Sunday, June 29, 2014

SFPD viciously attack prison abolition activists at SF Pride event

Petition to the Office of San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón: 
"Drop the Charges against Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter, Prisca Carpenter, Sarai Robles-Mendez" [http://www.change.org/petitions/office-of-san-francisco-district-attorney-george-gasc%C3%B3n-drop-the-charges-against-rebecca-ruiz-lichter-prisca-carpenter-sarai-robles-mendez]

Trans and Queer Activists Beaten and Arrested During SF Pride in San Francisco's Mission District –
At least seven people were arrested on Saturday night after a protest against a prison-themed Kink.com party. The protestors' message was "queer liberation, not incarceration."
This is a travesty--on the anniversary of the famed Stonewall Rebellion, where trans and queer people rose up against police brutality, that six people would be arrested for protesting an SF Pride-sanctioned party that celebrated state violence and prison rape.
The promoters of the Kink.com party mockingly invited people to “get arrested” and enjoy “solitary confinement, showers, jailbreak, love and lust, freedom and confinement.” The protesters argued that the party was a crude event that profited off of the brutality suffered by trans women and gender nonconforming people of color, who are so often funneled into the prison industrial complex.
“This is a travesty--on the anniversary of the famed Stonewall Rebellion, where trans and queer people rose up against police brutality, that six people would be arrested for protesting an SF Pride-sanctioned party that celebrated state violence and prison rape,” said Mary Lou Ratchet, a Gay Shame representative. The march was organized by Gay Shame (www.gayshamesf.org) (https://www.facebook.com/gay.shame) and LAGAI (www.lagai.org).
The six included a National Lawyers' Guild Legal Observer; several protesters were clubbed and beaten to the ground after a protest numbering several hundred marched to the Armory at 14th and Mission Streets in the Mission District, from a 10 p.m. gathering at the 16th Street BART Station.
Three people, Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter, Prisca Carpenter, and Sarai Robles-Mendez remain in San Francisco Sherriff's custody under wrongful felony charges.
We demand the immediate release of these three and for all charges lodged against the peaceful demonstrators brutalized that evening to be dropped.
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Please join your voice to ours to tell District Attorney George Gascón to let them go! Queer liberation, not incarceration! In the aftermath of Saturday night's protest against KINK's prison themed party, the police brutally attacked, detained, and charged many members of our community.
Please join us in continuing and advancing the struggle for liberation from the prision industrial complex by calling in to the SF DA's office to demand that the charges against Rebecca, Prisca, and Sarai are dropped.
Please call in to either
(415) 553-1751
(415) 553-1754
basic ask:
"We demand that the DA's office Drop the Charges against Rebecca Luisa Ruiz-Lichter, Prisca Carpenter, Sarai Robles-Mendez."
Please feel free to add any additional comments and spread the word.
No Justice, No Peace! Keep the calls rolling in!!
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UPDATE: Jul 4, 2014 — We did it! They have been released and reunited with the community.
Thank you everyone for your support and action to help get the three released!
The Gay Shame 3 aren’t entirely in the clear yet — after three days behind bars, they were released pending further investigation, and charges could still be filed anytime in the next year.
Therefore, we still need to be ready to take action should the DA move forward with pressing charges. Please stay ready.
here is a statement from one of the three:
"Dearest Community,
Sarai, Prisca, and I have had our charges dropped (pending further investigation) and were released from SF County Jail around 1:30am.
I cannot begin to express my appreciation for all of the love and support. Even from inside 850 Bryant's insidious blackhole of hope and imagination, I could feel your warmth radiating from somewhere high above the vortex.
It was quite humbling to learn of so much solidarity pouring in from the fierce feminists, prison abolitionists, anti-gentrification activists, and decolonial renegades I have come to know and love. I'm still taking it all in.
My heart swells with admiration and gratitude for your work
Thank you, [signed] Rebecca"
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2014-06-28 eyewitness report from La Mesha Irizarry:
BREAKING NEWS! QUEERS ATTACKED AND ARRESTED BY SAN FRANCISCO POLICE AT GLBTQ PRIDE! Police just attacked and arrested lots of GLBTQ folks at 16th and Mission in SF after the Queer Prison Abolition protest against the "Armory" Cop themed party. A guard from the armory was spotted identifying people from the protest! At least 5 confirmed arrests. Please Share! Updates will be posted later! Show your Solidarity in any way you can!
