail. But with Luke it felt different. The Atlanta metro media was circulating incendiary articles detailing a “stabbing rampage” that allegedly occurred on New Year’s Eve. Next to each article was a picture of our friend’s face, bruised and broken.

As we would soon learn, Luke was not, in fact, a “lunatic stabber”, but had fiercely defended himself in a terrifying situation. As he has been forced to retell countless times, Luke was at a New Year’s Eve party in Atlanta when he was called a faggot and attacked by a group of men, who continued to repeatedly call him a faggot while beating him. He defended himself using a pocket knife, and stabbed five of them. Luke was stabbed three times in the back that night, but the cops, courts, and their spokespeople in the media wrote off those wounds as “cuts” in what can only be understood as an attempt to skew the details of the event in favor of who they deemed to be victims. Luke was arrested while in the hospital being treated for the wounds he had obtained. Immediately upon recovery he was transported to the Fulton County Jail. (more…)

Luke Self-Defense Hearing Set for July 1st

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

Luke had a status hearing at the courthouse today where we learned that his self-defense hearing will be held on July 1st at 9am. Everyone who can show up to court should, as this will be an important date for Luke. His legal team will be arguing that he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting in self-defense. If you are able to come please show up dressed for court. It will be held at:

Fulton County Superior Court

185 Central Ave

Atlanta, GA 30303

Courtoom 5B

Connecticut Accused of Lying Over Transgender Teen Held in Solitary Confinement

solitary_confinement_cell_auschwitz_1-300x300From Vice

A transgender teen with a horrific history as a victim of rape, abuse, and trafficking is being held in solitary confinement at an adult prison in Connecticut, yet has still not been formally charged. Still, the state not only failed to protect her, but may have even lied about its mistakes.

VICE News has obtained court documents that show Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) Commissioner Joette Katz may have intentionally mislead the public last month.

In November, the 16-year-old transgender girl known as Jane Doe was deemed a delinquent because of her history of violently fighting with other girls and staff at the facilities where she’d been housed since being taken into DCF custody at the age of 12. In April, after an alleged assault on a staff member, she was transferred at the request of DCF to York Correctional Institution, the adult women’s prison in Niantic. (more…)

What if the LGBTQ movement fought for prison abolition rather than same-sex marriage?

Ryan Conrad, co-founder of the Against Equality collective, with his new book, Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion.

Ryan Conrad, co-founder of the Against Equality collective, with his new book, Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion.

By Isabelle Nastasia

How did the movement get here? What if lesbians oppose war? What if gay men don’t want to expand the prison system? What if marriage doesn’t address poverty? These are some of the questions raised by the Against Equality collective in its new book Queer Revolution, Not Mere Inclusion published this year by AK Press.

The Against Equality collective is an archival project created by five queer and trans activists and writers. First and foremost, their new book is an anthology of critiques of the issues that have come to define gay and lesbian politics over the past 20 years. But it also proposes alternative paths for the movement, putting forth both prison abolition and transformative justice as distinctly queer political projects.

Isabelle Nastasia recently sat down with Ryan Conrad, co-founder of the Against Equality collective, in the East Village to discuss the book and the politics behind his own work. (more…)