A spirited and peaceful rally to ‘Take Back the Night’ was held this evening (5/16/13) in Manhattan in response to recent anti-gay assaults in New York City. LGBT New Yorkers and their allies participated in the event which commenced with a rally outside Madison Square Garden and concluded with a march through Chelsea toward Jackson Park.
Organized by direct action group, Queer Rising, the well-attended rally aimed to raise awareness about the recent assaults as well as reinforce the right of all LGBT people to participate freely in society without harrassment.
Public Outreach, Rally, & March
Flyers detailing the recent attacks were distributed to passersby and those attending tonight’s Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Garden. In one of the attacks that occurred recently, a group of men who had just left a Knicks game were alleged to have been involved in assaulting a gay male couple in Midtown Manhattan. No-one has been arrested in relation to that assault.
A diverse group of rally attendees gathered on the corner of 7th Ave and West 33rd Street displaying signs denouncing the recent anti-gay violence in Manhattan. Various speakers reinforced the right of LGBT people to walk the streets of NYC without fear of abuse or violence. Speakers included: Eugene Lovendusky (co-founder of Queer Rising), Cathy Marino-Thomas (Marriage Equality USA), Rev. Mark Erson (St. John’s Lutheran Church on Christopher St), Frostie Flakes (Miss Stonewall 2013), Raven Koch (Center for Anti-Violence Education), Jeton Ademaj (Queerocracy), and Tasha Amezcua of the Anti-Violence Project.
Following the rally, the energetic and vocal group of approxmiately 150 marched from Madison Square Down down 8th Ave through Chelsea chanting pro-LGBT slogans, distributiing information flyers, and displaying the broad range of signs/placards created by rally participants. The action ended at Jackson Park.
A film crew from Totally Biased interviewed a number of rally attendees and passerby and is producing a segment in relation to the event. Videographer, Blake Drummond, was on hand to film the rally and march and his footage will become available in the next couple of days. More than 150 photos are available at Gay Marriage USA facebook page. Police were in attendance and there were no reported incidents with onlookers. Kudos to Queer Rising for its organizational and mobilizing efforts.
(Photos by Gay Marriage USA)
See more photos: ‘Take Back the Night’ Rally (5/16/13)