May 21-22, 1979

This is footage of the protests in New York after the extremely lenient sentence handed down to Dan White for the assassination of Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone of San Francisco. The reaction in San Francisco, known as the White Night Riots, was much more militant and historically significant, but I was in New York so I filmed the demonstrations here. Note the sit-in at the corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue South. This was a tactic that was used often in lesbian and gay demonstrations in the 70s. It was a demonstration of power, creating great consternation on the part of the police and could cause widespread disruption and traffic jams all the way back to Times Square, a distance of approximately 2 miles. The rain was so heavy on the second night of demonstrations that it had to be moved indoors to the Washington Square Methodist Church, a sanctuary that offered free meeting space to many radical political groups at the time.

Digital transfer made possible by a grant from the Al Larvick Conservation Fund.

00:59 Vito Russo
01:22 Curtis (Kiki) Mason (also 02:55, 03:38, 04:31, 10:14)
01:57 Sit-In at the corner of Christopher Street and Seventh Avenue South
02:43 Steve Rose, Kiki Mason, Polly Parker (03:39, 04:32, 10:46)
03:03 Aner Candelario (11:13)
03:37 Steve Rose (10:48)
05:14 Joyce Hunter (10:58)
05:19 Steve Ault (10:39)
09:07 Aner Candelario, Cliff Bossert, Jr. (11:28)
10:09 Andy Humm