As an act of solidarity with the transgender community resisting a bus full of transphobic bigots expected to arrive in New Haven, Connecticut today, anti-fascists spray painted “Trans Lib” on the highway-facing sign of the anti-LGBTQ Knights of Columbus (KoC) headquarters.
Founded and based in New Haven, and proudly named after Christopher Columbus, the KoC funds the National Organization for Marriage, one of the groups organizing the hate bus’s northeastern tour, along with International Organization for the Family and Citizen Go. According to the website Think Progress, KoC “bankrolls America’s social conservative movement” and supports “a very socially conservative ideological agenda: opposing abortion, LGBT rights, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and pornography.”
When the so-called “Free Speech Bus” attempted to kick off its tour in New York on March 23rd, people promptly keyed the bus, scrawled “Trans Liberation,” and smashed the windshield. Repairs took several days. When the bus was a no-show in New Haven last Sunday, resisters held a dance party downtown and erected a fifty-foot banner with Lourdes Ashley Hunter’s quote “Every breath a trans person takes is an act of revolution.” Once repaired, the bus finally arrived, way behind schedule, in Boston, where it met resistance on March 30th. Protesters blocked the bus and tagged its side. Even the mayor raised the transgender flag at City Hall.
Last night, Lucy Diavolo, a fake spokesperson for the hate bus, went on WBZ News Radio in Boston and declared that the LGBTQ community should be “erased” from society, suggesting that this form of “direct action” is already happening as trans people face routine violence and discrimination. While the interview itself was fake, it still brought attention to the ‘Free Speech Bus.’
Their message of hatred will not go unchallenged. If the bus hits New Haven today as expected, its passengers will likely encounter the graffiti left for them, visible from I-34, and they will meet protests by Trans at Yale, New Haven Anti-Fascists, and others.