Socialist Worker

Protest wants to reclaim pride

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2764

Trans Pride earlier this year

Trans Pride earlier this year (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Reclaim Pride is set to go ahead on Saturday to tell Boris Johnson “to stop stalling on LGBT+ rights” and march for LGBT+ liberation.

Organisers say the march “gets back to the roots of pride, being both a celebration and a protest for LGBT+ rights”.

Its demands are to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy, reform the Gender Recognition Act and create a safe haven for LGBT+ refugees.

The march will also demand decriminalisation of LGBT+ people worldwide and solidarity with Black Lives Matter. The Reclaim Pride march will take a similar route to the first British pride march in 1972.

A pride that looks to the radical roots of LGBT+ fightback is vital at a time when LGBT+ rights are being pushed back under the Tories’ culture wars. And pride events have been hijacked by companies looking to make a profit.

Pride is a celebration—but can also be a protest
Pride is a celebration—but can also be a protest
  Read More

Nearly two fifths of LGBT+ workers in England have faced homophobia in the workplace. On Monday the TUC union federation wrote a letter to equalities minister Liz Truss to call for policy change and criticising her “inaction”.

Resignation

This follows the government’s scrapping of its LGBT+ Action Plan earlier this year.

And the disbanding of the LGBT Advisory Panel following the resignation of three panel members who accused the Tories of creating “a hostile environment” for LGBT+ people.

The first pride marches were to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969 in New York, US, which gave birth to the gay liberation movement. Prides were then used as a place to fight for LGBT+ rights.

But trade union delegations, placards and chanting have slowly been replaced by corporations plastering their logos over pride events or using the rainbow to reel in customers.

The rise in militant prides, such as London Trans+ Pride, shows a growing mood of anger at the Tories.

Socialists must argue for militancy and for trade unions and workers to be involved in the struggle against LGBT+ oppression.

Winning full liberation will require continued expressions of rage at the system and a focus on class unity.

Saturday 24 July, assemble 1pm at the Nelson Mandela Statue, Parliament Square, London

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