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Re: [OutrightPacific] Re: [OutrightLibertarians] Re: Fwd: [lpsf] SF Pride board meets TONIGHT - Come speak out for Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal! - SF Pride office, 630pm (Market & Octavia streets)

From: Starchild
Sent on: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 1:47 AM
	Okay, here's the SF Pride Board's latest statement on the Bradley Manning controversy, released earlier today (Tuesday), as reported in the Bay Guardian -- http://www.sfbg.c...­ 

	I'll try not to fill up your In Boxes any further tonight.   :-)

Love & Liberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))


On May 8, 2013, at 1:41 AM, Starchild wrote:

> 	More coverage here from gay activist Michael Petrelis, who was the first one into the building and the board meeting, and has some remarks on my role in the meeting and nearly being forcibly ejected from it -- http://mpetrelis....­ 
> 
> Love & Liberty,
>                               ((( starchild )))
> 
> 
> On May 8, 2013, at 1:31 AM, Starchild wrote:
> 
>> Begin forwarded message:
>> 
>>> From: Hamdan <[address removed]>
>>> Date: May 7,[masked]:20:33 PM PDT
>>> To: [address removed]
>>> Subject: Re: [lpsf] SF Pride board meets TONIGHT - Come speak out for Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal! - SF Pride office, 630pm (Market & Octavia streets)
>>> Reply-To: [address removed]
>>> 
>>> Ron Paul Republican here - thanks for sending this out! I was in the area and was at the demonstration, it was a great experience and show of solidarity. Might write up something later tonight.	
>> 
>> 
>> 	Great Hamdan, glad you could make it! I was there too, but you may not know/recognize me, and I don't believe I know you.
>> 
>> 	I was expecting a sit-down meeting with some speechifying, but it turned out to be another protest with even more drama than last week. The SF Pride Committee kept members of the public waiting outside well past their meeting's scheduled 630pm start time, and when I got there around 640pm, there were probably over 100 people gathered around the building entrance on Pearl Street, an alley just off Market, including a number who were their last week, notably Daniel Elsberg of Pentagon Papers fame. Around a quarter of 7, I rang their buzzer and a woman answered. I told her that a whole bunch of folks were waiting outside to speak during public comment in support of Bradley Manning, and she said they were planning to let people in at 7pm, which I announced to the crowd. However, that time came and went without us hearing anything further. A few minutes after 7, a guy arrived who someone reported to be the treasurer of SF Pride, and let himself in the door of the building. Some of the protesters there attempted to follow him in, which he tried to prevent, but with them standing there he was unable to close the door, and eventually a bunch of us crowded into the lobby, where we tried to get on the elevator to go up to the 4th floor offices. A couple people associated with the Pride organization then tried to prevent people from getting on the elevator, as the rest of us chanted to "Let the press in!", "Let the people speak!", etc. A couple loads of folks did manage to get on, including myself. 
>> 
>> 	Once upstairs, I proceeded down a hallway to a room overlooking Market Street, where they had already started their meeting. A sign taped on the wall said "Occupancy 22" (one of the Pride workers who'd tried to guard the elevator later said out on the street that he'd been the one who put up the sign, and had called the Fire Department earlier to get the occupancy information -- everything points to them trying to limit participation), and I think that's about how many people were in there, including maybe 8 or so committee members seated behind some tables at one end of the room, and the rest of us in various chairs. The meeting was apparently underway -- sort of. The Pride committee had just released a statement, a written copy of which had circulated a little in the crowd downstairs (I couldn't find the statement online, but it's referenced with some details from it here, along with other coverage of the protest, and news that a complaint against SF Pride has been filed with the SF Human Rights Commission by David Waggoner, who defended Ross Mirkarimi, and others -- http://oblogdeeob...­ ), and they wanted one of their members to read it, and then to take public comment of one minute per person.
