Cops bash gay anti-Giuliani protesters
Henry and Sarah Sloan New York
On Aug. 28, a peaceful protest by lesbian and gay activists
at a right-wing event where New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was
the keynote speaker erupted into bloody violence when police
and private security thugs attacked and beat the
The vicious gay-bashing frenzy was caught live on video
camera by the New York 1 cable-television station.
Fed-Up Queers, a lesbian/gay/bi/trans group, had called for
the protest at the annual convention of the Log Cabin
Republicans. The conservative gay group had invited Giuliani to
be the keynote speaker.
The protest was set not only against the anti-gay mayor.
Protesters also came because of continuing outrage at how the
Log Cabin Club and Giuliani crashed the people of color
contingent at New York's Pride march in June, ousting several
lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people of color from the
The Log Cabin Club had invited Giuliani and other city
officials to march with them at the parade. Two members of
Fed-Up Queers were arrested there when they chanted down the
mayor along the route.
In its call for the protest, FUQ also denounced Giuliani as
responsible for the police brutality at the Mathew Shepard
Funeral March last October, when cops arrested scores of
marchers, and for the police killing of Amadou Diallou.
On Aug. 28, some 30 protesters picketed and chanted outside
the Roosevelt Hotel, where the Log Cabin event was taking
place. When demonstrators entered the hotel and sat down
outside the room where Giuliani was speaking, hotel security
started grabbing them. They dragged them--by the throat, by the
hair, by the legs upside down in some cases--through the
hallways and down the stairs.
"The security guards never asked us to leave," said Michelle
Crunk of Fed-Up Queers said afterward. "At one point, there
were six security guards on one protester. People were dragged
head first down the stairs. At the landing, we began chanting,
`No violence.' The security guards then dragged us down the
second flight of stairs. The whole time the NYPD did nothing to
TV cameras captured guards dragging a young man of color
down the stairs headfirst--and a security guard punching a
lesbian activist in the face before dragging her across the
floor. Blood streamed down her face.
Once outside the hotel, protesters demanded that police call
an ambulance, take statements, and hold the security guards
accountable for their actions. The cops did nothing--instead
arresting five of the protesters.
One was even handcuffed as she finally received medical
assistance by paramedics.
The five protesters are facing charges. One has been charged
with a Class B misdemeanor of criminal trespass. More charges
could be added.
Anti-Violence Project Executive Director Richard Haymes
said: "The message that's currently being sent to the community
is that police officers in New York City will literally stand
by as lesbians and gay men are viciously beaten. ... Too many
people in this community remember that less than a year ago
police officers violently disrupted a peaceful march honoring
the life of Matthew Shepard."
Most in the lesbian/gay/bi/trans community do not consider
the Log Cabin Club a legitimate grouping. Now, with its
behavior at the Pride march, its alliance with the racist,
reactionary Giuliani, and its sponsorship of actual gay-bashing
violence on Aug. 28, this grouping has further isolated
For its part, Fed Up Queers is beginning to discuss the
community response to the brutality. Though FUQ is a new group
in the New York lesbian and gay community, many of the
individuals involved are longtime anti-police-brutality and
AIDS activists, and fighters for the freedom of political
prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. They are well known to the mayor.
Activists are asking people to send pledges of support to
New York District Attorney Morgenthau. To sign on to the
pledge, readers can email Jennifer Flynn at email@example.com or
fax (212) 870-3334.
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