I’m No Pervert

All I want is sympathy, because I am no longer a filthy pervert, after a lifetime of fervent dedication and grinding.

On June 10th last I left the Picador Club in Manchester and en route to my bus-stop, called into the cottage on High St. The place was not empty, neither was it interesting, so after a slash I left by the back exit. Once outside I was approached by a dirty looking dosser who asked if I could suggest anywhere for him to spend the night.

As I am in Manchester GLF and was wearing my badge openly, I could hardly refuse to help him crash somewhere. So off we went, me making sure he wasn’t a mugger or some odious being and him making the odd grunt.

Having decided to try the trusty and lovely Steve as a possible solution, I changed direction to go towards his place. After about half-an hour I wanted to piss again, so I nipped under a bridge near the Union Hotel. In midstream I was grabbed and told that two pigs (the speaker being one of them) had followed me for thirty minutes from High St cottage.

They trumped up a charge of gross indecency even though the dosser was some 70ft away from me (can you imagine the kind of cock he must have had?)

At Bootle St the usual insults were hurled – I had annoyed them by refusing to go to the police station until one of them threatened to “throw me in the fuckin’ canal”. I was called a poof, a pervert and homo etc, all of which I am – I do them exceedingly well.

One of the pigs was so resentful of my obvious talent and ability that he said he’d like “to cut the bollocks off all queers”. The dosser was found guilty, in the station, of having the same surname as one of the arresting pigs – so he was duly smashed about the head.

I was told that my GLF badge, manifesto and some leaflets would be sufficient to convict me. The dosser was told that he didn’t have a chance because of previous convictions (all 19 of them for het sexual offences). All a load of crap, obviously, as was the statement that if this nasty pig (a mere constable) opposed my application for bail I wouldn’t get it.

“Plead guilty” they said, “get it over with cheaply and discreetly and with no chance of remand in custody” – so the dosser did and was remanded at Risley for two weeks for probation reports.

I pleaded not guilty and after several appearances before magistrates eventually reached the Crown Court. The jury couldn’t reach a majority verdict – in my opinion because the judge’s summing-up was slightly biased against me.

Re-trial four weeks later in two sessions: prosecution on Friday, me (starring) the following Monday. I said I was gay and had a previous conviction for soliciting and that I was in and supported actively GLF.

The prosecution asked me if I knew High St cottage was a homosexual lavatory. I explained that a lavatory has no sexuality, het or homo, and the judge told the prosecution how to say what he had intended “was it frequented by homosexuals”.

I told him that all gays use lavatories. After stressing that the facts as stated by me were contradictory to those alleged by the pigs, the prosecution said “so in fact these policemen have told the court a pack of lies?” I said that I agreed entirely.

In summing up the Judge (Steele) said “Let’s get down to brass tacks – the policemen allege that the defendant was tossing off another man and the defendant says how could he when he and the other man were some considerable distance apart.”

The Judge also gave a brief resume of the history of the law regarding gays, with particular reference to the barbarity of some aspects and sent the jury out. Fifteen minutes later the jury returned a unanimous verdict of not guilty and I was discharged.

One gay voice has destroyed the grunting of two pigs – so we are getting somewhere. So all gays, “Fight hard enough and you will win”:

Many thanks and much love to the lovely gays who gave me moral support, brandies and rigs throughout, and to the two navvies from the public gallery for the congratulatory slap on the back.

John Probert

ED: While the term ‘pigs’ used in this news item is not necessarily the terminology which would be used by the GN collective, it is the policy of the paper to reproduce worthy articles as we receive them. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate John Probert on the outcome of his court experiences and to further commend him for taking the course of action he took, as all too often gays take the easy and faint-hearted way out.

Provincial info

Here is our first round up of pubs, clubs and other goodies in the provinces. More towns will be listed as we receive the information from YOU the reader. We are indebted to Bob Mellors for supplying the information below.

Norwich

Gay pub: Studio 4, near Angelina Studios. Men and women.
GLF: Non-existent
Bookshop: Bristows
Forthcoming event: Disco party upstairs at the Studio 4, December 30.

Nottingham

Gay pub: Roebuck, Mansfield Road. ‘Members Only’ bar on left – tell them you’re gay (the landlady is too). Women and men.
GLF: Faded away
CHE: Yes
Women’s Centre: off Pelham Street.

Leeds

Gay pubs: Great Northern. Mostly men. Hope and Anchor, women and men.
Gay club: Charley’s, Briggate, members and guests. Free in the week, pricey at weekends, mostly men.
GLF: University orientated, mostly men.
CHE: Yes. Write to David Young, 12 Scott Green Crescent, Gildersome, Morley, Leeds. One of the better CHE groups. Men and women
Bookshop: 84 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds 2.

Manchester

Gay pubs: Union Hotel, Princess Street. Women, men and drag. Recommended. Rembrandt, Sackville Street, mostly men. Trafford, (back bar) at Gaumont Cinema, Oxford Street. Mostly men. Cavalcade, junction Wilmslow Road and Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury. Sunday lunchtime.
Clubs: Samantha’s, back Picadilly (off Newton Street), Their ban on women sparked off the recent demonstration there.
Picador, Shude Hill, Unit 2, Shude Hill. Expensive. Rockingham, Queen Street.
GLF: Tuesday 8pm at Women’s Centre, phone 061-273 2287. Men and women.
CHE: Yes. University Homophile Society, c/o Students Union, Oxford Road, Manchester 13. Meets Thursday 8pm, term time only.
Women’s Centre: 218 Upper Brook Street, Manchester 13. Phone 061-273 2287.
Cottages: Several, but BEWARE OF POLICE HARASSMENT AND ENTRAPMENT: USE OF AGENTS PROVOCATEURS.