>> 
>> 	However a number of us objected and instead of sitting down and allowing them to proceed, started raising various procedural issues. Gary Virginia objected to the meeting having been started before people were allowed upstairs, whereupon SF Pride chair Lisa Williams said they were restarting the meeting now (ignoring the fact that most of the crowd was still downstairs, and not being allowed up). We said we wanted the news media allowed in -- the Channel 2 cameraperson was also stuck downstairs. A few other people, including I think her reporter colleague, got upstairs but were left out in the hallway and not allowed to enter the room where the meeting was happening. I had tried to give up my elevator spot to the TV camerawoman, but the Pride folks wouldn't allow her to bring up her camera. Some people, including Michael Petrelis and Gary Virginia, maybe others, did take shots with still cameras during the meeting. I'm not sure whether anyone got any video. The committee had their legal counsel, a woman named Brooke Oliver, on speaker phone, and some of them were trying to talk to her over the talking in the room. It was a bit chaotic. The legal counsel was telling the committee that they did not have to allow media or cameras to be present, that it was a private organization (although SF Weekly reports they got $58,400 in "Grants for the Arts" funding from the city government. People including myself were saying it was a public meeting (that's how it had been billed), and that we wanted it open to the public and the media. Oliver started out just giving legal advice, but then started weighing in with her own opinions, which basically sounded like "don't give them anything". Lisa Williams basically just sat there and said almost nothing, and it was almost like the legal council was running the meeting over the phone, saying what was going to happen and how.
>> 
>> 	Meanwhile, we could hear some of the protesters yelling and chanting outside. A few, holding the large Bradley Manning banners, had moved to the center median strip on Market, where they had a direct line of sight to our 4th floor meeting room. One window was partially open, and I yelled to the people outside that they were refusing to allow media and cameras into the meeting. Around that time, apparently, someone on the committee called security to remove me, and a few seconds later, a big security guy physically took my arm and tried to escort/pull me out of the room, saying "let's go" or words to that effect. I objected strongly, saying I wasn't doing anything wrong and was trying to take part in the meeting. He seemed a little uncertain, as the room was a bit volatile, and I obviously *wasn't* doing anything at the time he grabbed me. He let go of me, but asked me to step outside and talk with him about it, which I also declined, saying we could talk where we were, and sat down again. At that point he gave up, but the threat of force had apparently served its purpose, and they got on with their agenda of taking minimal public comment from those in the room.
>> 
>> 	I wish I'd taken better notes on what was said during public comment, but was mainly just in the moment and also focused on thinking about what I was going to say. I did write down the names in order, with what I recall from each speaker:
>> 
>> Michael Petrelis - Excoriated the Pride committee's behavior, said it was part of a long ongoing pattern, etc.
>> Daniel Elsberg - Thanked the committee for apologizing to Bradley Manning for "harsh language", but said the apology was "inadequate"; talked a lot more about Bradley Manning, including saying there was a petition with over 57,000 signatures supporting him to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, etc. (when I said hello to Elsberg at the elevator and mentioned I was with the LP by the way, he said "I agree strongly with their foreign policy".)
>> Carol Queen (former Grand Marshal) - Sounded a somewhat more conciliatory note; said it pained her to see the Pride name dragged through this, and that the retraction "made me feel excluded and confused"
>> Dr. Thomas Erlich Reicher (sp?) (sociology prof. at University of San Diego) - I didn't take any notes on his comments
>> Bruce Guidet (sp?) - I didn't take any notes on his comments
>> Jerry Berbier (aka Jerry tha Faerie) - "You are on the wrong side of the community" and "you will all be voted out if you don't change your position"; said especially the "political hacks" among them should be concerned
>> Lisa Geduldig (comedian?) - I didn't take any notes on her comments
>> Gary Virginia (former Grand Marshal) - He gave what I thought were the best comments, was both harshly critical and brought facts to bear. Said several board members were his friends, "this isn't personal", but called the board "hypocrites", accused them of lacking transparency, and said "You have procedural issues, you have transparency issues". He told them that the policy they were quoting in their statement (supposedly disqualifying Manning from being a grand marshal because he isn't local or in the celebrity category "was not published anywhere", had never been sent to him as a member of their electoral college, and he couldn't find it online. He also mentioned that "one of your own members" had reported that Bradley Manning in fact got the highest number of votes for Grand Marshal
>> Thomas Pligman (sp?) (labor activist) - "I'm flat out ashamed of you. You have presumed to speak for us. You have endangered this man's (Bradley Manning's) legal case."
