Monday, November 10, 2008

PRE PROP 8 PROTEST Organizing and Sign Making Event- Tues Night

Creative Rage
We need folks to come help and make posters on Tuesday night at the LGBT Center on 13th Street between 7th Avenue and Greenwich.

We have room 410 -- which is on the top floor of the building from 8 - 10 PM. PLEASE invite folks to come and make home-made posters.

If you could each please bring supplies (poster-board, markers, anything else) -- as a donation to the cause, it would be appreciated.

Bring your friends.


ADVICE ON SIGN MAKING: (from a trusted friend who knows what he's talking about)

However much anger everyone feels about Prop 8 and the Mormons in particular, we should also remember that we will almost certainly be dealing with gay marriage in NY state very, very soon. With that in mind, a bunch of angry people with signs that say "Fuck Your Church" or "You Can Have Five Wives and I Can't Have One?" or "Fight Hate, Fight the Church" might be counterproductive -- not to mention, beside the point and after the fact. I'd suggest that the focus should be positive, about love and equality, as opposed to just giving Christians the finger. Signs that are positive and future-oriented -- focused on civil rights, marriage equality, real family values -- might be more effective in dealing with the current situation, and more strategic in dealing with the imminent situation. We can say nasty things about Christians later, when the press isn't around. :)

Meaning: A bunch of anti-Christian rhetoric is only going to make the battle for marriage in NY (just a month or two away) seem like the godless queers against the wholesome Christians. We're too close to winning this thing in NY to blow it over people's anger about something that's already over and done in California. Don't give them ammunition so they can use this protest in ads on TV upstate. We are not a bunch of Christian-haters. We are a bunch of people who want to get married, if only we were allowed. (Some of us, anyway.) That's the point.

Anger at the (Catholic) church during ACT UP days was different: there wasn't much at risk, because there wasn't much to lose. This time, there's a LOT to lose, and a lot to win, if we play our cards right. Think strategically.

At least that's my take...And of course people can make whatever signs they want. But they should at least think about it, if their real concern is about getting marriage legalized as opposed to simply blowing off steam.


Anonymous said...

Does that mean no "No More Mr. Nice Gay" signs too?

Party pooper.

rptrcub said...

How about, "discrimination makes baby Jesus cry"?

hapaxlegomenons said...

Excellent, excellent, excellent!

One of the messages of Obama's victory was that The Bushian Them v. Us Philosophy does not work in solving problems.

bj said...

excellent points about how to be EFFECTIVE, and not just angry, and not just right (they're important,too; but if the idea is to convince folks you're right, figure out HOW best to do that)

personally, I wouldn't be demonstrating at churches; take it to the politicians, and take it to the voters. - Yup, the Mormons (and the Catholics, and many other religious groups) are wrong, but I would target my energy on where it will work.

and it sucks, having to convince other people of what's fair and right; I can only imagine the indignity for folks a few decades ago having to argue for the right to vote; "behave" and not be angry, etc....

Ronnie Larsen said...

I, for one, am sick of being told not to be sign in San Diego read, "California Fucked Me Without A Condom" and workers kept asking me to put it away though the crowd loved it. People need to know that by supporting Prop 8 they pissed off a huge group of powerful people. My family and relatives voted for it. They love me and I love them but they need to know how pissed off I am! Businesses need to know that they pissed off people who won't be supporting their business anymore. What got me out to the rally was my anger, not my need to make friends. Anger can be an extremely effective tool. And don't kid yourselves, "being nice" ain't gonna make Mormons suddenly embrace homosexuals, ain't gonna happen, period!

Tony Adams said...

Ronnie, sadly, I agree with you entirely. The strategy of politeness seems to indicate weakness or lack of conviction at this point. Righteous anger is needed. Retribution would be justified. We ought to look to some of the things that Daniel Berrigan did in terms of breaking and entering and demonstrating. I don't believe he ever hurt or killed anyone but he and his brother and Patricia McAllister were certainly not gentle in their peace protesting. Daniel Berrigan was no Father Nice Gay.

Anonymous said...

I would never tell anyone not to be angry right now. I’m angry, too, about what happened in California last week. But: California and New York are facing very different realities right now, and protests in those two states should reflect that difference.

In California, people are angry about what happened last week. You had your civil rights taken away, with the help of the Mormons. Period. While the war continues, that battle is lost, and we should all be outraged. There’s not much to do in California right now except vent your anger, and then start figuring out what the next step is: legal challenges, new propositions, legislative solutions, etc. I’m all in favor of angry protests in California – there, now.

