Monday, December 13, 2010

Protest HRC's Move into Milk's Old Shop
& Against Sit/Lie on Saturday

Talk about feeding two birds with one seed. Today my friend Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a longtime queer progressive affordable housing advocate, sent along a notice about an action this weekend that will address two important issues in San Francisco.

FYI, Tommi showed up at our rally two days ago in UN Plaza over the recent United Nations vote deleting gays from a resolution deploring arbitrary executions.

He informs me that the protest is sponsored by Queers Against Sit/Lie and the One Struggle, One Fight group, and he expects more orgs to soon endorse the protest.

Needless to say, I'm pleased as pansy punch that an action is being planned so soon against the corrupt, inept and wasteful Human Rights Campaign taking over the lease of Harvey's old community center/camera shop, and trying to cloak themselves in his legacy. I will be at the protest and hope to see you there too.

For more info, contact Tommi via email:

Queer-In Against Sit/Lie
Join us outside Harvey Milk’s former camera store at 575 Castro Street, on Saturday, December 18, from 12 noon-2pm.
We will declare that the sidewalks belong to everyone and to protest Human Rights Campaign’s plan to rent Harvey’s store and co-opt his legacy.
Sit/lie, which makes it illegal to sit or lie on sidewalks, will be selectively enforced against homeless queers in the Castro, homeless folks in the Haight and Day Laborers in the Mission. Harvey opposed the sit/lie law of the 1970s which was used to harass and arrest gay men in the Castro. It was  struck down in 1979.
HRC left transgender folks out of ENDA (federal gay rights bill) and generally excludes many of us from their table when decisions are made. We won’t let HRC put Harvey’s legacy up for sale, and we won’t let the police decide who can sit on a sidewalk.
Bring musical instruments; games; food to share; things to sell, give-away or barter; signs; face painting kits; fun activity to engage in; good conversation; jumping ropes, etc.
Sidewalks are for everyone!
Milk’s legacy is not for sale or rent!


kel said...


The current version of ENDA includes Gender Identity, and since introduction the HRC has fully supported it!

Harvey's old, 'rented' store, has been empty for a while now. Would you prefer FRC or AFA to rent it? Why didn't the local community come forward before the HRC to rent it?

Such a petty exercise from some bitter people!

Mark D. Snyder said... / endorses this protest.

AngryOldMan said...

Don't care whether you're gay or straight! Sit/lie doesn't discriminate!

Get off the sidewalk - your fellow citizens have spoken, and we're tired of stepping over you while you count your latest trust fund withdrawal.

Anonymous said...

Why are we not focusing our energies on raising money and support for San Francisco Pride or for MCC-SF. Both institutions are in financial trouble and we should be woking to help them rather than spending our limited time and resources on bashing HRC who is working for LGBT civil rights for all us. I do not agree with everything that HRC does or MCC-SF for that matter...but groups like these are staffed with hard working dedicated people. We are all working towards the same goal/destination of LGBT equal rights - even if we use different paths to get to the same destination. I really hope our community can stop attacking our each other and focus our attention on the folks fighting to take our rights away (like NOM and John McCain.).

Michael said...

As usual, I have mixed emotions abOUT the HRC moving into Harvey's landmark camera shop location. I was a witness to those times. I was a freelance photographer, who supplied images for several gay papers, once in a while to the Examiner or Chronicle, and several national gay publications, including the Advocate. In the early 70's, I used to display my photos in a Castro Street bakery shop window just steps away from today's Harvey Milk Plaza. I first met Harvey, after he opened his camera shop at 575 Castro Street. I used to buy, and drop off my film there,Harvey and I became friends. Soon after, his store became like that of a small town's general store, with out the pot belly stove. People would come in to talk about local politics, pet Harvey's dog or just to gaze out Harvey's store front window at a never ending parade of good looking and healthy young men passing in front of Castro Camera shop. For the next several years ,our paths would cross at gay sporting and political events, or we chatter at his store.

About a month ago, I received an email from the HRC, asking me if I would give them permission to use my copyrighted iconic Harvey Milk-Orange Tuesday image. Right off the bat, I told their
representative... that I was not a supporter of the HRC, and that was based on several factors... when they were in the process of building their new DC multi story building... I offered them some of my images... and they never replied.

I was also disappointed when they left the transgender segment of our community, completely off their agenda for gay rights.

I do not consider myself as a hypocrite, I express how I honestly felt about their mistakes, however even if my image was now part of their new landmark location, I would still prefer that the HRC rent that store, then another franchise coffee shop or x-rated book/ magazine shop. I have read some of the complaints about the HRC and their President on various www sites... and believe that the HRC can atone for their mistakes of the past. Like it or not, rich gays tend to think differently, than an hourly paid workers.

Recently, there was a story on your site, that I learned was inspired by something I said on your site about Harvey Milk's former Landlord, Paul Langley. He raised Harvey's rent so much, that Harvey had to move from the now famous landmark address early in 1978.

This time I see a difference and believe that good can come from HRC being the tenant, at one of gay's history early landmark locations. Not because my image would be there... but because it's the right time and place to continue the work of Harvey Milk.

Jerry Pritikin