Image by ruSSeLL hiGGs
For today’s private nostagia jaunt I was originally intending to share a front web page from the Pink Paper dated ‘week ending five August 1989′. It was a lovely group shot with a giant catapault, plus me with a actual catapult, firing condoms over the wall into the grounds of Pentonville Prison. But because tomorrow’s installment will most likely also be an ACT-UP London AIDS activist tale, I believed that for the sake of variety I’d right now opt rather for this front page from the Pink Paper, dated ‘week ending 16th June 1990′.
It was the very first ever direct action by OutRage. The original photographer was Richard Maude.
I feel I chaired the quite first meeting of OutRage, just before it even had a name, and when some folks present assumed the new group would be named Queer Nation. At this time I was already a standard frontline activist and chair of ACT-UP London (that acronym getting….the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power). And as we’d directly imported the name of that group from our AIDS activist brothers and sisters in America, it was assumed by several that this new direct action group would similarly be given the currently established American title of "Queer Nation".
Our very first OutRage action was outdoors the public toilets in Hyde Park corner, where police agent provocateurs (or "pretty police") had been known to lure gay males into arrestable setups.
This photo is unusual in that it is a far more performative moment. But there was small to photograph otherwise, just a bunch of men and women with placards and a megaphone. We weren’t lying down in front of the site visitors or something that day and I do not think there had been any arrests, so I suggested to the press that they comply with a few of us down into the toilets exactly where we threw them some poses.
So right here I am stood at the urinal in the Hyde Park gent’s toilet, wearing one particular of these plastic policeman’s helmets that they sell in tourist present shops, and holding a placard that reads "WASTING POLICE TIME, WASTING PUBLIC Money."
a single of the other placards says "PROTECTION NOT SEDUCTION" and the third one consists of a photo of Keith Burgess (I believe), a gay man who was stabbed to death in a standard unsolved homophobic attack.
Here’s some text from the article itself….
"The first ever OutRage demonstration, contrasting police activity in ‘cottages’ with perceived inactivity in gay-bashing instances, was declared a good results by members of the direct action group final Thursday."
"……..with the aid of a megaphone they chanted ‘Arrest the murderers not the victims’."
"….The group chose the park toilets for the demonstration to concentrate focus on the lately published statistics cataloguing 2,454 ‘indecency’ arrests of gay men for 1989, at a time when several neighborhood members have been murdered by gangs of gay-bashers."
the only link for Outrage I could locate at present is a hyperlink to Peter Tatchell’s site…..
Tomorrow’s front page adventure, as I talked about, will be an ACT-UP London action, captured by the now defunct paper Capital Gay. It’s small old me handcuffed to a revolving door down Whitehall.
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