Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney jetted around the Hamptons yesterday to attend three fundraisers, including one held at the home of billionaire conservative contributor David Koch.
About 200 protesters also headed to the Hamptons to let the world know what they think of Romney's alliance with Koch and his equally rich brother, Charles Koch: nothing good.
"We're here because of David Koch and his vow to purchase a president. It doesn't sound like democracy to me," said one Occupy Wall Street Activist. MoveOn.org, Occupy Long Island and the Long Island Progressive Coalition also had representatives there.
Romney's campaign, expected to have raised $4 million during the Hamptons events, wrote the protests off as a liberal attempt to distract from Obama's failure, according to CNN.
She writes that Occupy Wall Street, with its flash mobs and loose central message, could learn a thing or two about the Stonewall Rebellion, an event she notes was just one of many "gay-bar pushbacks."
What made Stonewall so special is the fact that activists from the relatively timid Mattachine Society hadn't reorganized themselves into the more radical Gay Liberation Front and made a conscious effort to construct a solid message and action.
If not for [Oscar Wilde Books owner Craig] Rodwell, and the Mattachine’s President, Dick Leitsch, two nights of rioting might have been the end. In the previous five years, two similar uprisings in California had come to naught. But the day after Stonewall, a Sunday, teams of activists spread out around the neighborhood, distributing manifestos (“The Hairpin Drop Heard Round the World”). Unlike Occupy Wall Street, the gay activists had a clear list of demands. “Get the Mafia out of the bars,” the leaflets proclaimed. “No more police raids.” … Over the next few months, as the G.L.F. met and debated whether anyone is free until everyone is free and other movement-destroying rabbit holes familiar to the followers of Occupy Wall Street, Rodwell, the bookstore owner, decided to plan a march to commemorate the event on the fourth Sunday in June a year later. Call it the Pride Parade. There have been many gay parades since 1970, but at that time it was a revolutionary notion—that gay people would come out of the closet and into a parade all at once.
Hirshman goes on to say that part of Stonewall's success was the fact that it was simple, rather than involving heady, easily disorganized actions: "[Rodwell] he did not have to get everyone to agree on some lofty mission or to mass in front of a dozen banks to protest everything everybody did wrong, as Occupy did to so little effect on May Day this year. Just come out, as the old gay slogan said. And so they did."
Occupy Wall Street activists will be march alongside other groups during this weekend's LGBT pride parade in San Francisco. Under the name OccuPride, the coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals are planning an in-march demonstration to protest the "economic oppression" of corporate "pink washing."
In a phone interview this week, organizer Craig Rouskey would not confirm that [Oakland Mayor Jean] Quan was among its targeted Pride participants. The gay San Francisco resident would only say, "We have a list of targets."
Rouskey, 34, added that a stoppage of the parade is also likely, but would last no longer than 10 minutes.
"We are not doing sit-ins or die-ins. We are planning cool, direct actions aimed at community building and fun," said Rouskey. "I hope everyone enjoys it and thinks it is really cool. We are doing this for our folks. We love our community." … "This is actually a queer community network of groups that have come together to work on this collectively to confront economic oppression evident through the Pride parade and pink washing," he said. "We want to do it in a way that is supportive of our community. We don't want to piss off people doing good things in our community."
Mayor Quan has been under fire since she led the dismantling of Occupy camps last October. It's unlikely she'll come into direct contact with OccuPride, though: that group is marching in the parade's 94th slot, while Quan will be in the 113th slot. Organizers said they aren't intentionally trying to keep the political rivals apart, but described the arrangement as "fitting."
Celebrating its 25th year of rabble-rousing, ACT UP announced today that on April 25th they and their allies will take to the streets to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS issues as well as to lend a hand to the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement.
To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the AIDS activist group ACT UP will return to its roots and stage a massive demonstration and march on Wall Street — on Wednesday, April 25 — starting at 11 am at City Hall and ending on Wall Street. Hundreds of protestors are expected to converge for a daylong siege in Lower Manhattan.
ACT UP (The AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) will be joined by Occupy Wall Street (OWS), the organization making history this year and last with its public encampments and series of protests against the global financial community. The groups are joining forces to pump up the volume on a growing nationwide outcry for a "Financial Speculation Tax" (Fi.S.T.) on Wall Street.
The groups are calling on local, state, and federal legislators to "give Wall Street the FiST," which is needed to fill AIDS funding gaps and — once and for all — provide universal healthcare in the US. It’s time for effective healthcare to be made available to everyone — to the 99%, not just the 1%.
Watch a video about so-called Robin Hood taxes and how they could help fight HIV/AIDS, AFTER THE JUMP...
Rick Santorum was 15 minutes into his very gloomy speech in the Grace Gym at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, IL, when -- suddenly! From the bleachers!
"Mic check! Mr. Santorum! Mr. Santorum!"
And the crowd's heads turned, and a storm of booing filled the gymnasium's air as two men stood and kissed, rather langurously. The crowd was grossed out. The booing coalesced into a chant of "USA! USA! USA!" as the kissers -- Timothy Tross and Ben Clifford -- were escorted from the building.
It's unclear if the men are gay, or if they were straights out to make a political point. From the Palatine Patch:
“I don’t think the message should be about what my sexuality is,” Tross said. “It’s the message that he’s saying about sexuality that matters.”
This past weekend at its New York gala, the Human Rights Campaign honored Goldman Sachs with the 2011 Workplace Equality Innovation Award. Accompanying that honor was a video released by HRC's 'Americans for Marriage Equality' campaign featuring Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein (above) and an article in the New York Times:
Fred Sainz, an executive with the Human Rights Campaign, said the organization sought Mr. Blankfein, in part, because he is “an unexpected messenger.”
“Lloyd Blankfein is not someone average Americans would think is going to support marriage equality,” Mr. Sainz said. “The green visor crowd is not typically associated with socially progressive policies, and this is further proof that a diversity of Americans are coming to the same conclusion.”
The LGBT grassroots did not respond kindly to HRC's move.
The Queer Caucus listed three demands regarding its protest:
The Queer Caucus: 1. Condemns HRC for honoring Goldman Sachs, 2. Calls upon HRC to adopt a strategy of Full Equality by 2014, and 3. Demands that HRC create a transparent process that includes the grassroots.
Cops moved the protesters across the street to a location where the black-tie crowd could not hear their chants. Still some protesters entered the Waldorf lobby to make their case. Some gala attendees reportedly mocked the protest via Twitter.
And today, Marketing and communications consultant Andrew Beaver slammed HRC in the Huffington Post. Beaver said giving such an honor to "a predatory company like Goldman Sachs" shows that HRC "has seriously lost its way at a unique time in our country and the LGBT movement's history."
HRC's willingness to whitewash the pasts of individuals and organizations in return for cold cash is nothing new. In some ways I don't fault the group's willingness to look these execs in the eye, take their money, and use it to promote LGBT equality. But this strategy has its limits. In honoring Goldman Sachs, HRC is incredibly tone-deaf to the enormous outrage nearly all Americans feel toward the banks and securities firms at the center of the economic meltdown...
...I'm not suggesting it is HRC's job to police the American economy, nor do I think an organization that represents the spectrum of LGBT opinion should become a mouthpiece for critiques of our economic system, but I do believe HRC should embrace fundamental progressive values, especially those that so directly impact a generation we encouraged to live by those values. In honoring Goldman Sachs, HRC is aligning itself with a company that has nearly bankrupted an entire future generation and would do it again. This past Saturday HRC sent the message of "do as I say, not as I do," and that is very sad.
What are your thoughts about the HRC-Goldman Sachs relationship?