Stonewall Riots Essay

2631 WordsDec 13, 200511 Pages
Stonewall Riots "Liberation for gay people is to define ourselves how and with whom we live, instead of measuring our relationships by straight values… To be free territory, we must govern ourselves, set up our own institutions, defend ourselves, and use our own energies to improve our lives" (Wittman, 75). Carl Wittman's Refugees from Amerika: A Gay Manifesto, drew together many of the themes dealing with gay liberation. This quote demonstrates the goals of the gay and lesbian movement, a movement which many believe started with the Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots proved to homosexuals that a sufficient amount of time had passed that they were persecuted and maltreated and it was time to speak up for their rights, resulting in the…show more content…
Though there were many groups appearing to help shape the way for gay civil rights, there were also organizations trying to prevent gay people from gaining any ground. According to the article, Stonewall Inn Riots- 1969, the city administration in New York wanted to "improve" the city's image so they decided to have a "clean-up" campaign and close gay bars. New York's Greenwich Village was host to the first gay riots in history, taking place at a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn, on June 27, 1969. Armed with a warrant, the police entered Stonewall looking for the illegal selling of alcohol. The police arrested employees and told the customers to leave. Unlike the other gay bars that were recently raided, the public did not go home quietly. Customers from the Stonewall Inn gathered on the streets and were soon joined by other village residents waiting to fight back. The crowd was extremely unhappy with what was going on so they retaliated. Coins, beer bottles, rocks, bricks, even parking meters were thrown at police officers. The crowd also shouted things like "pigs" and "faggot cops." The cops retreated inside the bar, which was then set afire by the crowd. In order for the police to show that they were still in control, they dragged
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