Stonewall,Riots, and Raids Part II.

Further Research and Stonewall Information

See the Footnotes and References section on this page for multiple good resources to continue your education about the event: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots)

Compton Cafeteria Riot

Though the Stonewall Raid is more well known, the Compton Cafeteria Riot occurred three years before in 1966 in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco and was the first recorded Transgender riot.

History

“Compton’s Cafeteria was one of a chain of cafeterias, owned by Gene Compton, in San Francisco from the 1940s to the 1970s. The Compton’s at 101 Taylor Street (at Turk) in the Tenderloin — which was open from 1954 to 1972 — was one of the few places where transgender people could congregate publicly in the city, because they were unwelcome in gay bars at that time. Because cross-dressing was illegal at the time, police could use the presence of transgender people in a bar as a pretext for making a raid and closing the bar down.

Many of the militant hustlers and street queens involved in the riot were members of Vanguard, the first known gay youth organization in the United States, which had been organized earlier that year with the help of radical ministers working with Glide Memorial Church, a center for progressive social activism in the Tenderloin for many years. A lesbian group of street people was also formed called the Street Orphans.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton%27s_Cafeteria_riot)

Cause and Effects of the Riot

See the Wikipedia page for the cause and effects of the riot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compton%27s_Cafeteria_riot

More about the Compton Cafeteria Riot and Related

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005)

This event was mostly forgotten because it did not spur as much creation as the Stonewall Riot, but is important nonetheless. This movie aided in the commemoration of the people involved in the riot.

Here is the site for the movie (or rather, telling about the movie, actors, and a review by someone who was involved in the riot): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0464189/

White Night Riots

The White Night Riots were a series of violent events stemming from the sentencing of Dan White, which was deemed lenient by many, for the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, an openly gay San Francisco supervisor. White, a former policeman, firefighter and himself a former San Francisco City Supervisor, was found guilty of manslaughter rather than murder, a ruling that was seen as controversial to many in San Francisco’s gay community. The protest began on May 21, 1979 as a peaceful march from the Castro District to City Hall. As soon as the sentence was announced, word ran through the gay community and groups of people began walking to the Civic Center where City Hall is located, and by approximately 8:00 PM a sizable crowd had formed. According to the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, the crowd began screaming at police officers calling for revenge and death.

Many members of the crowd were relatively peaceful in their demonstrations of anger, but other protesters caused significant property damage, including broken windows and glass doors, as well as the burning of twelve San Francisco police cruisers. Riots began to break out with a mob disrupting traffic, and smashing windows of cars and stores. Buses were disabled by their overhead wires being ripped down, and violence broke out against the outnumbered police officers. Mayor Dianne Feinstein addressed the crowd, as did Supervisor Carol Ruth Silver, in attempts to defuse the crowd’s frustration with the judge’s sentencing of White to seven years in prison for the dual assassinations.

The second stage of the violence was a police riot hours later in the gay Castro neighborhood.[1] After order was restored at City Hall a number of SFPD cars with dozens of officers headed into the Castro District.[2] Police marched into a bar called the Elephant Walk, smashing fixtures and attacking patrons.[1] A civil grand jury, convened to find out who ordered the attack, ended inconclusively with a settlement covering personal injury claims and damages.[1][2]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Night_Riots)

Videos of the White Night Riots

http://www.archive.org/details/ssfWhitent1

Conclusion

This is an overview of the Riots. I do not have the personal experience with them and can only provide these resources. There probably is an abundance of information out there about this. If you want to find out more go to your local library or find someone who has gone through this and ask them about their experience. I can only be a starting point.

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Filed under Education, glbtq, history, Sexuality

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