Socialist Worker

Protesters put the politics back into Pride

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2459

Students marching on Pride in London

Students march at Pride in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Tens of thousands marched through the streets of London yesterday, Saturday, for the annual Pride march. Young LGBT activists and trade unionists, including former miners, joined them.

Around 1,000 marched with Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) on the trade union bloc to chants of “LGSM fight the Tory scum again”.

Daniel came to the march from Pembrokeshire in Wales. He told Socialist Worker, “Here it's about fighting for our rights.

"You wouldn't get these sorts of chants on the corporate bloc with Barclays. They all seem so fake. There's no passion."

Rail workers from the RMT and Aslef unions joined teachers and lecturers from the NUT and UCU unions along with many other trade unionists.

There were also banners from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), who led the Pride march 30 years ago.

Liz French from Kent NUM and Women Against Pit Closures (WAPC) told Socialist Worker, “The miners supported LGBT rights and the fight against apartheid.

“We're still here showing solidarity with the working class—perhaps if we all stood up we could get rid of the corrupt bosses.”

Sixth form students in the Northern Community Feminist Society organised a coach from Pontefract, West Yorkshire.


Beth from the group was angry about the business hijacking of Pride. She told Socialist Worker, “It shouldn't be corporate, but about standing up for everyone's rights.

“You shouldn't try and make money out of people's rights—that's not right.”

Anne Scargill from WAPC was also on the coach. She told Socialist Worker, “Something's got to be done.

“I was on last Saturday's People's Assembly march and I was really surprised at the youth there. There's a lot of young people here too.”

LGSM were supposed to lead off Pride this year. But they chose to go to “Bloc C” instead when the official organisers wouldn't let trade unions march with them.

Student Becca told Socialist Worker, "It really pisses me off. I've always liked Pride, but it should be more about fighting."

The trade union bloc was militant and caught the new mood of resistance against Tory austerity. Chants of "Defy Tory rule!" rang out.

Strikers from the National Gallery and Glasgow homelessness caseworker disputes raised solidarity on the march. National Gallery workers collected £337.82 on their picket line protest after the march.

One National Gallery striker told Socialist Worker, “I recently watched the film Pride, it's such an amazing story of solidarity.

“We're fighting the same battles now as we were then and this connects all those struggles.”

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