Friday, 15 April 2011

Kiss-In

This evening, I attended a protest against homophobia, more particularly, an incident that occurred recently at the John Snow pub in Soho, London. Two gay men, on their first date, were thrown out of the pub for kissing. Unsurprisingly, many people have been riled up by this situation; with over 1,000 facebookers confirmed to have attended the rally, various bloggers and websites, and even the BBC publicizing the event. I could not miss this! The pub ended up closing early before the protest started....however we carried on outside the premises.


















It is very unsettling knowing that crimes like this are happening, in Soho nonetheless! An area known to be gay-friendly. Something has to be done...starting with raising awareness. Please pass this on to others and help bring these acts of hatred to an end.

Read more of what caused this commotion here:



[B]x

18 comments:

  1. Bobby that's so awesome!!! Amazing to see everyone (ok, well almost everyone) unite like this.

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  2. I cant believe you are all proud of having responded to hostility with hostility. What will they think of us gays now? And i'm not even talking about the John Snow bar managers... i'm talking about all the straight people who are reading about this and watching us making a mess of ourselves like this.
    It's frankly embarrassing. I wish we would all spend more of our time doing things that will actually build a favourable image for ourselves other than harm it like this. All that energy... wasted. Shame.

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  3. Thank you for your comment Marc, but there was nothing hostile about the event. Apart from a short argument between the organizer and some socialist workers trying to take over the protest, it was an enjoyable, lighthearted get together of people supporting equality and defending two people who were victims of a hateful act(and anyone else who has been a victim of similar acts really). And it wasn't a waste of energy. The feedback and coverage gained by this event has raised awareness and brought people together, supporting eachother in the fight against homophobia. It showed that people, gay or straight, will not stand for it and that it is wrong. People in the world need to realize this.

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  4. Marc is absolutely right, the response from some members of our community has been over the top aggressive and those who forced the John Snow to close are nothing but bullies. How would we feel if 800 "Straights" decided to storm Comptons. The couple in question would have passed virtually every Gay pub in Soho to get to the John Snow, why when we have so many Gay venues did they choose to go to a straight pub to kiss? Also why kiss for 2 and a quarter hours anyway, get a room anyone? Please take a good long hard look at yourselves and ask if this kind of aggresion was really justified, btw. the front of the John Snow was vandalised which proves this went too far.

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  5. this is a great article. i thought the event was overwhelmingly positive and was impressed with how quickly and spontaneously our community came to together to give a POSITIVE response to john snow pub's hateful actions. what could be more lovely than a sea of men kissing men and women kissing women? it drove the message home that kissing and affection are GOOD THINGS and that we are exercising our rights as human beings - not asking for permission, but simply doing what comes naturally to everyone else on this planet.

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  6. That's great in an ideal world Paul, only we don't live in an ideal world and some people hate us, that isn't going to change after last Thursdays action. If it was peaceful why vandalise the pub?

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  7. Of course the whole world isn't going to change their mindset after this one event, however would it be better if we did nothing and let these hateful acts continue?
    I was there and wasn't aware of anyone vandalising the pub...were windows smashed? or were walls graffitied? What's happened??

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  8. @Bobby, was it such a hateful act? They were asked to tone it down and they ignored the request a carried on, they're intelligent blokes so we can assume they knew what they were doing and their defiance wouldn't go unchallenged, to ignore the first request is just rude and if they didn't like it they could have left. I've heard it suggested they were doing it for the Compo so we'll have to see if they take it to court. Many people don't wish to see anyone (gay or straight) snogging in a pub, it's just basic good manners.
    I passed the John Snow at 10pm and the front of the pubhad Graffiti and a Rainbow flag nailed to the door.
    We now have a counter hate group in response to Fridays demo, will it have been worth it when somebody gets their head kicked in as an act of revenge, which some say was the true motive of the demo in the first place.
    Finally, imagine this scenario. A straight girl is thrown out of Comptons, a Facebook page is created in support and 800 hundred "straights" storm the pub on a Friday night to protest, do you think this is reasonable behaviour?

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  9. Unfortunately, sometimes you get imbeciles who take advantage of protests to cause ruckus - good for nothing idiots. But the real activists do it to stand up for themselves because they have something to say/show and support a cause. The protest wasn't telling people to come out and vandalise. People shouldn't blame the protest for the hostility that came out of it. That wasn't the point. It was about people coming out and showing support. It's basic human right to exercise freedom of speech. And sInce when is kissing in public hostile? You must live a really sheltered life.


    It's pretty amazing that this reached out to so many people. It was a great thing. Sad some don't see it that way.

