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The Star, No. 2, November 25, 1983
File 006
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The Star, No. 2, November 25, 1983 - File 006. 1983-11-25. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. March 3, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/678/show/670.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1983-11-25). The Star, No. 2, November 25, 1983 - File 006. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/678/show/670

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

The Star, No. 2, November 25, 1983 - File 006, 1983-11-25, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed March 3, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/678/show/670.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title The Star, No. 2, November 25, 1983
Contributor
  • Martinez, Ed
Date November 25, 1983
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Antonio, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 783846406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 006
Transcript Some Gays Out Front in Anti-Nuke Movement Nov 25,1983 / The Star 5 from page 1 with the turnout. They later learned it was the country's largest that day. The message from the crowd, and from the speakers on the platform, was loud and clear. They demanded a halt to the deployment ofthe Cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe, a freeze on the production of nuclear weapons and the dismantling of existing stockpiles in a verifiable plan with the Soviet Union. On the platform, acting as M.C. for the program of speakers and entertainers, was Midge Costanza, a former White House advisor to President Carter and a staunch supporting activist for the gay rights movement. Today, with her own brand of biting political humor, she kept the program moving. Among the half dozen speakers was Irene Eckert, a West German from the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, who spoke on the dangers of the Euromissiles and what the European peace movement is doing to prevent their installation. And that particular weekend, the movement was very visible indeed. Several million people took to the streets in European cities to protest the introduction of the missiles to their continent. There were reports of 200,000 in London, Paris and Madrid, 175,000 in Rome and Brussels, and an incredible 300,000 in Bonn, West Germany's capitol, where it was said one could hear a pin drop when they called for silence in memory of the atomic bomb victims of Hiroshima. Following the rally in El Segundo, we talked with two gay women who played key roles in the success ofthe event. Ellie Cohen is co-director of the Southern California Alliance for Survival. "I've been with the Alliance for four years," she said, "but this is my last rally with them. I've been hired by the national freeze campaign as a field organizer, and I'll be starting there in two weeks. This is kind of a going away party for me. To promote today's parade and rally, I did 27, interviews in total, an issues media outreach, including a bunch of radiostations. We also distributed 160,000 flyers, 60,000 of them door-to-door. It was mostly grass roots. "There are a lot of gay people working in the peace movement who are not necessarily working the gay community," she added. "Some are in the closet, and some are really out there. They're all against first strike weapons, though. Now I don't go somewhere and start out with, 'Hi, I'm Elbe, I'm against the nuclear buildup, and I'm a lesbian, but I don't hide it either." While Ellie talked, the speaker's platform was being dismantled a few feet away, and a red-headed woman kept running by taking care of what must have been urgent business. When that woman, Mary Sullivan, stopped to talk, we discovered a lovely gay lady and a dynamic grass roots organizer. Mary shares a house with a number of other peace movement volunteers who organize meetings in other people's homes where friends are invited to discuss the issues surrounding nuclear disarmament. She quickly explained how house meetings work and how groups in other cities are picking up on it, then posed for a picture with Ellie and split to get back to her duties. It would appear that more gay women than gay men have become involved with the movement. At least that was the observation of Mark Hallahan, a gay man who has been involved in training people on what to expect when participating in civil disobedience. Throughout the crowd at the rally, one could pick out many people wearing pink triangle lapel buttons and lambdas. "I think gay men, in a lot of wayB, are still stuck to the whole bar syndrome, and that's very much the center of their lives," said Mark. "I'm afraid we haven't gotten much beyond that. It's going to take a real effort to get gay men involved in the peace movement." Following the rally, people started walk ing back to their cars over the half mile parade route along busy El Segundo Boulevard. As they walked, theywerecon- fronted with dozens of anti-peace movement and anti-gay slogans freshly painted with stencils on the sidewalks. They were obviously done during therally when hundreds of police and sheriff deputies were swarming the area. How they were painted, undected by the police, is a mystery. The messages read: Peacenik fags desire Yuri's warhead, and Peacenik dykes open wide for Russian SS-20 dildos. Some people thought it might have been the same group who circled the rally dressed in Russian army uniforms and carrying a banner reading "Soviet Peace Contingent." After the rally, GPA was notified that on the following Monday, Oct. 24, there would be more than a hundred people returning to El Segundo to engage in acts of non-violent civil disobedience in front of the facilities of five military contractors and the Air Force. All ofthe gay friends we had met said they would be there. It was still dark at 6:00 a.m. when the protestors started arriving at the staging area in a tiny park. Small groups stood in circles, holding hands, praying and singing, 160 people in all. Some would have to walk over a mile to reach their destination. Their targets were the entrances to the U.S. Air Force Space Division where "space related defense satellite systems are developed; Northrup Corporation which manufactures key elements for the MX missile's guidance system; McDonnell Douglas which has contracts for the Cruise missiles; Consolidated Controls which manufactures the impact fuse for the Cruise missiles; Hughes Aircraft which has contracts for the Trident missile; and Rockwell International, a prime contractor for the BI bomber and five different missile systems. A protest flyer being handed out called El Segundo the "heart of the arms race.