White Night Riots

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    May 29, 2007 5:38 AM GMT
    While most of us know about Stonewall, I'm surprised by how few queer people I talk to, at least those born after 1975 outside of SF, have heard of the White Night Riots.
    /thecastro.net/milk/whitenight.html>

    Any idea why?
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    May 29, 2007 5:52 AM GMT
    Well, I'd say it's because the Stonewall riots occured in NYC, which is the biggest of the biggest in terms of cities.

    Also, it occured 10 years prior to the White Night Riots (according to your source).

    The Stonewall Riots occurred on June 28, 1969 (HEY JUNE 28 IS MY BIRTHDAY (cheap plug)) lol.

    So yeah, I'd say it's due to location and the fact that Stonewall was first (or at least that's what I thought from what I've read).
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    May 29, 2007 12:09 PM GMT
    Stonewall riots happened because gay people were being singled out for oppression by NYC police. People know about Stonewall because it was a major milestone in gay rights history.

    My guess is that people (like me) haven't heard of the White Night riots because they weren't about gay rights the way Stonewall was. They weren't in response to gay people being systematically oppressed because they're gay.
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    May 29, 2007 12:36 PM GMT
    I have heard of Stonewall Riot, never heard of White Night Riot. What happen?
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    May 29, 2007 4:45 PM GMT
    No idea what this refers to. Sorry.

    NICK
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    May 29, 2007 6:14 PM GMT
    Gay people don't receive education in the history of the struggle for civil rights unless they go out of their way to learn it. As a result, we tend to have to relearn the same lessons every generation.

    Harvey Milk, head of the SF Board of Supervisors, was the first openly gay elected official in America. He and Mayor Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, a member of the board who had quit and then demanded reinstatement.

    Milk had actually made recordings to be played in the event of his assassination. That's how dangerous it was then for an openly gay person to hold public office. Like Martin Luther King, he anticipated it. The recordings were played at an enormous memorial rally in the Castro soon after his death.

    The term "Twinkie Defense" originated with White's trial. White successfully plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter on the basis of diminished capacity. Defense attorneys argued that one symptom of that -- not the cause, as is usually thought -- was eating junk food. (White was a health-food junkie before this, apparently.)

    The verdict, basically four years in prison as I recall, provoked a riot, just as obvious miscarriages of justice provoked ghetto riots in the '60s.

    There's a documentary film about Milk and several plays, even an opera, have been written about the incident.



  • gymingit

    Posts: 156

    May 29, 2007 7:38 PM GMT
    TO OBSCENEWISH: As a social science education major, thank you for that informative bit of history. I will do more reading and research on this topic myself.

    LANCE
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    Jun 03, 2007 3:14 AM GMT
    Before both "White Night" () and Stonewall (1969), SF had the Compton Cafe riots (1966).

    Like stonewall, it was a bunch of queens who stood up to the cops.

    It's great to learn about our history, no?

    Can't find much info on it for you guys, but try googling "Compton Cafe riots" to find out more. There was a film about it at the gay film festivals a few years ago....

    (http://www.screamingqueensmovie.com/)
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    Jun 03, 2007 3:15 AM GMT
    Found something on wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton%27s_cafeteria_riot
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    Jun 04, 2007 11:05 AM GMT
    Cheers for that, Mayfly!
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    Jun 04, 2007 11:08 AM GMT
    Wow, the changes in Glide's ministry are astonishing. They've gone from organising the first ever queer youth organisation to hosting the US Drug Czar John Walters on his anti-medical marijuana tour of Cali. What a shame--I wonder what happened to their ministry?