Here is a longer version of the leaflet that we are passing out at the Equality March this Saturday in Hartford. The Note to the LGBTQ community is a longer version than what is on the leaflet.

*Greetings to all who gather today*

Many years ago, when our movement was young we learned that as LGBTQ folks we were here, there, and everywhere. We learned that as Queers in the Gay Liberation Front that we could not survive unless we formed a united front with others who at that time were under attack. We fully understood that we must not only seek the liberation of our people but of all people and join with the movements around the world in solidarity and in fighting for liberation. Later we learned from the great Black, Lesbian, poet, author, philosopher, teacher Audre Lorde when she said, “There is no such thing as a single issue movement, as we do not lead a single- issue life.” Both of these ideas have stayed with us all of these years and we continue to act with them in mind in all activist work that we do.  If indeed we are here, there and everywhere then we as a people must stand in support of all issues that are represented here today at this rally.

We stand for our Transgender Youth who are taking the first blows in our community from Jeff Sessions, Betsy De Vos and Donald Trump. We stand with our Trans sisters and brothers who are held in detention and terrorized by ICE. We support Sanctuary cites and an end to deportation. We support our Trans comrades in the front lines of fighting back no matter where they live. No Human is Illegal. Stop All Deportations!

We stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement and support our sisters and brothers in the struggle. We call for an end to Trump’s executive orders that expand the discretionary power of police enforcement which are a clear attack on freedom, justice and equality. These new polices are intended to further criminalize, imprison, and deny justice to the nation’s most targeted populations including people of color, people living below the poverty line, and LGBTQ people. We support full civilian review boards controlled by residents not the elected officials or police. We join with those who say, Racist Cops Out of Our Neighborhoods!

We stand with the immigrant community who are now at the end of amerikkka’s beating stick in what Trump has called a military operation. We offer full support to this community. Tell us what you need.

We reject this regime’s war against the Muslim Community. We reject this administration modern day exclusion order. We don’t want to just put a pause on the ban—it needs to be thrown out entirely because of the way it targets Muslims—and only Muslims. Lift all bans!

We stand for ending Climate Change and strengthen the rules and regulations that deal with this. What good will anything be if we do not have an earth to live on?

We stand for PEACE. We stand to put PEACE back on the front burner of our agenda. We can not only care about how this regime is affecting any of us but must remember that many others just like us around the world are now at the end of amerikkka’s military beating stick. We do not support war no matter what the powers that be tell us it is good for. Either you are for their slaughter fest or are against it! We stand against any war with Iran, North Korea, China or anywhere else that this government wishes to go push its weight around. We call for an end to the war against the people of Syria. We call for freedom for the people of Palestine.

We support animal rights. We once saw a sign that said, “Extend your circle of compassion.” That is our goal. We call for an end to unethical and inhumane practice of testing where animals such as dogs, rabbits, birds, mice, and monkeys are forced to comply with painful experiments. Some methods that take place during animal testing include: Pouring corrosive chemicals on their bare skin, Injecting chemicals into their eyes, repeatedly force fed large substances, Forced inhalation of toxic gases and other means of torture. We ask that the activists involved with this movement do what they can to lead and organize opposition to the abuse, and murder of animals.

We stand against the so called “religious freedom act” or sometimes disguised as The First Amendment Defense Act. This act allows and encourages discrimination against LGBTQ people. FADA prohibits the government from holding any business or person accountable for discriminating against LGBTQ people. Specifically, it would allow people and businesses to discriminate based on the beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman, and sex should only happen within such a marriage.

We stand against a National Right to Work Law and see it as a continuing step to dismantling unions.  One of the most successful lies in modern US politics has been that of “right to work” laws, which break unions under the guise of protecting workers. Right to work laws already exist in more than half the states in the country, where unions are weak or nonexistent, wages are correspondingly low, and workers are correspondingly disposable. In theory, these laws are about guaranteeing workers’ freedom of association. In practice, they’re about keeping workers from forming unions, by making unions financially unsustainable.

We fully support Planned Parenthood, the right to reproductive freedom, free abortion on demand, maintaining Roe v. Wade, and for clinics providing health care to women be established in all states. Stop the war on Women!

We fully support the Affordable Care Act and call for expanding insurance coverage to all. We call for free health care for all. Stop Trump and his regime from dismantling the Affordable Care Act taking insurance from many of our people living with HIV/AIDS and leaving many in the Transgender Community without health care.

We stand not so much for equality but for liberation. We ask who would want to be equal to a system that long ago we knew was a dirty rotten system, a system that enslaved, that committed genocide that denied rights to other americans, a system that our mothers and fathers had to fight hard to overcome. We stand against going back. We stand to go forward. We seek liberation from this system not assimilation into it. We seek to abolish the systems that marginalize, criminalize, imprison, and kill our people. We continue to build on the legacy of racial justice and liberation movements. We call for an end to Capitalism.

