Originally published July 14, 2015
In June, Chicago’s “Open University of the Left” kindly invited the Gay Liberation Network‘s co-founder Andy Thayer to speak about the devastating level of violence in Chicago and in the nation, and what we might do to at least greatly diminish it.
GLN was initially founded primarily as an anti-violence organization (“Chicago Anti-Bashing Network” was our old name), organizing against violence directed against LGBT people. Our founding in September 1998 was prompted by three gay bashings in as many weeks on and around Halsted Street. And then the murder of Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard happened a couple of weeks later.
Below is a short description of Andy’s talk, which is now available on YouTube — click here or on the above picture to watch.
The #blacklivesmatter protests are among the most dynamic protest movements of the current century. But with police seemingly acting with impunity in murder after murder, and U.S. violence rates much higher than those of any other wealthy nation, it is not enough for us to simply protest the violence.
We must propose and advocate for specific programs and policies that will no longer allow business as usual. In a world where economic austerity and a near-bankrupt city and state, our advocacy will require specific proposals, but also a power to overcome wealthy opposition that we’ve not seen in this country in generations.
Among Andy’s recent writings is a piece for In These Times, “All the Chicago Mayoral Candidates Are Getting It Wrong: We Don’t Need More Cops”