New Yorkers to March and Rally Monday Evening 5/20 in Response to Anti-Gay Murder

The LGBT Center of New York tonight announced there will be a rally in NYC on Monday evening in response to Saturday’s anti-gay murder and other recent anti-gay assaults. The event will commence at 5.30pm at 208 West 13th Street. Attendees will march towards the scene of Saturday’s murder at West 8th Street and 6th Ave. Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other elected officials will participate in the rally. Read the press release and see event details below from the NYC LGBT Center’s page on facebook:

MARCH AND RALLY IN RESPONSE TO LGBT HATE CRIMES Monday, May 20th at 5:30 p.m. beginning at the Center, 208 W 13th Street, and proceeding to West 8th Street and 6th Avenue.

Following a string of heinous bias attacks against gay men, including the murder of a 32 year old man on Friday night, community members, elected officials, LGBT community leaders and allies will march to the site of Friday’s shooting to demand an end to hate crimes against the LGBT community.

At the end of the march, we will rally to denounce hate violence, call for justice and to mourn the death of Marc Carson.

Please join the Center, the NYC Anti-Violence Project, Speaker Quinn, community leaders and elected officials to reclaim our city for all New Yorkers.

PLEASE SHARE.

Image

nyc rally

Posted in Action, Activism, Community | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

One New Yorker’s Response to Saturday’s Anti-Gay Murder: A Free Hug Session!

Following a string of anti-gay assaults in NYC in recent weeks, and today’s shocking revelation of an anti-gay hate murder, one New Yorker has a novel suggestion for how to cope: free hugs!

Miss Stonewall 2013, Frostie Flakes, today announced on facebook the free hug session which will start at 2pm in Times Square, NYC, Sunday 5/19. After providing a powerful and moving presence at Thursday’s ‘Take Back the Night’ rally in NYC, Frostie Flokes today posted the following in response to Saturday’s murder:

So it has come down to this. After hearing about the death of a gay man in the village I became very depressed and unsure what to do next. Deep in thought about the root of the problem, a man very kindly opened and held a door for me. A rare thing in this city for sure. I was so uplifted by this small gesture that it put me back in the frame of mind that there is still hope.

I call a peaceful rally to be held in Times Square where you come dressed just how you are comfortable on a daily basis. There will be poster board for you to write “Free hug from a (gay man, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, etc.)” – cross that out and write HUMAN BEING!

There will also be flowers and flyers with an uplifting message and information about what has been happening in our community.

Image

Image

Posted in Community, New York City | Tagged , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Gay Man Murdered in Manhattan in Possible Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Last night in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, a man was shot dead in what is being investigated as a possible anti-gay hate crime. The murder follows a string of anti-gay attacks in New York City in recent weeks and a rally against anti-gay violence held in the city Thursday evening.

NBC New York reports that the victim was walking along sixth avenue when a group of passersby made anti-gay remarks. There was no phsycial confrontation at that time. Later in the evening, the 32yo victim and one of the men in the aformented group again crossed paths. Police report that the suspect allegedly said the victim look like a ‘gay wrestler’ before shooting him in the head. The victim later died in hospital. The suspect was arrested at the scene.

According to the NY Post, the suspect hurled homophobic slurs just prior to shooting him. He allegedly asked the victim “do you want to die here?” before shooting him in the face. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly on Saturday said to reporters that “this is clearly a hate crime.” Saturday’s murder is the 5th reported incident of homphobic violence in NYC this month.

City Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, expressed her dismay and disgust following this latest incident of anti-gay violence: “I am horrified to learn that last night, a gay man was murdered in my district after being chased out of a Greenwich Village restaurant and assailed by homophobic slurs. I stand with all New Yorkers in condemning this attack.”

Community Outreach

In response to the murder and recent wave of anti-gay assaults in NYC, the Anti-Violence Project will be holding a community safety night on Friday May 24th and each Friday through Pride Month. These sessions will aim to raise awareness about anti-gay violence in the city and discuss ways to counteract it. See the official press release here.

