Tuesday, June 23, 2009

March on Washington Oct 10 & 11

"We Have The Permit, The March On Washington Is Definitely On"

Gay activist and friend of the late Harvey Milk, Cleve Jones confirmed that despite earlier reports that the National Mall was previously booked and unavailable, he does have a permit from the Parks Department for a Columbus Day weekend March On Washington.

"We put in a request for the West Lawn of the Capitol, where the Obama inauguration took place, and we got it. Nobody else had applied for it," said Jones.

Jones added, "We've been getting nothing but complete cooperation from all the authorities - the DC police, the mayor, the Parks Service. They told us, 'Go ahead, you've got it. Put the word out.' They are happy to work with us and are expecting a lot of people."

When asked about the cost of putting on the weekend, Jones stresses that the MOW will be a stripped down, no frills, purely activism-focused event. "This will not be a three day multi-media spectacular" he said. "Most of the hundreds of protests I've organized cost nothing. We will have a minimal stage, a sound system, and enough port-a-potties for the crowd. That's it. We won't be flying in celebrities and putting them up in fancy hotels. This will be a two hour march, then a two hour rally, and then sending everybody home to their congressional districts to organize for 2010."
Jones said that in addition to the march and rally on Sunday, Oct 11 on the West Lawn, he hopes to put together a candlelight HIV/AIDS vigil on Saturday night, Oct 10 at the Lincoln Memorial, but won't have confirmation of that item for a few days.

While opposition to a MOW in 2009 has been quite strong, Jones dismissed the naysayers. "Many of the the people opposing this march are the same people pushing for a repeal of Prop 8 in 2010."

Jones questioned the wisdom of continuing to fight local battles for LGBT rights, saying, "It's just an endless state by state, city by city, county by county battle could go on for decades at enormous cost. But if we could shift our focus and seize this historic moment and get federal legislation, get SCOTUS [on our side], we could end it all at the federal level. People in leadership seem so invested in an incredibly long, local level, deeply impermanent struggle."

Jones closed with "If you think you're going to get anything out of Obama in the second half of his term, you don't know anything about political history. In a year, he'll be in full re-election mode." Then, referring to the DOJ's recent support of DOMA, Jones said "It's so clear that Obama and the Democratic leadership are turning their backs on us. If we don't go for it now, we'll get nothing. It's beginning to smell a lot like Clinton."

Crush du Jour: Jameson Arasi


Steven said...

Hopefully having it pared down will not deter people from attending. Hopefully enough people will be in DC for the holidays and actually vacationing and make this MOW part of their itinerary. It's hard to garder a lot of attendees when there's isn't going to be a lot happening as far as activities.

And hopefully the GLBTQ populace will not have become too complacent by October. :-|

RAD said...

Thanks for also sending this to me Mark....