SF Pride Board Cancels Promised Follow-up Public Meeting on Bradley Manning
After this shit-show debacle that was a public relations nightmare last week at the San Francisco Pride Board’s office, the Pride board released a statement on Mother’s Day on their Facebook page stating that they were canceling the resceduled pre-Pride meeting to discuss the deselection of Pfc. Bradley Manning as Honorary Pride Grand Marshal for this year’s SF Pride celebration,
“We are seeking a larger venue for the next SF Pride membership meeting, and so are postponing the May 14th meeting until a suitable location is secured. We want to allow people to have a chance to voice their opinions about the recent controversy, but also have a large event coming up, and do not want to let one issue, as important as it is to some, overshadow the concerns and interests of the hundreds of thousands who attend SF Pride.
SF Pride’s decision concerning the election process of Bradley Manning as Grand Marshal being consistent with SF Pride’s long standing Grand Marshal election policy is firm. Thus, the discussion of that matter is closed for this year.
A meeting in a larger venue after the 2013 Celebration and Parade will allow people from all sides of that issue and others to fully air and hear one another’s viewpoints, without jeopardizing the production of this year’s event and the safety and security of the attendees. We ask everyone in the community to come together in Pride this June, recognizing that we can embrace difference without violence and hate.”
Last week the Pride Board held a “public meeting” to consider re-inviting Manning. Michael Petrelis, a San Francisco-based LGBTQ activist, posted a video of the chaos that ensued on his blog. Local news stations were turned away and only a handful out of the 100+ people were allowed to come in and speak. Whistleblower during the Vietnam War, Daniel Ellsberg, was allowed only two minutes to speak. After he spoke he was quickly ushered out of the board room and onto the street. In the video he was asked how it went to which he responded, “I can hardly speak I’m really quite disgusted.”
Pride will have a lot of work to do if they want to try to gain back what integrity they had left before selling out to Bank of America and Wells Fargo and denying activists and the community at large the transparency and respect that they’ve fought so hard to attain.
Pride Board President, Lisa Williams, is a fool. Have an Absolut-ly great time at the Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Corporate Pride Jerk-Off Parade. You won’t see me there except for marching head-on in protest into this embarrassment of a “Pride Celebration.”