Waymon Hudson

Hundreds Rally in Detroit for National Day of Protest

Filed By Waymon Hudson | November 15, 2008 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Detroit, Join the Impact, Michigan, National Day of Protest

What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW!

flags.jpgThat was the chant that rang out through downtown Detroit, Michigan today as over 300 hundred dedicated protesters rallied in the freezing rain and sleet as part of the National Day of Protest. That was also the chant coming from my husband and me, who are in town for family matters. It was hundreds of cold, wet Michiganders (and two very cold Floridians), marching in unity and solidarity with the hundreds of thousands across the country demanding equal rights and bringing visibility to our communities issues.

While I have been very busy helping plan and organize protests in Florida for the National Day of Protest (which initial reports from Fort Lauderdale say over 1000 people marched through downtown and many more in the over 15 cities holding protests), it was amazing to be in a new town, with other members of community, sharing a common goal and common fight. It was a quick way to make hundreds of new, amazing friends!

There are lots of pictures (click to enlarge), and perhaps the best story and reason as to why we were marching, after the jump...

crowdStatue.jpg

The crowd in Detroit was amazing! We were every age, gender, ethnicity, and background, marching and chanting together. The freezing rain may have soaked our clothes, but never our spirit.

march.jpgThe hundreds of protesters marched and chanted through downtown, ending in front of City Hall for speakers to talk to the crowd through a megaphone. Every issue in our community came up- marriage, hate crimes, youth issues, and gender identity/expression discrimination- as speaker after speaker told their stories. Each speaker's talk was punctuated by the chant:

What do we want? EQUALITY! When do we want it? NOW!


statue.jpgThe most moving moment for me, and it left many in the crowd both cheering and crying, was when a high school student from a small town outside of Detroit took the megaphone. He told the crowd that he and his best friend drove over an hour from their little town to be at the rally today because in his school he couldn't be out. It wasn't an option. In fact, his mother had told him that morning that being gay wasn't normal and wouldn't ever be accepted.

He said that this crowd, and this moment, made him realize how wrong she was. He had found a community. He was accepted. And he said he felt loved just being there today.

That was why we marched. It wasn't a single issue, even if it was sparked by the recent political losses for our community. We marched to make sure that everyone around the country, like that young high school student who was being told at home that he would never be accepted, saw that they weren't alone.

We marched to be visible. We marched to mobilize. We marched for change.

crowd.jpg

For more pictures, visit my flickr page.

crowd2.jpg

protest.jpg


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How cute are you with your raised fist? Adorable!

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | November 16, 2008 10:07 AM

I was about to say how hardcore he looks and you say cute.

Waymon, you look cute AND hardcore!

I know, I know. I was going to say the same thing! So that's what Waymon looks like when the Fauxhawk comes down... :)

Jerks. All of you.

;)

Don't hate on a militant twink.

Honey, you look fierce no matter what way you slice it. You can't help it if you're a hot piece.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_JTCD9oSm8

We must continue.

At our small (80 queers and allies) demonstration, in the cold rain, I cried, I cried for needing to be there at all. I cried for feeling the connectedness with all of us out there yesterday at the same time. We were ONE. Our voices must be heard!

Perhaps we need to consider a Nationwide general strike (a Rainbow Flue epidemic, if you will), on inauguration day. Let us ponder this idea. Let us generate more ideas, we need no "annointed" leaders; we need to be the leaders, each and every QUEER (for make no mistake, in the eyes of the oppressor there be no L or B; no G or T. There be only those QUEERS.)

Let us also remember. There was a time, not so long ago, when we were begining to achieve some civil rights, some acceptance. Even gay marriage was on the table............in the Wiemar Republic...........three years later, we were following German gypsys and jews to the camps. It can happen here!!

But only if we allow it.

I/we are hurt, I/we are saddened, I/we are ANGRY. Let us use that emotion to give us the energy to fight back.

In Solidarity, I love you, I stand with us.

J-Marie, Gainesville, FL
- Show quoted text -
--

it was kinda hot here in FLA.
LOL

Cute and politically active! hot.
Thanks for posting this.

We've got a few more pictures up from the Detroit rally over at Michigan Equality's blog (http://michiganequality.org/wordpress/?p=33) and a whole bunch on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/photo_search.php?oid=10567166782&view=all). We should have video up from the East Lansing rally by tomorrow.

Equality for All!

Julie