The View From Your Protest: San Francisco


A reader writes:

Your reader entirely misses the point, and it's a point too important for the future of activism to miss.  When I asked gay journalist Rex Wockner in email who was spearheading this movement, he replied, "LOL. Facebook." And he's right.  Unlike the usual rallies organized by the usual suspects with the usual permits and the usual crowd, this rally was whipped up virally via social networks and email chains. There wasn't time for the usual amenities available to long-range organizers.  There was a stage and a sound system, but the speeches were drowned out by all the news helicopters. It didn't matter. Mormon moms, straight allies, gay vets, nerds from Stanford, and loving families of all ages, races, and genders showed their support for people like me and my husband.  We were very happy today.

I totally agree. DC was also unorganized, rather than disorganized. We had almost no speeches, and all the signs were hand-made. But that was the point.

Gay people and our families and friends are taking this movement out of the hands of "professionals" who, whether they're the largely irrelevant Human Rights Campaign or the No On 8 geniuses, do not have the conviction or the skills to win. I loved the fact that today came from spontaneous viral messaging - and was immensely happy to walk at the tail-end of the crowd, rather than at the front.

We need leadership, of course, and at some point, we really do have to clean out the deadwood at HRC and elsewhere. But today was about followership. It was a Mac protest, not a Windows one; it was an Obama-style event, not a Clinton-style one. It was the future, not the past.

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty.)