Disruptions of SF Gay Pride Parade Expected in Support of Bradley Manning
LGBTQ and other human rights activists are planning various protests of this year’s Gay Pride parade in San Francisco after the ‘LGBT’ Pride Celebration Committee’s decision to name Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshal was overturned by the board of SF Pride last week.
A statement released by the SF Pride board president, Lisa L. Williams, claims that Manning’s nomination “was a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen.” According to the statement a lone staff member contacted the imprisoned soldier without the board’s knowledge, and has been ‘disciplined’ for his actions.
The bay area’s activist community quickly responded to the denouncement of Manning, which goes as far as asserting his actions “placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform — and countless others, military and civilian alike,” with various call outs for protests of the June 30th event.
The first of these demonstrations is planned for tomorrow evening outside the SF Pride office. With 128 people already signed up to attend, and nearly 4,000 others invited, this reaction is sure to catch the attention of the staff inside. This is assuming they don’t lock the doors and hide prior to the gathering.
At least two demonstrations in support of Manning during the Gay Pride parade have already been planned. One for 10am and another for 12:10pm. Organizers are inviting Manning’s supporters to join them as they march in the radical spirit of queer resistance.
“By marching with us we will not only be supporting Manning but challenging an entire system of oppression at home and abroad. Pride was originally a protest march to commemorate a riot, not a parade.”
There are of course more groups and individuals currently working on additional plans to make sure Bradley Manning receives the respect and acknowledgement he deserves, not simply for being gay, but as a gay man who put his life on the line to expose war crimes and government cover ups. Without giving anything away, you can expect some interesting disruptions this year. ;)
During last year’s pride parade, a radical group of LGBTQ activists hopped the barriers during the march and blocked the Wells Fargo and Kaiser floats, causing nearly a mile gap in the parade. See PFB’s coverage of last year’s events here.