>> Starchild - Announced myself as a Libertarian National Committee member, there on behalf of the LPSF and Outright Libertarians. I praised Gary Virginia's comments, said that the statement listing two new choices for Grand Marshal for the community to vote on should include Bradley Manning; said that the public should be able to vote for Grand Marshal, and that if they did, that I was confident Bradley Manning would be the choice. I noted the ridiculousness of saying he was disqualified based on not being local, when they could just add him as Grand Marshal in some other category, or change the rules to make it happen
>> Rainey Reitman - (Bradley Manning Support Network) - I didn't take any notes on her comments
>> Peter Anderson - "Give the kind of respect that Bradley Manning deserves as a true hero"
>> 
>> 	During all this, the Pride committee members basically just sat there and said nothing. Their council had advised them they didn't have to respond to us, just listen. It's not clear what they were thinking. Lisa Geduldig claimed she felt optimistic that they might be reconsidering, but others disagreed with that assessment.
>> 
>> 	After everyone in the room who wanted to give public comment had spoken, they asked us to vacate the room so more people could be allowed in to speak. Most of us headed out, with the exception of a couple press people who stayed behind to report. The Pride workers blocked the hallway and wouldn't let us take the elevator down, saying for safety they didn't want to let us into the crowded room downstairs off Pearl Street, but insisted we take the stairs down to the other entrance on Market Street. When we got down there, Daniel Elsberg was interviewed by some more of the media. Eventually I walked around to the Pearl Street entrance, where there were lots of people still hanging out in the room in front of the elevator. By now it was maybe 15 minutes or so after I'd come downstairs, but I was told no one else had been allowed upstairs. Evidently they had lied about having us leave in order to allow others to take our places. Someone even told me they'd claimed the elevator was broken. Daniel Elsberg came around and made a speech. Most of the people went around to the front entrance. I stayed in the elevator room with a few others, afraid they might simply be trying to get everyone out of the building. After maybe another 15 minutes or so, word came that they had cancelled the rest of the meeting and postponed it until next week when they could hold it in a larger room. A woman complained that she had called Pride's offices just that afternoon and asked them where the meeting was to be held, suggesting they'd need a large room, and had been rudely rebuffed by a man who hung up on her. Gary Virginia also later mentioned that he'd written to Pride about the same issue, and apparently been ignored. Someone said there is actually a larger room on the premises that could have accommodated everyone (I don't know whether that's true or not). T
>> 
>> 	Those of us who remained went back out front to the Market Street entrance, where apparently there'd been a stand-off with security just inside the building in the stairwell that was now winding down and people coming outside as the word spread that the meeting was postponed. There were two or three police cars parked nearby, and some police standing on the sidewalk. I'd rescued one of the protest signs left behind in the alley (Bradley Manning Grand Marshal), and one of them saw it and asked me "Who's Bradley Manning?" I think I should have responded "Who's John Galt?" but didn't think of that until now.  :-)  I told him he was the WikiLeaks whistleblower, and asked them if they'd been called about this protest. The cop said they'd gotten a call that "200 people were rioting in the street". That was laughable, as there had never been any riot. He seemed to agree, looking about and seeing only maybe a couple dozen people around, all fairly mellow, and said he had to wait to hear what their supervisors wanted them to do. Shortly after that, a girl coming up on her bike said she'd heard some cops at the corner talking about arresting someone. Apparently someone from the Pride organization was talking to some of the other cops (someone said he was the executive director; I'm not sure about that) and telling them he'd been assaulted and wanted the person who did it arrested. A short time before that, I'd heard a protester complaining that *he'd* been knocked down by security and the cops wouldn't do anything about it. Anyway, this Pride guy surrounded by three or four cops came over to our group of protesters, but I guess they couldn't find who they were looking for, and walked away again. Gary Virginia and I walked back down the block to listen to what they were saying, but were told to stay away from the officers taking the guy's report, who moved further down the alley. I decided in light of that to demand they take my statement about being assaulted by the security guard upstairs grabbing my arm, which I had been going to just ignore as I hadn't been hurt or anything, but I didn't want them to come away with thinking our side were the violent or trouble-causing ones. So the remaining cop (SGT Shea, #2092) took my report (case #[masked]). I found it noteworthy that he asked for my name, address, phone number and birthdate, but didn't ask to see any ID, whereas when cops have in the past had less reason to need my information, they have demanded to see my ID. More double standards. 
