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    Protest Over Israel-Hamas War Shuts Down Castro Street


    On Saturday, December 2, during a day of protests at multiple sites, a crowd of hundreds brought Castro Street traffic to a halt with a sit-down protest.

    San Francisco Bay Times photographer Rink captured images of protestors seated on the rainbow crosswalks at 18th and Castro. Demonstrators waved flags, carried signs, and used a bullhorn from a mid-street position. The crowd extended on Castro from 18th to the Castro Theatre.

    One day prior, on December 1, the San Francisco Examiner published an account of the split within San Francisco’s LGBTQ community over the war in Gaza. Both the Examiner account and a subsequent article on December 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle noted the role of the organization Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism ( ) that promotes LGBTQ community solidarity with Palestinians.

    The divisions of opinion among LGBTQ community members include those who support Israel’s right to defend its citizens and territory, such as Matan Zamir, who is the Deputy Consul General at the Israeli Consulate General to the Pacific North West. He told the San Francisco Bay Times that Hamas is “the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization, an organization whose goal is to abuse, burn, or behead anyone who does not mold to their extremist views.”


    Members of the LGBTQ community within the organization Code Pink, in turn, recognize “Palestinians as the rightful owners and caretakers of Palestine, their indigenous homeland. We support Palestinians’ right to resist the violent Israeli occupation of Palestine. We are committed to supporting Palestinian liberation from abroad, using the demands of Palestinians as our guideline for organizing, and we endorse the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement.”

    Drag queen Mama Ganuush, a queer activist and refugee of Palestinian descent who was mentioned in both the Examiner and Chronicle reports, mentioned feeling anxiety and experiencing struggles to continue live performances amid a lack of support from the local LGBTQ community.


    Mama Ganuush was a keynote speaker for the Drag & Spirituality Summit 2023 held on October 14 at the Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco:

    Published on December 7, 2023