No floats & community focussed with LGBT+ rights demands
London, UK – 13 May 2021
A Pride march should go ahead in London in late June, even though Pride in London is postponing the official event until 11 September.
LGBT+ veteran Peter Tatchell is proposing a grassroots “Reclaim Pride” march organised by community groups. It would follow the normal Pride route, but also go past 10 Downing Street and end with a mass “Queer Picnic” in Parliament Square.
Peter Tatchell explained:
“If we organise it as an LGBT+ rights march, it won’t cost a penny. There would be no floats, no stage and no speakers at the end. Totally open, egalitarian and grassroots. It would reclaim Pride for the community.
“For too long we have been conned by vested interests into believing that it is hugely expensive to hold a Pride march. It is not costly at all if we run the no-frills march that I am proposing.
“It would mirror the informality and spontaneity of the first Pride march in 1972, which I and 40 others helped organise. All we need to do is publicise it and people will turn up.
“The march could go past 10 Downing Street, so people can vent their anger at Boris Johnson blocking progress on LGBT+ rights.
“It could end in Parliament Square with a mass Queer Picnic where everyone brings food, drink, sweets and their own music – a do-it-yourself LGBT+ party opposite the Houses of Parliament.
“Pride in London has become depoliticised. This Pride can change that. As well as being a joyful celebration, it should also profile LGBT+ human rights issues, such as the government stalling on a conversion therapy ban, blocking reform of the Gender Recognition Act and failing to end the detention of LGBT+ asylum seekers.
“It’s time to get back to the original roots of Pride, with everyone encouraged to bring a placard highlighting the LGBT+ issues that concern them. Let’s make this an event where our on-going demands for LGBT+ rights can be seen and heard.
“This is about reclaiming Pride for the community, by ditching the corporate sponsors and commercialism.
“When Pride in London was cancelled last year, Gay Liberation Front veterans, supported by my Peter Tatchell Foundation, marched anyway to reclaim Pride and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front. It was a successful political Pride march. I want to replicate that this year, on a huge scale, in collaboration with other LGBT+ groups.
“I’m putting out these proposals to generate a discussion within our community and to hopefully generate a coalition of groups that can make this march happen,” said Mr Tatchell.