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  10. @Jo: I was not aware of the graffiti nor that the flag was nailed to the door. That is a shame. It would always be the case, at any large gathering, that controlling the actions of each and every individual is impossible.
    Also, if a straight couple were kicked out of a gay venue for kissing, I WOULD support the straight couple. It is wrong either way you look at it.

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  11. I can see where you're coming Bobby from but remember we're a civilised society. Using Facebook to mobilise a mob to decend on someones business in the name of the Gay community as an act of revenge isn't acceptable. That is wrong either way you look at it...

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  12. Hi Everyone,

    I've enjoyed reading the post.

    @Jo: Some of your comments appear to be based on hearsay, conjecture and hypothetical situations. "I've heard it suggested they were doing it for the Compo"and "Finally, imagine this scenario...".

    You, also appear to be blaming the two guys ("to ignore the first request is just rude and if they didn't like it they could have left") I find this a little strange. The only way, in my opinion, they could be held responsible is if the pub had a no kissing policy that is applied to everyone regardless of who you are. I have had drinks in there on a few occasions and seen straight couples sharing a kiss. It therefore appears that the reason for their ejection from the pub is based on the landlord's personal views which is not allowed.

    I attended the kiss-in on Friday (nobody kissed for over two hours) and found it to have a great atmosphere and thought it was amazing that such a response was generated in such a short amount of time.

    Onwards and upwards!

    O
    x

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  13. They were asked to stop and they ignored this request, this is the Landlord prerogative, if they'd been asked to leave without being given prior warning than fair enough but this didn't happen. Yes I do blame the couple, to quote one "I felt belittled. I felt physically sick and we were both shaking", which all sound like sound bites for a Compo case and in any case if they're that sensitive why were they so defiant?
    Finally our community can only move forward if we show each other mutual respect, this couple and the subsequent action didn't show this to the John Snow staff or regulars (baring in mind as far as we know it's only 1 or 2 people that objected and we're not even sure if they were the Landlord), they could have spent their evening snogging the faces of each other at any number of Gay pubs in the area, why choose a straight one?

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  14. It's easy for parts of the community to sit back and complain about the actions of the Proud, flag waving, whilstle blowing activists as "over the top and aggressive," however, they should not for one minute forget that without the efforts of those that are willing to speak up we wouldn't be in the comfortable position that we are - where there is a law that prevents the discrimination that the John Snow Pub appears to have demonstrated.

    If it was not discrimination and the landlord/brewery have a policy of evicting kissing couples, then they should have had no problem explaining the policy and would have been able to welcome everyone in for a pint and an apology on Friday (provided the no kissing rules were strictly upheld by all).

    In my opinion, to suggest that any pub in the land would prohibit kissing or request kissing couples to "tone it down" is wilful ignorance. Single people go to pubs and will drink and sometimes flirt. For some, pulling is often the end game. Amazingly, even couples go to pubs for romantic evenings (even the married ones!). In summary, no shock news - PEOPLE KISS IN PUBS.

    If we were talking about heavy tongue action in a provincial Harvester / McDonalds with lots of families with children around on a Saturday afternoon, I might expect a request for discretion, but a central London boozer is not the place for that kind of expectation.

    As to Jo's references to the protest as bullying and aggressive, is she serious? It was a happy bunch of gay boys and girls having a mass snog.

    Of more concern to me is her suggestion that someone might get their head kicked in as a result of the protest. To compare such an act of violence to a peaceful protest is dangerous and could be construed by some as a justification for violence. If someone were to get their head kicked in, it would be the act of a violent, homophobic individual who would probably have used any excuse to justify their actions - none of which would be acceptable.

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  15. PS I'm not suggesting that Jo was in someway advocating violence - I'm stating that idiots out there might see "Protest" and "Head Kicking" and consider the head kicking to be justified retribution. We don't need to lend any credence to that argument by making the connection ourselves - there isn't one.

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  16. @Iain, I wasn't making the connection others have already done so, there are couple of groups in support of the John Snow who are against the protest, in only takes a couple of thugs to wait in the back streets after the next protest to make their point with violence. Let's also not forget the attack on Philip Sallon very close by which has been completely overshadowed by this event.

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  17. People shouldn't fight hate with hate. It doesn't work. Period.

    Be upset with the violent people who acted out in violence instead of taking it out on everyone.

    I totally agree with Iain, without activists who work hard for equal rights, people wouldn't have the gay rights that exist now. Be happy at least you don't live in a weird place like California where gay rights were given, then taken away.

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