Archive for the ‘Protest’ Category

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Video: San Francisco Gays Protest 6 Gay Iraqi Murders – April 6, 2009, Harvey Milk Plaza

Gay Iraq Vigils: NYC on Friday 10 April, London Next Thursday 16 April 2009

By Michael Petrelis

Two international actions are planned over the coming two week because of the murder of gay Iraqis in the slums of Baghdad.

Activists will gather in New York City this week, and in London next week, to protest the deaths of gay Iraqis, the continuing American occupation of the country, and to express strong solidarity with the LGBT people of Iraq.

Big thanks to Brendan and Ali for organizing the vigils.

Here are the details for each action that I’ve received from the organizers. If you’re near these cities, please try and get to the actions.


Contact: Brendan Fay


P: 718-721-2780

We will gather later this week to remember our murdered brothers in Iraq, at a vigil in front of the Iraqi mission to the United Nations. We will light candles, lay a wreathe with rainbow ribbons, and also speak out against homophobic violence everywhere. A letter of protest will be delivered to the mission.

Please join us!

What: Vigil of Remembrance & Solidarity With LGBT Iraqis

When: Friday, April 10

Time: 12 Noon

Where: Iraq Mission to the UN

14 E 79th St

New York, NY 10075


Contact: Ali Hili



What: Protest and Support Iraqi LGBT – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgendered

Date: Thursday, April 16, 2009

Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Location: Home Office Direct Communications Unit

2 Marsham Street

London, United Kingdom

See also: London protest about Iraqi gay executions by LGBT Asylum News

See more details and RSVP via Facebook

San Francisco Gays Protest 6 Gay Iraqi Murders – April 6, 5 PM, Harvey Milk Plaza

By Michael Petrelis

milkplazaOver the weekend, the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters news wires, along with CNN, have reported on the murders of six gay men in the slums of Baghdad in recent weeks.

This is one news account of the anti-gay violence:

Residents told AFP that the bodies of two men aged 16 and 18 were found on waste ground on the outskirts of Sadr City, and that several days previously two homosexuals had been dumped in the street with their arms and legs broken.
During Friday prayers in Sadr City, a poor district of Baghdad where some two million Iraqis live, Sheikh Jassem al-Mutairi slammed what he called “new private practices by some men who dress like women, who are effeminate.

And this round-up of bad news is from the ThinkProgress site:

An Iraqi defense ministry official reports that at least six gay men have been shot dead in two separate incidents during the past 10 days in a Shia-controlled part of Baghdad. The official said today that three bullet-riddled bodies of gay individuals have been identified in Sadr City:

“Three corpses of homosexuals have been recovered in Sadr City. Two of the bodies, found on Thursday, had pieces of paper attached on which was written the word ‘Pervert.’ The third body was retrieved on Friday,” the official said.

Other dead bodies had the word “puppies” written on their chests. Puppy is a derogatory word used by residents in Sadr City to refer to gays. Witnesses told CNN that a Sadr City cafe, which was a popular gathering spot for gays, was also set on fire.

In response to the gay murders, longtime affordable housing and queer community organizer Tommi Avicolli Mecca, gay Board of Supervisors’ member Bevan Dufty and myself will be holding a speak out against the killings, and the U.S. occupation of Iraq, on Monday.

Here are the details:

WHAT: Rally and speak out over gay murders in Iraq

WHEN April 6


WHERE: Harvey Milk Plaza, Castro and Market Streets

Please join us for this important early evening street visibility action to call attention and object to the homo-hatred in Iraq. More details on the action to follow later today and tomorrow.

See also previous posts:


Protests this weekend will call for an end to the Vatican’s privileges and its undermining of human rights, Friday 13 February 2009 19.30 GMT

The Vatican should stop meddling in politics and misusing its power to oppose human rights. Just as importantly, it is time the Italian government ceased kow-towing to the pope’s theocratic agenda. All of Europe should be secular, where people are free to practise their faith but where no religion has privileged legal status and unique access to political power and influence.

