Today was the big day of the Rally to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and Don't Ask Don't Tell. One of our U.S. Senators, Maria Cantwell (D-WA), was attending a social function at the Blue Horse Gallery this afternoon, and the Whatcom One Queer Community (W1QC) steering committee decided to organize a demonstration to greet her with signs, asking her to support legislation in the Senate to repeal D.O.M.A. and D.A.D.T.

The main organizer, Gabrielle, ended up having to work during the rally, and she asked me to take over for her, because of my background in Queer Activism. I agreed, and at 3 pm, I showed up at the location (Holly & Bay St.), signs in hand. As demonstrators arrived, I distributed signs and moved people to each of the corners of the intersection, so we could display our signs to traffic going in all directions. I held a big 'Queer Equality' sign, and danced around as best I could on bad knees and feet. (I know I'm going to pay for it in pain tomorrow).

At 4 pm, Senator Cantwell arrived, and she definitely saw all of us and our signs. I led the assembled crowd (if you can call 12 people with signs a "crowd") in chants:

What do we want?
Equal Rights!
When do we want 'em?
NOW!
and

Senator Cantwell,
What do you say?
Make Don't Ask Don't Tell
Go Away!

The Senator smiled and waved at us, and walked into the gallery. Mission accomplished, we spent the next hour holding our signs for the passing traffic to see. Mostly positive reactions, honks and thumbs up -- this is Bellingham, after all -- and it was great that 5 of the assembled demonstrators were from the Bellingham Radical Faeries. About time we actually did something radical!

We had a permit for holding the rally until 6 pm, but after 2 hours, we packed it in. We had done what we had set out to accomplish -- let the Senator know that she had constituents in Bellingham who wanted her to champion Queer Equality in the U.S. Senate.

Interesting that I'm doing Queer Activism again. Gives me something to do, I suppose. I know there are those who object to both causes -- same-sex marriage and gays in the military -- for philosophical reasons. And I understand and sympathize with the objections. But these are the two biggest remaining legal equality issues for Queer folks in the U.S. Once those are overcome, we can get on with other more important issues.

And we're going to win. I know it. I can feel it.

Pictures and video soon to come, I hope.
I just penned a letter to each of my senators and representatives in Washington, D.C. (Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray, and Rep. Rick Larsen):

ENOUGH! Israel's recent behaviour in Gaza is completely unacceptable, and must not be allowed to continue unchallenged. This is not self-defence, it's retribution, and a war crime. I urge you to work to stop Israeli state-sponsored violence against Palestine, and furthermore, to cut off the flow of U.S. military aid and taxpayer money to Israel. I do not want my tax dollars going to fund Israel's oppression of Palestine any more.

I look forward to your reply.

Regards,

Kevyn Jacobs

It may be futile, but it's important for these people to know that their constituents are objecting to what's happening in Gaza (on our dime). Never let it be said that I did nothing to stop the bloodshed.

I urge my friends who feel as I do to write their elected representatives in Washington. You can get their addresses at http://votesmart.org by entering your zip code.
kevyn: (meme)
( Nov. 6th, 2007 08:12 pm)
Since I am on a letter writing kick... I wrote letters to my two U.S. Senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, urging them not to confirm Michael Mukasey as U.S. Attorney General. Digging the hole deeper...
Click to read more )
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