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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 February 12, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." Berkeley Copwatch writes:
"One month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Kayla's death, leaving most questions unanswered... Unfortunately Kayla's death is not an anomaly. [On the weekend of March 2 and 3,] Bay Area Police have murdered four people and watched one woman bleed to death after she was attacked by her abusive ex-husband. San Francisco Police murdered Aaron Sawyer (23) after he allegedly stole a car on Saturday morning. San Jose Police murdered a man yet to be identified after they deemed him to be "suspicious." Union City Police shot an unidentified man to death after they pulled him over for an unstated reason. Hayward Police murdered an unidentified man after his car crashed into one of their police cruisers. In the case of Kayla Moore, whether by neglect or intent the result is the same. Kayla Moore is dead. The Berkeley Police killed Kayla Moore."
On March 12, while police and corporate media were largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.
Video: March for Kayla Moore |
Answers! Not Undercovers! Berkeley Police and the Kayla Moore coverup |
Event Announcement |
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.
Read More, with Photos, Video and Audio
Previous Coverage: 12th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards for Santa Cruz County
The legendary poet, essayist and feminist Adrienne Rich died on March 27, 2012, at the age of 82 in her Santa Cruz, California home. Rich was one of the most celebrated poets of the last half-century and a lifelong advocate for women, gay and lesbian rights, peace and racial justice. She was a key figure in the women’s movement and an uncompromising critic of the powerful.
California's Proposition 8 ban on same sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional by a three member panel of judges from the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Judge Smith dissented. The panel majority stated that California voters violated the 14th Amendment of the Federal Constitution when voting for Prop 8.
D. Boyer wrote, "I was live on scene in front of the Federal Court when the decision was out. San Francisco is ground zero for same sex marriage, so folks are happy. Additionally the panel majority stated that California's Proposition 8 'served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California", and it officially would have reclassified their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite sex couples.'"
The panel of judges also denied the motion by Prop 8 proponents to vacate the judgement by then Chief Judge Walker because he was also gay.
San Francisco's City Attorney held a press conference inside San Francisco's City Hall to talk about the decision and what it means for Gay and Lesbian Californians. They stated that they are getting ready and changing marriage forms, but that until the stay is lifted same sex couples in California still cannot marry. They said it may take months before same sex marriage is allowed to resume in California.
A Bradley Manning Pride Contingent joined the San Francisco Pride parade on Sunday, June 26th.
Dedicated to equal human rights, Army Private Bradley Manning
against Don't Ask Don't Tell, and now is imprisoned as the alleged
WikiLeaks whistle-blower. Bradley faces life in prison, and even the death
penalty, for sharing the "Collateral Murder" video and files pertaining to the
Iraq War, Afghanistan War, and Guantánamo.
Peter Tatchell, a British activist well-known for his work with LGBT social movements, has heralded Bradley Manning as a "gay hero
San Francisco Pride Parade Vegetarian Outreach |
4th Annual Watsonville Pride March, August 28th 2011
Previous Related Indybay Feature: Rally to Oppose FBI and Grand Jury Political Attacks
On June 17th, about 75 LGBT activists protested outside the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which accepted Israeli government sponsorship and financing for the second year in a row. The Brass Liberation Orchestra was on hand to provide a spirited soundtrack. QUIT! launched the campaign to get Frameline to divorce the Israeli Consulate in 2007. In 2008 and 2009, the festival did not accept Israeli sponsorship, after having done so for years. But last year, under pressure from the consulate, the new festival director and executive director renewed their partnership with the Israeli government.
Activists chanted "Frameline Frameline Shame Shame Shame, No Apartheid In Our Name" and "I'm an angry queer, and I'm here to shout, Israeli Consulate, get the f*** out!" Leafleters offered filmgoers stickers to wear inside to show their support for severing ties with the Israeli apartheid government, as well as a $3 bill to give to an usher asking Frameline to return the blood money.
While many people were out buying Valentine's Day gifts or flowers, same-sex couples in San Francisco were asking for the right to marry on February 14th. It was on this day in 2004 that former Mayor Gavin Newsom directed the San Francisco city-county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. However in August 2004, the Supreme Court of California annulled the marriages that Newsom had authorized because they conflicted with state law at the time.
So every year since 2005 same-sex couples go to the City and County Clerks' office in San Francisco's City Hall on Valentine's Day and request to get married. And each year they are denied, so they hold a sit-in until they are arrested. The sit-ins usually do not disrupt other couples, but activists see the action as politically valuable because the non-same-sex couples seeking to marry on that day get a glimpse of the struggles that same-sex couples face in California.