Saturday, September 12, 2009

Official Atlanta Eagle Protest Press Release

The following is the official press release sent to media outlets today.

ATLANTA, GA--On Thursday, September 10, the Atlanta Police Department raided the Atlanta Eagle, a bar catering to Atlanta's gay community, arresting staff members and allegedly rough-handling and harassing patrons. This action is believed to be expressly targeted at the gay community of Atlanta, and without sufficient basis for the severity of the raid and search action.

DEMONSTRATION PLANNED:

An independent rally-style demonstration in protest of these actions is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, assembling at 5:00 p.m. in the Atlanta Eagle parking lot (off Argonne Ave. behind Ponce de Leon Ave.). After a short summary statement, those who were allegedly harassed during the incident will be invited to share their stories, if they wish to do so.

Following this, the group plans to conduct a short, peaceful march to the steps of City Hall East at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., for reading of one or more additional prepared statements. A statement by a representative of GLBTATL will specifically address the conduct of Atlanta Police Department officers in this incident, and will include an open invitation to APD to address these issues in a civil and direct manner. (Candidates for municipal offices will also be invited to speak at this time.)

LOCAL CANDIDATES ASKED TO RESPOND:

We are asking members of, and candidates for, Atlanta City Council district 6 and at-large posts to attend the demonstration to show their support for Atlanta's LGBT community; or if that is not possible, that they issue official statements in response to this incident.

We are asking the candidates for Mayor of Atlanta to address the issue during their debate on public safety being held the same day (coincidentally sponsored by the Atlanta Police Foundation). That debate will air live on WSB-TV 2 and WSB-AM 750 at 6:30 p.m.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

The organizers would like to give special thanks to City Council candidates Miguel Gallegos (for district 6) and Shelitha Robertson (for post 3 at-large) for their assistance to the Atlanta Eagle and their employees.

Media are encouraged to attend. For more information, see GLBTATL.org, or call 888-GLBT-ATL (888-452-8285).  Calls will be routed directly to the event organizers.

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