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Hundreds Turn Out to Protest Raid on Atlanta Eagle Gay Bar


Hundreds turned out yesterday for a demonstration protesting a police raid on the Atlanta Eagle gay bar last Thursday in which patrons and staff were forced to the floor and roughly frisked while officers made derogatory comments.

Eagle2Eight people were arrested, according to officer Darlene Harris, APD's liaison to the gay community.

According to Harris: "When you're coming into a dark club, that's not well lit, and you have an unknown number of people inside the club, it is an officer safety concern as well. The individuals that were arrested were arrested for various charges, not just one. For operating a business without a license, for dancing without a permit. Those seem to be the two that have came in."

WABE reports:

Ramey "John Curran says he was at the Atlanta Eagle Thursday night when both uniformed and undercover APD officers stormed the building and forced all 60-or-so patrons there to the floor.  Addressing several hundred demonstrators last night outside of the bar, Curran joined calls for a formal investigation. 'Thursday night was the first time I've ever felt like a second-class citizen. Thursday night was the first time I ever felt like a criminal for being at the right place at the wrong time. We were handcuffed, thrown to the floor, frisked, violently, lots of derogatory comments, and I'm sorry, I don't want to rehash that right now.'"

Bar owner Richard Ramey says the intent went far beyond a simple inspection: "Once they searched everyone, found no weapons or drugs, they said Well, I guess we'll have to go to the IDs next.' So they brought a laptop to see if they had any warrants or unpaid traffic tickets. They were fishing, they were looking."

Watch video clips of the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "For operating a business without a license, for dancing without a permit."

    ^^^^ dancing without a permit? wtf is that? you need a permit to dance?

    Posted by: Sly | Sep 14, 2009 8:04:12 AM

  2. I wasn't able to attend yesterday as I was out of town but many of my friends were there. The protest crossed all lines and drew much support beyond the boundaries of the leather community. Hopefully this will turn into something in Atlanta!

    Posted by: RB | Sep 14, 2009 8:08:15 AM

  3. this is how it was, EVERYWHERE, when i was coming og age, only there were no liaison officerd or relatively sympathetic press.

    as we push for our civil rights, this is the pushback, and more, we can expect, and i hope, before too many die, that it wakes up some very complacent young, and not so young, people, that we are fighting for our freedom and our lives.

    Posted by: jack | Sep 14, 2009 8:22:13 AM

  4. this is also police just harrasing a business. We have had a few incidents where my city wasn't happy with a couple of clubs because of the number of incidents. So they cracked down on them and kept looking for infractions and violations to get them on.

    The other tatic they used was to question and do an ID check on all the patrons. This lead to a few arrests, but mainly just pissed off patrons who decide not to go back, or the police officers suggesting they not revisit the club.

    Posted by: kujhawker | Sep 14, 2009 8:40:47 AM

  5. I repeat my question : who swore the false information on drugs etc used to obtain the warrant from a judge ? You do still need search warrants in the USA , right ? Or has "The Patriot Act" ( what a name !) done away with that necessity ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Sep 14, 2009 9:00:00 AM

  6. @SLY
    In the city where i live, to allow dancing, a club must have a Caberet license.

    Posted by: sonnie | Sep 14, 2009 9:29:44 AM

  7. Whether a cabaret license is required or not, the officer said the individuals were *arrested* for dancing without a permit.

    The individuals do not need a license to dance; the club may need one to allow dancing. And making arrests for that is ludicrous. That would be a fine, not an infraction that would trigger arrests.

    Posted by: eliminador | Sep 14, 2009 11:36:52 AM

  8. Is the Eagal Bar still a haven from odd things and hearsay?

    Posted by: zip | Sep 14, 2009 12:22:00 PM

  9. Eagle

    Posted by: zip | Sep 14, 2009 12:39:18 PM

  10. I've always had a low opinion of Atlanta, this just reconfirms it.

    Posted by: chasmader | Sep 14, 2009 1:02:00 PM

  11. The patrons of the Eagle Bar have a legal right to set boundaries and be however they choose to be.

    Posted by: Zip | Sep 14, 2009 1:57:32 PM

  12. WTF????!!! I get KICKED out of a CITY OF ATLANTA PUBLIC PARK, because im crossdressed, & YET, NO ONE SUPPORTS MY CIVIL RIGHTS! As a law abiding G/W/M crossdresser, I had my CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATED BY BUCKHEAD BASEBALL! And last year, on Labor Day weekend, i *tried* attendinng 'Celebrate Freedom Atlanta' concert, a 'free, public' concert that had been advertised on interstate billboards. But because i was CROSSDRESSED, i got KICKED OUT! Why did'nt anyone stand up for MY rights??? Why are GAYS in Atlanta so apathetic???? Even 'gay' groups have DISCRIMINATED againt me! WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE??? Just google 'ChrisCrossdresser' to see my posts.

    Posted by: ChrisCrossdresser | Sep 14, 2009 6:15:21 PM

  13. "after the jump"

    FUCK the jump.

    Posted by: Jack | Sep 15, 2009 1:00:16 PM

  14. This is ridiculous.

    Posted by: JIll | Sep 15, 2009 2:39:41 PM

  15. Congratulations Atlanta, you are now the laughingstock of the country.

    Posted by: Rick Cain | Sep 15, 2009 9:34:16 PM

  16. That is a bunch of crap.

    Posted by: Electric Cigarette | Feb 25, 2010 2:39:15 AM

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