#BlackLivesMatter Activists #ShutDownCastro Intersection

#BlackLivesMatter in the Castro (Courtesy Sarah O'Neal / @sarahadebibe)
Courtesy Sarah O'Neal / @sarahadebibe

Activists carrying the torch for #BlackLivesMatter joined forces with nationwide #ReclaimMLK protests and called for the end of what they referred to as a racial division within the LGBT community, shutting down a major intersection in San Francisco’s Castro District on Saturday evening, arguably the district’s busiest night.

The Castro is well known for being one of the first gay neighborhoods in the United States. The protest hit just two days after the Supreme Court announced it would decide, once-and-for-all, whether gay marriage is an inherent right.

Which side are you on my people? Which side are you on? #shutdowncastro#BlackLivesMatter#ReclaimMLKpic.twitter.com/utyxSsSHCB

— Sarah O’Neal (@sarahadebibe) January 18, 2015

Organizers of Saturday’s demonstrations said they had selected the Castro District because they believe it represents a space that is overwhelmingly inhabited by middle-class, white men. Protesting against the rising cost of living in the region, referred to as gentrification, was also one of the items on the activists’ agenda. Their goal was to shut down “business as usual” in order to get their message across.

The activists who organized the event had several demands including increased support for the “black lives matter” movement, and more donations and monetary support to organizations that support “queer and trans black leadership.”

They even created an altar and held a ceremony dedicated to “black queer and trans folk”. One of the activists present referred to it as an “Indigenous Ceremony.”

On Friday, activists had embarked on what will likely become a recurring series of #BARTFriday protests, in which they stopped and slowed down train services for several hours for people commuting to and from work in San Francisco’s Montgomery Station.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter: @AdelleNaz.


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