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San Francisco | LGBTI / Queer

Boycott SF Gay Pride, Part II
by Truth of Consequences
Thursday Jun 27th, 2013 7:10 PM
Party Your Heads Off...After all it's the land of the free and home of the brave?
Yea, go to the San Francisco Gay Pride event. Party like it’s 1984. Party like you live in an illusion that you hope doesn’t burst even while it’s bursting all around you. And really why shouldn’t the military have booths at gay pride? We live in a violent, militaristic country. And aren’t gays Americans? Can’t they too think like Americans – support the troops and all that jazz. Can’t gays be police, be soldiers or even executioners? Can’t gays participate in illegal drone attacks on American citizens and even juvenile American citizens who’ve never had a trial? Can’t gays be guards at Guantanamo or participate in torture? Yes, they can. Or is it “yes, we can.” Women and blacks can too. We’re all part of the party.

So, yes, San Francisco Gay Pride CEO Eric Plante can enjoy his apparent fetish of men in uniform. It’s America…land of the CEOs. And we can all grow up to be CEOs if we play along with the American game. According the the San Francisco Chronicle, “Pride officials said they have worked particularly hard this year to invite organizations that are not traditionally affiliated with the celebrations, including religious groups and sports teams.” Perhaps instead of welcoming back the National Association of Man Boy Love (NAMBLA) they can invite priests from the Catholic Church. I know – that was a low blow but it might be true.

“We’re excited to see the fruits of our labor paying off,” Plante said. “We’re moving toward a positive resolution (with the military). In 10 to 20 years, people may be wondering what the big fuss was all about.” Yea, like why do people still wonder what all the fuss over Kent State was about, or maybe in 20 years we can forget Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo or all the deaths in an Iraq war that wasn’t even a necessity.

Well, we know one person not invited – Bradley Manning. I guess his type are abandoned by the new breed of progressive non-profit (or should I call it NGOs) CEOS. Plante is a corporate wanna be saying he is a progressive. Democrat no doubt. And yes, a supporter of the wonder OBAMA: Drones, NSA, crack-downs on whistleblowers, MONSANTO..what fracking more do we need?

This new movement of progressives is well documented in the CounterPunch piece by John Strauber entitled “The Progressive Movement is a PR Front for Rich Democrats” : http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/15/the-progressive-movement-is-a-pr-front-for-rich-democrats/

Bradley Manning, so much for your courage in bringing to light a horrible crime against humanity. And as one person said in a reply to my earlier call for a boycott, gays have nothing in common but their sexuality. I guess “humanity” doesn’t count. But isn’t that what this is really all about: our humanity. And that humanity includes the victims of our police abuse and our military’s violence. To sober up from Gay Pride, it might be useful to go and see the Jeremy Scahill documentary “Dirty Wars.” But that might end the party and shatter the illusions. Have fun, I know I won’t be missed and apparently for some people…neither will Bradley Manning.

by Free Bradley Manning
Friday Jun 28th, 2013 8:17 AM
While all of the above is true simply because the gay liberation movement is not a workingclass movement as gays are members of all economic classes, the fact remains, Bradley Manning blew the whistle on American war crimes and faces life in prison for it. We are fortunate to have a Bradley Manning contingent in this parade, which will be seen by 1.5 million people at the celebration and millions more on TV. Bradley Manning deserves our support and the people of the world need to know that there is a peace movement in this country. The contingent invitation is at:
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/06/02/18737850.php
Here are some important details:
Meet at Howard and Beale st San Francisco Ca at 10 a.m. on June 30, 2013.

Music by Kaimera & the Brass Liberation Orchestra, Featuring Daniel Ellsberg (riding in a convertible), and a motorized cable car (for those who can’t walk).

Endorsed by Queer Strike, Gays without Borders, Gay Liberation Network, ACT UP SF & East Bay, The Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, SF Green Party, Occupy AIDS & Occupy SF. Organized by Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network.

********

We are straight and gay together marching for Bradley Manning and gay rights.

As always, bring water and whatever suntan or sunscreen lotion you use and wear flat, comfortable walking shoes. This Sunday is predicted to be warm and Market Street West of Kearny is always hot on hot days. In San Francisco hot means over 80 degrees F. The fog could roll in, in which case the morning will be cool and the afternoon will be warm. One never knows when any given contingent without a specific start time enters this 5 hour parade, but with the above list of supporters, it will be sooner rather than later. As the parade advances, the above meeting place changes. Most likely, this contingent will move north on Beale to Market, but it could zig zag; one never knows. The lead contingent is always Dykes on Bikes, about 1,000 women on motorcycles. DO NOT DRIVE EAST OF VAN NESS ON GAY DAY. Leave your car at home and take public transportation or park West of Van Ness and take public transportation, specifically BART or the Muni Metro under Market. The crossing point for traffic during the parade is usually Third Street/Kearny Street, but that may be closed too, and will certainly be bumper to bumper. The street bus service in the downtown area, including the cable car, usually resumes at 12 Noon on Gay Day. Already, on Thursday, June 27, the No Parking on Market Street signs on June 30 from 4 a.m. to midnight or so from the Embarcadero to the Civic Center were up.

These opportunities to get our message out must not be missed. We live in this society and we pay taxes for this parade as it is an official city parade with all city services being provided to make this parade possible, all of which are made possible by unionized labor. It is no accident that those cities and states where labor is the strongest, the gay liberation movement is the strongest as organized labor increases the prosperity and minimizes the scapegoating, including clauses in the union contracts forbidding anti-gay discrimination and harassment of anyone with anti-gay slurs, whether or not they are gay or lesbian. Organized labor always has a contingent in this parade in San Francisco, sponsored by the San Francisco Central Labor Council.

Everyone who attends this parade soon realizes that this is by far the best parade in San Francisco. It is a joyous celebration with the ancient, universal symbol of peace, the rainbow, appearing everywhere, giving us the hope we need to carry on the struggle.

Be there for yourself, for our fallen comrades lost to the government's genocide program called "AIDS" as well as many other reasons, for those who cannot endure heat over 80 degrees if it is that hot, and for the people of the world who are suffering from US imperialism who want to live in peace.

by Gay Fresnans
Saturday Jun 29th, 2013 4:09 PM
tomorrow.

Underlying so much of this is a total misunderstanding of what the military does. Before the War on Terror began in earnest, the military was portrayed as a sort of "Peace Corps with a gun". All those nice images of our military doing civilian relief in places most of us hadn't been. The brutal truth is the primary job of the military is to kill those our civilian leadership deem to be our enemies.

Bradley Manning had no business, like more than a few, being in the military. I don't know why he enlisted, but he couldn't handle the grim truth that when we are at war (whatever it's called), people die violently. And, sadly innocents die in war, whether they're deliberately targeted or not.

When the Manning saga started, I chatted with both gay and straight Vietnam combat veterans. Even the more Left leaning guys felt Manning had gone way too and should be held accountable. Not much sympathy for him there. Several of the guys reminded me of the old saying "war is hell".

As for boycotting Pride, you're welcome to do that. You're also welcome to express your opinion to the Pride board if it's done in a courteous non violent way. I won't be at Pride either, but for a totally different reason-I don't do large groups of people in small spaces real well. Given the events of the last few days, I'd love to be there.