Monday, July 28, 2008

Successful HRC Protest Marred By Strong-Arm tactics

In what protesters are calling a victory for trans rights, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pulled out as keynote speaker of an important HRC fund-raising dinner in San Francisco Saturday night, following intense lobbying from trans activists angry over the ENDA debacle.

Various other local politicians didn't show as well, and three local politicians honored the boycott by marching outside with 300 picketers denouncing the exclusion of transgender individuals from ENDA.

The protest was marred by a strong-armed attempt to squelch dissent during a speech given by HRC Pres Joe Solmonese, when protester Catherine Cusic, 63-year-old vice president of the Milk Club stood up, and “very quietly (gave) out leaflets.”

Then “the goons came,” she said, grabbing her in an arm lock. Cusic who sustained bruises, screamed for help as they dragged her out, but no one moved.

“It was like the upper class in Germany"
HRC responded by saying: "as we have an open dialogue about the best way to move forward, let us never forget that we are still a community of brothers and sisters standing as one to advance equality for all GLBT people."

It will be interesting to see where this all goes now.