Saturday, December 17, 2011

100s Hear Occupy the Castro's 
General Assembly Plea: Recall Wiener

The first General Assembly of Occupy the Castro today shared Harvey Milk Plaza with the Western Star Dancers, who were swinging their partners round and getting warmed up for a neighborhood outing spreading holiday cheer when we arrived. Nice to have music and dancing serve as a prelude to our Occupy work.

The GA ran over an hour and attracted 60-70 participants and speakers, while hundreds of people either exited the Muni underground trains, waited for a bus, rode by on bikes or in cars, or just walking past Castro and Market Street.

Among those who showed up or spoke were Milk Club member Rafael Mandelman, lesbian Middle East peace activist Kate Raphael, person with AIDS and Gays Without Borders organizer Gary Virginia, transgender labor advocate Denise D'Anne, housing rights activist Tommi Avicolli Mecca, bisexual vegan and animal rights organizer Nadia Winsted, formerly homeless queer youth The Fabulous Christopher, public nudist practitioner Mitch Hightower and others whose names I didn't catch but who contributed to the fabulous day.

We interrupt this report to present a gratuitous photo of a young slab of beef who stopped by for a few moments to check out the GA.

Folks made their own signs and decided what messages were important for them. Mitch Hightower made stickers and hand-held fans out of Clinton Fein's Recall Scott Wiener images, that were a hit with the crowd. All anti-Wiener talk was greeted with cheers. One marijuana activist found a piece of cardboard to denounce the Supreme Court's United Citizens decision recognizing corporations as people.

The man on the left live-streamed the GA on his smartphone and our wonderful main cheerleader speaker was Gary Virginia, who knows hows to use a bull horn.

We wrapped butcher paper around one of the public (and generally empty) news racks, then taped a box of markers to a corner for people to use to leave messages and drawings. It was our Comment Wall and one more way for everybody to make a statement.

After the GA, a handful of us walked down to the next block of Castro Street to the spot where Pedro Villamore, a homeless gay man, died on the street in the middle of day. His family had placed flowers there in remembrance of Pedro and we wanted to pay our respects. We left a Recall Scott Wiener sticker with the flowers.

I simply had to be photographed wearing and holding anti-Wiener messages! Big thanks and hugs to everyone who joined our first Occupy the Castro GA, or heard our message and expressed solidarity, wrote notes on the Comment Wall or simple made the Castro fabulous today.

(Credit for all pix: Petrelis Files.)

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