The Purple Hand

8 Oct

Here at Talk About Equality, we believe that in addition to discussing current events in our community, we need to look back to where we’ve come from.

As  Oscar Wilde once said, “History is merely gossip.” But we hope to share some of that gossip, as it has been passed down, in the interest of telling our collective story. If we look at where we’ve been, it also has a tendency to remind us that we don’t have to re-invent the wheel all the time.

In 1969 on Halloween night, after the San Francisco Examiner had printed a series of anti-gay articles, the Gay Liberation Front and Society for Independent Rights staged a peaceful protest outside the newspaper’s offices. At some point during the protest, Examiner employees dumped a barrel of printer’s ink out the 3rd story window on to the protesters.

The police were called and some protesters were beaten and arrested (ironically, the people who dumped the ink on the peaceful protest were not). While other protesters used the ink to scrawl “GAY POWER” on the side of the building and cover doors, windows and brick walls all over downtown San Francisco with purple handprints.

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