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Forty years ago, on a hot June night at a small run-down bar in New York's Greenwich Village, a somewhat minor altercation between the NYPD and a rag tag group of homosexuals, started a sexual and sociological revolution and a demand for civil rights that changed the world.

Though Heritage Of Pride, which runs NYC's yearly Gay Pride celebrations, hasn't really gone out of its way to promote this fact (perhaps it isn't "sexy" enough,) the effects of that night, June 28th, 1969, are still reverberating today.

There is a great new wiki site here

And I am sure there are many here on the M'Boards who have thoughts to share on the subject as well...
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I attended a CUNY soiree a couple weeks back @ Stonewall commemorating the Anniversary.

Some very, very touching speeches, including one by Michael Formika Jones a Poem of Bobby Miller's read by Merlin, and a tear-jerking performance by Sweetie.

They were filming a documentary that evening, as part of a much larger Stonewall piece so we should be seeing it on film soon.

CUNY's Stonewall Anniversary Party
Believe it or not, on the Anniversary of Stonewall, police in Ft. Worth, Texas raid several gay bars, resulting in more than a dozen arrests and leaving one patron with a fractured skull.

They showed up ready for action with zip ties and a wagon.

Upset Fort Worth residents protest raid on gay nightclub

FORT WORTH -- A crowd of more than 100 protesters chanted "No more!" from the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse Sunday evening as they demanded an investigation into a police raid earlier in the day at a gay night club.

One patron was seriously injured in the raid, several protesters said, as police used excessive force in making seven arrests. Police defended their actions.

Speaker after speaker demanded an inquiry into the late-night raid at the Rainbow Lounge on South Jennings Street.

"I was scared," patron Todd Camp said at the protest Sunday afternoon. "I have never seen anything like this in my life."

The rally lasted about 20 minutes. Some protesters then marched on Main Street, holding signs and waving flags.

A second protest is scheduled for 7 p.m. next Sunday at the Fort Worth Convention Center.

The raid happened to be on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York which began on the night of June 28, 1969, as a protest by gays against police harassment and helped trigger the modern U.S. gay rights movement.

"It is unfortunate that this incident occurred in Fort Worth and even more so to have occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall protests," Fort Worth council member Joel Burns said Sunday in a prepared statement. "We are working together with our Mayor, Police Chief, the city of Fort Worth Human Relations Commission and our state legislative colleagues to get a complete and accurate account of what occurred."

Witnesses say that police arrived at the nightclub about 1 a.m. Sunday and arrested seven people and that one of those arrested suffered a fractured skull during the takedown and is at a Fort Worth hospital.

About 75 people showed up Sunday afternoon at the Rainbow Lounge to make signs for the rally. Some of the signs read: "Give us Answers Now" and "We Have Rights Too."

Fort Worth police released a statement saying that the Rainbow Lounge was not the only bar targeted by six Fort Worth police officers and two agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and a supervisor. The group first went to the Rosedale Saloon and Cowboy Palace on Rosedale Street. Nine people were arrested, police report.

The investigators then went to the Rainbow Lounge, where seven arrests were made, the police statement said. While walking through the Rainbow Lounge, an "extremely intoxicated patron made sexually explicit movements toward the police supervisor," the statement said. This individual was arrested for public intoxication.

Another intoxicated individual also made sexually explicit movements toward another officer, and he was arrested for public intoxication, the statement said. A third individual inside the lounge assaulted a TABC agent by grabbing the agent’s groin, according to the statement. He was escorted outside and arrested for public intoxication. He was released to paramedics because of his extreme intoxication as he was repeatedly vomiting, police reported.

While dealing with this suspect, another officer requested assistance from inside the club with an intoxicated patron who was resisting arrest. This person was placed on the ground to control and apprehend him, police reported.

Alcohol beverage code inspections are conducted frequently in Fort Worth to ensure safety, police reported. A thorough investigation into the allegations made is being conducted as all allegations against officers are investigated, police reported.

The general manager of the Rainbow Lounge and several patrons disputed the police account, saying officers used excessive force to make arrests.

"He was just walking to the bathroom when an officer grabbed him and shoved him against a wall and pulled his head back," said Chris Hightower of Fort Worth, a friend of the injured patron. "He (the injured man) was then thrown to the ground and three other officers were on him."

Several patrons claimed that the officers were never assaulted.

"I have friends who are cops and I know what to do when officers are working," Camp said. "No one was acting aggressive to officers."

Camp said that he has been attending bars for years in Fort Worth when TABC conducts raids.

"Usually, they're very orderly and respectful – they work with the bar staff and check IDs, it's quick and painless and then it's over and then they're out," Camp said. "This was not that. This was harassment, plain and simple."

General manager Randy Norman said the bar had just been open a week and they had complied with all ordinances.

"Officers just don't come in armed with zip ties and a paddy wagon for a routine check of a bar," Norman said.

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