Saturday, December 18, 2010

SF's Anti-HRC Protest: 
50 Braved the Rains

To be brutally honest, I expected 5-6 people at today's dual protest against the Human Rights Campaign taking over the lease of the store on Castro Street that once was Harvey Milk's community center/camera shop, and to oppose the sit/lie law. Imagine how delighted I was that over the duration of the 45-minute speak out, more than fifty people attended some portion of it.

The weather did not cooperate. Sure, it was just a gray sky when we started, but there were showers that were intermittent as we protested and sang songs. I thank everyone who braved the rains to be there.

Now, on to the photos:

 Activists spread plastic sheeting on the sidewalk to show their objections to the sit/lie sidewalk legislation that recently went into effect. Harvey's spirit, represented in the painting of him at the center top of the photo, literally hovered over our action.

At the bullhorn is Nicky Trasvina, the mother of A.J. Trasvina, a local gay youth who passed away last year. She called on HRC to provide social services to young LGBT persons. Next to Nicky is Beck, a young trans person who lives in the Tenderloin. 

This is trans youth person of color and radio producer Taino Vasquez, who called for the gay agenda to embrace full healthcare coverage and affordable housing for LGBT people. He wants the HRC space to live up to the phrase "action center."

This old street activist queen said she's waiting for HRC to democratize itself, starting with a public forum at the old camera shop - to discuss the leasing controversy. Channeling goddess Sinead O'Connor, the queen called out, "Fight the real enemy!" Then she tore up the paper HRC icon.

Trans labor activist Gabriel Haaland in his fetching yellow fisherman protective rain gear, speaking about his years of fighting HRC over their anti-transgender maneuvers.

The desecrated paper version of HRC's equality symbol logo laying in front of the soap box. Tommi Avicolli, in red, made it in homage to the one Harvey used when he preached in the neighborhood.

Allan Baird, a straight union leader who worked with Harvey on the boycott against Coors beer, talked about how Harvey used his camera shop to hold meetings and organize the bar owners and patrons, creating gay power in the process.

Oakland-based KTVU sent a crew to cover the protest. It should air on tonight's 10 O'Clock News broadcast.

He said his name was Richard Moorhead, and told me that he saw no reason why HRC should talk to activists about what it will do with their store. As if his large HRC button and the group's repeal DADT tee shirt weren't enough to scream HRC supporter, he is holding an HRC thermos.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Michael, for all your help in organizing this...after you left, channel 7 arrived with Andy Blue of the anti-sit/lie group, just as we were leaving so we re-staged our sit-in...all in all, a very successful day despite the weather, but I've demonstrated in much worse rain. Great photos, do you mind if I use the one of me on my website?

Unknown said...

hi tommi,

happy to have made a contribution to the account. sure, please use any of my photos for your blog. btw, i'm itching to go back when HRC has a soft opening in early january. we'll talk about that over the holidays.