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Would autumnal weekend march lead to a weakened fall?

by Jeremy Hooper

You may have heard that there's a growing call to march on Washington this fall. But what you may not know is that there's a parallel, less-resounding-but-equally-valid call for our movement to rethink whether a DC march would be the best use of community resources. This from journalist Karen Ocamb:

Given their considerable talent for inspiring others, I would humbly request that David [Mixner] and Cleve [Jones] consider shifting their attention to helping LGBT people, people with HIV/AIDS and our allies (labor, teachers, nurses) at the state and local levels survive this very difficult time while also pressing hard for full equality.
FULL PIECE, including five questions we need to ask ourselves before heading to the National Mall: Foot Soldiers Needed in California and Maine, Not Washington [Bilerico]

As for this site? We're on the fence, leaning towards putting our resources to needed groundwork rather than flowing speeches. Sure, we all want those great historical moments. We all want the rallies, which provide a valid catharsis. But when it comes to "more" and "stronger," it would seem that we need those adjective to apply more to the "roll up your sleeves" kind of work than we do to the rallies.

We are already getting out there on the streets, making our presence known. It's the days in-between the joy/rage that need more focus. We need even more people blogging, journaling, vlogging, Op-Ed writing, etc. We need an even greater number of reasoned soldiers taking apart the far-right's lies and teaching the public why they should support us instead. We need more lobbying. We need more people going public with their thoroughly non-controversial families, cutting the "gays destroy families" cancer out via our benign exposure. We need more people willing to take even an hour of their day to give a damn about the fay-to-day fight. And when it comes to education, every last one of us who engage in the fight need to know the ins-and-outs of this fight like the back of our un-ring-fingered hand (I'm looking at you, anonymous person at the recently NYC rally who told her friend that "every state voted on Prop 8"). We need focus and we need it fast.

Would another march on Washington contribute greatly in the aforementioned areas? Maybe so. Surely it would to some degree. But with a tough economy that has already led to organizational layoffs, and a couple of anticipated ballot fights that could again go up to the multi-millions, is the D.C. idea the best way to blow our wads?

We're not telling as much as we're asking: Is a march a good thing? What do you think, kiddies?

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Your thoughts

There is no doubt in my mind that the march is a good idea, though you certainly raise a valid point about the likelihood of "low interest" LGBT charities/causes being overshadowed by the larger and more cable news-friendly battle for Marriage Equality.

Part of me thinks this is due to a generational gap between folks over 30 who have experienced the effects of HIV firsthand and a new generation of LGBT warriors focused on the inequality angle. We need the outrage and passion from both groups in order to really take it up a notch.

Posted by: Matt | Jun 1, 2009 3:03:14 PM

Huh, I dunno about this one.
Granted, I was all gung-ho for it when I was angry, but I'm thinking clearer now.

On one hand, if the numbers are astounding, it could greatly help our cause, with more and more people seeing us as a force to be reckoned with. It could also help some Dems and maybe even some Republicans to come out in support.

On the other, if the numbers aren't that great, it would take years to get back to where we are now in the eyes of the politically inclined. Low numbers in attendance = "Oh, they really don't care that much at all, do they?" I dunno about you guys, but I can't afford a trip to DC, And I'm only in MA.

Something like this requires timing, publicity, and high involvement.
I'm not sure if we can hit all three at once with this, which is what it needs to be successful.

Posted by: Clicky the Fox | Jun 1, 2009 3:48:31 PM

I'm going! And I hope you all come too. :-)

The rallies here in CA have been evolving since last November into something quite beautiful and inspiring. It's not just about marriage equality, if you've seen any of Lt. Dan Choi's awesome speeches including DADT issues or youth gay-straight alliance groups speaking out on bullying and suicides... and more... I think if there are other issues anyone feels are needed to be focused on, urge the organizers to include them or get a speaker included in the line-up.

Oh, also, I'm over 30. ;-)

Posted by: remix | Jun 1, 2009 6:43:42 PM

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