These are the demands of protesters, backed by the British Humanist Association, who will assemble in London this Saturday afternoon in support of a simultaneous protest taking place in Rome against the Vatican’s manipulation of Italian, European and worldwide politics.

In celebration of Charles Darwin’s debunking of the Biblical idea that the world was made by God in six days, the protesters will meet at the Natural History Museum. It is hosting the biggest-ever Charles Darwin exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of his book, On the Origin of Species. His theory of evolution was long rejected and denounced by successive popes.

Undeterred by church hostility, Darwin made his view of religion very clear: “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work, worthy the interposition of a deity … it is more humble and I believe truer to consider him created from animals.”

From the Natural History Museum, the marchers will go to the Italian Embassy to demand that the Italian government curb its favouritism and appeasement of the Vatican. The Italian parliament too often allows itself to be bullied by the Vatican, resulting in it dumping legislation for same-sex civil unions and sex education in schools.

The Catholic church in Italy is a huge corporate business empire. It owns hotels, restaurants, shops and private schools but it does not pay tax. On the contrary, it is subsidised by the Italian taxpayer, with about four billion euros in public money being given to the Vatican every year.

Saturday’s protest organisers, Marco Tranchino and Serena Bassi, describe the Vatican as a “tiny statelet inhabited almost entirely by priests, with a disproportionate and malign influence on Italian and global politics”.

Officially part of the United Nations, the Vatican’s observer state status means it intervenes in UN debates on a variety of issues, including old-time favourites, such as birth control, abortion and homosexuality. No other faith has this privileged status, access and influence at the UN.

The Vatican maintains diplomatic relationships with nearly every nation in the world. In most EU countries it benefits from the support of Catholic politicians and in many cases its policies are advocated by political parties like the Christian Democrats and their successors and allies. The Vatican does not shrink from using threats and intimidation to enforce its will. To keep Catholic MPs in line with papal policy opposing gay equality, for example, the Vatican has threatened to excommunicate any Catholic legislator who votes for same-sex civil unions.

Of the 27 countries in the European Union, 14 are bound to the Vatican by at least one treaty. No other religion has such state-level power and connections, either in Europe or the wider world.

The pope has made sure that the proposed EU Constitution – and now the Lisbon Treaty (article 16c) – commits the European Union to “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches and religious organisations”. No other non-governmental organisation is afforded such dialogue – not trade unions, not human rights groups and not bodies representing the rights and welfare of women, black or disabled people.

Within Britain, the Catholic church has lobbied hard to restrict women’s reproductive rights, in particular access to contraception, abortion and fertility treatment. It has led the opposition to medical advance by means of embryo and stem cell research. With increasing numbers of state-funded faith schools (1 in 3 of all schools in the UK are either Catholic or Church of England), the Vatican continues to exercise a strong and biased influence on hundreds of thousands of young people.

The pope encourages us to view women as inferior to men by barring them from the priesthood and by consistently stating that the two genders are naturally different and that women are biologically inclined for a more mothering and domestic role in life. In many Catholic countries, women who have had a divorce or abortion, and women who are living as single parents, suffer religious-inspired stigma and discrimination. In some Catholic countries, like Ireland and Poland, abortion is illegal. In others, like Italy, abortion rights are under constant threat from the Vatican’s pressure on the government.

To the delight of homophobes everywhere, the pope propagandises that being gay is an “objective disorder”, “grave depravity” and a “tendency towards an intrinsic moral evil”. In 1992, the Vatican officially rejected the concept of lesbian and gay “human rights”, asserting that there is “no right” to homosexuality. It added that the civil liberties of homosexuals can be “legitimately limited”. While condemning “unjust” discrimination, the Catholic leadership declared that some forms of anti-gay discrimination are “not unjust” and may even be “obligatory”.

