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In solidarity with Brazilians protesting the FIFA Would Cup, on June 29 a group of 12 queer radicals blockaded the Google FIFA Float at the San Francisco Pride Parade. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity to connect issues of gentrification and evictions in the Bay Area with the violent displacement of Brazilians who live in the Favelas. The Google/FIFA float was a perfect target for direct action to raise awareness about these issues!"
The World Cup has evicted over 150,000 working class and poor people from their communities, with some being killed in the process. El Sindicato dos Metroviários de São Paulo (or Subway Workers Union of Sao Paulo) was violently attacked by police when they went on strike against the World Cup and for better wages and benefits.
A solidarity demonstration is planned for the Subway Workers on Thursday, July 3
at 4pm at the Brazilian Counsulate in San Francisco.
Protest At San Francisco Brazilian Consulate: Stop Repression And Union Busting
On June 28, Kink.com sponsored an official San Francisco Pride event called “Pride at the Armory." It was a prison-themed dance party that invited attendees to “get incarcerated.” A backlash arose when the party was first announced, with declarations made to boycott Pride. Not content with boycotting, Gay Shame and LAGAI – Queer Insurrection called for a march to disrupt and shut down Pride at the Armory.
The protest began when Radical dykes broke off from the annual Dyke March and proceeded to 16th & Mission BART plaza to hold their own dance party. Around 10:30pm, nearly two hundred people marched up Mission Street to Kink's Armory building, chanting “Pro-sex, anti-prison, queers for abolition!” and handing out flyers in protest of the Kink party. SFPD, aided by private security, pushed the protest onto the adjacent sidewalks. Eventually, the streets were retaken and protesters marched back towards the BART plaza.
Upon the return to 16th and Mission, at least seven people were arrested, including a National Lawyers Guild Legal Observer. Several protesters were tackled, beaten, and bloodied. Four of the arrestees were released as of June 29. Others, with felony charges such as "lynching," were released on July 1.
Kink.com orders brutal police attack against trans and queer activists during SF Pride |
Queer & Trans Radicals Take The Streets Against Prison-Themed Party |
Gay Shame SF |
LAGAI – Queer Insurrection
The San Francisco Commonwealth Club hosted an event entitled "LGBT Rights in Israel: 25 Years of Progress and Challenges" on April 25 featuring Arthur Slepian, Executive Director and Founder of A Wider Bridge. Slepian's role is to go around promoting the idea that Israel is a progressive, democratic society because it has LGBT rights for Jewish citizens of Israel.
Queer activists and Palestinian queers call this "pinkwashing" — using Israel's liberal policies on sexuality and gender as a smokescreen to cover up its crimes against Palestinians, migrant workers, especially recently African migrants, and its apartheid system that legally discriminates between citizens on the basis of nationality and religion.
Activists handed out copies of a brochure called "The Truth About Gay Israel" as well as an article by Gheith Hilal of the Palestinian queer group, Al Qaws, laying out Eight Questions Palestinian Queers Are Tired of Hearing.
On Sunday, June 2, thousands of people lined Pacific Avenue for the 39th annual Santa Cruz Pride parade and festival presented by the Diversity Center
of Santa Cruz. A wide range of organizations participated in the parade, including a contingent raising awareness and support for political prisoner Bradley Manning. Manning is openly gay and has participated in Pride marches and campaigned against the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” restrictions on gay military personnel.
The Bradley Manning Support Network writes, "Nobel Peace Prize nominee PFC Bradley Manning, a 25-year-old Army intelligence analyst, who released the Collateral Murder video that shows the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists, by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq. Manning also shared documents known as the Afghan War Diary, the Iraq War Logs, and a series of embarrassing US diplomatic cables. These documents were published by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, and they have illuminated such issues as the true number and cause of civilian casualties in Iraq, along with a number of human rights abuses by U.S.-funded contractors and foreign militaries, and the role that spying and bribes play in international diplomacy. Given the war crimes exposed by these documents, PFC Bradley Manning should be given a medal of honor."
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Previous Coverage: Santa Cruz Pride 2012: Life Gets Better Together
The newly revived ACT UP/San Francisco celebrated their one year anniversary with a demonstration for affordable housing on April 20. The event was aimed at drawing attention to the impact of increasing evictions and rental price increases in San Francisco on people living with HIV/AIDS. The group, and a coalition of supporting LGBT and housing rights organizations, began at 16th and Mission Street and worked their way up to Harvey Milk Plaza in the Castro. The marchers, who took to the streets chanting 'Housing is a right, housing is a right, ACT UP!' and 'Housing equals healthcare and eviction equals death!', made multiple stops along the way.
ACT UP offered a critique of San Francisco's City government, especially District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener, a gay man who the group feels has turned a blind eye to evictions in his neighborhood. Featured speakers called on San Francisco's elected officials to move towards a moratorium on evictions where just cause is not proven, while looking towards curtailing market rate housing development in order to even out the market.
On Sunday, June 3rd, the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz
presented the 38th annual Santa Cruz Pride demonstration, which featured a march and rally with thousands of people on Pacific Avenue. Some of the many featured speakers and performers included representatives of the Diversity Center, John Laird, who was the first openly gay mayor when he took over the mayoralty of the city of Santa Cruz in 1983, and cheer squads from San Francisco
The 2012 Santa Cruz Pride press release states, "For the past 22 [of 38] years, The Diversity Center’s Pride Committee has been the force behind Santa Cruz Pride, the biggest political event on the Central Coast, and Santa Cruz County’s most important annual LGBTQ community event. We are proud to embark on Santa Cruz Pride 2012, bringing the parade and festival together like never before."
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In downtown Santa Cruz on April 20, LGBQT community members from the Diversity Center's Youth Program and their family members and allies held a "Breaking the Silence" rally in front of the Del Mar Theatre before a showing of the film "Bully". People held signs and shared stories. There was a group shout out, and many involved with the youth program wore tape x'd over their mouths to both symbolize the silencing effect of bullying on the LGBQT youth community, as well as to be an expression of solidarity with those who could not attend the rally in person for many different reasons of privacy.
Michelle, who is 15, attended the rally to, "support and to advocate just how horrible bullying can be," which she described as an act of, "condemning other people for something that they should not be condemned for, if we are to be called a free society." Michelle notes how bullying often happens between people who do not know each other, and is something that is a regular occurrence in her life and the lives of her friends. "It has happened most often to me and my friends in schools where groups of students they, I guess, who knows why they do what they do, but they look at us and they roll their eyes, or they they have this attitude that they are entitled to make fun of us for whatever we may doing, whatever we are. They look at us and they laugh," she said.
The next big event in Santa Cruz for LGBQT youth is the 15th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards on May 12, which is put on by the Queer Youth Task Force. The QYLA recognize queer youth around the county, as well as allies to queer youth; both individual adult allies and organizational allies.
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Previous Coverage: 12th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards for Santa Cruz County