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Candlelight vigil held in US for murdered Filipino trans woman Jennifer Laude

Aaron Day October 23, 2014

A candlelight vigil was held in San Francisco recently calling for justice over the Filipino trans woman Jennifer Laude, who is believed to have been murdered by a US marine.

According to ABS-CBN, Filipino-Americans, human rights and gay rights activists held the vigil at Union Square.

The group said the event was held to express “collective outrage and grief” and demand “an end to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).”

It added these agreements help “expand US occupation, militarization, and guarantee increased sexual violence against women and queer and trans bodies.”

It comes after 26-year-old Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck was found strangled on this month, naked with her head in the toilet.

US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton – who was one of hundreds of US marines in the area for a training exercise – was formally charged last week of the woman’s murder.

The activists said they will continue to lobby and sign a petition calling for the end of the VFA, which they say is protecting Pemberton and other witnesses in the murder.

Earlier this month, dozens of protesters burned the US flag outside the US embassy in the Philippines, demanding Washington hand over custody of Pemberton.

Around 40 activists waved red flags and shouted “US troops out now.”

Pemberton has since been moved to the Philippines’ military headquarters, although still remains under United States custody.

Yesterday, a witness told the Senate during a hearing that Pemberton was “unaware” Laude was trans.

More: Americas, Asia, jennifer laude, murder, pemberton, Philippines, Philippines, Trans, transphobia, US

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