Following last year’s ‘queer riot,’ a more radical Pride on Capitol Hill

A still from a video of last year’s QFQ dance party

Stonewall was a riot. Last year, an event billed as a free Pride weekend dance party in the streets of Capitol HIll was, too — if you judge such events by things like broken windows and police in riot gear. In 2012, queers of a more radical bent will have another outlet as an Occupy Seattle offshoot is planning an “anti-capitalist” party and drag show. But CHS has also learned that the annual Pride Saturday street protest/dance party is, again, in the works.

“We like to think of ourselves as revolutionary queers,” Ian Finkenbinder says of the GLITUR group. The Grand Legion of Incendiary and Tenacious Unicorn Revolutionaries has its collective tongues firmly in cheek. But it is serious about changing the spirit of Pride.

“The fact that it costs $25 to get into a bar. The fact that is it about profit. So much of. Pride has a really radical history,” Finkenbinder said. “This is a radical holiday that has been hijacked by cororate interests.”

To counter that, Finkenbinder and GLITUR are organizing the first ever Anti-Capitalist Dance Party and Drag Show to be held Friday night at Waid’s just off 12th Ave.

“Are you sick of the corporate spectacle that Gay Pride has become in Seattle? Do you reject the way local bars jack up their prices to try to make a profit off what is supposed to be a weekend of celebration and unity? Well so are we!!!,” the event announcement reads.

We included the GLITUR event’s details in our roster of 2012 Capitol Hill Pride events

In 2011, this dealership’s window was busted during the dance party (Image: CHS)

QFQ Dance Party
While it’s not a GLITUR event, Saturday night, radical LGBT groups are also expected to gather on Capitol Hill for the annual Queers Fucking Queers dance party. In 2011, the event billed as a free dance party gathered a large crowd — and got a little more radical than some expected.

CHS reported on a group of more than 100 hundred people dancing in the streets of Pike/Pine and on Broadway — as well as busting glass and tangling with police in riot gear. Some commenters said they had unwittingly joined the march after the group gathered outside Pony and were quickly surprised to find some in the crowd trying to break windows along the way. Only one arrest was made — a transgender activist previously busted for vandalism in Denver. The City of Seattle ultimately declined to press charges against Ariel Attack following an arrest for pedestrian interference. A video of the night’s activities– “A queer riot against assimilation, capitalism, and police violence” – was posted but has since been removed.

A representative for the East Precinct tells CHS that SPD isn’t concerned about the annual roaming dance party but will be watchful for any signs of trouble. “We always are concerned about groups who have a tendency to hijack events for their own purposes,” the lieutenant said. We’re told staffing is “much heavier” for Pride weekend as a matter of course given the large numbers of people the event draws to the city. If you see “any potential disruption,” you’re urged to call 911 immediately. UPDATE: SPD says East Precinct has “increased our staffing from that of last years to be able to better respond to such incidents” and “will have an emphasis patrol operating also that will allow us to designate resources for developing situations.”

Hopefully there will be no 911 dialing at Waid’s. For Friday night’s Anti-Capitalist Pride, Finkenbinder says the goal is to have a good and affordable time — cover is only $5 — and raise some money for Lifelong while remembering the roots of the celebration.

“It just gets to the point that a lot of the people who would participate in Pride just can’t afford to,” he said.

15 thoughts on “Following last year’s ‘queer riot,’ a more radical Pride on Capitol Hill

  1. The rioting in Capitol Hill is at ridiculous levels. Cities should be able to put restraining orders on citizens that continue to cause violent outbursts.

  2. Stonewall was a reaction against oppression and discrimination. What sort of twisted logic does it take to use that as an excuse to riot against those who cater to gay, lesbian and transgender groups?

    Sounds to me like somebody just wants to pretend they are part of a movement. What they did in Stonewall is nothing like this, and took risks that members of GLITUR never will. Being part of a real social movement is hard, and takes dedication. You focus on the actual problems and actual opponents, not those that support you.

    GLITUR is attacking their own fricking cause. Morons.

  3. There is a huge difference between true solidarity and co-optation for a profit. Solidarity comes without a price-tag, for one.

    I don’t want “support” from corporations that benefit from exploitation (that is: all corporations).

    The kind of liberation I seek is not some bourgeois assimilated lifestyle where the only difference between myself and Rachel Ray is who I like to fuck. No thanks.

  4. First of all, a few broken windows does not a riot make so chill out and stop clutching your pearls, you will be fine. Second, I am not sure how offering a $5 alternative (which is totally being done by a bunch of volunteers so that we can raise some $ for Lifelong) to the WAAAAYYYYY overpriced majority of Pride events is doing any damage to anything. And hey apparently privileged person get this THERE IS STILL “OPPRESSION AND DISCRIMINATION” going on everyday against queers and gays all over the world. You know similar to the kind that they were fighting back against at Stonewall. Too many have forgotten the radical roots of a Pride celebration that used to be more likely to get you a billy-club in the face than a sweet party sponsored by Target or Absolut or any other corporation that wants to cash in on a largely childless population (extra $) with some cash to burn. Know who Cece McDonald is? Google it. Just because a certain group gay people have been able to achieve a certain amount of success and prestige doesn’t mean there are countless more who are being ground up due to capitalism. Have any friends that depend on ADAP for the HIV meds? And are losing access to them (you know like as in the state killing them essentially) Cause I do. And PS if you were at Stonewall I doubt you would have done a thing, kinda like now.

  5. What exactly is GLITUR doing that is “attacking their own fricking cause”? How is throwing a party that costs $5, with all proceeds going to Lifelong “attacking” anything? Who do you think you are criticizing people trying to make real change for oppressed queers, not just in Seattle, but everywhere?!

  6. So, GLITUR is throwing a drag show and dance party to raise money. Perhaps the inept writers at CHS weren’t clear on the fact that GLITUR has nothing to do with Queers Fucking Queers. That is separate and not a part of what GLITUR is organizing. GLITUR is raising money for a community organization, the Lifelong Aids Alliance, which does wonderful work. That is all. Well, that and opposing the corporate-takeover of Pride that has occurred. Want to spend $25 bucks for some lame business-as-usual shit? Go to any other club or bar on Capitol Hill on Friday evening. Want to enjoy something creative, wonderful, and cheap – where the money goes back to the community, not to the perpetuation of exploitative corporate business practices, then come to Drag Out Capitalism!
    I’m done.

  7. You’re assuming that corporations that victimize queer communities (to include the numerous corporate entities that are present at Pride) are actually supporting queer communities. Sure, they may donate to get marriage equality– but then turn around and support defunding of health programs necessary for HIV-positive and trans members of our communities in order to keep their tax breaks.

    How does the Kool-Aid taste, though? Tasty?

  8. or, uh, you could actually engage with the content of what the other person is saying, calhoun. your continuous inability to do that discredits any claims on your part to insight, however.

    go to any block party anywhere on capitol hill (with the partial exception of pony). steep covers, steeper-than-usual drink prices. $25 is really not unrealistic when you consider both those factors.