Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Resist: Milo melts down; rain cancels protests


Gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos lost his book deal, a speaking gig, and his job in about 24 hours. Photo: AP
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Heavy rains led to cancellation or sparse attendance at Bay Area protests over Presidents Day weekend, including a planned rally in the Castro during the premiere of ABC's "When We Rise" television series and a "Not My President" protest at Justin Herman Plaza.

The biggest news this week was the downfall of gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after an old video surfaced in which he appeared to speak approvingly of sex between teenagers and older men. Apparently, there are still things that can't be said in Donald Trump's America.

Simon and Schuster announced that it was canceling publication of his planned book entitled "Dangerous," the American Conservative Union disinvited him from speaking at its upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, and he resigned under pressure from his senior editor position at Breitbart News.

Yiannopoulos did not condone pedophilia, strictly defined as sex with pre-pubescent children, but he did say that there was a homosexual tradition of "coming of age" relationships between adolescent boys and adult men, acknowledging that he himself had such a relationship with a Catholic priest at age 13.

The comments outraged many in the LGBT community, which has fought a pervasive stereotype that gay men are sexual predators of youth.

The outrage was equally vociferous among Yiannopoulos' "alt-right" supporters, who previously upheld his right to free speech when he attacked transgender people, women, immigrants, and people of color. (The alt-right movement is built on white nationalism.)

As previously reported, Yiannopoulos made news in the Bay Area when his February 1 talk at UC Berkeley was canceled after an unruly protest made it impossible for the event to go forward.

"[B]y drawing the line there, the American Conservative Union, Simon and Schuster ... and others are implicitly saying that everything else that Yiannopoulos has done up until this point – his long history of blatant racism, misogyny, and transphobia, and his penchant for doxxing, harassing, and intimidating marginalized individuals online and during his talks – all of that is a-okay," trans author Julia Serano wrote in a blog post.


Quick recap

This week Trump directed the Department of Homeland Security to more aggressively enforce immigration laws, which is expected to increase the number of arrests and speed deportation of unauthorized immigrants, including those with no criminal history.

On February 16 many Bay Area businesses – including a number of restaurants in San Francisco's largely Latino Mission neighborhood – participated in "A Day Without Immigrants," a nationwide action intended to show how important immigrants are to the economy.

As the Bay Area Reporter went to press on Wednesday, the San Francisco Public Defender's office held a public forum on "Resisting Mass Deportation" to address how the city can help immigrants fight deportation. In light of the crackdown, more actions in support of immigrants are likely in the days ahead.

In other news, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated on Tuesday that the administration is not inclined to defend the rights of transgender people, saying the issue should be left to the states. Again, local protests are likely.

Activists have started to plan for several large nationwide actions that will include local auxiliary events.

Organizers of the massive January 21 Women's March in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country, have announced a women's strike, or "Day Without a Woman," to take place on International Women's Day, March 8.

Plans are also in the works for April 15 tax day actions to demand that Trump release his income tax returns, and a Science March in Washington and many other cities on Earth Day, April 22.

After the print edition went to press, a rally for trans students was announced for Thursday, February 23 from 5 to 6 p.m. in front of City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Drive. For information, visit


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