Chechnya — What Would Harvey Do?

The Holocaust took place while Harvey was a teenager and its events impressed upon him greatly. Were he alive today, he would be in the forefront of the protests, urging us to fill the streets everyday, stand outside the embassies and consulates every day, and be relentless with our pressure about the media and government officials.

Here are some actions you can take today.

NUMBER ONE

Donate to LGBTQ activists to rescue LGBTQ men in Chechnya. They are a reputable organization and have rescued at least 25 men. But they are getting more calls for help every day. @RainbowRailroad is also an excellent group to support.

 

NUMBER TWO

Spread the word through social media and with your friends and family.

NUMBER THREE

•Pressure the Media to do more.  Here is a sample message:

Please speak out or continue to speak out about #Chechnya @msnbc @time @abc @npr @nbc @latimes @WSJ @BostonGlobe @denverpost @NewYorker

Since I wrote this some of these media outlets have spoken out.

You can also thank any media outlet that does mention Chechnya

NUMBER FOUR

•Pressure Government officials. Even if these officials are not humane, putting on relentless pressure is a good thing.  Examples: @realDonaldTrump @StateDept ‏ @theresa_may ‏ @Number10gov ‏.

, the US Ambassador to the UN has recently called for an investigation. However her language was not very strong. You can thank her for what she has done and encourage her to do more.  Here is a tweet I wrote her.

 

You can also thank any leader like @JoeBiden who speaks out.

NUMBER FIVE

•Petitions.

GENERAL — ALL SIGNERS

Outright Petition addressed to Oil Companies

Amnesty International Petition

PETITION TO PROTECT BRAVE JOURNALIST WHO BROKE THE STORY

PETITION ADDRESSED TO ANGELA MERKEL 

Change.org Petition to Russian Prosecutor General

US CITIZENS

PETITION TO THE US PRESIDENT

UK Citizens and Residents

UK SHOULD SPEAK OUT CHECHNYA

NUMBER SIX

• Be a Twitter Activist.

1.RT and like tweets about Chechnya. Use the Hashtag #Chechnya to find these tweets and use it in all your posts. You may also use #closethecamps

You can thank people for their tweets. Here is how I thanked Elton John

 

2. Create your own tweets that create awareness and encourage action.

3. Collect tweets and create a Moment. Here’s how to create a Moment.  It can make topics more viral. Share other people’s moments as well.Here’s mine

NUMBER SIX

• Pressure the Russian Embassy by email. The email to the Russian ambassador to the US is rusembusa@mid.ru ; to the UK you can try bilateralrelations@rusemb.org.uk

NUMBER SEVEN

•Be a Community Activist

  1. Organize a local protest.
  2. Organize a protest near a consulate or embassy. Here is a list of Russian Embassies and Consulates in the US. The info is outdated but will tell you what cities they may be in.
  3. Plan a special event to host for signing petitions and raising funds.
  4. Find a creative way to keep Chechnya on everyone’s minds.
  5. Organize a boycott of oil companies that do not speak out.

If you ever wondered what you could do to honor Harvey’s memory, I’m sure this would be it!!!

 

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What Would Harvey Think of These Times?

Harvey got his start in politics because of Watergate. Before he spoke of hope, his first message was “get the bums out!” He would definitely share that attitude today although the language he would use would be even more colorful.

Harvey was a very strong proponent of getting in the streets and making a bold statement. Coming out not only was an act of public courage, it was healing and empowering of the self, and it opened the eyes of friends and families who suddently realized a loved one was a member of a stigmatized group. It was also essential to be visible to give real faces to the movement. Harvey, who learned much from Black civil rights movements, also understood the power that is created when like-minded souls walk together hand and hand, singing, chanting, and carrying empowering signs. Kissing too!

Harvey was also a big fan of the boycott. Invented in Ireland by Charles Stewart Parnell, it was used effectively by Gandhi, MLK and Harvey, who led a boycott against Coors beer to great success. With his strong background in the stock market, Harvey knew that much could be accomplished for good or for evil in the realm of the economic and that it is important to revitalize our cities through fair measures of taxation. Harvey was definitely an example of thinking and acting both globally and locally. Whether urging sanctions of South Africa or fighting San Francisco gentrification, Harvey put his heart and soul into everything he did.

Harvey had no illusions about the corruption of city and state politics. Yet he felt that there was so much one could do within the system. Harvey would be very heartened that more and more people are thinking of running for office. Harvey was never afraid to ruffle feathers. When he joined the Board of Supervisors, he voted for a progressive person to lead instead of the expected person. I think that Harvey would say right now the time is not to be timid. There are many loving ways to be completely outrageous and we are seeing this in many of the street protests.

Harvey believed strongly that when dangerous lies are spoken it is essential that one give a public response, which is what he did when he debated the person who sponsored Proposition 6 (would get rid of gay and lesbian teachers). Harvey knew there was no chance of convincing the liar, he spoke the truth for the benefit of the populace at large. When public officials were not doing their jobs properly, Harvey would also publicly take them to task, writing open letters detailing what they should be doing.  And although very strident about what he believed in, Harvey also believed strongly in the power of dialogue whenever possible.

Harvey also felt that all non-dominant groups (‘The Uses’): LGBTQ, women, African-Americans, Asians, traditional,minorities, unions, seniors, disabled, etc all needed to work together. Harvey was also strongly in favor of groups bonding together economically both through business associations and by promising to buy from their group. Harvey worked very closely with unions, Chinese people, senior citizens and more. Harvey understood that there is only one big battle, that between love and non-love and that to fight for one is to fight for all. I think he would also say that efforts to secure marriage equality and other rights throughout the globe are essential even as our own country teeters into darkness. It is like when you try to undo a huge knot you have to work at it from several angles.

Above all, Harvey would encourage us not to despair. He was secretly delighted when Anita Bryant drew attention to homosexuality because she made it a household word. While the transexual situation makes us want to cry, I do think that we can find a silver lining in all the people who have come out in support of trans kids. While the current state of affairs is nothing we would have wished for, it is bringing together groups like Jews and Muslims in beautiful ways. Harvey, in opposing Proposition 6  observed that the cruelty of the situation was that it took away rights people previously had  and this administration has done just that, to Muslims, to immigrants, to trans kids, to anyone with a pre-existent condition, and much more. I think that maneuver is what is going to be the administration’s undoing. I really do believe that Harvey’s spirit is still out there, encouraging us to fight, in the streets, in twitter, in doing what we love and in loving what we do. A kind word to a stranger, raising happy and empowered kids, preparing a meal — all of this works together.

Join Harvey and be an outrageous, skillful warrior of love!

 

UPDATE

In light of the recent atrocities in Chechnya I need to add that Harvey would want us protesting in the streets and embassies/consulates across the world every single day until action is taken. He would encourage us to sign petitions, donate to help rescue trapped LGBTQ men, pressure the Media and pressure government officials. He also would like it if all LGBTQ activists and groups got together to work as unified team.

For more details see What Would Harvey Do.

 

 

Harvey’s Special Pancake

When I was a kid, we often visited my maternal grandparents for Passover. And one of the best things my grandmother made was Matzah Meal pancakes. They are soft, savory and all round delightful. The official name for them is Bubaleh, not to be confused with Bubbele (which is an affectionate term that means literally ‘little grandmother’ from the Russian babushka). Matzah meal pancakes was Harvey’s signature dish, part of his courting behavior. One of the great travesties is that the Harvey Milk opera refers instead to matzo brei. Matzo brei is nothing like Bubaleh. It’s soggy matzah in eggs, also eaten on Passover, and even a huge dropping of cinnamon sugar cannot save this dish.

So if you would like to try your hand at Harvey’s favorite here’s a recipe courtesy of  Tori Avey.

Support my Harvey Milk-Alan Turing  novel series on Kickstarter.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp matzo meal
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (for Passover use a kosher for Passover-certified brand)
  • Nonstick cooking oil spray or vegetable oil to grease the pan

YOU WILL ALSO NEED

  • Nonstick skillet or griddle
Get Ingredients
Total Time: 5 Minutes

Servings: 1

Kosher Key: Pareve

See the full post.

READ MORE ABOUT  HARVEY

Chechnya: What Would Harvey Do?

Harvey Milk as Prophet: Thoughts on Harvey Milk Day 2017

What Would Harvey Think of These Times?

Remembering Harvey

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Remembering Harvey

Q: How did you remember Harvey on the anniversary of his death?

A: We just happened to be meeting up with friends at a New York style Deli. To my delight I noticed that they served Egg Cream. I first heard of this New York specialty in my childhood reading Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy. To the uninitiated, an Egg Cream contains neither egg nor cream but rather chocolate syrup, milk, and fizzy water. But after all these years, even making a joke about it in the novel series, I had actually never tried one. But for the sake of Harvey, I was determined, but was not entirely sure what to expect.

The waitress set it before me, a tall glass filled to the brim with frothy goodness.At the first sip I exclaimed out loud that how could I  have  been missing this my whole life! It reminded me of a personal favorite of mixing fudge ripple ice cream with ginger ale (I’m so much more healther these days!). And as I sipped and sipped, I hoped that Harvey, somewhere in the ethers, was enjoying it with me.

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READ MORE ABOUT HARVEY, ALAN AND FOOD

Harvey’s Special Pancake

Alan’s Sponge Cake

Why Harvey and Alan Are Meant for Each Other

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Support my Harvey Milk-Alan Turing  novel series on Kickstarter.