>> 
>> 	Anyway, the upshot seems to be that the Pride officials are afraid to face the public and the media, and are hoping their inadequate apology and holding out the carrot of Bradley Manning possibly being honored next year will get them off the hook. It won't. There is no word that they gave a specific day, time or location for next week's meeting, so this bears watching very closely. They showed tonight that they are not above lies and dirty tricks.
>> 
>> Love & Liberty,
>>                               ((( starchild )))
>> 
>> 
>>> On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 5:19 PM, Starchild <[address removed]> wrote:
>>> 	Just found out about this, hope some other libertarians may be able to show up as well! 
>>> 
>>> 	Here's the link to the video of me speaking at the rally for Bradley Manning last week, also attended by Mike Denny, John Bechtol, and Mike Acree -- http://www.youtub...­ . 
>>> 
>>> 	I'll bring some of the Bradley Manning stickers I picked up at that event for people to wear.
>>> 
>>> 	For some good commentary on the controversy with Bradley Manning and the SF Pride parade scheduled for June 29, here's the link to Glenn Greenwald's excellent column again -- http://www.guardi...­
>>> 
>>> 	For more information on the saga of this gay hero who has been imprisoned over 1000 days without trial, including at times under conditions described as "torture" by Amnesty International and other human rights groups, his current trial proceedings, etc., visit http://www.bradle...­
>>> 
>>> Love & Liberty,
>>>                               ((( starchild )))
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Begin forwarded message:
>>> 
>>>> From: Stardust in Human Form <[address removed]>
>>>> Date: May 7,[masked]:03:39 PM PDT
>>>> To: Starchild <[address removed]>
>>>> Cc: Bay Area Faeries <[address removed]>
>>>> Subject: Re: [bayareafaeries] Bradley Manning
>>>> 
>>>> WHAT: San Francisco Pride Board of Directors Monthly Meeting: Public Comment
>>>> 
>>>> WHERE: San Francisco Pride Office
>>>> 30 Pearl Street, 4th Floor (off Market, btwn Octavia & Guerrero)
>>>> San Francisco 
>>>> 
>>>> WHEN: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 @ 6:30pm
>>>> 
>>>> At 04:40 PM 5/7/2013, Starchild wrote:
>>>>>­        Can you please post the info on when and where this is happening? I'd like to go and speak out at this meeting as well, and let others know about it. Thanks!
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ Love & Liberty,
>>>>>­                                 ((( starchild )))
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­ On May 7, 2013, at 9:14 AM, BlastOFF wrote:
>>>>>­ 
>>>>>­> Bradley Manning chose not to look the other way, and to not keep silent.
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> That's why I'll be at the San Francisco Pride Board Meeting this evening, to encourage the Pride Board not to vote to silence Bradley Manning. 
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> Why's everyone else goin'?
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­> See you there Honey!
>>>>>­> 
>>>>>­>              BlastOFF     
>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
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