Revolution is the Poor Peoples' Crime of Passion [Original poster to support the May 21st Defense Fund, 1979)

San Francisco: May 21st Defense Fund, 1979. Vintage two-color Revolution is the Poor Peoples' Crime of Passion poster, in support of the May 21st Defense Fund, 1979.

On May 21, 1979, San Francisco Supervisor, and former police officer, Dan White, was acquitted of the charge of first degree murder, and convicted on the substantially lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter, for the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and the beloved supervisor and gay activist Harvey Milk. The gay community of San Francisco, who already had longstanding hostilities with the San Francisco Police Department, were outraged. Upon hearing the news, a spontaneous crowd quickly formed and grew, initially marching peacefully through the Castro district, before a group of over 2000 convened on City Hall shouting "No Justice, No Peace!" The crowd, outraged, quickly grew violent, and over the next two hours shattered windows in City Hall, holding off repeated attempts by police to disperse the crowd. What would become known as the White Night riots began, windows were broken in neighboring buildings, fires were set in garbage cans, and 16 police cars were set afire, as is represented in the poster. A few hours later the police retook the streets, arresting 21, and retaliated by raiding a popular gay night club, the Elephant Walk Bar, smashing up the club, beating patrons, and arresting two dozen, several of whom later sued the SFPD.

The May 21st Defense Fund, organized soon thereafter to help raise money for those arrested during the rioting, failed to raise any significant funds, largely because the majority of those arrested were not members of the gay community, but minorities who joined in on the escalating violence against the SFPD, and were thus received less sympathetically.

16.75 x 22.75 inches. Near Fine.


[Book #156026]