Thursday, May 28, 2009

Po-pos on our side??

As promised, some writing about being uncertain:

Yesterday the California Supreme Court announced its decision to uphold Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in the state. It also affirmed the validity of all the marriages performed during the months leading up to the proposition's passage. So, those who are married already, are married. Those who aren't, can't. At least not here. At least not if they call it marriage.

As a friend said last night, very bravely, in front of a whole congregation of grieving gay people, "I am over marriage. I am so over marriage." Word. Me, too. So I'm not going to get into the political analysis. Instead I want to think about a perversely heartening and disturbing story I heard about the police.

In SF, there was lots of planned civil disobedience in front of City Hall. A few hundred folks got arrested, about 40 of them clergy, including the Rabbi and Rabbinical Intern of our local Big Gay Synagogue.

The way the arrests went down was ... really peculiar. From what I understand, a bunch of gay cops volunteered to be on crowd control duty at the action. They were the friendliest, helpfulest crowd control cops ever. They circulated in the crowd and let people know what was going on. They weren't pushy. By all accounts they were even cute.

When it came time to start arresting the clergy folks, these gay cops actually refused to do it, prompting more (presumably straight?) cops to get called in, who went ahead and arrested folks, while gay cops stood by making sure nobody got hurt. And actually, as far as I've heard, no one got hurt. Gay cops videoed the pat downs, which protesters interpreted as holding other (straight?) cops accountable for their treatment of those arrested.

Overall, the safest "arrested at a protest" story I've ever heard.

And yet I am left reeling.

I live in a place where cops are on the side of protestors.
Yeah, but, I'm still afraid of cops.
A trans person decided to get arrested for a cause he believes in, and knew that he would likely be safe doing so.
As safe as anyone is, when their body is searched and imprisoned.
A trans person had the freedom to decide to get arrested for a cause he believes in, and he was totally safe!
I know trans people who've been arrested here, and have not been safe.
Cops violated orders in order to show their support for queers putting their bodies on the line against state controlled-definitions of our relationships.
The cops were still there to control queer bodies.
I live in a place where cops are on the same side as protestors.
I don't want to be on the same side as cops.
My friends were in a protest yesterday, and the cops were on their side.
My friends were in a protest last month, and the cops beat up some of their comrades.
Having a few cops on our side can't be a bad thing.
I never want to be on the same side as cops.
Maybe they're changing the system from the inside?
The system is rotten, through and through.
Some cops helped to protect my friends' bodies from state violence.
Cops are state violence.

As usual, even more than usual, I want your thoughts/feedback/ideas.

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