In around 80 countries male homosexuality is still illegal, with penalties ranging up to life imprisonment and even death by execution. Last December, a proposal to decriminalise homosexuality and protect gay people against discrimination was opposed by the Vatican in the UN and by fellow religious bigots in the Organisation of Islamic States.

In contrast, if Catholics suffer discrimination I will be the first to defend them. Equally, when the pope supports discrimination against women and gay people I will be the first to oppose him. That is the difference between me and the pope. I reject all discrimination, including against Catholics. He supports sexist and homophobic discrimination whenever it suits his intolerant interpretation of the Christian faith. That is why the Vatican must be opposed and why I will be joining Saturday’s march in London.

No to Vatican. Protest Saturday 14 February 2009. Assemble at 2pm outside the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD (near the corner with Exhibition Road).

Moscow Authorities Ban Gay Picket In Front of Iran Embassy

Organizer decide to cancel the event and appeal to courts

On Monday 14 July Prefecture of the Central Administrative Area of Moscow denied to Moscow Pride organizers permission to hold a picketing to denounce executions of homosexuals and minors in Iran in front of its Embassy in Moscow planned for Saturday 19 July. The action was supposed to gather around 30 activists.

Organizers notified Moscow authorities about their picketing last Friday in full accordance with Russian law on public demonstrations but officials replied that they are unable to provide security during the event.

Russian gay activists already picketed Iran Embassy on 19 July 2006 and 19 July 2007. The actions were part of the international campaign against executions in this Islamic state. In the last two years Prefecture of the Central Administrative Area of Moscow gave permission to hold the events and there were no incidents in the course of the events.

Manifestations on 19 July are linked to the anniversary of the executions of two teenagers who were accused of homosexual behavior and publicly hanged in July 2005. The news shocked the international community.

Homosexual people in Iran are being systematically prosecuted and harassed. Islamic laws of the country bans homosexual behavior with penalties up to capital punishment. The aim of gay activists is to attract attention of the society to the breaches of human rights in Iran and to the issue of death penalty in general.

Organizer of Moscow Gay Pride and initiator of the picketing in front of Iran Embassy Nikolai Alekseev said on Monday that “Moscow authorities once again breached Russian Constitution and Russian legislation on public events. Without any reasons they banned another action of sexual minorities and deprived them of their right to protest”.

Nikolai Alekseev suggested that “this time it is more than obvious that the denial to conduct the picketing was fully discriminatory on the basis of sexual orientation. We applied to the Prefecture with the identical notification to the ones we used in the last two years adding one word. Before we said that we were protesting against executions of minors and this time we said that we will protest against executions of minors and homosexuals. This was enough for the authorities to ban the event”.



Defend Mehdi Kazemi

Oppose Iran’s homophobic persecution

Reform the asylum system to protect LGBT refugees

Join the protest

This Saturday, 22 March

2pm to 3pm

Opposite Downing Street, Whitehall, SW1

Friends and supporters of gay Iranian asylum seeker, Mehdi Kazemi, are asking you to join our protest opposite Downing Street this Saturday, March 22nd:

Our demands are:

– Don’t send Mehdi Kazemi back to his death in Iran
– Down with Iran’s homophobic laws
– For the right to settle in the UK.

The event is sponsored by Middle East Workers’ Solidarity and the National Union of Students LGBT campaign, and is supported by the LGBT human rights group, OutRage! has more details.

OutRage! is highlighting the five failings of the Home Office with regard to LGBT refugees:

– No training on sexual orientation issues for asylum staff and adjudicators

– No explicit official policy supporting the right of refugees to claim asylum on the grounds of sexual orientation

– No action to stamp out the abuse of LGBT refugees in UK asylum detention camps

– No accurate, up-to-date information on the victimisation of LGBT people in violently homophobic countries

– No access to adequate legal representation for LGBT asylum applicants

We hope to see you on Saturday at 2pm.

Solidarity and appreciation, Peter Tatchell, OutRage!