Was it due to loss of sponsors & LGBT+ support?
London, UK – 6 August 2021
Responding to the cancellation of this September’s scheduled Pride in London parade, Pride patron and veteran since 1972, Peter Tatchell, said:
“The Pride organisers say the parade was cancelled because it could not conform to government and public health pandemic requirements. This is implausible. There are no Covid regulations or guidelines against outdoor parades.
“I was informed by a Pride insider that the parade route had been agreed and approved. Residents on the route had been reportedly notified of the parade and possible disruptions. These preparations would not have happened without official approval for the parade to take place.
“The Reclaim London Pride march was attended by thousands of mask-wearing people on 24 July, with no objection from the government, health authorities or police.
“A reason for the cancellation may be because big sponsors like Barclays and Tesco, and some LGBT+ organisations, were allegedly not supporting this year’s parade. This comes in the wake of damaging allegations of racism and bullying within the Pride organisation, which have still not been investigated and which may or may not have been a factor in their decisions.
“Pride has strayed far from the roots of the event. It’s corporate and depoliticised. The organisers no longer profile LGBT+ human rights issues.
“People are angry that the number of marchers is limited to 30,000, which every year results in thousands of people being turned away from the parade. It’s wrong that no one can participate without a paid-for wristband and that Westminster City council forces Pride pay £60,000 to march on public streets.
“As a patron of Pride and one of the organisers of the UK’s first Pride in 1972, I have attended every parade since then – 50 in total if you count this July’s Reclaim London Pride march and last year’s Gay Liberation Front Pride march.
“I thank Pride in London volunteers for their work but believe a major rethink is needed. We have to get back to what Pride was originally about.
“The founding principles of the LGBT+ Pride parade in 1972 were: LGBT+ visibility, the celebration of LGBT+ culture and the demand for LGBT+ liberation in the UK and worldwide. It was open to all who supported these core principles.
“The Pride parade should remain true to its founding ideals. Pride must be for the LGBT+ community – not city authorities or corporate funders. Their support is welcome but it must not overwhelm and dominate LGBT+ community groups,” said Mr Tatchell.