'Gay Shame' Protesters Arrested At Prison-Themed Pride Party In San Francisco
No matter what, everything is offensive to someone, somewhere, and this past Pride the San Francisco activist group 'Gay Shame' took umbrage with Kink.com's prison-themed "Prison of Love" party. Some 150 members of the group collected outside The Armory to protest, and according to Kink.com owner Peter Acworth the protesters were largely peaceful, if unruly, and offended that the organizers of the party would try "to [turn] these genocidal practices [of prison rape] into a cash-making joke."
However, as is often the case, a few people ruined it for everyone. They began harassing people on the sidewalk, punching security guards, smashing phones, and even breaking the collar bone of one bystander. When one Kink.com security guard followed a few of the protesters for the purpose of identifying them for the police, the protesters then threw objects at the guard and made violent threats, both felonies. Once the police arrived to arrest the assailant, two other protesters intervened in the arrest, which just so happens to fall under California's definition of lynching.
Mary Lou Ratchet, a Gay Shame representative, tried to draw a parallel between protesting a Pride party and Stonewall, saying,
Like the Stonewall rebellion 45 years ago, last night's attack reminds us how trans and queer people of color are criminalized and arrested for simply gathering in public space, like the 16th St. BART plaza [where the arrests took place].
The three protesters - Rebecca Ruiz-Lichter, Prisca Carpenter, and Sarai Robles-Mendez - remain in custody, allegedly on "trumped up charges." Ruiz-Lichter and Robles-Mendez's bail is set at $50,000 each; Carpenter's bail is $78,000.