‘Although a few commentators have ruled out all marches as ineffective, this is foolish, ahistorical and ignores the tremendous strides advanced by a few marches’

SOUNDBITES — “Although a few commentators have ruled out all marches as ineffective, this is foolish, ahistorical and ignores the tremendous strides advanced by a few marches. In particular, the single most effective march in U.S. history was the 1963 March on Washington organized by Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others. […] There have been many failed marches since 1963. The question is, how can we duplicate the ’63 success? How do present efforts so far stack up against ’63? For one thing, the 1963 march was meticulously organized. Organizers of the present march, however, failed to secure permits before announcing nationwide a march for the 2009 Columbus Day weekend in October. […] Worse yet, not only have the present organizers committed many of the same mistakes made by the organizers of the notoriously unsuccessful 2000 Millennium March, they have also added a fatal one of their own. The organizers of the Millennium March (HRC and the Metropolitan Community Church) maintained far too tight and top-down control, but they at least conducted an on-line poll to determine the principal demands of the march. The handful of present veteran organizers, on the other hand, consulting no one but themselves, simply announced their demands when they announced the march’s time and place.” —The Gay Liberation Network’s Andy Thayer and Roger Fraser, on whether a GLBT rights march on Washington is worthwhile

(The op-ed doesn’t appear to be published online, so we’ve reprinted it in full on the next page.)