Skip to content

Stonewall Riot

The Unity Of Our Movements Terrifies Them

The celebration of Pride month in June is in tribute to the Stonewall Rebellion which went on for three days, beginning on the night of June 28, 1969. This rebellion took place at the Stonewall Inn, a bar in New York City, which was and still is a gathering spot for LGBTQ people. At the time of Stonewall, being a member of working-class LGBTQ community in NYC was an act of courage; same-sex love was illegal in every state except Illinois, and police enforced laws mandating three pieces of “gender-appropriate” clothing. NYC Police raided LGBTQ bars constantly. In June 1969 alone, the NYPD raided 5 popular gay bars, 3 were shut down for good. It was during such a raid that the LGBTQ patrons of Stonewall began to physically fight back against police, sparking a nationwide LGBTQ liberation movement and a day of rebellion that is still celebrated today.

The Stonewall Riots Didn’t Start The Gay Rights Movement

Despite what you may hear during this year’s fiftieth anniversary commemorations, Stonewall was not the spark that ignited the gay rights movement. The story is well known: A routine police raid of a mafia-owned gay bar in New York City sparked three nights of riots and, with them, the global gay rights movement. In fact it is conventional to date LGBTQ history into “before Stonewall” and “after Stonewall” periods—not just in the United States, but in Europe as well. British activists can join Stonewall UK, for example, while pride parades in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are called “Christopher Street Day,” after the street in New York City on which the Stonewall Inn still sits. But there were gay activists before that early morning of June 28, 1969, previous rebellions of LGBTQ people against police, earlier calls for “gay power,” and earlier riots.

The Stonewall Rebellion: Now Is The Time To Remember, Now Is The Time To Go Forward

We, the people means all of us. Including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and gender-free people. So we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion that took place in and around the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village in New York City. On June 28 in 1969, the police raided that bar and expected business as usual. Instead, they met open resistance. The bar patrons included working class people, drag queens, transgender rebels, and people of color. By the time police wagons arrived, people were shouting “Gay Power” and “We Shall Overcome.”

Why Stonewall?

The Stonewall riot/uprising/rebellion of June 1969 is generally remembered as the beginning of the “gay liberation movement.” On the night of June 27th, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar known for its cliental of drag queens, butch lesbians, and the transgendered, in New York’s Greenwich Village. Back then, “Public Morals Squad” raids were not uncommon—especially if the police hadn’t gotten their cut from such mafia-owned and unlicensed-to-sell-liquor establishments—but this time the Inn crowd fought back. The uprising quickly escalated to the surrounding streets over the next few days. The neighborhood and the community had had it with being treated like second-class citizens.

DC Transgender Community Fighting For Equality 50 Years After Stonewall

Washington, DC – Members of the transgender community led a rally on Friday afternoon at Freedom Plaza, marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising on Christopher Street in New York City. About a dozen transgender organizers and activists delivered a petition to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office and the City Council, demanding passage of the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019. The rally was led by advocacy group No Justice No Pride, HIPS (Sex Workers Advocates Coalition)...
Sign Up To Our Daily Digest

Independent media outlets are being suppressed and dropped by corporations like Google, Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our daily email digest before it’s too late so you don’t miss the latest movement news.