U students join Queer Women’s March

A dense crowd gathered at the Dunn Bros. Coffee on the corner of Bryant Avenue South and Lake Street West Thursday before marching with signs, banners and candles with the purpose of calling attention to hate crimes committed against gay women in Minneapolis. âÄúThis neighborhood is stereotypically very gay-friendly, but I think we need to physically manifest our support for the queer community that we have and make our presence known,âÄù said Melanie Bowman, French and Italian graduate student at the University of Minnesota and member of the Queer Student Cultural Center. The demonstration was held in honor of Kristen Boyne, 32, who suffered injuries last week after two men allegedly attacked her in Uptown, calling her a âÄúdykeâÄù and hitting her until she lost consciousness. In response, BoyneâÄôs friends organized the Queer WomenâÄôs March; nearly 200 âÄúqueer and queer alliesâÄù attended. âÄúI think itâÄôs pretty cool that something could get mobilized this quickly; it definitely is a positive âĦ I hope that we can continue to have that kind of motivation,âÄù communications studies major Samone Derks said. Before the march commenced, the swarm of people huddled in the cold night outside the coffee shop to hear multiple women address the tragedy of violence against women, gay and straight. Kelly Lewis, community organizer with OutFront Minnesota, a GLBT advocacy organization, said one in four women will be sexually assaulted and less than 20 percent of those will report the attack. âÄúWe march tonight in solidarity with Kristen and against violence against women everywhere,âÄù Lewis said. The march progressed east on Lake Street toward Fremont Avenue South, where it looped back around, passing the Rainbow Foods to which Boyne had been walking the night she was attacked. The march ended back at Dunn Bros. Coffee. Demonstrators chanted as they walked. Andrea Sieve, an event organizer, urged participants to cooperate peacefully and obey traffic laws. One goal of the march was to be heard, another included returning compassion for hate. âÄúI think [the march] was a really good way to show that this affects everyone,âÄù Bowman said. âÄúHate speech affects every woman.âÄù