Anyone with further information is encouraged to call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS. Reports of anti-gay violence and abuse can also be made to the LGBT Anti-Violence Project which has a 24 hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline: 212 714 1141.

Posted in Homophobia | Tagged , , , , , , | 66 Comments

LGBT New Yorkers and Allies Rally in Response to Recent Anti-Gay Attacks in NYC

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.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

303e

309e(Photos by Gay Marriage USA)

See more photos: ‘Take Back the Night’ Rally (5/16/13)

(Album 1: 75 photos)

(Album 2: 80 photos)

Posted in Action, Activism, Community | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Rally Plans Gather Momentum as News of 3rd Anti-Gay Attack Emerges in NYC

Calls for a community-based response to recent anti-gay attacks in NYC are being answered and plans to conduct a rally and march in response to these incidents are gathering momentum. Queer Rising, a nonviolent direct action group advocating for full LGBT equality, today released a media statement detailing its plans to hold a rally and march this Thursday 5/16, starting at 7pm, outside Madison Square Garden. LGBT news/culture sites The Advocate and Towleroad today reported on news of the rally. Social media is also being used to raise awareness about the event. People intending to attend can RSVP on facebook.

Press Conference

On Monday evening 5/13 a public information event was held in an effort to assist with the identification of those involved in an anti-gay attack that occurred Sunday 5/5 in Midtown Manhattan. The event was organized by Council Speaker, Christine Quinn, and NY State Senator Brad Hoylman. The couple assaulted in that attack was present as were representatives of LGBT groups such as GLAAD, the Anti-Violence Project and the LGBT Community Center. Flyers were distributed calling for the public’s assistance in identifying one of the individuals alleged to have been involved in the 5/5 attack.

3rd Incident

Meanwhile, ABC Local News today reported on a third posible anti-gay attack in Manhattan. On the evening af May 8th, a gay man was leaving Pieces Bar and attempting to hail a cab when he was assaulted by two men who shouted anti-gay slurs. The victim was not injured in the incident. Pieces Bar is located within working distance of the Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the American LGBT rights movement.

Rally_edited-1

Posted in Activism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

‘Take Back the Night’ Rally Planned in Response to NYC Anti-Gay Attacks

Queer Rising is leading a community response to recent anti-gay attacks that have taken place in NYC. A rally will take place in Manhattan at 7pm on Thursday, May 16th, 2013. See the invitation below for details. Please go to the event link on facebook to RSVP and to invite others in your network. Additional info at:

Queer Rising: queerrising.wordpress.com
Anti-Violence Project: www.avp.org
Center for Anti-Violence Education: www.caeny.org

antigaycombined_edited-1

queer rising copy_edited-2

 

Posted in Action, Activism, Community | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

LGBT Community Responds to Anti-Gay Attacks in New York City

It has certainly been a week of mixed emotions. I felt overjoyed to see Delaware become the 11th state to legalize same-sex marriage and to see the Minnesota House pass a marriage equality bill with a clear majority. But that joy has been countered by the dismay I have felt in relation to two anti-gay attacks in NYC in the past week.

I was so disturbed by these anti-gay assaults that I felt compelled to do something in response. I quickly penned an article discussing some of the key issues and submitted it to a couple of major blogging sites in the hope they would publish the story. They didn’t.

Unperturbed, and feeling a sense of urgency to act, I started my own blog and published my initial article. I subsequently shared it through GMUSA and the intense reaction both there (and in the comments section of the original article) has been the catalyst for this second follow-up piece.

