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Planned Action to Coincide with Nationwide MLK Jr. Weekend Protests 

San Francisco, CA – Saturday, January 17th, 2015 – An organization of Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) plan to shut down nightlife in the Castro tonight in solidarity with the #Blacklivesmatter campaign, which has called for an escalation of nationwide actions to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. 

Organizers of the event plan to rally at 18th street and Castro at 9:30pm. Activists say they chose to rally at the Castro because it is a space dominated by white middle class men, and is symbolic of the racial divide within the LGBT community and gentrification in San Francisco in general. 

Organizers say they are also protesting the Castro due to its housing of many mainstream LGBT organizations who have remained overwhelmingly silent on the #Blacklivesmatter movement, and who, they argue, are generally apathetic towards issues affecting black and brown members of the LGBT community.

In a letter addressed to mainstream LGBT organizations, activists stated that: “Politicized rituals of mourning… were once central to LGBT culture. But now that AIDS is wreaking its worst devastation within the Black community, and now that most reports of hate violence involve attacks on Black and Latina transwomen, mourning has become a footnote in many white-dominated LGBT spaces.”

QTPOC organizers say this action is just the beginning of a larger campaign of solidarity actions they are planning in support of #Blacklivesmatter. QTPOC activists hope to pressure mainstream LGBT organizations to take action on #Blacklivesmatter and to adopt its goals and demands as their own. 

Addendum: QTPOC activists’ full list of demands:

1.  Pressure San Francisco LGBT Center, Horizons Foundation, Equality CA, Human Rights Campaign, all mainstream LGBT organizations to take concrete action in support of black lives

2.  Donate money to efforts that support queer and trans black leadership including TGI Justice Project, Trans Women of Color Collective, and BreakOUT!

3. Support the Black Friday 14: #BlackLivesMatter #NotOneDime.

Sign the petition to demand that BART stop its persecution of civil rights protesters who halted BART on Black Friday.

4.  Find alternatives to calling the police to keep our communities safe.

(Photo Credit: Twitter)

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