It's been a while since I told a story in pictures. So here it goes:
Having followed the recent developments regarding the 20th anniversary of ACT UP but having yet to attend one of the planning meetings, this morning I headed over to the first of several demos being planned to mark the occasion. The reason behind it? General Peter Pace's recent comments to the Chicago Tribune in which he called homosexuality "immoral."
With home made-signs that read "Being gay is not immoral, being bigoted is," "Torture is Immoral, Love is Fabulous," "Pace = Hate," and "Don't Ask Don't Tell, General Pace Go to Hell," a lively and lovely crowd of about 200 to 250 people showed up to the protest following Larry Kramer's call to arms on Tuesday.
Kramer (top picture) was among the participants and at one point joined Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum and National gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman in knocking on the door of the Times Square Armed Forces recruitment office (or "Career Center" as they call it), but they might have known that ACT UP would be showing up because the Center remained shut and no one was inside.
Rainbow flag creator Gilbert Baker brought along a 100 foot flag that participants used to frame the protest and surround the recruitment center.
This was the same flag that Matt Foreman and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum used at the end of the protest to stop traffic in an act of civil disobedience as they extended it across 7th Avenue. Mr. Foreman and Rabbi Kleinbaum were first warned by police officers and then quickly arrested after they sat down and would not budge.
The flag was also taken into custody.
As he promised after the Larry Kramer speech on Tuesday, former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey also showed up (that's me next to him in the bottom pic). Actually, he was amongst the first to arrive and offered to pick up coffee for me at Starbucks, alas, by the time he got back from Starbucks the protest was in full swing. Gay City News and Gay USA reporter Andy Humm spent most of his time doing an extensive interview with the former Governor so expect a detailed report in the next issue of GCN.
ACT UP'ers seen: Andrew Velez (with a "Queer Tortilla" ACT UP shirt), Eric Rhein (who wore his gay uncle's army jacket), Ann Northrop and Eric Sawyer, among others.
As well as: Puerto Rico Para Tod@s Pedro Julio Serrano, Village Voice gossip columnist Michael Musto, political mavens Allen Roskoff and Alan Fleishman, cutie patootie retired detective (and former Gay Officers Action League president) Edgar Rodriguez, Sirius radio personality and author Michaelangelo Signorile, blogger Joe.My.God and some misplaced tourists who just loved all those rainbow flags and angry fags.
What other blogs are saying:
- Queer Justice League
- Rex Wockner (for whom I actually was "on assignment" today when I took the pics)
- Good As You
- Pam's House Blend
- The Mad Professor Lectures
- Miss Wild Thing
- Andrew Sullivan
- It All Goes Here
- Radioactive Quill
- The Fifth Column
- The Stranger's SLOG