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Lesbians strike back at hate radio.

A noisy crowd of chanting, drumming lesbians tied up traffic on Fifth Avenue in New York City for twenty minutes during rush hour on November 17. The protest, organized by the groups Las Buenas Amigas, African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change, and the Lesbian Avengers, was aimed at MEGA-KQ 97.9 FM, a Spanish-language radio station that regularly broadcasts racist, sexist, and anti-gay commentary. The march, which drew about 100 lesbians, many of them immigrants and novice political activists, was a landmark effort, bringing together lesbians from New York's diverse racial and ethnic communities. In August, a carefully planned invasion of radio station MEGA-KQ by the Lesbian Avengers set the stage for the larger protest. In that action, seven women seized two studios during a morning talk-show, grabbing a few minutes of air-time to protest the station's bigotry before making their escape.

"It was one of the most elaborate actions the Avengers have done in years," says Ana Simo, who has helped organize the campaign against MEGA-KQ FM. "We had floor plans. We had someone take a tour of the facilities and she came back with an eight-page report. We did a dry run where the physical lay-out of the station was reproduced. We had get-away vehicles waiting outside. Everything was like clock-work. We were very pleased with it."

Jokes about black people called "macumbas" who belong to "tribes," and about lesbians and gay men as disgusting and sick encourage violence and discrimination in the Spanish-speaking community, Simo says. "The larger issue is total lack of social responsibility on the part of the Spanish-speaking media. They behave as if they were in a Central American dictatorship."

Reaching out to lesbians in the Latina community and other communities of color is of particular interest to Simo and to the coalition of groups that worked on the radio-station protest. "We realize that what we're doing doesn't reach many people. This project is part of the answer to that problem--to bring it into the barrios." Simo says. "That's been quite a considerable amount of work to bring these groups together of different race and social class. But I think we're happy with the result."
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Title Annotation:New York City, NY black and latina lesbians invade Spanish-language station MEGA-KQ 97.9 FM protesting conservative commentaries
Publication:The Progressive
Date:Jan 1, 1995
Words:362
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