"Let the press in! Let the press in!" the crowd of about 50-60 Bradley Manning for Grand Marshal supporters chanted yesterday evening at 7pm, packed into the lobby of the Golden Gate Business Association on Pearl Street, after being denied entrance to the elevator leading to the Pride Board meeting on the fourth floor. A hired security guard held the crowd, which included reporters from KTVU and KQED, back and the elevator doors closed for the last time as "No cameras, no justice!" filled the air.
The word came via the significant police presence outside the building (officers were also posted outside the building's stairwell) that only 15 people at a time were being allowed into the board meeting, which was held to accept "public comment" on the Bradley manning controversy. The meeting was also supposedly held to address any questions about its official statement, released yesterday afternoon, rescinding Manning's election as Grand Marshal because he was "not local."
"All you have to do is strip naked to find out if public nudity is political in San Francisco," nudist activist Gypsy Taub said into a bullhorn outside City Hall today, where a nude-in was being held on the first day of Supervisor Scott Wiener's ban on being naked in public.
Moments later at around 12:30pm, she became the first arrest made under the ban, followed by two (UPDATE: Although police officers on the scene put the total protesters arrested at three, other news outlets are now reporting that there was four detained) other protesters. An incensed crowd rhythmically chanting "shame!"
The message was clear: San Francisco is not the same city -- and y'all can keep your clothes on. Read more »
In the end, it was the women who saved us -- and we, in turn, helped save them.
As a gay man, this was one of the lessons I took from Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman's brilliant, sometimes harrowing film, United in Anger: A History of ACT-UP, which I caught yesterday at the GLBT History Museum in the Castro, and which screens again tonight Fri/1 at 6pm at the San Francisco Art Institute. The 93-minute movie, bristling with mindblowing archival footage, swiftly but effectively traces the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power movement from its rambunctious beginnings in 1987 in New York, through its major actions like the die-in inside St. Patrick's Cathedral and the storming of the NIH headquarters in Maryland, to its eventual, sad dissipation under the weight of endless death in the mid-1990s. There is a lot of great retro fashion in this, btw.
You're in luck because this weekend, various groups all claiming to represent the best in women's interests will be marking Roe vs. Wade's historic judgement. But wait, will you attend the pro-choice carnival, the pro-choice flash mob, the anti-choice rally and march, or the pro-choice, anti-porn counter-demonstration? They are all happening this Saturday morning and early afternoon in Justin Herman Plaza. (Rebecca Bowe broke this story on our site over at the Politics blog, BTW.) We suggest being there, at least to watch the drama unfold. Happily, at least for the moment, choice is alive and well when it comes to weekend activism! Read more »
It's hard to say if the march of neighbors from the 16th Street BART station, to Valencia Street, to 24th Street, and back down Mission Street will stop attacks like the January 6th assault on 23rd and Guerrero Streets that inspired last Friday's anti-violence demonstration and walk. But for a community that feels nervous about walking one's own sidewalks at times due to an ongoing spate of sexual assaults, that wasn't really the point.
"No violence, no police! From the bathroom, to the streets!" went the crowd's chant, led by an ambulatory drum circle past the 1,000 new restaurant seats on Valencia and the tourists snapping photos of the massive, swaying protest puppets above our heads. Making the violence visible? Check. A disempowering situation turned into a show of strength? Check. Read more »
Federal regulators cut a deal with 10 major banks to “speed up housing relief,” major news outlets reported earlier this week – but to exactly no one’s surprise, the amount promised to struggling homeowners is a pittance compared with the overwhelming losses sustained during the foreclosure crisis. Read more »
Today, three members of the Russian activist punk band Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in prison for “hooliganism” stemming from an incident in February, when the trio performed its anti-Putin “Punk Prayer” inside a Russian Orthodox cathedral
Last weekend in Anaheim, police shot and killed two young men. Every day since, protesters have taken to the streets. This weekend, a national day of protest following the killings helped spread the call for justice in Anaheim spread to the Bay Area. Read more »
So the President was late. Around the time the "Fire Melinda Haag" press conference (as it had been called in emails I'd received from the various cannabis advocacy groups) at downtown Oakland's federally-threatened Oaksterdam University was starting, one attendee drily mentioned that Obama was reported to still be in Las Vegas.
"I mean, I know the private jets can get you places really quickly and all, but still."
It didn't matter -- medical marijuana had assembled in Oakland, the world cannabis community was watching, and there was going to be a show of numbers, regardless of what Air Force One was doing or when the President's scheduled appearance at the Fox Theater a block away would actually get going. Read more »