Protesters disrupt Stonewall Columbus community meeting

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Dozens of protesters stormed into a community meeting put on by Stonewall Columbus Monday night.

The group organized by Black Queer & Intersectional Columbus held a demonstration outside of the Northland Performing Arts Center before interrupting the meeting.

“They’ve shown multiple times by ignoring meetings, kind of standing us up honestly that they don’t really take this issue seriously and we’re there to try to see if they’ll take it seriously,” said Black Queer & Intersectional co-founder Ariana Steele.

Protesters yelled on megaphones before taking the microphone and forcing the meeting facilitator to step aside. Protesters took over the meeting for more than an hour. They demanded Stonewall Columbus condemn what they said was police brutality against the four people arrested at the Pride Parade.

Stonewall Columbus said the point of their meeting was to open up a dialogue about the arrests and racism, transphobia and homophobia in the community.

Protesters also demanded the resignation of Stonewall Columbus Executive Director Karla Rothan. Rothan said she will not resign.

“I don’t think that any of us thought that the pain that is in this community was as deep as it is and as real as it is, and, it is very, very deep and it’s very sad for me, said Rothan.

Protestors said LGBTQ people of color were brutalized by police at Columbus’ Pride Parade. They want Stonewall to contact prosecutors and demand all charges be dropped.

Police said four officers were injured during the arrests and that one suspect tried disarming an officer. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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