Belleville BLM protest includes LGBTQ rights

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Belleville, Illinois (From the Belleville Facebook page)

BELLEVILLE — A Black Lives Matter protest in Belleville on Wednesday also called for support for the LGBTQ community.

The Belleville News-Democrat reported that organizers had called for protesters to bring Pride colors to show their support for the community and “Black Trans Lives Matter” was one of the chants.

“As a Black woman, I really have no right to go talk to a trans white person and say, ‘You’re not accepted’ because I’m not accepted either,” Tommia Douglas, a Belleville resident who helped organize the rally, told the newspaper.

“I feel bad because I know if we don’t accept them, I know that other communities probably” are not welcoming them, she said in an interview. “I just want them to know that they have a safe place, especially when you come here and wherever we’re protesting at, we love you like we are family.”

Another of the organizers is a member of the LGBTQ community herself.

“This affects me directly,” Nikki Hughes told the News-Democrat. “I am a Black woman, part of the LGBT community and it’s just hard being a Black woman period. It’s hard for me to even live my everyday life without being scared to walk outside or being scared of being profiled by somebody.”

The newspaper reported that about 40 people attended the protest in front of the courthouse in Belleville. It was also the ninth protest in the city since the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

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