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A Stonewall was a riot

A Stonewall was a riot

Stonewall was a riot

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This time the people milling outside the bar did not retreat or scatter as they almost always had in the past. Their anger was apparent and vocal as they watched bar patrons being forced into a police van. They began to jeer at and jostle the police and then threw bottles and debris. Accustomed to more passive behaviour, even from larger gay groups, the policemen called for reinforcements and barricaded themselves inside the bar while some 400 people rioted. The police barricade was repeatedly breached, and the bar was set on fire. Police reinforcements arrived in to extinguish the flames, and they eventually dispersed the crowd.

Riot

via GIPHY

The riots outside the Stonewall Inn waxed and waned for the next five days. Many historians characterized the uprising as a spontaneous protest against the perpetual police harassment and social discrimination suffered by a variety of sexual minorities in the 1960s. Although there had been other protests by gay groups, the Stonewall incident was perhaps the first time lesbians, gays, and transgender people saw the value in uniting behind a common cause. Occurring as it did in the context of the civil rights and feminist movements, the Stonewall riots became a galvanizing force.Stonewall soon became a symbol of resistance to social and political discrimination that would inspire solidarity among homosexual groups for decades. Although the Stonewall riots cannot be said to have initiated the gay rights movement as such.

Barack Obama designated the site of the Stonewall uprising a national monument. The 7.7-acre (3.1-hectare) monument included the Stonewall Inn, Christopher Park, and the surrounding streets and sidewalks. In 2019, shortly before the 50th anniversary of the riots, New York City’s police commissioner, James P. O’Neill, issued an apology on behalf of the police department saying, “The actions taken by the Soon, the crowd began throwing bottles at the police. The protest spilled over into the neighboring streets, and order was not restored until the deployment of New York’s riot police sometime after 4 a.m. (Source: www.history.com)

 

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