We call for the removal of Donald Trump from office. But we cannot stop there for we know quite well that our dreams of justice and liberation must extend beyond simply a world where Trump is not President but everything else is the same. We call for the removal of his cabinet, of the white supremacists, KKK and Fascists who are working closely with him. We denounce them and seek justice by any means necessary.

Notes to the LGBTQ Community

We as members of the LGBTQ community have been given a great burden. If we except the fact that we are here there and everywhere then it is up to us to prove it. We indeed do have the weight of the world on our shoulders. We must speak up when the drones fly and the bombs drop. We must speak up when people are rounded up by ICE, detained and then deported. We know full well from our stories what happens when authorities keep and use lists against communities. We know what it is like to be scapegoated and arrested under false pretenses. We know what it is like when we are denied, omitted, erased.  Our youth are still thrown out of their home by parents who will not accept them, many times in the name of religion. We have felt the sting of pain when our churches have called us immoral and have rallied against us from their pulpits.

We know that it just isn’t right when some have full plates and some no plate at all, when some have more than one home and others none. We know we must stand up and fight when any town or city passes laws against people, laws that strike down rather than lift up. We read in many cities, authorities are trying to pass laws that make it a crime to sleep on the street or in a tent but they make no real effort to provide housing for people that are forced nightly to find anywhere they can to sleep. Some cities are confiscating the tents of the homeless, possibly the very little that they have. We must join with others and put a stop to this. We know it is a crime to cut meals on wheels, food stamps, welfare, and other programs that are safety nets for many and for some their only means of survival. Indeed, we are here, there and everywhere!  Many in our community are working poor and working class. We must ask them, what do you need? How can we help? If indeed we are here there and everywhere all around the world, then our connections to the whole human race wherever they dwell is obvious. We are them and they are us.

There is a lesbian sitting at the sewing machine making some corporation rich she too is our sister in the fight. Our sister as a human being and our sister as a worker. The man in a faraway country plowing the fields what is he if not our brother? All around the world we see our people and all around the world we must support them. It is our job to help lift up not only our people wherever they are but others as well. One lesson we learn from this is we are and must be responsible for not only the human race but the plants, animals, waterways, air, and everything that is contained on this planet. Why, some may ask and we answer simply because we are. As the oceans rise the land we walk on will sink and disappear. Want to live in Kansas or Iowa? Not us!!

To our community, we say. Get out of your self-absorbed closets. Drop your single issue lives. Come out in support of the many issues that we are facing today. We know that LGBT people think that they have caught break for now. Don’t let them fool you. They are behind every bush waiting to jump out at you. The Trumpites are looking for someone to persecute to cover up the crimes they are committing. Know it and know it again you are a target. For the LGBTQ community, it’s only a matter of time. Realize and realize it again that the war has begun by the Trump administrations firing a shot at our Trans Youth. Realize that our Black and Brown LGBTQ folks have been under the beating stick of this system for quite some time now. We reject racist cops and stand with the Black and Brown communities calling for an end to police violence. We call for the end of arming city police with military weapons and call for a list from our local police department of all the military style weapons that they presently own.

No friends, we are not all rich white, middle class stereotypical gay male.  Arabs, Muslims, refugees, Black and Brown folks, Native Americans, immigrants especially from Mexico, Central America and the global south – many of them also LGBTQ – remain in the direct line of fire.

It is not good enough for those of us who are not part of these communities to simply verbally denounce the bigotry of the Trump administration’s actions. We must show up and respectfully participate in the defense activities organized by groups more marginalized and under the gun than we currently are. They are targets just as we are. Our own LGBT history shows the disastrous consequence of not adequately responding. We need to energetically organize for the worst while hoping for the best. We remember the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller when during the Nazi reign of terror he said, First they came for—–. This regime has come for the Muslim, Immigrant, Trans Youth communities and we as a people must speak out. We must stand up and say as the sign I saw yesterday, FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE MUSLIMS AND I SAID NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKERS!

We must pay attention. They will continue to undo the fabric of our country and dismantle our civil rights one by one, all the while employing an age-old tactic of pitting our interests in fairness and justice against each other, they will light their Reichstag fire and point and blame, they will effectively send the liberals back into their closets. But we as a resistance must stand strong, we must remain united against all foes, and we must fight back. We must remember to not be deceived by their tricks, by their plots, by their creating an alarming situation. We must continue to stand as one against this common enemy no matter what. We have a choice either to let it keep on rolling over us or to try to stop it in its tracks. We chose to stop it in its tracks…together we will send out a shout of job and celebration when we bring this system and this regime down.

Let us remember the words of revolutionary Feminist Socialist Gloria Martin, “We must change the system, if we do not we will be fighting the same old battles over and over.” We know we are tired of that.

http://www.furbirdsqueerly.wordpress.com and Queer Friends, Hartford Ct. Rally for Equality, 3/25/2017 This is a lengthier version of a leaflet that will be passed out at the Equality March. Our note to our people is simply longer than that of the leaflet.

 

 

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