Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FaceBook Group Plans Global March for LGBT Equality

I've been to several national marches for LGBT rights in Washington over the years. I even worked crowd control for the '93 march, which drew an estimated half a million participants. I can't begin to imagine what it must have taken to organize such and event.

I am amazed that the last march in '09 took six months to plan from the moment activist and author, David Mixner proposed the idea, until Cleve Jones, his trademark megaphone in hand, led the massive crowd through the streets of DC. I've heard people say we need to march more often, but given the logistics, it's a wonder any of these marches happen at all. The main reason cited by people who don't go to the marches are the hassle and expense of traveling to DC and booking a hotel room.

But what if you could take part in a worldwide march without leaving the comfort of your own home town? That's the idea behind the Worldwide LGBT March. The Washington Blade reports:

A Facebook group of LGBT rights advocates that claims to have 20,000 members is organizing a series of simultaneous LGBT civil rights marches in the U.S. and abroad that are scheduled to take place April 21.
Oklahoma City gay activist Joe Knudson, who initiated what he hopes will be the world’s largest peaceful protest on behalf of LGBT equality, says organizers have so far lined up marches in 10 U.S. cities, including Washington, D.C; New York City; Chicago; Atlanta; and Hampton, Va.
He said the only location outside the U.S. confirmed for one of the marches so far is an as yet to be selected city in Pakistan. A number of participating cities in Europe are expected to be announced soon, he said.
“The Worldwide LGBT Civil Rights March in 2012 is already gathering sponsors and supporters by the thousands, as well as initial lead organizers from around the world,” organizers said in an October posting on Facebook.
“The march will be held worldwide at various locations at the same time, as well as an online news media event that will keep everyone posted on the events at all locations,” the Facebook posting says.
The problem so far has been getting the word out to the larger LGBT community. An informal survey by the Blade shows that none of the major LGBT organizations are even aware of the plans for a Worldwide March, but that could actually a plus. The community as a whole has grown increasingly disillusioned by groups like HRC, GLAAD and others who claim to speak for us, but because of their "DC insider" status, seem out of touch.

Maybe something modeled after the Occupy movement is just what we need.

Find out more by friending Joe Knudson on facebook.

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