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Roots & Branches Series
New York Times
“111 Held in St. Patrick’s AIDS Protest”
December 11, 1989
While some 4,500 people demonstrated outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday, several dozen disrupted the Mass at 10:15 A.M. to protest John Cardinal O’Connor’s recent statements on abortion, homosexuality and AIDS. Some of the protesters chained themselves to pews inside the cathedral, while others shouted or lay in aisles. The police said 111 people were arrested, including 43 inside the church. Many of the protesters were carried out on stretchers after refusing to stand up. Dozens of protesters blocked traffic on Fifth Avenue by lying in the street.
Michael Rumaker is an American author (born March 5, 1932 in Philadelphia, PA), to Michael Joseph and Winifred Marvel Rumaker. He is a graduate of Black Mountain College (1955) and Columbia University (1970). Most of Rumaker's fiction concerns his life as a gay man. His first book, The Butterfly, is a fictionalized memoir of his brief affair with a young Yoko Ono, published before Ono became famous. His short stories, Gringos and other stories, appeared in 1967. A revised and expanded version appeared in 1991. He began to write directly about his life as a gay man in the volumes A Day and a Night at the Baths (1979, Triton 20010) and My First Satyrnalia (1981). The novel Pagan Days (1991, reprinted 2013 by SD) is told from the perspective of an eight-year old boy struggling to understand his gay self. Black Mountain Days, a memoir of his time at Black Mountain College, has a strong autobiographical element. In addition, there are portraits of many students, faculty, and visitors (especially the poets Robert Creeley and Charles Olson) during its last years, 1952-1956.