Socialist Worker

LETTERS: We need to put the politics back into the Pride march

Issue No. 2503

Last years Pride march in London

Last year's Pride march in London (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Since 2004 the London Pride LGBT+ march has increasingly become a parade for its corporate sponsors. It is far removed from its historical roots as a militant demonstration celebrating the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Attempts to challenge the ongoing injustices that LGBT+ people face are replaced by politically devoid themes such as “Freedom to...” in 2014 and the #PrideHeroes of 2015.

This year the theme is #nofilter asking LGBT+ people to come as our authentic selves.

We will bring our authentic rage and anger onto Pride. LGBT+ people are being hit hard by austerity.

Some 25 percent of the young street homeless are LGBT+ people. Cuts to disability support mean that LGBT+ people living with HIV are struggling.

The LGBT+ community is not a homogenous group of people, but a diverse collection of identities that is embedded in the working class.

We are calling for a united bloc of the working class, gay and straight, and of all genders to resist LGBT+ oppression and challenge the Tories’ austerity.

LGBT+ people are doctors, teachers, health workers and activists.

This year we want to build on the success of previous demos and the junior doctors strikes to show our public services will not be taken from us. We will defend our NHS, our education system and our fellow workers.

Last year saw people unite at Pride behind the inspiring story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners.

Since then many LGBT+ groups have sprung up showing concrete solidarity in response to the refugee crisis and rising racism and Islamophobia.

This year’s Pride needs to have a strong anti-racist presence coupled with an anti-austerity message led by the doctors and teachers.

Activists need to start building for London Pride and encouraging unions to have a strong presence.

Sami Hillyer, East London


The real face of Zionism

While anti-racists came under attack for supposed antisemitism last week, Israel was carrying out air strikes.

It was targeting what Israeli spokespeople called “terrorist infrastructure”.

The targets were metal workshops. Two children and a man were injured.

This week Palestinians and their supporters commemorate the Nakba, the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians in 1948. That was the consequence of the founding of the Israeli state.

Palestinian dispossession continues, military occupation of the West Bank continues, military aggression against the democratically-elected government in Gaza continues.

Israel needs to maintain dominance over the Palestinians, to try and make them accept total defeat.

The Israeli courts have consistently decided that discrimination against Palestinians is legitimate based on the founding principles of Israel as a state for the Jewish people.

“Nationality” is a legitimate basis for discrimination, they insist.

In 1988 an Israeli settler was convicted by Tel Aviv District Court of shooting a Palestinian child. His sentence was a suspended jail term of six months and community service.

Solidarity with Palestinians and campaigning for a state that includes Jews, Muslims and Christians on an equal basis in a secular democratic state in Palestine is not antisemitic. It is anti-racist.

Miriam Scharf, East London


Cameron can’t make us swallow this bitter pill

Local pharmacies are a vital frontline health service and part of the fabric of communities across England.

Under new government proposals many pharmacies could be forced to close because the Tories think there are 3,000 too many.

This will deprive people of accessible medicinal advice and other valuable support from trusted professionals.

It would also put more pressure on GPs and hospital services.

In the interest of patient care, I would urge the prime minister and health secretary to abandon their plans that will put our pharmacies at risk.

Petitions are available to sign at local pharmacies and I would urge readers to write to their MP to support the campaign.

John Appleyard, West Yorkshire


Lying ‘living wage’ ad is a disgrace

Socialist Worker readers may have have seen the new advertisement for the Tories’ national “living wage”.

It clearly states that anyone receiving the living wage will receive 50p extra in their pocket for every hour they work.

However, this is clearly untrue.

If you work more than 16 hours per week, the living wage will stop you from qualifying for tax credits.

On top of this, income tax and increased National Insurance contributions will reduce the extra 50p to almost nothing.

Many people will be no better off, or even worse off, than before.

Sean Dungworth, Rotherham


MP backs cheap rents

North London MP Catherine West told a Kill the Housing Bill lobby of parliament that she supported 50 percent of housing to be affordable in her constituency.

Her Wood Green constituency is in Haringey, where 48 percent of households have no savings at all.

Her comments are welcome. We need to stop the social cleansing which is a part of most redevelopment projects.

Paul Burnham, North London


Defend the workers’ day

If we get another Tory government they’ll be renaming May Day “Margaret Thatcher Day” I wouldn’t doubt it!

Leslie Bridge, on Facebook


Clarity over antisemitism

Thank you for shedding light (Socialist Worker, 4 May) on a subject being over-complicated for disgraceful reasons.

Phil Johns, on Facebook


Homeless in Milton Keynes

Some 70 percent of ex-council flats in Milton Keynes are now private lets, nearly twice the national average.

Homelessness in the town is at chronic levels.

Activists demand the council convert one of its hundreds of empty houses to help people.

Housing insecurity will get worse if the Tories’ Housing Bill is passed. We need to build the Kill the Housing bill demo on Saturday 18 June and demand that councils don’t implement the bill if it passes.

Kate Hunter, Milton Keynes


Holyrood still anti-Trident

One point that may get lost in all the news about the elections is that even with more Tories the Scottish parliament is still massively against renewing Trident.

Andy Walker, Glasgow


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