Prisons aren’t sexy, say protesters

San Francisco — A coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer groups held a protest on the theme “Prison Breaks, Not Prison Parties” on June 28 during Pride weekend here. It was meant to shame the website for holding a “Prison of Love Pride Party.” Participants had been invited to “get arrested and enjoy solitary confinement.”

The Gay Shame/LAGAI-Queer Insurrection flier explained: “While trans women and gender non-conforming people of color are kidnapped, tortured, brutalized and murdered by the prison-industrial complex, and SF Pride have once again turned these genocidal practices into a cash-making joke.”

“We are pro-sex, but anti-prison,” said Mary Lou Ratchet, a representative of Gay Shame.

After a peaceful march to’s event and a short rally, seven people were arrested when they returned to the 16th and Mission Street Bay Area Rapid Transit plaza. It happened after most people had left, with a few hanging around to make future plans. Police descended on the plaza as a security guard pointed out people for arrest. At least one person’s head was slammed on the concrete by police. Many others sustained bruises, cuts and lacerations from what they described as a “wall of police” that charged at them.

Four were later cited and released, but three queer and/or trans-identified people of color were held over the weekend on felony charges. They were finally released on July 1 after all charges were dropped, at least for the time being. Their flier points out that although the three protesters were finally released, “There’s still 2.5 million or more [people imprisoned in the U.S.] to go.”