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Comments from eyewitnesses and supporters, collected from "Flood the SF DA's office with phone calls! Bring home our friends!!" [www.facebook.com/events/263132170557583], and "PRISON BREAKS NOT PRISON PARTIES (Action on the Armory!!!)" [www.facebook.com/events/1455291514716995]:
* Zeph Fish, eyewitness: FYI the big dudes who started screaming, throwing barricades around, acting violent, and pretending to be crazy protesters were actually id'd by a neighbor as Kink.com employees who joined the march at 16th and Mission. If anyone has photos/videos of that it would be good to make it clear who was actually responsible.
* Leslie Dreyer, eyewitness, adds: They were pretty good actors - throwing barricades, which were set up to protect the people in the street and redirect traffic, and trying to hit people and cars with them instead while screaming just "fuck all this shit" at the top of their lungs. Nice work Kink.com. Infiltrating protests about prison abolition and trying to get folks arrested is so progressive of you. [ ... ] The neighbor who watched it all go down from very close range said the tall blonde guy and his friend definitely work at Kink.com - he sees them there every week and in the surrounding coffee shops.
* Elizabeth S. Q. Goodman, eyewitness, adds: I don't know where everything happened but yeah, it was right before the protest officially wound down, on the street in front of the Armory. I was in the small crowd trying to calm two tall aggressive people down.
* Rae Rae, eyewitness: The guards at the party followed the march back to BART, called the cops, and pointed people out to the cops.
* Ines Ixierda, eyewitness: The arrests at 16th and Mission seemed to be totally random, overly forceful and completely ridiculous. There were no directives issued or questions asked, the cops just started grabbing people.
* Remigio Fraga, comrade: Rebecca Luisa is our media relation director at Idriss Stelley Foundation, we wholeheartedly suppport her actions of last night !
* Mattilda Sycamore: Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In 2002, when Gay Shame originally tried to interrupt the San Francisco Pride Parade, volunteer Parade Marshals instigated violence against protesters, and then called the cops: two were arrested. In February 2003, when Gay Shame protested a benefit for the LGBT Center held by wealthy anti-poor mayoral candidate (soon-to-be Mayor) Gavin Newsom, Center staff called the cops, and watched while they smashed someone in the face with a baton, put someone else into a chokehold until they passed out, and arrested four of us (I was thrown face-first into oncoming traffic before being dragged off). To my knowledge, the LGBT Center has never issued an apology. In 2003, Gay Shame participants jumped over the barricades at Pride to interrupt Gavin Newsom’s contingent, and eight were arrested. Eleven years later, and it’s a familiar story: while last night’s protest involved Kink.com, not an “LGBT” institution but a wealthy porn company that bought the Armory from a dot-com, the prison party that was the target of the protest was originally an official event of SF Pride. (Now, though, representatives of Pride deny this.) In any case, the reality is that queer and trans protesters are in prison for protesting prison, thanks to “pride.”
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Note from Dr.G.: oh, hell no! This is fascism evident, another of a long line of vicious attacks in the Bay Area against dissenters who stand up for our freedom! People from outta state think the Bay is all peacenik, and yet how often do we see these vicious attacks... already we see so much disregard for human rights in attacks against our lumpenproletariat (lower income demographics) and captive communities... but with protesters, the pigs just viciously attack anybody of any class and nation who dare to stand tall for freedom!
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During February, SF Pride officially endorsed and sponsored the "Prison of Love" event. However, after the vicious SFPD attack against prison abolitionists in front of the event, SF Pride erased their endorsement, and it is suspected that they did this to cover-up their connection with the event organizers and their actions against the prison abolitionists, including having their security guards pointing out individual abolitionists for attack by SFPD!
Posted by San Francisco Pride, 2014-02-18, at [https://www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoPride/posts/10100948292002023] (special thanks to Elizabeth S. Q. G. for screengrabbing the posting):


2014-06-28, Gary Virginia, President of SF Pride, sends a hostile message to the abolitionists lying about SF Pride's endorsement of the "Prison of Love" event, claiming that SF Pride never endorsed it.
SF PRIDE'S PRESIDENT LIES ABOUT NOT ENDORSING THE PRISON OF LOVE, AND...
SF PRIDE'S PRESIDENT REFUSES TO COME OUT AGAINST SFPD VIOLENCE!
SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!

