Activism | Michael Bloomberg | New York | News

Activists Protest at NYC Mayor's Home Over Gay Sex Shop Arrests

Protestors gathered on Saturday in front of the upper east side residence of Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York to draw attention to a series of false arrests of gay men by the NYPD at adult video shops in the city.

Watch video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Bloomberg_2Last week, the group organizing the protest, called Coalition to Stop the Arrests, sent out a statement regarding the demonstration:

"In an overzealous and illegal effort to close down adult video stores in Manhattan, the New York Police Department has been found to be engaging in the false arrests of gay male patrons of these stores, charging them with prostitution. The cops then cite the establishments for condoning illegal activity and the City sues to shut them down as public nuisances. Scores of innocent men have been swept up in these false arrests, documented in the Gay City News. Young undercover cops go up to middle-aged gay men, cruise them, ask for consensual sex, and then offer to pay the older men to have sex with them. Though none of the men agree to the offer, they are then arrested by a gang of undercover cops and put through the system. None of the men have prior arrests. And while only 17% of male prostitutes arrested in NYPD's Manhattan South district are over 40 years old, 66% of the men arrested at the Blue Door video store are. The legitimacy of these arrests is inconceivable. It also casts doubt on arrests at other targeted stores. These false arrests have been condemned by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Rosie Mendez and State Senator Tom Duane. Mayor Bloomberg must put a stop to these arrests now and bring the rogue cops engaging in these crimes to justice."

Joe.My.God also has a slideshow of the demonstration. He reports: "On hand were a number of familiar LGBT activists: Brendan Fay, Gilbert Baker, Ann Northrop, Father Tony, Eric Leven, John Weis and journalists Andy Humm and Duncan Osbourne. It was Osbourne's relentless pursuit of this story that brought the entire illegal campaign to light."

Watch video by Father Tony, AFTER THE JUMP...

False Arrests Protest At Mayor Bloomberg's House [joe.my.god]
Protesting False Arrests in New York City on Valentine's Day: video/pics/texts [father tony]

Protesters, and George Tynan Crowley reads a Valentine's Day poem to the mayor of New York:

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Comments

  1. Happy Valentine's Day Andy!

    Posted by: Your Gay Lover | Feb 14, 2009 11:51:43 PM


  2. Entrapment, even the Larry Craig kind, is never right.

    Posted by: www.gaygregator.com | Feb 15, 2009 12:25:51 AM


  3. Kudos to the protestors. It's high time we reclaimed this city from the Puritanical Giuliani types who whitewashed and sanitized it, and are evidently still doing so. These arrests sicken me. Maybe it's time for Stonewall II.

    Posted by: David | Feb 15, 2009 8:50:37 AM


  4. Awful. This whole thing reminds me of that episode in Queer As Folf. Where they had that Undercover Cop trying to cruise the older guy and he went to jail for it.

    Posted by: Lo | Feb 15, 2009 11:14:40 AM


  5. I'm so glad to see the gay community begining to focus again on its roots, the fight to express ourselves and who we are without the retribution of puritanical ideologues. Its clear that legislation and practices to "protect children" are less about the young ones and more about policing sexuality amongst adults. Regardless, this is a breath of fresh air after so much coverage of the assimilationist marriage movement which is certainly very upset that some of the less "mainstream" practices of the gay/queer community are in the limelight.

    Posted by: ANON | Feb 15, 2009 11:23:35 AM


  6. I'd like to see the gay community focus on the issues of entrapment, targeting gays, and false arrests. Pride-parade arguments along the lines of "freedom to express ourselves" and "sex is not a crime" are self-indulgent crap that distracts from the issue and alienates potential supporters. These arrests appear wrong, legally -- that's a good place to focus.

    Posted by: Joe H | Feb 15, 2009 3:02:49 PM


  7. I'd like to see the gay community focus on the issues of entrapment, targeting gays, and false arrests. Pride-parade arguments along the lines of "freedom to express ourselves" and "sex is not a crime" are self-indulgent crap that distracts from the issue and alienates potential supporters. These arrests appear wrong, legally -- that's a good place to focus.

    Posted by: Joe H | Feb 15, 2009 3:04:09 PM


  8. hear hear, 3:04:09. What alienates more, I offer, is the seamy sex in porn stores and bookshops is great crowd--the public sex defenders. A lot of them don't know and don't care that their defense of, say, legalized prostitution is a separate debate. These folks need to go away... Lots seem to jump on these things, diluting the message. It's good for a laugh.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2009 4:05:14 PM


  9. "Pride-parade arguments along the lines of 'freedom to express ourselves' and 'sex is not a crime' are self-indulgent crap that distracts from the issue and alienates potential supporters."

    Self indulgent crap? How is that? The entrapment stems not from a viewpoint of anti-gay, it stems from anti-HOMOSEXUAL INTERCOURSE. If it was anti-gay, then our communities institutions of sociality (such as bars and clubs) would be shut down, or its patrons harassed. As such, fighting for our right to engage in sexual expression as long as it does not impede on the liberty and freedom of others (including children), is not self indulgent, it is rather providing a rebuttal to the challenge given. Rather, I see the argument of "alienating straight allies" as the gay community striving for assimilation as opposed to acceptance. Assimilation breeds the particularities of our community lost, and forces us to abide by heterosexist and dominate narratives which pervade our society, and include aspects of sexism, racism, and the like. Rather, we should strive to reconceptualize these fictions.

