Cooper Do-nuts was a small cafe located between two gay bars — Harold’s and the Waldorf — on Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. A hangout for lesbians, gay men, transgender folks, hustlers and drag queens, the shop — and its clientele — were often harassed by police. In May 1959, when two police officers attempted to arrest several LGBT patrons simply for congregating at the shop, customers flooded into the streets, throwing coffee cups, trash, spoons and doughnuts at the officers, who fled. When they returned with reinforcements, the protest continued and the street was shut down for an entire day. The Cooper Do-Nuts protest is widely considered to be the first gay political uprising — 10 years before Stonewall.
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