Blackburn

Partly gay club: Merchants, Darwen Street.
Partly gay club: Top Hat Club.

Prejudice hinders Law

Manchester Police Victimize Gay Robbery Victim

05-197208xx-3In the early hours of July 16th, 23-year-old John Ash left his two lesbian friends outside the Picador, a gay club in Manchester. He began to walk through town to catch his bus home. In Sackville Street he was approached by five youths who suddenly surrounded him and demanded his wallet. The street was deserted and they began to push and kick him. John was carrying £7, which he gave them. They then ran off.

John reported the incident to the police shortly afterwards, and was interviewed by a member of the C.I.D. The policeman asked where he had been and who with. John replied and when the police asked the names of the girls he had been with earlier, John gave them.

The policeman then asked, “Are either of those ladies your girlfriend?” When John replied that they were not, the policeman said, “Mr. Ash, are you a homosexual?”

John said that he was, but could not see why that was relevant to the robbery. The interview went on, and the policeman eventually told John that his story was not consistant. The policeman brusquely asked him why he had not cried out or ran away.

John was by this time not only shaken by the robbery but also bewildered by the aggressive and antagonistic police questioning. John explained that there was no time to cry out, and that the street was deserted anyway. As for running away – he was encircled by the heavily-booted boys.

The police would not accept this, despite the obvious evidence of John’s cuts and grazes. John left the police station convinced that they had no intention of trying to find the robbers.

He wrote to Gerald Kaufmann, his M.P., who has said that he will take the matter up directly with the Chief Constable.

The implications of this are grim. Although the police ask for public cooperation in this sort of robbery, the fact that you are homosexual obviously affects the police attitude.

Suffice to say that none of John Ash’s gay friends in Manchester would now appeal to the police for any assistance whatsoever.

Police Put~Up Job Collapses in Court

03-197207XX-03On June 21st the five members of CHE arrested for obstruction outside Samantha’s club, Manchester (see Gay News 1.) were acquitted of the charge.

Police evidence stated that the two woman, Glenys Parry and Liz Stanley were standing on either side of the club door trying to prevent two men from entering the club. They also stated that the doorman was present, but neither the doorman nor the two obstructed club members were in court.

The evidence of the accused and an independent witness consistently denied the presence of any men or the doorman; they stated that they had been walking quickly along the street, crossing over and returning on the opposite side, making it impossible for any members to be inconvenienced.

The two police witnesses did not agree between themselves on the nature of the obstruction caused by the three male defendants, The hearing lasted two hours, after which the magistrates dismissed the charge.

Police comment to one of the defendants: “I’ll get you next time.”

Manchester Club hits out at Women. Five arrested

01-197205XX 3Early in March Samantha’s, a gay club in Manchester, changed its policy of freely admitting women members and allowing them to sign in as guests. One night two women members of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, one a Samantha’s member and the other her guest, were refused admittance. They were told that the club no longer had women members. Later this statement was changed to stating that although the club had women members, no more women would be allowed to join, and existing women members were no longer allowed to sign in guests. A dialogue with the owner of the coub-failed to produce any change in this policy and as it was in direct pooosition to CHE’s objective of equality between women and men, and likely to produce an all-male ghetto club, it was decided that leaflets would be produced to be given to people going into the club, containing details of what had occured and stating the objections. It asked those people who were against the club’s policy to say so to its management.

The first night the leaflets were given out the management told us to go home, it was too cold for fooling about. The second night they were less pleased to see us and an irate/scared member called the police, who told us to go, otherwise we’d all be arrested. Unsure of whether we were committing a legal offence, we decided to move.

On the day after, five of us, (Bobbie Oliver, Alan Blake, Steve Lath, Glenys Parry and Liz Stanley) gave out leaflets to the six people who went into the club. We had consulted two lawyers from the National Council for Civil Liberties who had told us that the only offence we could be arrested for was obstruction, and that if we all walked briskly about and didn’t attempt to prevent anyone from going into the club then we would not be committing any offence.

We behaved exactly as the lawyers suggested, gave out only six leaflets, saw only one car pass by: and yet were arrested. For obstruction.

We had a witness who stood nearby on the same piece of pavement for over twenty minutes, but the police took no notice of him whatsoever. The hearing was held on the 28th March, when we were committed for trial on 21st June. The prosecution said that we were members of Gay Lib and that we were trying to pressure the club into letting people of the same sex dance together. In other words, that the club was a straight one, and that we were trying to turn it gay. CHE has backed our action, and has agreed to finance an appeal if the court finds us guilty, or pay any fine they may impose.

Gay News in issue Number 2 will be reporting the outcome of this particular incident.

It seems to us that it is completely unjustified to discriminate against women in this way, and we wish the women (and men) involved every success in their fight against harassment and discrimination.

It would also seem that the many stories we hear of protection money being paid to certain members of the police force in Manchester by club owners are at times not completely without some element of truth in them. In time we will attempt to find out the truth behind the rumours.