How San Francisco Pride is Perpetuating a Scandal By Not Reinstating Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal

How San Francisco Pride is Perpetuating a Scandal By Not Reinstating Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal

By: Thursday May 9, 2013 1:37 pm

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/05/09/how-san-francisco-pride-is-perpetuating-a-scandal-by-not-reinstating-bradley-manning-as-grand-marshal/#

The San Francisco Pride Committee held a meeting on Tuesday night. It was their monthly meeting and the Board of Directors was well aware that there would be individuals from the community that would be attending to express their outrage at the Board’s decision to not allow Pfc. Bradley Manning to be honored as a Grand Marshal at this year’s Pride parade. However, the meeting was held in a small conference room and members of the public and press were kept out of the meeting.

Chief Operating Officer Earl Plante told KTVU that the meeting was held to “really listen to the community, share their concerns and try to move forward in a proactive way.” That is public relations gobbledygook. He also alleged that, since the decision, “Threats have been made to board members and volunteers. That was why access to the meeting was limited.”

No evidence to substantiate this allegation has been made public by Pride. Nobody attending the meeting was informed by the Pride Board of any details related to “threats” and how the Board was concerned for their safety. So, Plante’s statement is disingenuous and malevolent, as it functions as a ploy to destroy the credibility of supporters protesting the decision.

I spoke with four individuals, who were at the meeting. There are also accounts from the meeting online from Rainey Reitman, Bradley Manning Support Network Steering Committee member; Michael Petrelis, a gay peace and social justice activist; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a writer, singer, songwriter and activist. What follows is a comprehensive and unabridged presentation of what happened at the meeting and how San Francisco Pride continues to make this controversy worse.

What Led Up to the Scheduled Monthly Meeting

http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/05/09/how-san-francisco-pride-is-perpetuating-a-scandal-by-not-reinstating-bradley-manning-as-grand-marshal/#

English: Bradley Manning

English: Bradley Manning (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

A Week Of Manning Up To San Francisco Pride

Only a few weeks ago I felt alone in my sense of dread for whatever I had known as gay rights. Lamenting our seemingly increasing association with corporate pedophiles who advance their nefarious causes in the name of our benefit, I wondered if we would even begin to see the problems, let alone work on solutions. I realized that The Castro was purchased sometime shortly after the days of Harvey Milk, but this past year of coming to terms with our civil rights being hijacked by child rapists and corporate thugs has been quite difficult to bear. After the recent actions of San Francisco Pride in regard to Bradley Manning and their corporate boot-licking, I realized that I am in good company. This blog is a roundup of some of the wonderful things that have been said far better than I could. And, why the fuck not?

silence_equals_death

Bradley Manning is off limits at SF Gay Pride parade, but corporate sleaze is embraced

A seemingly trivial controversy reveals quite a bit about pervasive political values

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/27/bradley-manning-sf-gay-pride

EXCERPTS:

News reports yesterday indicated that Bradley Manning, widely known to be gay, had been selected to be one of the Grand Marshals of the annual San Francisco gay pride parade, named by the LGBT Pride Celebration Committee. When the predictable backlash instantly ensued, the president of the Board of SF Pride, Lisa L Williams, quickly capitulated, issuing a cowardly, imperious statement that has to be read to be believed…

How Did It Happen So Quickly?:

So apparently, the very high-minded ethical standards of Lisa L Williams and the SF Pride Board apply only to young and powerless Army Privates who engage in an act of conscience against the US war machine, but instantly disappear for large corporations and banks that hand over cash. What we really see here is how the largest and most corrupt corporations own not just the government but also the culture. Even at the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade, once an iconic symbol of cultural dissent and disregard for stifling pieties, nothing can happen that might offend AT&T and the Bank of America. The minute something even a bit deviant takes place (as defined by standards imposed by America’s political and corporate class), even the SF Gay Pride Parade must scamper, capitulate, apologize, and take an oath of fealty to their orthodoxies (we adore the military, the state, and your laws). And, as usual, the largest corporate factions are completely exempt from the strictures and standards applied to the marginalized and powerless. Thus, while Bradley Manning is persona non grata at SF Pride, illegal eavesdropping telecoms, scheming banks, and hedge-fund purveryors of the nation’s worst right-wing agitprop are more than welcome.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/27/bradley-manning-sf-gay-pride

This article provided me with a new favorite phrase, as well as further insight in to the problem: “Military Interventionists” –

Bradley Manning, Bayard Rustin, and the perversion of Pride

http://paper-bird.net/2013/04/27/bradley-manning-bayard-rustin-and-the-perversion-of-pride/
I don’t mean to imply that Bradley Manning is Bayard Rustin redivivus, or in any sense his spiritual or political heir. In fact, we know remarkably little about Manning, and a cloud of speculation, much of it absurd, still surrounds his motives. Even that pronoun “his” is questionable. (Speculation persists, supported by chats Manning apparently had with an inquisitive hacker, that she identifies as a trans woman and that advocates and attorneys are suppressing this fact: perhaps to preserve Manning’s “respectability” for the trial. In an attempt to respect the uncertainty, I alternate pronouns.)  The fact that Manning’s been held incommunicado allows everyone to project whatever politics, priorities, or fantasies they like on the mute figure. For homophobes, Manning is a disgruntled and untrustworthy gay man, a living argument for ask, tell, and expel queers from the armed forces. For military interventionists like Dan Choi and Peter Tatchell, he’s an emblem of the kind of inclusive army they’d like, one where all your government secrets will be safe if the officers just welcome the homos with open, loaded arms.

Ouch! and lol on that one. In addition there have been many posts brought to our attention via WikiLeaks and Outright Libertarians, to name just a couple.

Outright Libertarians:

http://www.outrightusa.org/

Outright Libertarians is an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other self-identified “queer” (LGBTQ) Libertarian Party activists and supporters.  We welcome anyone who believes in individual liberty and personal responsibility, and who wishes to actively promote Libertarianism to all those who love differently…

May 2013 Meeting Announcement

Details
Published on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 06:16
Written by Mike Shipley

May 11, 2013 @ 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern


We will discuss the National Bradley Manning Day of Action on June 1st as well as hear updates from State chapters and discuss direction going forward, including regular monthly meetings.

To attend the meeting, simply return to this Event page at the scheduled time and click “Join Hangout”.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cee74qdvb0l156j5avg3ta504es?authkey=CICal_-p19i_0gE

Outright screen 1