Friday, 27 July 2007

Activists target UN General Secretary over gay rights at World Affairs Council in San Francisco

As media and bloggers report, activists (Michael Petrelis and Hank Wilson) ambushed UN General Secretary as he spoke in San Francisco at yesterday's World Affairs Council, demanding he break the UN's silence on LGBT rights around the world.

*source of picture: Clinton Fein

From press release issued by Michael Petrelis:

SAN FRANCISCO (July 26) -- "A group of activists staged a protest at an evening meeting at the Fairmont Hotel featuring the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in order to protest the unconscionable, murderous silence of the United Nations concerning continued violence and executions globally which specifically target gays and lesbians. Ban was speaking before the World Affairs Council of Northern California, as San Francisco is considered the birthplace of the UN.

The nonviolent protesters twice interrupted Ban’s speech, first standing on their seats, chanting "Break the silence! Talk about about gays!” while holding up signs which read “Gay Rights Are UNiversal", capitalizing the letters UN to drive home the point that the UN has not accepted its responsibility to monitor and defend the human rights of gay and lesbian people worldwide.

UN Secretary General Ban replied, "That is most unusual welcome for me . . . As Secretary General, I'm supposed to answer all questions . . . The gay rights issue is very sensitive."

The protesters included Michael Petrelis and Hank Wilson, longtime LGBT activists, who were escorted out of the hotel and questioned by U.S. Secret Service agents.

Thirty minutes later, George Duvoisin, a gay youth advocate, wearing a large rainbow flag draped over his shoulders, rose up and asked Ban, "What about gay rights, and specific language in UN documents for gays and transgender people to protect against violence and discrimination?"

The San Francisco action heralds a series of demonstrations across the world in August to ban anti-gay violence across the world. August 3 and 4 have been cited as the Global Days of Gay Solidarity, with protests planned for cities across the globe.

“The UN has been silent for far too long, as our gay brothers and lesbian sisters are aggressively selected for human rights violations, torture and execution across the globe, simply due to their sexual orientation,” said Petrelis, who organized the protest. captured the event on video and has posted it on YouTube:

No comments: