Just now: Activists attempted to hang a “decriminalize sex work” banner between two flag poles across from the Wilson Building. Police tore it down before they could raise it up. Officers are waiting for the two climbers as demonstrators chant “we love you!” #DC pic.twitter.com/4g31cCKsbP— Marissa J. Lang (@Marissa_Jae) June 3, 2019
U.S. Park Police officers arrested the two climbers as soon as they returned to the ground.
“We love you,” a group of about two dozen protesters chanted as officers handcuffed the two who had used climbing equipment to scale the flagpoles on Pennsylvania Avenue.
The two arrested were Princess Traciee, whom Park Police charged as Trevon Gentry, and Emmelia Talarico, a lead organizer with No Justice No Pride, an organization formed by self-described queer and transgender people to oppose the “LGBT movement’s collusion with systems of oppression.”
Both were charged with demonstrating at a National Capital Park without a permit and interfering with an agency’s function by disobeying a lawful order.
They were released from custody late Monday, police said.
The rally followed an announcement by D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At Large) that he would reintroduce a bill to decriminalize sex work in the District.
Grosso brought a previous iteration of the bill before the D.C. Council in 2017.
“Sex workers have fought for their rights, and now it is time for the government to join their efforts,” Grosso said Monday.
Activists from No Justice No Pride also called for the city to “decriminalize Pride” and lessen police presence at the Capital Pride parade on Saturday.