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Former Grand Marshal Kate Raphael on Bradley Manning and the future of SF Pride
by KPFA Evening News/Ann Garrison
Sunday May 12th, 2013 4:29 PM
KPFA Evening News spoke to Kate Raphael, Harvey Milk Club member, and host of KPFA’s Women’s Magazine, whom former Grand Marshal Joey Cain nominated to serve as a Pride Grand Marshall in 2004, after she had been arrested protesting the apartheid wall in Palestine and then traveled to Iraq. Kate was elected, much to her surprise, after returning to Palestine, but decided her first obligation at that time was to stay there, as a "Grand Marshal in Absentia" during the parade. She said she will, however, attend the Milk Club's open forum, "Bradley Manning: Grand Martial, Not Court Martial," at 7 pm Tuesday evening, 05.14.2013, at the LGBT Center, 1800 Market Street, in San Francisco.

Kate Raphael was elected a San Francisco Grand Marshal in 2004 after being arrested in Palestine protesting the apartheid wall and then traveling to Iraq.

Joey Cain, former San Francisco Pride Grand Marshall nominated Kate Raphael to be a Grand Marshall in 2004 and nominated Bradley Manning in 2013.

Daniel Ellsberg speaking at a San Francisco rally to reinstate Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride 2013.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by KPFA Evening News/Ann Garrison
Monday May 13th, 2013 6:58 AM
As a Jew,who has been involved in the gay rights movement for 40 years... I object to this person being named grand marshall based on her involvement with the Palestinian /Israeli conflict. Does she speak out how gays are treated in Gaza and the Westbank... and the fact that Israel has gay Pride Parades and a gay community center? Or does she speak out about consenting adults who are beheaded in public squares and teen age gays are hanged there too! I believe someone who has been involved in the gay rights movement and has an even handed approach to world peace should be the most important criteria.
by Patricia Jackson
Monday May 13th, 2013 4:28 PM
As a Gay Liberation Front activist of the 1970s, I remember the original Pride marches were fueled by militant spirits of Stonewall and Compton Cafeteria rebellions. "Come out of the closets and into the streets," became a clarion call. Our revolutionary spirit spawned lesbians and gays who later took part in ACT UP, gay health collectives and groups like Radical Faeries, and Lesbians and Gays Against Intervention, which supported international liberation struggles. We called for an end to all forms of oppression.
And, how is it justified that members of the Pride Committee can override and negate the voices of past Pride Grand Marshals? Are they aware that there has been an international call for awarding PFC Bradley Manning the Nobel Peace Prize? This committee does not speak for or represent many of us. Manning speaks for all who want an end to wars.
Manning, our LGBTQ whistleblower hero, was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the WikiLeaks website. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange praised Manning as a hero who revealed to the world the 2007 Baghdad air strike by an American helicopter that wounded children, killed their father and 11 other men, including a news reporter and his driver. For his courageous act, Manning remains in prison. His first nine months of pretrial incarceration in a 6 by 8 foot cell under solitary conditions was described as "degrading and inhuman" by the United Nations. Manning has been tortured, humiliated, and kept in isolated solitary confinement for years and faces trial on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy. So, all those who call for “Don’t Ask;Don’t Tell” seems more like “Don’t Ask for our support: We Don’t Care!” when it comes to our brother Bradley Manning. He struggles in an environment hostile to homosexuality – including times he was forced to strip naked and once made to stand at attention while nude. Because of Manning's bravery, the world witnessed the true horrors of war.
Patricia Jackson, Convener, Gray Panthers of SF
by Aaron Aarons
(indy2013 [at] Monday May 13th, 2013 10:35 PM
As a heterosexual, I'm commenting as an outsider of sorts. But I can remember when the last Sunday in June was Gay Freedom Day, not Gay Pride Day. The change was one step in the acceptance and assimilation of the majority of gays into mostly-heterosexual bourgeois society.

But if being gay is regarded as part of one's nature rather than a lifestyle choice, isn't 'gay pride' as silly as 'left-handed pride', 'blue-eyed pride', or 'red-haired pride'?

OTOH, if pride is ever justified, Bradley Manning has a lot to be proud of, regardless of whether or not his gayness had anything to do with his heroic actions.
My dear friend, Aaron, that's the difference. Gay pride is like the claim we all heard way back: "I'm Black and I'm proud."

But, is there any reason to expect LGBT people to be any more anti-imperial, pro-peace-environment-social justice? Because they have been targets of exclusion, discrimination, and even extermination themselves? That might seem, but it doesn't seem to be true.
by Ann Garrison
Tuesday May 14th, 2013 10:47 PM
So it's too late to keep her from being a Grand Marshal, albeit in absentia, in 2004.

What is your response to Bradley Manning's nomination this year? And do you think the Pride organization's process for nomination and election should be respected, no matter who's elected? If not, how woud you reconstitute authority to nominate and elect SF Pride Grand Marshals?
by SF native
Wednesday May 15th, 2013 8:23 AM
Having watched the development of the San Francisco gay liberation movement since the 1950s, with the California Hall police riot of Dec 31, 1964 still in memory as San Francisco is my hometown, IT IS CLEAR THAT THE DAY THAT THE GAY COMMUNITY ALLOWED CORPORATE ADVERTISING ON THE FENCES LINING THE PARADE ROUTE is the day the gay parade ended as a serious protest. The military is simply the puppet of the capitalist class, guaranteeing maximum profits around the world in the form of cheap labor, oil profits and munitions profits. When you call the SF Pride office, you get slick sounds from people who sound like corporate lackeys, not liberation fighters. This rejection of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal is in keeping with this glorification of corporate profits that is the gay parade. This is certainly a case of the chickens coming home to roost. In addition to having a Bradley Manning Contingent either separately or as part of another contingent, depending on funding, all of the corporate signs on the fences need to be plastered with Bradley Manning stickers. Otherwise, there really is no point to this parade, especially if, and most likely when, Prop 8 is overturned in June and gay marriage will be legal in California again.