LGBTQ Allyship, the Seattle advocacy group fighting for social and economic justice for the queer community, is planning a protest rally to take place at the Space Needle on Pride Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 3pm. The group is protesting the Space Needle Corporation’s lack of a contract and benefits for its employees and the Space Needle’s apparent decision to not fly the Pride Flag over Pride Weekend this year. The Space Needle, a privately held company who owns the beloved Seattle landmark, leases the land from the city. They have flown the flag in previous years, but have refused to fly the flag for every Pride event. Here’s the “call to bear picket signs” from Allyship’s Executive Director Debbie Carlsen:
Dear Allyship Community,
This is an amazing time in the LGBTQ community!Victories such as DOMA, Prop 8 and the stoppage of imposing restrictions on abortion services in Texas, which would have shut down abortion clinics, by the nation’s new shero, Texas Senator Wendy Davis are all reasons to celebrate at Pride this weekend.
But there is still work to do! The Voting Rights Act was gutted, the fight for comprehensive immigration reform continues and economic injustice prevails at the Space Needle.
Join us at ‘Protest At Pride’ to support LGBTQ and immigrant economic justice in the tourism and restaurant industries!
Rally at 3pm, location: Space Needle (on the side near the Monorail)
Reasons to support economic equity at the Space Needle:
- The Space Needle workers haven’t had a employee contract in over two years. They are vulnerable at the workplace and several worker activists have been laid-off.
- There is a significant percentage of LGBTQ and immigrant employees working at the Space Needle.
- The Space Needle is a leader in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant industries and their actions will raise the bar for workers around living wages and affordable health care.
- There is a significant percentage of LGBTQ and immigrant employees that work in the tourism, hospitality and restaurant industry.
- Often youth and homeless youth work in the hospitality and restaurant industries and young people, especially homeless youth, need living wage jobs with access to health care.
- 24% of lesbian, bisexual, and queer women between the ages of 18 and 24 live in poverty compared to 19% of heterosexual women nationally. Fighting for living wage jobs with access to health care in the tourism and restaurant industries will directly benefit LBQ women living paycheck to paycheck.
- Corporate responsibility is an LGBTQ issue in advocating for LGBTQ economic justice and healthy economies!
- The Seattle City Hall, CenturyLink Stadium and Safeco field (workers settled a fair contract earlier this year, with fair wages, access to affordable health care, and job security) are all flying the Rainbow flag or showing their rainbow colors for Pride.
We ask the Space Needle, a corporation that caters to the LGBTQ community, to fly the Rainbow flag for Pride and set an example in the hospitality and tourism industry by settling a fair contract that includes living wages, access to affordable health care and job security.
Become an organizational sponsor of Protest at Pride! Click here if your organization will join us in solidarity for LGBTQ economic justice at Pride!What does it mean to be an organizational sponsor 1. You commit to turning out activists in your group. 2. You promote this demonstration at Pride and before Pride.In return your organization will be acknowledged in promotional materials and during the demonstration as an ally to LGBTQ economic justice!
Out of town for Pride? You can still support LGBTQ Economic Justice at the Space Needle and in the tourism industry.Onward!Debbie CarlsenExecutive Director
Some people will support this protest while others will find it repugnant, but we should point out that Gay Pride itself, is a celebration of the original Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the founding of the modern gay rights movement…Pride IS about politics and protest and advocacy for change.
We’ll also have to point out that the Space Needle IS a privately owned company…they aren’t under any obligation to fly ANY flag at any time. In theory, it’s not any different than trying to bully American Apparel or Kwik E Mart into flying the rainbow flag, or your next door neighbor. It would be NICE if they did, but they’re not obligated to do so. (Though, we wish they would..)
As for the labor issues at the Needle…we always support fair treatment for labor. Working for a tourist trap for low money, few benefits and little job security cannot be an easy row to hoe… Hopefully, management and labor can come to fair and equitable terms.