FACEBOOK DISCUSSIONS ABOUT ANTI-GAY ATTACKS

(see original discussions here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

articelsnapshoet

Sifting through the hundreds of comments posted on Facebook (and under the original article), a number of key themes emerged:

(1) People have a lot of intense feelings and strong opinions about this issue. Many people – both LGBT and allies alike – are shocked and disturbed that these types of incidents are still occurring. While some don’t think it’s fair to call into question the ‘gay friendly’ status of NYC after incidents like this, others argued that these events are a reflection of a broader problem with homophobia in the city that has gone unaddressed in recent times. A quick news search confirms various other homophobic-attacks in NYC in the past 6 months (April 2013, February 2013, September 2012).

(2) Many people shared their opinions about how victims should best to respond to such attacks both in the moment and afterward. Some stated they would “fight back” with force in the event of being assaulted. Others high-lighted the reality that not all of us have the physical strength or mental resolve to retaliate in such situations, nor is it always safe to do so. There were calls for people to strongly consider enrolling in self-defense courses and various references were made to the potential utility of a revived neighborhood patrol in Manhattan similar to the Pink Panthers Patrol that operated in the 1970s.

(3) There were numerous calls for a community-led response to these attacks and the need to engage in a public display of unity and strength.  A community-based rally would help send a strong message of warning to any potential, would-be attackers. It would also help gain media attention and maintain a dialog about the ongoing need to address homophobic-related abuse in NYC. Online activism has its place but eventually in order for real change and impact to occur we must move from the computer to the streets!

ARREST UPDATES

In relation to the first incident which occurred Sunday May 5th, I am not aware that any arrests have been made. This is particularly disturbing given the nature of the attack and given that the images of those involved were widely circulated across local news stations across social media (heck, even George Takei got involved!). How is possible that in a city of 8 million people, no-one has been able to come forward and identify those featured in this video footage captured by an onlooker? Must we conclude that there ARE people out there who know these alleged attackers and are colluding with them by remaining silent?

There have been two arrests (see photo below) made in the second incident which occurred Friday May 10th. Both of those men, aged in their 20s, reportedly live in Manhattan and according to the NY Daily News “were arraigned Friday night on charges of misdemeanor assault and harassment.” Of the two arrested one has already been bailed while three others alleged to have been involved in the attack have not been identified.

Image

 (Photo by Marcus Santos for NY Daily News)

COMMUNITY RESPONSES

The NYC Anti-Violence Project released a statement on May 10th indicating its intention to “raise awareness” about these incidents and to “provide people with information and safety tips.” The organization is partnering with various other entities in response to the attacks: “AVP is working with the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. We are also working with community partner GLAAD on these incidents as well.” Disturbingly, in its statement AVP alluded to the occurrence of a possible third anti-gay assault that is still being investigated.

For her part, Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful, Christine Quinn, appropriately expressed dismay over the recent attacks and vowed that everything would be done to prevent any return to a past in which such crimes were  prevalent: “There was a time when our city was plagued with hate crimes. We are never going back to that place. That is not what New York is about.’”

Local direct-action group, Queer Rising, is planning to conduct a rally in the coming week. Noted for its tenacity and willingness to go the extra step, Queer Rising will be meeting in NYC Sunday evening 5/12 at 6pm to discuss details of a possible rally. It is hoped that related community organizations and action groups will be able to partner with Queer Rising in putting together such an event.

UNITE AGAINST HATE

As unpleasant as it may be, we must continue to maintain attention on what happened in these two anti-gay attacks in NYC this past week. It’s not sufficient to overlook them as “isolated incidents” and explain them away as random criminal actions. Yes, in a city of 8 million there will always be crime. But that doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing when crime takes place. No, it is our responsibility as a community to fight back and say enough is enough, that we will not tolerate this type of abuse of LGBT people – or anyone else. The time for action is now. I will close with this inspirational and beautiful comment made by contributor, Laurie Davis, on Facebook:

laurie copyArticle authored by: Gay Marriage USA, May 12, 2013. This is a follow-up article to Anti-Gay Hate in NYC – It’s Time To Rally published May 11, 2013.

Posted in Action, Activism, Community, Gay, LGBT, New York City | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments