Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SF Lauds Gay Honduran Leader
at Milk Bust & Castro Rally

Erick Martinez is a courageous gay Honduran leader involved in many political struggles in his homeland, who paid a visit to San Francisco last week and I was privileged to assist in organizing some of his public activities and meet him.

This photo shows Erick in Harvey Milk Plaza on October 27 for a solidarity rally staged by the Bay Area Latin American Solidarity Coalition, the Honduran Solidarity Network, and Gays Without Borders. He's holding a poster of his murdered colleague Walter Trochez and the Honduran flag, before he addressed the crowd.

On October 26, we staged a photo-op at City Hall so Erick could meet two openly queer and Latino/a politicians. He is running for a Congressional seat in the upcoming Honduran elections and we wanted to show him where Milk served as supervisor.

In the photo from the left is yours truly, Supervisor David Campos, the Harvey Milk Bust, Erick, Supervisor Christina Olague and activist Charlie Hinton. I'm pleased to see Erick's hand holding the rainbow and Honduran flags, showing solidarity between LGBTI people and Honduran resistance leaders.

Here is a short video of the politicians and Erick waving for my camera in the Grand Rotunda of City Hall.

After the City Hall visit, Erick on Friday evening spoke to forty-five people at a public meeting held in the Mission District. He lectured about the coup three years ago that saw the democratically elected president overthrown by the military, and how LGBTI people are part of the resistance movement and that more than 80 gays are known to have been murdered since the coup, many for their political advocacy.

We sang a song at the conclusion of his talk and assembled a few of the attendees for a group photo, again making good use of the rainbow and Honduran flags for visual messaging, but this time also including the banner for the Honduran Solidarity Network.

During his final day in San Francisco, a one-hour solidarity rally and sing-along was held at Milk Plaza with the historic Castro Theatre marquee in the background. Before ending the event, two handfuls of activists surrounded Erick as a symbolic embrace of him and his colleagues at home.

Videographer Peter Menchini taped the rally and created this terrific video of Erick's emotionally-charged speech presented in Spanish, and translated into English by Charlie Hinton.

A second video of Erick's speech was created and is all in Spanish, so his friends and colleagues in Honduras can listen to his words without the English translation.

To keep in touch with Erick now that he's back at home, visit his Facebook page or his Facebook fan page.

Many thanks to all who helped make Erick's visit to San Francisco a success and to everyone who attended any of the public events and made our amigo feel our love and concern for him.

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