These eponymous riots or protests or uprisings or rebellion took place from June 28 – July 3, 1969 at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The word chosen to describe them seems to depend on where you find yourself on the continuum from anarchy to police oppression of minorities.
The sign in the window read at the time: “We homosexuals plead with our people to please help maintain peaceful and quiet conduct on the streets of the Village. Mattachine.”
On the first day, when the police raided in the early hours of the morning, encounters took place between the 10 NYPD officers inside the Inn and its patrons and the 500 to 600 supporters who gathered outside. On day two, officers from multiple NYPD Precincts arrived to deal with what had grown to over 1000 supporters inside and outside.
These spontaneous and sometimes violent demonstrations against police rousting are considered by many to be the first event leading to the gay liberation movement and today’s fight for LGBT rights in the U.S.