In NY, people are also angry about what happened 3,000 miles away last week. But, in addition, we will almost certainly face our own marriage battle very soon. For the first time in 75 years, Democrats now control the entire state government. The lower house has already passed a marriage bill. The governor has already said he’d sign it. The high court has already given its approval, should a bill pass. And voter referenda are extremely rare in New York, so overturning marriage, should it become law, is highly unlikely. The only piece missing has been the state senate, which was run by the GOP until last week. It is now in Democratic hands, and we will likely see a marriage bill brought up in the spring, signed into law, and that will be that. (As opposed to California, where the issue will bounce around the courts, the voting booth, and the legislature for years, no matter what happens.) So, I ask you Californians: If your vote on marriage were *next* week instead of *last* week, would you still think the best protest tactic was standing in front of a church, shouting “Fuck you, Christians!” and waving fists, while reporters took your pictures and local news put you on camera? Here in NY, our marriage battle is just AHEAD of us, so some of us are thinking differently. Strategically. It’s not that we are not angry. It’s that we are BOTH angry about what happened last week and HOPEFUL about what will likely happen in the spring.

Look, I’m not saying you should deny that you’re angry. I’m right with you. But take a minute and think strategically, New Yorkers: What’s the best way to get marriage – here, now? If you think about it, and still believe that venting your anger trumps any concern for political reality, then by all means, go ahead and make that your goal. But if you think that winning in NY is more important than bemoaning a battle that has already been lost (for now) in California, then make your signs accordingly.

Will Clark World said...

I agree with Wayne. We're not really waging the same battle here in New York City on Wednesday night as our community is waging in California. Not that we expect to sing Kum By Yah or anything with the people from the Mormon Church.. but let's think smart and act smart rather than go flying off the handle and potentially bungle this. Anger is OK especially in this situation... but we have to think of more than the 'right now'.

Papa Tony said...

Yeah, those drag queens at the Stonewall Inn should be our role-models. Unfailingly polite, and would do little curtsies every time the cops would clobber 'em on the head and throw 'em into jail.

Or not.

I'm FUCKING ANGRY. Don't you top-down losers try to shut down and dismiss my anger. My husband and I dumped a bunch of money down a rathole, handing it to folks who thought like that LOSER who is mentioned in "ADVICE ON SIGN MAKING: (from a trusted friend who knows what he's talking about". Yeah - knows plenty enough for us to LOSE.

What you're really saying is that Christians and conservative types are a bunch of whiny-ass-titty-baby Professional Victims who excel at screeching of their victimhood whenever we fags start acting real. Well, tough. We've danced to their tune long enough, and then some. Their squealing can be revealed for the sham that it is - They have held massive power over the rest of society for millennia, and they need to be taken down a bunch of notches.

We need to be on the cover of every magazine for weeks, forcing a new dialog upon our culture. Mention the name "Matthew Shepard" to just about anybody over the age of forty, and they will all know who you are talking about. It may take a bit of reminding, but they'll all recall the circumstances, and very clearly. His tragedy was no different from tens of thousands of other homos who got bashed to death, but our culture suddenly had a breakthrough and TALKED ABOUT IT. Now, it's something that can't be dismissed any more. The only folks who condone fag-bashing are haters who are reviled by the rest of society.

Religionists who have declared private fatwas against our state constitutions need to be revealed, and continuously. Their schemes can only succeed if we are polite, respectful, willing to turn the other cheek.

It's time for bottom-up thinking, in VAST NUMBERS, to scare the haters. Yes, HATERS. Their firebrand speeches at the pulpit and on the radio and television lead to bashings, hate-crimes and MURDER against us.

They hate us and our lives, covering their contempt with a sweet, sticky goo of "Christian Love". On the day that gay teenagers are only as likely as any other group to attempt suicide, I'll stop being angry.

Our anger (in vast and growing numbers) is lifting up the rock of Mormon and other Christian bullying, and shining the light of the public awareness of upon the wriggling things that have been hidden away.

And you want us to be good kids and not annoy the grownups who make decisions on our behalf.

Go take that reasonable, peaceable thinking and shove your head into a big bucket of lumpy oatmeal. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention.

Think back to the Sixties. Marching around with signs politely and respectfully requesting rights for Homosexuals DIDN'T DO ANYTHING. There's a reason why the Stonewall Inn is a sacred shrine to our community, and Pride celebrations happen in July. We're commemorating the days when we finally stood up on our hind legs and said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Stonewall 2008 has arrived, and we're going to be righteously, vividly and impolitely angry, without your permission. Get on the train, or get left at the station.

MV said...

Yeah our fight in New York is a little different. Deals are probably being made this week between local religious right and state democratic leadership to keep same sex marriage off the agenda in exchange for control of the state senate. The NYS Assembly has already passed same sex marriage but not previously Republican-led Senate.

Channel your anger into power. Let the state democrats know we put them their power is our power and we'll hold them accountable.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

Sorry Papa.
I'm all for anger.
I share your anger.
I'm pissed, too.
And if I were in California, I'd be yelling the same things as you. I'd be making nasty signs and screaming at the top of my lungs. I've been screaming in the streets for 20 years now, so I know the value of a good angry protest.

Here in NY, though, the battle looks very different.

This isn't about kids or grown-ups, or top-down vs. bottom up. We're all grown ups. And there is no "top" giving commands.

As grown-ups, we each need to think about what our objective is. That's all I'm saying. It's up to you. You're a grown-up. You're angry. That's your priority. You think that's the most effective way to get what you want. That's your prerogative. Great. No dissent here. Nobody is disagreeing with you. Nobody is telling you what to do. Nobody is denying your anger. Nobody. Nobody.

Some of us have a different priority: We want marriage in NY state. Now! And we think that a purely angry protest -- however justified, however satisfying -- isn't the way to reach that objective. That doesn't mean we're not angry. That doesn't mean we don't understand anger as a motivator. That doesn't mean we think that being nice little faggots is going to get us what we deserve. That doesn't mean we're right, or wrong. We just have our eyes on a different prize, or think the path to reach that prize looks different.

So: go ahead and make whatever sign you want. Nobody -- nobody -- has ever suggested otherwise. All I suggested is that we should each think about what we're trying to achieve. Make up your own mind. But think first.

One other thing: We're all on the same train. Let's try to remember that. I'm not telling you how to protest. Don't you tell me how to protest. We are not enemies here.

Bunny said...

Being polite and respectful at best and mostly "sympathetic" to religious beliefs are exactly the tactics that allowed Prop 8 to pass in California.

The best sign I ever saw was a homemade sign at last weekend's protest in San Francisco. I wish the self appointed leaders of the No On 8 campaigns had used it when dealing with black churches. The sign said simply, "Civil Marriage is a Civil Right"

Religionists have twisted this around and blended civil marriage with holy matrimony - As California proved, we need to stop playing their game because when we do we lose!

We already have holy matrimony whether their churches like it or not - let them fight their holy wars about it in another arena. What we really want is civil marriage - the same kind of civil marriage granted to other citizens of the state.

We shouldn't sink to their level and hate for hate's sake - that keeps us at the level of their brawl. If we keep our eyes on the prize, keep our signs and messages consistent with our true goal of civil marriage equality for all citizens - we can win this. Yes we can.

Anonymous said...

...just a sidenote:
Here in NY, our biggest obstacle to marriage right now isn't the Mormons or any other church. It's Democratic state senator Ruben Diaz.

I'd love to hear ideas about how to channel everyone's anger over Prop 8 to fight a more immediate (in NY) enemy in a way that might bring real results.

VAman said...

When protesting at the Mormon temple, instead of placing protest signs on any building or structure (which might get you into trouble), why don't protesters project "HATE" or "HATE?" or "WHY?" on the exterior of the building using a high-powered light...Batman style!

A few years ago, protesters in Washington DC used this approach when the Corcoran Museum backed out of a plan for a Mapplethorpe exhibit. The protesters projected the Mapplethorpe images on the exterior of the building!

Anyone know lighting technicians working in the NYC theater?!

Nixie said...

I am a straight woman living in Seattle. I am ENRAGED that this legislation has passed, and I am FURIOUS that CA, a state known for open-mindedness at the very least, has passed it (not to mention other states...)

I plan on voicing my fury in the protest rally tomorrow, with a sign that states:

34 To crush underfoot
all prisoners in the land,

35 to deny a man his rights
before the Most High,

36 to deprive a man of justice—
would not the Lord see such things?

Lamentations 3:34-36

The back will say "Please stop spreading Hate in my name. Thx." ~God

Boaster said...

My partner and I are New Yorkers exiled in California and decided that rather than fight we are just going to withdraw. We ceased all contributions of time and money to all charities. We usually give $5-$10K at the end of the year, but this year we're buying ourselves a a Christmas vacation overseas.

I resigned from doing volunteer work teaching poor kids how to use computers, since most of their parents supported Prop 8 they can go to hell (or worse).

From now on, it's just the two of us and we're going to live well as the best revenge.

Here in California, the recession is ravaging the right-wing inland areas, and decimating property values. I'll be enjoying watching people sink and lose their homes. Our house has held value nicely (we did get killed on our 401K's but oh well, we still make a lot of money). So, they can hate me, but I'll continue eating at $100 restaurants while they wonder if they have the money for Taco Bell.

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