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Today Marks 50 Years Since the Stonewall Riots

Today and tomorrow (June 28 and 29) mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, what many consider the beginning of the modern day gay rights movement.


On the morning of June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a well-known gay bar in New York City.


"For me, there was no bar like the Stonewall, because the Stonewall was like the watering hole on the savannah. You know, it's just, everybody was there. We were all there,” explains Martin Boyce.


"Well, gay bars were the social centers of gay life. Gay bars were to gay people what churches were to blacks in the South,” added Dick Leitsch.


Sick and tired of these continued raids and of being treated with no respect or regard, the gay people of New York City revolted against the police.


“There were no instructions except: put them out of business. The first police officer that came in with our group said, 'The place is under arrest. When you exit, have some identification and it'll be over in a short time.' This time they said, 'We're not going.' That's it. 'We're not going.' " reported Seymour Pine, the Deputy Inspector of Morals Division, NYPD.


Many say it was Marsha P Johnson, an African American drag queen and activist, who threw the first brick. What followed were riots all through the city that lasted days.


“We didn't have the manpower,” said Pine, “and the manpower for the other side was coming like it was a real war. And that's what it was, it was a war."


That day was later commemorated as the Christopher Street Liberation Day, and the first Prides were born.


Every year since then the LGBT+ community have marched in demand of rights and respect. 

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