(keep ’em coming. It’s a beautiful weekend for equality. – promoted by Dante Atkins (hekebolos))
It was an amazing day for a rally. The sun was warm and the skies were clear for the Anti-Prop 8 Rally in front of the City of San Rafael City Hall. Organizers put the the crowd at least 500 which is plenty given the venue and perhaps many in the County chose to go to San Francisco rally. Everyone in the crowd was friendly and in good spirits despite the major setback of the passage of Prop 8. There was a sense that out of this defeat that the real movement had begun.
It was not surprising that the majority of those attending were families, because after all people move up here to raise their kids here. Signs ran out pretty quickly, and there was one little girl who wanted to hold a sign so I let her have mine. Nearby kids were lining up to jump in piles of leaves as leaves rained down on them when a breeze hit.
Attendees with their partners wore buttons showing how long they have been together. There were plenty of couples who had been together 20+ years. There were straights like myself and progressive clergy there as well. A young women with rainbow colored wings held a sign, “They will know we are Christians by our Love”.
A KTVU (Channel 2) news helicopter hummed overhead for some time.
The rally had spilled out to the opposite side of Fifth Street and cars would drive by and honk in support. Marin County did vote against Proposition 8 by 73%. To thinking and compassionate people the injustice of Proposition is quite apparent. As long as one minority group can have their rights stripped, rights of minorities of all kinds are not safe.
One gentleman was carrying a large “Don’t Tread on Me” Flag. There was a sign by the stage that said, “Morman Law is Now Morman Law,” in reference to the Morman Church’s massive contribution to the Yes on 8 campaign.
Local musicians pitched in and so did our local politicians. San Rafael City Councilman, Damon Connolly spoke about how disappointed his family were about the outcome of Proposition 8. Marin County Supervisor, Susan Adams (District 1) spoke in solidarity with the No on 8 movement.
Fliers were being handed out about next weekend’s rally in Sacramento, “Take It To Sacramento”. It will be on Saturday, November 22, 2008 at 2:00pm at the State Capitol Building and they are hoping for at least 30,000 people. For more information, go to www.californiaoutreach.com.
I am hoping that the turnout totally blows away expectations and becomes 50,000 to 100,000 people or more.
Hi everybody! Just popping in to pass this along. -Conan
This is from a friend, and relates to the post I made yesterday in my personal livejournal.
As if I needed more reason to make my blood boil these agents of intolerence bullied this perfectly innocent person, her friend.
This happend in my neighborhood, down the hill from my apartment, in Oakland… a city that has one of the highest percentage of progressive voters in the country, and one of the most progressive representatives in the US of A.
You have to see this video. Photographer’s story over the flip.
This footage was recorded 10/23/08 in Oakland, CA, on a public street corner near Lake Merritt. I was on my way home from the Lakeshore district when I encountered this group of supporters of Prop 8 (proposition to ban gay marriage). After turning my vidphone on, I was screamed at, physically intimidated and eventually attacked by one of the sign-wavers.
About two dozen men and women were standing under the I-580, waving signs and screaming “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and “Mom and Dad, not Dad and Dad”, etc. There were at least three counter-protesters present as well.
For several minutes prior to shooting this footage, I watched from a distance. One of the Prop 8 supporters lunged at a solitary man holding a “Vote No on Prop 8” sign. She didn’t actually touch him, but she got right up in his face, screaming. She was loud enough that you could hear her a block away. As far as I could see, he hadn’t provoked her in any way beyond the dissenting opinion stated on his sign. The man seemed to remain quiet and calm throughout. Witnessing this, I decided to turn of my camera’s video application and approach.
Proponents of Prop 8 have gone to great lengths in their propaganda to try to deny the inherent fear, anger and bigotry fueling their camp’s desire to ban gay marriage. However, these Prop 8 supporters (and many other protesters I’ve seen in recent weeks) were visibly enraged and screaming themselves hoarse in their righteous indignation over the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in the state of California.