FROM: Gary Virginia, President, SF Pride (volunteer)
DATE: June 28, 2014, 4:20pm
RE: Gay Shame's "Action on the Armory"
SF Pride is NOT a sponsor, producer, beneficiary or promoter of the event you are protesting at the Armory on June 28. The event is not in our calendar of events. I respectfully ask that you remove all references to SF PRIDE or PRIDE (in reference to SF PRIDE) from this posting and all media, and at any actions you take in reference to this protest. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at president@sfpride.org. I have many responsibilities this weekend but will respond when able. Thank you.


"PRISON BREAKS NOT PRISON PARTIES (Action on the Armory!!!)"
[https://www.facebook.com/events/1455291514716995/?ref=22]:
Join GAY SHAME and LAGAI - Queer Insurrection
Saturday June 28th, 2014
10:00pm meet at 16th St. BART station
10:30pm march to the Armory (14th and Mission ST.)
11:00pm prisons will be abolished
ALL ARE WELCOME (except cops)
While trans women and gender nonconforming people of color are kidnapped, tortured, brutalized and murdered by the prison industrial complex, KINK.COM and SF PRIDE© have once again turned these
genocidal practices into a cash-making joke.
They mockingly invite people to “get arrested” and enjoy “Solitary confinement, showers, jailbreak, love and lust, freedom and confinement” at their “Prison of Love” Pride 2014 party. No honey, bye.
While this year SF PRIDE©’s lavender-washing consultants have worked hard to hide their counterrevolutionary politics they forgot to cover-up the transphobic, racist, classist, and ableist violence of their beloved party, whoops! On June 28th as hordes of white gays dance the night away to the deep thump of domination, GAY SHAME calls on everyone to pull the fire alarms and shut this fucking shit down; because PRIDE© is a nightmare, prisons are not sexy, and boycotting is not enough.
*** the march will be less than two blocks and there are curb cuts and no steps ***


Read the response to criticisms against the "Prison of Love", from event planner Peter Acworth, founder of Kink.com, archived at [web.archive.org/web/20140630063351/http://peteracworth.com/open-letter-in-response-to-pride-party/]. Basically, he just wants to make money without controversy, and feels he's being picked on.



A theory about why Gay Shame and LGAI's protest was brutally attacked by SFPD... 
SFPD and the economic elite of San Francisco need no reason to attack protesters. But it very significant politically that on their websites, both of these organizations come out against police brutality, and against Israel's brutality against captive communities of Palestinians... these views tend to piss off some very powerful people who, as the theory goes, may have wanted to teach the protesters a lesson... for example, Kink.com (who organized the event being protested) has close business ties to Israel, throwing million dollar parties in Tel Aviv (Israel's largest city), and SFPD holds trainings with Israel's police in tactics of repression against political dissent.
This is only a theory, and does not reflect any Northbay MDS official views about the matter, but it is worth mentioning in regard to years of observing brutal attacks against organizers and participants of "pro-Palestine" gatherings in San Francisco, attacks which are censored by the local news media. The theory is based on the following:
from LAGAI's homepage [www.lgai.org], screengrabbed 2014-06-28:

from Gay Shame's homepage [gayshamesf.org/index2.php], screengrabbed 2014-06-28:

3 comments:

  1. I have to say that it's ridiculous to suggest that the corporate elite - gay or straight - would not be pro-incarceration or anti-queer without Zionist intervention. U.S. imperialism and racism was alive and well long before Zionism or Israel ever existed, and will outlive them.

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  2. Thank you, good point. Clarification: Northbay MDS is theorizing about a possible political motive for the brutality of the arrests as opposed to simply detaining the protesters. this theory is based on years of observing SFPD's extreme brutality against Palestine Solidarity gatherings. That both groups protesting the "Prison of Love" party also take a stance against "Israel apartheid" is a significant fact. Again, this is only a theory concerning political motives behind the extreme attacks (as opposed to simply detaining protesters).

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  3. I don't understand why police, prisons, and the military are popular themes at Pride. Are they friends of the LGBT community? Historically: no. http://paper-bird.net/2014/06/28/policing-pride/

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