SF Vigil for Iraqi Gays & Emos;
March 14, Castro & 18th Streets
[UPDATE: Rain or shine, the vigil goes on as scheduled!]
In April 2009, when the world learned of the deaths by anal gluing of gay men in Iraq, our grassroots activist group Gays Without Borders held a vigil in San Francisco to express sympathy and call for an end to the brutal murders.
Now, with reports emerging from Iraq of more than 100 deaths of gays, emos and goth persons many killed after their heads were bludgeoned with cement blocks in the past four weeks, and threats of additional atrocities, Gays Without Borders is taking to the streets of the Castro to send a message to Iraq's government, clerics, militias and citizens: Stop killing gays, emos and goths.
If you're not familiar with the details of these murders, click here to read numerous mainstream and gay press accounts of the forces behind the murders of young individuals who dress and act differently than normal conservative Iraqi society. Be sure to also check out the Rainbow Iraq blog operated by a gay Iraqi in exile using the pseudonym Bissam.
Here are the details:
WHAT: Vigil for Iraqi Gays, Emos and Goths
WHEN: Wednesday, March 14
TIME: 4pm - 6pm
WHERE: Castro and 18th Streets, San Francisco
The demonstration has a main goal: Create photos and videos illustrating lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support for the besieged and fearful targeted communities in Iraq. Then use those images to show the world and our friends in Iraq that LGBT activists are not silent over the murders.
At Castro and 18th Streets, the crossroads of gay America, we will display our "IRAQ: STOP KILLING GAYS!" banner, and tape enlarged photos of the victims when they were still alive, after being murdered, along with news stories to the walls of the Bank of America. Candles will be lighted in remembrance of the dead and hope for an end to the killings.
No speeches are planned, but we will have a bull horn for anyone who wishes to speak out. For two hours on Wednesday, we are asking those walking past our vigil to take a few minutes and bear witness to the unconscionable deaths taking place in Iraq.
Our action is one part of the global response to the Iraqi situation - from pressuring governments and the United Nations to take action protecting the at-risk communities to using social networking to sustain visibility. We hope other street actions take place in coming days.
The March 14 protest is endorsed by Clinton Fein, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Melanie Nathan, Danny Nicoletta, Gary Virginia, Bill Wilson and myself. Please join us.
Below are some of the images of the victims found on the web, and that will be on our posters. They're graphic and may not be suitable for all readers. I do not know if the dead bodies are of the living young men in each image. Notice that the corpse in the last two composites appears to be the same but the accompanying photos show two different living males.