Having documented this clash between fellow Oaklanders, I’m putting it online because I think it’s important to convey to as many people as possible –supporters and dissenters alike— just how irrational, hysterical and potentially dangerous the situation actually is. This is bigotry and blind, senseless hatred of the saddest kind, and it is everywhere. Even in the bay area, in a neighborhood full of lesbian and gay families.
Something to keep in mind: when I hit the record button, I hadn’t said a single word to anyone, or interfered in the rally any way. I stood a fair distance away from all of the sign-wavers (remaining at least four feet away from all of them…until they approached me). But as soon as they noticed me filming them, I was greeted with curses and threats of violence. “Get that shit out of here. I’ll knock it out of your hand.” None of these folks knew me, yet they instantly knew they hated me.
Eventually, as you can see, some of the protesters surrounded me and began poking at me with their signs. Others, some of the most visibly angry and hysterical among them (apparently minors), hid their faces behind their banners while continuing to scream at passing traffic.
I asked the most aggressive woman (who was not underage) “are you afraid to be online?” She answered, “oh, no, they already videotaped me, but these kids don’t want to be online, cause they’re [unintellgible] loaded on a sexual perv profile and [unclear] look at my little cousins.” Fair enough. I’m all for protecting the innocent. (Not that there’s anything particularly innocent about screaming hate speech in public.)
The woman continued to poke at my face with her sign and call me “nasty.” Genuinely disturbed by the complete lack of rational behavior I’d seen up to this point, wanting to look into her face and possibly connect on some level with her as a fellow human being, I pulled a corner of the sign down away from my eyes and asked “why are you calling me nasty?”
That’s when she attacked, clawing, grabbing and then shoving. I didn’t fight back; she was much bigger than me. After calling me a “nasty fucker” and threatening to kick my ass, she pried my phone out of my hand and tried to break it in half while her friends egged her on.
Please note that I never touched or threatened her in any way (unless you want to consider my pulling the edge of her sign out of eye-poking territory a threatening gesture).
After she took away my phone, I stood there stunned, not really sure what to do. One of the counter-protesters (the woman who you see saying “No on Prop 8” towards the beginning of this clip) intervened and calmed the attacking woman down enough that I felt safe enough to dart forward to try to take my phone back. After a second or two of grappling, she let me have it back and went back to screaming at cars from a lawn chair near the side of the road.
(Big love and gratitude to the kindly counter-protester who pleaded for calm. I don’t think my phone would have survived without you!)
I stood there for another minute or two, checking the phone’s applications for damage. One of the other sign-wavers, a teenaged boy standing nearby, leaned over and whispered “fuck you, dyke.”
Even though I wasn’t hurt besides a small scratch on my hand, and my phone was okay, being attacked definitely shook me up. I was a bit tearful. Call me naive, but I never thought I’d actually be in physical danger just for shooting footage and pulling the edge of a person’s sign out of my eyes. Verbal insults, sure. But attacked? Yikes.
The man holding the “Vote No” sign noticed that I was in tears and approached me. We hugged to a chorus of jeers, exchanged some reassuring words, and I turned to leave. Someone screamed after me: “keep crying, and keep walking.”
So that’s exactly what I did.
I’m voting no on Prop 8. I’ll take love over hate any day.
I will repeat myself, it would have been a bad scene if I had to walk past these hatemongering pricks.
I know myself, I know my levels of control, I know the amount of stress and extreme emotion I have had to endure.
It would not have been pretty, at all, in any way shape or form.
The key is, I am mature enough to know this and to actively avoid these hateful fucking idiots and their freedom of speech.
I don’t like this, I don’t like this country being divided over bullshit hatemongering strawman issues.
I don’t like feeling this level of anger towards people like this.
I mean to be honest, this brings out the inner fascist in me, I don’t really think there is a place on this planet for hate such as this.