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  • Writer's pictureAanya M.

Stonewall Riots

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

In the 1960s members of the LGBTQ+ community were mistreated frequently, especially in New York. Gay bars were often subject to police harassment. The New York State Liquor Authority shut down facilities providing alcohol for individuals who were suspected of being LGBT members, arguing the gathering of homosexuals was "disorderly." After many gay bars had shut down, one of the only; if not only bars left open was the Stonewall Inn. The Stonewall Inn became a target of a police raid on June 28, 1969. Nine policemen entered the club and arrested employees for selling alcohol without a license. They roughed up any of the bar's employers. And arrested some for breaking New Yorks's gender-appropriate clothing statute.

As a result, a riot began. The police, a couple of prisoners, and a writer of Village Voice barricaded the bar, which the mob tried to set fire to after they broke the barricade. The fire department managed to put out the fire, save those inside the bar, and disperse the crowd. Protests around the area continued for 5 days.

Although many other protests demanding rights for LGBTQ+ members had taken place, The Stonewall Riots are often believed as the most important because it was the first time lesbians, homosexuals, and transgender people saw beyond their differences and acted as a single party fighting for a shared cause. The Stonewall Riots also made way for more groups such as the Gay Liberation front.

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