As promised, here is the 1967 LA Free Press article that gives the details about the Gay bar raids that began on New Year’s Eve. These were the basis for the city-wide protest, the following month, against the police harassment of the Gay community.
Of particular importance, historically, is that that protest was in Los Angeles (NOT New York), thus making it the FIRST-EVER city-wide protest.
In fact, that protest was more than TWO years BEFORE the June, 1969, riot at the Stonewall Inn.
Here is what was happening in February, 1967, more than 2 years before the Stonewall riot that is often thought of as the beginning of the Gay Movement…
According to this LA Free Press article of 2/17/1967, the event on the previous Saturday evening, February 11th, was when the city’s homosexual community staged its FIRST major protest in history against police harassment. Clearly, as the pictured placard shows, this is about an attack on that community’s Civil Rights; this is an important, historical step in the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement that is rarely mentioned… and was not even noted by the local mainstream media.
Likewise, the reasons for the sudden and large increase of Gay bar raids that began on New Year’s Eve – and was the impetus for this protest – were not given their due in that press, either. It was only Don Slater, Editor of the homophile magazine ‘Tangents’ who’s opinion was reported (and ONLY in the LA Free Press). He said then that these were “…the most violent raids which we have seen in many years”and that they may be due to Ronald Reagan’s election and a police commander’s intent to become Police Chief.
We will be reprinting that article, in full, here, tomorrow.