The Stonewall Riots

The June 1969 riots at New York City’s Stonewall Inn marked a raucous turning point in the fight for LGBT rights.

On a hot summer night in 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in New York City’s Greenwich Village that served as a haven for the city’s gay, lesbian and transgender community.

At the time, homosexual acts remained illegal in every state except Illinois, and bars and restaurants could get shut down for having gay employees or serving gay patrons. Most gay bars and clubs in New York at the time (including the Stonewall) were operated by the Mafia, who paid corruptible police officers to look the other way and blackmailed wealthy gay patrons by threatening to “out” them.

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Police raids on gay bars were common, but on that particular night, members of the city’s LGBT community decided to fight back—sparking an uprising that would launch a new era of resistance and revolution.

June 24, 1969: Police arrest Stonewall employees, confiscate alcohol.

On the Tuesday before the riots began, police conducted an evening raid on the Stonewall, arresting some of its employees and confiscating its stash of illegal liquor. As with many similar raids, the police targeted the bar for operating without a proper liquor license.

After the raid, the NYPD planned a second raid for the following Friday, which they hoped would shut down the bar for good.

Source – Sarah Pruitt. The content of this article does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of Global Diaspora News (www.GlobalDiasporaNews.com).