Pride Calls For Charges To Be Dropped

The San Francisco Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration Committee is calling on the District Attorney to drop the felony charges against 6 people who were arrested when they attempted entered the Parade in front of Supervisor Gavin Newsom's contingent.

SF Pride Board President Joey Cain said:

"From interviews we've conducted with independent witnesses who were at the scene it is apparent that the SFPDs response was disproportionate to the actual danger posed by the protesters. They were not, as erroneously reported, advancing on Supervisor Newsom's car with pipes, but merely attempting to unfurl a banner well ahead of the supervisor's contingent. That action does not merit being arrested much less being charged with three very serious felonies."

The six arrested are affiliated with the group Gay Shame and had jumped over the police barricades to enter the Parade near Seventh and Market Streets with a banner reading "Queer Mutiny, Not Consumer Unity". The SF Pride Celebration has a long history of protests as part of the Parade. ACT-UP in the 1980's performed die-ins in front of then Mayor
Agnos' car to protest inaction in the AIDS crisis. Just a few years ago a group called TransAction marched in front of the SFPD contingent to denounce police mistreatment of Transgender people.

Pride Executive Director Teddy Witherington commented:

Protesting social injustice is what the Pride Celebration was founded on. While we prefer groups to register or tell us what they are planning, we welcome all forms of non-violent action that give voice to the diverse elements of our community.

The Pride Committee encourages members of the community call the District Attorney's office at (415) 553 1741 and request him to drop the charges.