The White Night Riots had raged. On November 27, White entered City Hall through a basement window and shot both men to death in their offices. produced by the Fruit Punch Collective. When former police inspector Jack Webb questioned why officers were pouring into the Castro when it had been quiet and nonviolent, the police captain allegedly responded, “We lost the battle at City Hall. Harvey Milk’s friend, Cleve Jones, spoke to a crowd on Castro Street through Milk's own bullhorn. However, many officers began assaulting the demonstrators with night sticks, with some even covering their badges with black tape during the chaos. Harvey Milk rose to prominence as a gay rights activist and became the first openly gay person elected to a public office in the state of California when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. That’s what Harvey meant to us. Dan White exemplified harsh, uncompromising views against the LGBT community. A civil grand jury later convened found insufficient evidence to indict anyone for the riots. 3 of 22 WHITE NIGHT/22MAY79/MN/STOREY - OVERALL OF THE POLICE CARS ON FIRE AT CIVIC CENTER. Although ordered to simply hold the crowd back, many officers began attacking the protestors with night sticks. By the night’s end, dozens of police and over 100 civilians were injured. It was as if it all came to a head through the outrage of the injustice of Dan White’s sentence. Rioters outside of San Francisco City Hall on the night of May 21, 1979, reacting to the voluntary manslaughter verdict for Dan White, which ensured White would serve just five years for the murders of Harvey Milk and George Moscone. No officers were reprimanded for the attacks, as officials were never able to determine who had ordered it, but the violence was finally over. Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter. During Dan White's trial, his legal … In February 2015, Night Riots embarked on their first full US headlining tour. If you suddenly find yourself having an abrupt feeling of fear paired with anxiety or an overwhelming sense that you are losing control, you might be experiencing a panic attack. Marchers commemorated the 40th anniversary of the White Night riots Tuesday, May 21, and walked to City Hall carrying pictures of then-mayor George Moscone, left, and supervisor Harvey Milk, who were assassinated by disgruntled ex-supervisor Dan White. Gay and lesbian activists raised their fists and led the way, chanting “No justice, no peace!” throughout the district. After two hours, Police Chief Charles Gain was made aware of the rogue officers’ activities, and he made his way to the Castro to put a stop to it. In the years after the protests, Jones and Hollibaugh would continue to be vocal activists in the LGBTQ community. What seemed like an open-and-shut murder case, however, turned out to be anything but. He was one of us. To give these claims credibility, the defense even called Dr. Martin Blinder, a psychiatrist, to the stand to talk about how, among other things, White's sudden intake of sweets was clearly a sign of a man depressed. "Tonight, we are going to show them that we are building a strong community.”. When news of the verdict broke on the night of May 21, Cleve Jones–a close friend of Milk’s who would eventually go on to become one of the creators of the AIDS Quilt–spoke to a crowd of about 500 gatherers on Castro Street, and a peaceful march was quickly organized. Mayor Moscone denied the request–with Milk lobbying against White’s reappointment. She attributes it to the uncertainty and unpredictability of the pandemic. Many had even taped over their badges, so as not to be identified. There’s a whole long very gay history going back to the founding of San Francisco but I’m not going to go back there (today, anyways) — suffice it to say that San Francisco was considered something of a haven for LGBTQ+ people in the United States, particularly … White was given a 7-year sentence (in truth, 4 years) for killing two of our leaders. These riots were the most violent in San Francisco's history. It was as if it all came to a head through the outrage of the injustice of Dan White’s sentence. This event had been organized months prior to the riots, but in light of the protests, the organizers came prepared with community “gay monitors” who wore shirts with “PLEASE! Today, I’m going to tackle another — the White Night Riots of May 21, 1979. According to Taylor, when you hold something stimulating, it appeals to the senses and becomes difficult to ignore. It was a jolt to the civic fabric as if we had to experience all of that to be able to move forward to become the city that we have become today. Using Google Trends, researchers have noted a significant increase in searches related to panic attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The US protests beginning in May 2020 were sparked by the death in police custody of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. You can still find it at 500 Castro Street. Harvey Milk was an admired public figure throughout the district and was even nicknamed “the Mayor of Castro Street.” One of his favorite haunts was the Elephant Walk bar, a safe space for people otherwise unwelcome in straight bars. Dan White's trial will forever be known for the "Twinkie Defense." In 1995, it was fittingly renamed Harvey's in Milk's honor. The White Night Riot has evolved into one of the founding legends of modern gay San Francisco—sort of a West Coast version of New York’s Stonewall riot. On May 21, 1979, thousands of members of San Francisco’s predominantly gay Castro District community took to the streets to protest the lenient sentence received by Dan White for the murders of local politician and gay rights activist Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone. That night, thousands of enraged protestors showed up at City Hall and engaged in violent clashes with the police over the outcome of the trial. The riots that define the event were started in retaliation to the death of Harvey Milk and George Moscone and the lenient sentencing that Dan White received for killing them. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! In November of 1978, White resigned from his post, but changed his mind and asked to be reinstated. In all, 59 officers and 124 protestors were injured, with about two dozen arrests made. 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