*' Tim Carpenter is an active member of the gay caucus of the state Democratic party. He is also an employee of Robert Gentry, the openly gay mayor of Laguna Beach. Tim is involved with the Orange County Citizens for National Security. It was his group that would attempt to blockade the main driveway of Hughes with half their numbers, while others would walk onto the property in an attempt to place management under citizen's arrest for the production of first strike nuclear weapons, a violation of International law. Several police vehicles were parked across the street from the Hughes entrance when the protestors spread their banners across the driveway. A dozen cars stopped in their tracks or turned away as a traffic snarl started forming. Then a stati- onwagon rammed its way through the people holding the banner, and a man holding an American flag was carried along a short distance. At that point, the police arrived and started arresting and handcuffing people to cart them off to jail. All the while, Tim was shouting out tactical instructions to hold their ground or run another banner behind the first. There was no violence, and no one was hurt. Similar incidents happened at the other locations. All toll, 72 people were arrested and most spent three days in jail. Tim explained how many of the protestors were prepared to be arrested and had been briefed on what to expect. Mark told GPA of two gay men he believed had been arrested at one of the other facilities. They had discussed civil disobedience training with him and had expressed their concerns about being thrown into jail and revealed to other pri.soners as being gay. "I assured them it's not dangerous as long as they weren't blatant," said Mark. "I was arrested August 9th for the Nagasaki demonstration at Rockwell," continued Mark. "I was concerned about being sent to the county jail and facing harassment or the danger of rape. Fortunately, I stayed in El Segundo jail, and it didn't become an issue," said Mark. "The thing to do when you're arrested is to blend in with everybody else, but stay close to the group of men you are arrested with and play it cool." Mark wasn't back at Rockwell this morning, but others were. Most were from the Unitarian Church, and among them was Betty Rottger, the elderly woman with the Parents and Friends of Gays button. Betty, who has a life-long history of involvement in activist causes, was carrying a sandwich-board sign draped over her wheelchair. "My son's gay," she told us. "He's a playwright, and he's the one who made my sign for me." For more than an hour, Betty and her friends put their bodies in line across the front of Rockwell's tower headquarters, blocking the entrance and singing peace songs. A dozen policemen and a district attorney stood by without moving on the protestors. Rockwell guards began sending people around to another entrance, and arrests were never made. Betty had been prepared to go to jail, and was possibly a little disappointed that they didn't. In all six locations, volunteer laywers were standing by, observing, taking notes and ready to act if needed. Over at Northrup, Randy Grant, a member of the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, and another gay friend also were prepared to be arrested but were not. Maybe the El Segundo jail was full. Randy said, "I spread my activism between three movements, disarmament, environment and gay rights causes." He also remarked how pleased he was to have had gay rights mentioned several times ^>y sepakers at the rally. It was another indication of how gay men and women are openly accepted in the peace movement. The recent issue of The Advocate (No. 380) had several artictes about anti-nuke gays. One is a first-hand account of a blockade of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in Northern California, and a gay man's subsequent incarceration in a makeshift tent-jail for 500 arrestees. Another is about Peter Adair, the filmmaker who produced Word Is Out and is now working on a documentary about civil disobedience for peace. A third deals with proposed legislation by California Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, a major gay rights supporter, which outlines some very innovative ways to start building toward world peace. Among others things, Vasconcellos proposed student exchange programs with the Soviet Union, the establishment of a National Peace Academy and a program called Soldiers for Peace, wherein a hundred thousand citizens from both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. would be invited for a year into the homes ofthe other country. The time has come for the creative thinking that has gone into making new weapons to be matched by the creative thinking needed to build world peace. Inasmuch as gay people are not wanted by the military, it might just be time to join the peace movement where we are. " UJH6AJ YOU Live AI 6R0VAJO ZCRO, iT D06S/VT 5F£M IMPORIAAJT IF iOo'R€ rS/ry OR SlRmrrf- "
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