Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Pix: HRC's SF Store Picketed;
GCN: Solmonese Wears Prada

The Human Rights Campaign's gala dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on Saturday night was protested by gays upset with Goldman Sachs receiving an award from this corrupt advocacy organization. Check out Towleroad's excellent roundup of reports, vids and photos from that demonstration.

Over at Gay City News, editor Paul Schindler provides terrific coverage and analysis on the dinner, the protest and the latest problem with HRC:

You don’t need to be a reflexive critic of Wall Street, however, to conclude that HRC’s choice of Goldman Sachs at this particular moment reflected quite the tin ear. The only political story out of New York that garnered more attention last year than marriage equality was the Occupy Wall Street movement –– and, for many of its adherents and much of the media, Goldman Sachs has been an easy shorthand for the industry and its abuses . . .

HRC’s outgoing president, Joe Solmonese, opened his address by noting the evening was his last New York event as leader of the group, but might just as well have added that he gave his final speech last year. He offered a perfunctory laundry list of accomplishments [...] and reminded the audience that no state marriage victory was complete without federal recognition. Then, as if the final two-thirds of his speech had been swallowed up in the teleprompter, he abruptly introduced a married lesbian couple to make a pitch for greater giving to HRC.

Here in San Francisco, there was a picket at HRC's boutique on Castro Street on Saturday from 5 to 6 pm, that was thrown together in less than 48-hours. I wasn't present, but my old pal Tommi Avicolli Mecca was and he shared a few details on the action:

Basically, about 25-50 people gathered and chanted, we heard speeches from folks who stood on the "soap box" and expressed their feelings about HRC's honoring of Goldman Sachs, and someone brought some mushroom snacks to share with folks, the action was live streamed on Occupy SF's channel, and Peter Menchini filmed it for use on YouTube.

Unfortunately, the young organizer of this action, Everic Dupuy, is not skilled enough yet at effective organizing. Great that he pulled things together, with a lot of help from Mecca and other experienced activists, but Dupuy's Facebook page shows his poor planning regarding a camera and bull horn.

Dupuy and his young colleagues, three days after their fabulous picket that I totally support, have not issued a written report and have not posted any photos. What's the point of staging a fantastic action and not preparing to report back to the community about what transpired?

Thanks to seasoned gay activists like Mecca and photographer Danny Nicoletta who was there and took these great photos, I am able to share some details and images of the demonstration at HRC's shop at Harvey Milk's former camera shop where Nicolletta once worked.

Many thanks to the activists standing up to HRC's collaboration with Goldman Sachs. I'd like to state again that HRC should go out of business. That would be a great benefit to the LGBT movement for liberation. And now, Nicoletta's pix:

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