Saturday Night #ShutDownCastro Protest Hit 18th & Castro, Toad Hall

Photo: Sarah O'Neal/twitter

By Roy - Published on January 19, 2015.

At around 9:30pm on Saturday evening, a group called Queer Trans People Of Color shut down the intersection at 18th and Castro with direct action sit-ins calling on LGBT groups to focus more on the needs of queers of color.

The group, tweeting from @QTPOCLiberation, used the hashtag #ShutDownCastro for others to follow and share their perspectives on the protest. Organized in solidarity with nationwide MLK Jr. weekend #BlackLivesMatter protests, the action included a traditional Ohlone ceremony and a makeshift memorial for black trans lives lost.

Protesters distributed a list of demands, which included a directive for established LGBT organizations to to take "concrete action in support of black lives," in addition to calls for funding and the establishment of safe spaces for queer and trans black people in the Castro.

Tensions grew between activists and some Castro-goers. One man, seen in the video below, confronted the activists to complain about being inconvenienced.

Later in the evening, organizers entered Toad Hall, the former space of the Pendulum, a black gay bar that was shut down in 2005 by owner Les Natali after allegations of racial discrimination.

One activist wrote in a Facebook post that has since been deleted that bar-goers were not happy to see them:

"A patron of Toad Hall grabbed a white ally by the hair & told her if she was a man he would beat her up, threw a bottle at her feet and then punted a huge trash can into our QTPOC & Mixed Race mourning demonstration. The DJ at Toad Hall continued to turn up the volume of the music so we could not be heard, as well as slammed the DJ booth door on another white ally, hitting her in the face. We held space in Toad Hall because of its white supremacist history of casting out queer Black men from its former incarnation Pendulum."

Here are some more photos of the event:

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