A Non-binary trans person was arrested while filming a clash between fascists and counter-protesters just hours before the first ever Winnipeg Trans March was set to begin.
The group was opposed by members of several Winnipeg anti-fascism groups who went to the grounds to counter-protest and support the Winnipeg Trans March, including Fascist-Free Treaty One, the American Indian Movement, the Urban Warrior Alliance and the Crazy Indian Brotherhood.
Among them was the 22-year-old activist, M, who was arrested. They declined to speak about the incident on the record on the advice of their lawyer.
Omar Kinnarath of Fascist-Free Treaty One was also present. Kinnarath says the opposing groups clashed verbally, and some members began pushing and shoving each other.
“Nothing you wouldn’t see in a hockey fight,” he said. “…Just lot of pushing and shoving, nothing too crazy.”
When police arrived at the grounds, Kinnarath said they started talking to the small group of anti-Motion 103 protesters first. That’s when the 22-year-old activist started filming the exchange on a phone — standard practice at protest events, Kinnarath said.
A police officer asked the activist to step back, and the activist continued filming. The officer then took the phone and forced the activist against the hood of the cruiser before taking them to the police station.
The 22-year-old was charged with obstruction of a peace officer and released on a promise to appear in court. At that point, they returned to the Trans March.
Resist Canada reports that minutes later the police arrived, eventually including members of the riot squad, and on a day when a trans parade would begin its march a couple of hours later proceeded to arrest a non-binary activist, M., who was abruptly and violently cuffed and thrown into a squad car for continuing to take photos of the police after they ordered her to refrain from doing so. When anti-fascist protesters surrounded the police car the officer rammed into some of the protesters with the front bumper before the police cleared the way. The irony is that M. had been among those who tried to de-escalate tensions during the altercations at the event.
At the legislative grounds, they addressed participants from the steps.
“… While incarcerated, I experienced many microaggressions. I was misgendered repeatedly. I was asked what genitals I had. It was a really humiliating experience,” they said.
“That’s not something that anyone in our community deserves. So I don’t want to take up too much time, but I just want to illustrate that the police are not our community. This is our community.”
According to the CBC 400 people attended the Winnipeg Trans March far exceeding all expectations.