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San Francisco Pride's Shame: Bradley Manning

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(Article changed on June 8, 2013 at 10:18)

by Ann Garrison

I was sitting in West Oakland this afternoon waiting for a refrigerator delivery, but if I hadn't been doing that, I'd have been outside the San Francisco LGBT Center with the rest of the crowd waiting for a decision by the SF Pride Board as to whether they would reinstate Bradley Manning as a 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade Grand Marshal. Even while stuck at home on fridge duty, I was following the updates posted by cell phone users to the Reinstate Bradley Manning as a Grand Marshal for SF Pride Parade

First post was:  

"[San Francisco] Supervisor Campos called their office at 5:25 and they were finalizing the statement. We rang the bell. No answer. We started press conference.  [Assemblyman] Ammiano is now speaking.""

(Campos and Ammiano are two of San Francisco's best known gay legislators. Ammiano represented its District #9, its most radical electorate, on the City and County Board of Supervisors, before moving on to the California State Assembly. Campos succeeded him on the Board and may well succeed him in the Assembly.)

Then Facebook banter, as we waited. . . "Talk about stonewalling."  . . .  "Have the Sisters [of Perpetual Indulgence] shown up?"  Etc., etc.

Then came the Pride Board's statement, now posted to the website of the SF Pride website: SF Pride Responds to May 31 Community Forum. You may have to read it two or three times to be sure it says anything at all, but by the third time you'll probably realize that no, the Pride Board will not reinstate Bradley Manning.  And that they "look forward to advancing efforts to effectively 'educate the world, commemorate our heritage, celebrate our culture, and liberate our people.'"

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After a round of Facebook groans, the Reinstate-Bradley Admin posted this note:

"Ch 2 at 10pm. Ch 7 now or 9 or 11 or a combo. KPFA tomorrow at 6pm."

All those reports will probably be visible on the Web soon. Here's the transcript of the KPFA News report I produced near the beginning of this sorry saga with KPFA's own Womens' Magazine producer Kate Raphael, who was a radical San Francisco Pride Grand Marshal in 2004.  

KPFA  Evening News, 05.11.2013

KPFA  Evening News Anchor Cameron Jones: San Francisco's Harvey Milk  LGBT  Democratic Club has announced that its Tuesday, May 14, Political Action Committee meeting will be a public  forum titled "Bradley Manning: Grand Marshal, Not Court Martial!." The Milk Club Board protested the San Francisco Pride Board's rejection of U.S. military whistleblower Bradley Manning as an Honorary Grand Marshal of this year's annual Gay Pride Parade in an official statement that it "fervently supports Bradley Manning's act of conscience and ongoing struggle for basic fundamental rights."  KPFA's  Ann Garrison spoke to Kate Raphael, anti-war and human rights activist, Milk Club  member, and host of   KPFA's   Women's Magazine, who was an elected San Francisco Pride Grand Marshal in 2004.

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Ann Garrison, left, Kate Raphael, right, at KPFA Radio by Ann Garrison

Ann Garrison, left, Kate Raphael, right, at KPFA Radio by Ann Garrison

KPFA /Ann Garrison: Kate Raphael, could you tell us about your election as a Grand Marshal of the 2004 San Francisco Pride Parade?

Kate Raphael: Well, I had been living in Palestine for about six months and at the end of that time I was arrested at a demonstration against the apartheid wall in  Budrus  village and I was held in jail for a little over a week, and then I was released, but I had to leave the country. I was required to leave the country within two weeks. So I left, and then I went on a delegation to Iraq - that was in February of 2004 - and then came back to the Bay Area. And that had been a fairly big news event when I was arrested, and in jail. There had been a demonstration at the Israeli Consulate . . . FREE KATE . . . and I was a member of Q.U.I.T., which is Queers  Undermining  Israeli Terrorism, still am. . . and so, when I came back, Joey Cain, who was at that time the president of the Pride Committee Board, asked me, "Do you  wanta  be nominated for Grand Marshal?'

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I grew up around a radioactive toxic mess called the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in a gorgeous place, Washington's Olympic Peninsula, by way of Western Oklahoma, another gorgeous place. I'm a compulsive writer and sometimes I sign as (more...)

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