August 30th, 2004

ice cream dragon
  • koaloha

Queer Fist Members arrested at Times Square demo

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:
There were no reports of major violence, and police mostly left them alone. But that was not the case on Broadway Sunday night, as other protesters converged on Times Square at the same time Republican delegates were attending shows.

Dozens of members of Queer Fist, a group of young gays and lesbians, were arrested after police on horseback broke up what participants contended was a peaceful "kiss in" timed to coincide with the Republicans' night on Broadway.

Herding them into a confined street corner, police pushed several protesters to the ground and handcuffed them with plastic cuffs as a crowd shouted: "Shame, shame, shame" and "Let them go. Let them go."

Protesters, some in tears, were led away into a police van as volunteer lawyers shouted out a hotline for them to call. Other groups of protesters converged nearby as police rolled out mesh barricades and forcefully pushed people back from the streets.

"Please tell me why I'm being arrested," said David Portugal, as he was led into the van. "This was passive. This was passive."

He said the group came to Times Square because "the Republicans are here enjoying entertainment by mostly gay actors," despite opposing gay marriage in their platform.

Other protesters confronted delegates as they arrived at theaters, shouting: "Get out of New York!"
Poor kids, sweltering in overnight lock-up tonight. I'm calling my brother the legal aid lawyer to see if he's defending any of these kids tonight at night court.