However, my dearies, there were some MAJOR issues the last 30 minutes of our gathering:
No I don't want to come off as a hater of law-enforcement - UCPD in particular, as they do great things and are very effective. I love 'em to death and I done a good bit of work with them.
Today was a different story... Ya see, we started off our protest in the general croud around BM's quardoned-off area and the police made us protesters move over to our own caution-taped threshold. Totally cool with us! We didn't have any problem with that since we were a seperate event (in regards to Campus Scheduling). We were told by the police officers that if people have signs and are yelling at BM then those people must be behind OUR caution tape b/c they are "protesting". They did NOT enforce this after a while though!!! Us queers were in our area all honky-dory waving our flags, signs, and shouting funny things (only 3 or 4 of us were offensive, but many other people not affiliated with us shouting obscene things from our side of the fence...). At a certain point BM began ignoring us. Since some of us wanted to engage in conversation with him, they decided to "leave" our protest and join the other crowd who were allowed to be closer to BM, and who the police WERE NOT stopping from shouting at him. All our people wanted to do was verbally engage him and debate preachings, nothing harmful at all... But NOOOO, the UC officers very promptly surrounded our friends and not-so-politely told them to go back to where they belong. Make sense? Yes. HOWEVER, those friends had LEFT our protest to join the other crowd. They were no longer a part fo our group; no signs, no shouting... The officers said, "We saw you guys behind the caution tape, so you're a part of the protest and aren't allowed to be over here." (paraphrase)
Our friends were escorted back, and myself and a few other Out On Campus exec. board members crossed the tape and began asking a suited lieutenent (supervising the officers) why we were not ebing treated equally (the others were allowed to speak!!!). He gave us some bullshit and an officer walked by and told us to go back behind the tape (we were JUST trying to talk to the UCPD guy) and the lieutenant promptly looked straight at me and said VERY condescendingly, "Did you hear what he said?" To which I replied, "I'm with these guys from OOC having a conversation with you!" He shut up...
So needless to say, Im'm pretty gaddamn pissed. What they were really doing may have been OK, but they were executing it VERY poorly.
People, image is everything, and UCPD did NOT convey a positive image to us today...
That's all I gotta say before I explode. Thanks for putting up with my rant...
And we are following up on this problem too. By no means are we putting up with this treatment.