Pride in San Francisco
Marches rock to anti-capitalist beat
By Brenda Sandburg
and Saul Kanowitz
Calling for an end to capitalism, war and racism, this
year's San Francisco Dyke March made a bold alliance with
people around the world who are under attack from the U.S.
government and military.
As more than 10,000 women gathered in Dolores Park for the
June 29 event, the organizers of the 10th annual march read a
statement about its anti-war theme. "We march to oppose the
ongoing attacks against Afghanistan, the devastation of the
Palestinian homeland and the very likely future air strikes
targeting Iraq, the Philippines, Colombia and Cuba."
The statement continued, "Tonight, we march for the complete
and total eradication of capitalism, war and racism. We march
for an end to the insanity of misogyny. We march for queerness
and against assimilation."
Organizers of the march used signs from the International
ANSWER--Act Now to Stop War and End Racism--coalition to
express this anti-war message. ANSWER also had a banner in the
march proclaiming, "From Stonewall to Palestine, people fight
back. No pride in occupation--free Palestine." The banner
included the black, green, white and red Palestinian flag
merging with the lesbian/gay/bi/trans rainbow flag.
During the four-hour rally and celebration before the
march--co-chaired by Zulma Oliveres of Comite '98 and
performance poet Tina D'Elia--speakers repeatedly raised the
struggle of the Palestinian people.
"I'm wondering why only a handful here are standing up
against the racist apartheid state of Israel," said Palesa Bev
Ditsie, a member of Sister Rise Up from Soweto, South Africa.
"Why celebrate Pride without recognizing the brothers and
sisters of Palestine?"
"We can't separate our struggle from the Iraqi people
suffering from U.S. sanctions," said Bintlal Thawra of the Arab
Women's Solidarity Association of the American Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee. "I rise up with my Colombian
sisters, my Afghani sisters, my Palestinian sisters, my
Indigenous sisters, my undocumented and incarcerated
Pride in being pro-Palestinian
On June 30, tens of thousands of people lined Market St.
from the Embarcadero to Eighth St. to watch the 32nd San
Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans Pride march. Among the 300
contingents was the "No pride in occupation" anti-war
contingent that marched in solidarity with the Palestinian
Initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terror (QUIT) and
supported by International ANSWER, Workers World Party,
Committee for a New Colombia (CNC) and others, this contingent
brought a strong message of support for the Palestinian people
and opposition to the U.S.-Israeli war of occupation.
Onlookers clapped as the contingent passed with its
Hundreds of flyers with an anti-war message from transgender
lesbian activist Leslie Feinberg were distributed along the
route. Feinberg called for the LGBT movement to put war, racism
and attacks on civil liberties on its agenda as it did after
the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969.
A flyer from QUIT explained why the LGBT community should be
concerned about the Palestinian struggle: "Because the same
U.S. government that engages in police brutality against the
LGBT community and communities of color engages in imperialism
and racism in other parts of the world and we must stand
against all of these."
Making the links between struggles around the world, the CNC
banner read, "No pride in occupation or intervention. U.S. out
of Colombia. Israel out of Palestine."
Contingents protesting Bush's imperial war drive and attacks
on civil liberties and in support of Palestinian liberation
also were a part of Pride marches in Boston, New York, Chicago
and Los Angeles. Contingents of lesbian, gay, bi and trans
Muslims also planned contingents in the Philadelphia,
Washington and New York Pride marches.
Reprinted from the July 11, 2002, issue of
Workers World newspaper
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