HillcrestBlog by "San Diego News Service" (619) 757-4909

"San Diego News Service" covers hard news, features and reviews for local and national print media, and maintains, "HillcrestBlog." Address: 3907 Georgia St., #15, San Diego 92103-3548. Our editor is Leo E. Laurence, J.D., Copy Ed.: Martin Brickson. Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Latino Journalists of California. Call news tips to (619) 757-4909 (days), Nights: (619) 220-8686 (fax also). leopowerhere@msn.com Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service

Saturday, November 8, 2008

MASSIVE MARCHES FOR GAY RIGHTS SATURDAY (UPDATED)


(Story updated Sunday 11/9)
Hillcrest/North Park: Thousands marched shouting "equal rights" at noon on Saturday (11/8) and the line of marchers at 12:35 p.m. stretched solid from Hillcrest to North Park.
Police reportedly said the number of marchers are over 7,000, but other estimates ran as high as over 10,000 - which seems more realistic. Police figures are traditionally more conservative.

"We will offer them protection all the way down (to North Park)," said SDPD Sgt. V. S. Colvin, who headed a team of 16 officers, mostly on motorcycles; just before the march began in Hillcrest.

"Where was all this energy before the election," asked Jonah Blechman, 33, a local cinematographer whose new film Another Gay Sequel appeared at the Hillcrest Landmark Theatre on Sept. 12th. He was interviewed on the Georgia St. Bridge over University Avenue.

"Why weren't we here sooner," he asked rhetorically; expressing a sentiment that was very common among the marchers as hundreds of on-lookers watched and shouted support on sidewalks along University Avenue.

"This is people feeling fear," said his lover and fellow cinematographer Brent Corrigan, 22; both of Kensington.

As the marchers were assembling at Third and University in Hillcrest, a lesbian - Lisa Kove - was trying to organize the event.

"We must show peace and love to the media," Kove repeated over and over. "We need to project ourselves as a gentle, loving community," she said often.

"Oh, fuck that," said Mark Conlan, editor and publisher of Zenger's Newsmagazine. These people are angry and they need to express it!

Considerable criticism of the professional homosexuals who ran the "No-on-8" campaign was also expressed.

The TV ads - what few were aired locally - against Prop-8 were quite tame and never used the phrase "gay marriage." It was if some closeted person produced the ads.

"The pollsters advised the ad producers that the straights were 'not ready' for the phrase 'gay marriage,' so it was avoided in the ads," Conlan explained. That's a throw-back to the closeted, pre-Gay-Lib days of the late 60's.

"(That strategy) didn't work before (in other states) and it didn't work this time," argued Conlan.

When asked 'where was this energy before the election?, a young lesbian on the Georgia Street Bridge said: "Oh, we had it. We had a nice, quiet candlelight vigil."

"BIG DEAL!", shouted a young man nearby.

More information on the No-on-8 campaign can be found by googleing "HRC" (Human Rights Campaign) or "EQCA" (Equality California).

After the speeches in North Park, it took several hours for the thousands of marchers to walk back to Hillcrest along University Avenue, carrying their printed "No-on-8" signs.

Many carried home-made signs. One read "Straight Latino for Equal Rights."

Although the battle opposing Pro-8 was lost, the mood along University Avenue for several hours after the North Park event ended was loud and celebratory. Hundreds of passing cars along University Avenue continuously honked their horns supporting the returning marchers.

Ironically, it was as if the opposition to Prop-8 had been successful.

Friday (11/7), two guys organized an ad-hoc demonstration of an estimated 500 in Balboa Park, also to protest the success of Prop-8.

Also Friday, thouands of protestors took to the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to the Associated Press.

In Long Beach, three protestors were arrested for trying to lead people past police lines that were formed to protect the marchers, but there was no violence.

A huge demonstration occured also in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

"Our 'little' neighborhood demonstration and march here in Silverlake, which started at what's called the 'Sunset Junction,' was reported on last night's local news to contain 12,000 people," reports one of our L.A. readers, Aristidel.

"I had no idea there were that many Gay people and their supporters still in this (Silverlake) area. I'm proud to know that activism is not dead. We just needed a firey issue to wake us up," Aristidel added.

Police escorted the protestors in Long Beach, San Francisco and San Diego.

At least three court challenges against Prop-8 have reportedly been filed.

_______________________
Copyright 2008 by San Diego News Service (619) 757-4909 leopowerhere@msn.com

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