Stonewall... Revisited?

Fort Worth Bar gets raided the night before the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.

Stonewall... Revisited?

A protest is scheduled outside the Tarrant County Courthouse in downtown Fort Worth tonight, 7pm. Why?

Last night in Fort Worth, police raided the Rainbow Lounge, a week-old gay nightclub. Reports coming out of the Dallas Voice (DFW's excellent queer newspaper) are terrifyingly close in tone to all of the documents I've been reading about bar raids in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s.*

Bar raids are so passe. So 1950s. The paddywagons, the ridiculous brutality, gay folks scared shitless. So very pre-Stonewall. Right?

What prompted the Fort Worth raid?

Folks on the message boards and the Voice's Instant Tea blog have been pointing to a disgruntled bartender, but knowing that the bar has only been open for a week this seems unlikely. That was also a common excuse for raids in the 1950s-70s. (Makes you wanna sing "The Way We Were", yes?) Historically, however, the truth bears out that these raids were more frequently the product of top-down discrimination and homophobic policies.

Here are the lowlights:

Best quote: "It felt so very Stonewall, but without the standing up for ourselves"

An eyewitness account that just leaves me speechless.

The difference: Now the queers have cameras and recording devices. BTW, why is there a paddywagon and both state and local police if this was just a TABC check?

Supposedly, last night the Rainbow Lounge was showing two Stonewall related documentaries. (Before Stonewall and After Stonewall? Just a guess.)

Happy anniversary, QUEERS!

[Thanks to Ricky Hill for the tip-off.]
* Here's a link to a paper I wrote about a bar raid in 1976 in L.A. which was the product of the virulently homophobic police chief Ed Davis.

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civil rights, Bar raid, Rainbow Lounge, Fort Worth, Stonewall, Police Brutality, gay, lesbian, LGBT, harassment, Dallas Voice

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