    Posted by: ANON | Feb 15, 2009 4:05:23 PM


  10. The above is provided by the citizens for the advancement of logic as a mandatory course in high school curricula.

    So there's a difference, we're stipulating, between antigay and ant gay intercourse. One can be completely okay with the gays, and not with gay sex...and as proof of this, offered is the suggestion that if it were antigay, all the gay bars would be closed down...

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2009 4:25:34 PM


  11. "I'm not just having sex in a public place with a member of the same sex! I'm fighting against the patriarchy!"

    ROTFLMAO

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 15, 2009 4:28:42 PM


  12. Why protest at Mayor Bloomberg's home? Don't mistake Michael Bloomberg for someone who gives a shit.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Feb 15, 2009 6:06:29 PM


  13. I see an injustice perpetrated against gays here, and as history shows, it's important that we use the universial premise of injustice to broaden our support in the public arena and reverse this awful act. ANON 4:05:23 PM cries foul, calling me an assimilationist, and thinks the real issue is our right to have sex in these shops. This kind of separatist, in-your-face defense of the marginally defensible is dribble, and has held the gay rights movement back for years. Do you really think our right to have sex in gay sex shops (which I do not oppose) is more important that our freedom from unlawful arrest within a targeted campaign singling us out?

    And this distinction between "anti-gay" and "anti-gay sex" is a red herring -- it's irrelevant. The target is gays, period. If you want to champion public sex as your birthright and fight for it in the public square, fine, but I think we have bigger fish to fry here.

    Posted by: Joe H | Feb 15, 2009 6:27:26 PM


  14. When did I ever insinuate that fighting against entrapment was not the course this should take? They are, however, not mutually exclusive. This is all I am saying.
    To address my poor analogy is just. Gay clubs and bars are certainly places of gay sex. But to police individuals picking one another up in a video store is ludicrous, and something distinctly different than going home with somebody met at a bar or club. As such, I see it as an imperative that this aspect be addressed, along with the fact that gay men are being entrapped, for they are not being entrapped because they are gay, but rather because they are participating in an activity glorified in the gay community.
    Am I making sense anymore, or beating a topic to death?

    Posted by: ANON | Feb 16, 2009 12:59:13 AM


  15. Also, in response to numerous other comments, when did this conversation shift from being about meeting individuals for sex in private to having sex in a public place?

    Posted by: ANON | Feb 16, 2009 1:06:06 AM


  16. Rubbish. The entraptment is not motivated by homophobia--or a negative bias against homosexuals--but because these people are engaging in same sex copulation? Is it possible to target people engaging in same sex sex for harassment independently of homophobia, or from such a bias being antigay? How? That's as absurd as the hate the sin, not the sinner line. So it's not homophobic because they're targeting the activity and not the orientation...now, how does one target the orientation?

    According to you, it would be by closing down the bars and clubs or harassing those patrons. Well, that's a lot less acceptable to do nowadays. Like most oppressors, the nypd has learned to refine its tactics due to lawsuits and public opinion. It's not as overt, then, for fear of these reprisals. But a host of factors works to conceal their discrimination in sex shop cruising--one of which is public opinion still not being okay with it.

    Some people are too stupid to live.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 16, 2009 1:28:30 AM


  17. I haven't been to a sex shop in years. Any of these guys heard of the Internet?? These arrests are part of the neighborhood wars that rage in Manhattan with store owners trying to edge each other out of business, claim space and use the police as weapons of commerce.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 16, 2009 10:07:10 AM


  18. erotik shop

    Posted by: erotik shop | Feb 21, 2009 2:50:29 AM


  19. I am a European citizen who spent the last two weeks in NYC. My holiday was very relaxed and I enjoyed it very much. However I found gay nightlife rather boring. I thought the US is a liberal country. Not too sure after my first visit.

    Bars are empty, no cruising areas, no dark rooms, only two saunas whereby nothing is permitted. I don't see any reason why such places are seen as a threat by the community since no one is forced to attend.

    Having seen NYC, I thought it was really bad, however reading this makes me feel worse. How could I perceive a positive impression of a state which implements acts which promote illegalities. Even if the people agreed to receive the money, the policemen are equally liable to be prosecuted since they promoted illegal activities.

    And people who agreed to it might end up being trapped into an illegal action by these so called 'policemen' in order to prosecute. The police should be there to instill a positive approach of all citizens and not to talk them into illegal action.

    I sympatize with people who have to cope with such policemen.

    Posted by: ME | Mar 14, 2009 6:31:28 PM


  20. We at Gotham City wish to submit our most sincere apology to those inconvieninced during the temporary closing of our establishment located at 687 8th Ave. While we do in fact condone the fruitless efforts of the New York City Police Department's continuing efforts to maintain the current level of safety to all New Yorkers and tourists alike, we will continue with no malice to maintain the annomitity of our patrons.
    We do wish to state clearly that we in no way encourage nor condone any illicit behavior whatsoever. This includes activities such as solicitation, illegal sale of narcotics Ect. Ect. These activities are strictly phorhibited and charges will be brought to those who attempt to not comlpy.
    In conclusion, we are proud to announce the re-opening of our all male section located at 687 8th ave.

    Posted by: vincent ferro | Aug 22, 2009 10:50:20 PM


  21. thanks for all. http://www.romantikshop.com

    Posted by: Sex shop | Sep 11, 2009 5:39:41 AM


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  23. thanks for all.... http://www.sexmarketi.com

    Posted by: Sex shop | Sep 11, 2009 6:54:12 AM


  24. v-pills

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