Even with temperatures hovering around zero, more than 300 people gathered Thursday night in Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood to march in solidarity following the violent attack on Kristen Boyne, a lesbian who was beaten as she walked home from work last week.
Marchers praised the Minneapolis Police Department for their swift action in investigating the incident, and organizers urged participants to obey traffic laws and to thank local businesses, including Dunn Bros. Coffee and Bryant Lake Bowl for their support. Several speakers addressed the crowd, sharing a unified theme: “It’s a woman’s right to walk at night.
Kelly Lewis, a community organizer from Outfront Minnesota spoke about a large increase in hate crimes against LGBT people in Minnesota last year. Several women addressed the crowd, many invoking the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the struggle for equality for the LGBT community. Many demonstrators created homemade signs that decried violence directed toward the LGBT community. Speakers shivered in the cold as they addressed the crowd. Sweet Pea, a local burlesque celebrity, expressed outrage over the attack on Boynes. Volunteers in yellow vests handed out glow sticks and made sure everyone stayed safe during the march.