Unhappy with the re-routing of the Dyke March on Saturday evening, some in attendance defied the changes and followed the old route. Later, others also celebrated at the now closed Lexington Club, a decision that put the participants at odds with police, according to police and neighbors.
The splinter protest – known as “Take Back the Dyke March” was organized via Facebook by a “radical pissed off contingent of the Dyke March,” according to one organizer, Joey “Cupcake” Stevenson.
“The splinter march will follow the original protest route, reclaiming Dyke March as a political action, centered in radical politics and solidarity with communities experiencing displacement and racist police violence,” said a press release made by the group of organizers on Facebook.
The splinter protest marched north on Dolores Street to 18th Street, east on 18th Street to Valencia, and then turned on Valencia to 16th Street. This route passed two important landmarks: the Women’s Building and the Elbo room, the location of the now-closed lesbian bar, Amelia’s.
The splinter march was first reported on SFist.
The planning committee of the Dyke March said on its website that the changes in the route leaving out the two sites were made for logistical reasons.
The day before the march, the organizers put up a Facebook post imploring participants to stick with their plan. “We are fighting against the same things – loss of dyke, queer, womyn, female-bodied spaces, displacement of women and queers, the patriarchy that keeps us down,” they wrote.
“We are extending an olive branch. If your contingent is at all interested in marching along side us, as a group that also shares our vision and supports the Dyke March, the Dyke Movement, all the things that we all have in our hearts, that will make a profound statement about our ability to come together and fight for justice for our community,” the post added.
Stevenson agrees that they are all on the same side, but still felt it was important to reclaim the old route. She wrote in an email to AfterEllen, which she forwarded to Mission Local, that she was very pleased with the turnout, and was impressed by the thousands of people that showed up.
Afterwards, a group of people also decided to gather outside of the former Lexington Club on 19th Street and Lexington Street.
Anthony, a resident of Lexington Street who declined to give his full name, said that he heard the protesters chanting and heard the police, but eventually heard the police leave and heard the music go back on.
Two people were cited and released at the scene, police said, which means they got a ticket for a misdemeanor and may have to appear in court. One 24-year-old was cited for battery on a police officer and for obstructing police officer duties after they hit the police officer with their arm while the police officer was trying to get him into custody, according to police. A 26-year-old was also cited for obstructing police officer duties, as well as vandalism.
Videos taken by one of the neighbors show people dancing in the street, then show police standing in the street with protesters on the sidewalk, and later show three police trying to restrain one protester.
Police said that it appeared 40 to 50 people ignored this plea and showed up at the now closed Lexington Club, at 19th and Lexington, to recognize the queer landmark.
The group left signs and graffiti on the window and door of the Lexington Club, which was cleaned up by Monday.
This story has been corrected: an earlier version conflated the activity outside of the Lexington Club with the splinter march.