September 28, 2006

Support PGH ARA Members Arrested Confronting Christian Fascists!

2 Radical Queer activists arrested in Pittsburgh, PA!

On September 20th two Pittsburgh Anti-Racist Action members were arrested during a demonstration against Focus on the Family, a large right-wing Christian organization holding a rally at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were charged with disorderly conduct and later released. The arrests occurred after an assault by Mellon Arena security on the demonstration, involving security guards punching and kneeing participants and calling them "Faggots".

The demonstration, called by a newly formed group of anti-fascists named Pittsburgh Antifa, was to be an alternative to the coalition of faith-based GLBT groups' "Presence" outside the arena. The demonstration held by the coalition had strict guidelines, such as no taking to the streets, no yelling, no chanting, and numerous other requirements to participate in the "presence". The Antifa contingent, which consisted of radical queers, anarchists, and allies, sought a more confrontational approach and wanted to directly confront attendees about their homophobic and sexist views. When the group approached Gate 1 they were attacked by security, which resulted in two participants being arrested for disorderly conduct while trying to defend themselves. They received summons to appear in Pittsburgh City Court and will likely face fines and court costs. Both are low-income activists who need financial support. As a movement it is our responsibility to support those who fight for us and sometimes take the fall. We are all at risk of arrest at any time for our participation in radical movements and when one of us is attacked it is an attack on us all.

Solidarity Forever!

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