Invite to – ’50 Years of Gay Pride’ demo by those who started it / 01.07.22

2020 GAY LIBERATION FRONT from Manuel García-Calvo Gutiérrez on Vimeo.

*** Details for 01.07.22 1pm – Facebook event page here ***

Pride is both carnival and protest!

We march, we walk, we mince, we dance in London’s streets and then in a London park on Friday 1 July 2022, because on that day it will be exactly 50 years since many people still alive did just that on Saturday 1 July 1972.

We’re celebrating the exact anniversary with friends regardless of any decisions the mayoral Pride run by the London LGBT Community Pride CIC (LLCP) takes for its event on Saturday 2 July.

The Gay Liberation Front (1970-1973) was an outpouring of rage by lesbians, trans people, bi’s and gay men in the USA and here in the UK and Ireland, and eventually across much of the world, against centuries of abuse by police, workplaces, and legislators.

Created after the 1969 rebellion at the Stonewall Inn Greenwich Village by trans women, lesbians, the black communities, Puerto Ricans, other people of colour, and white queens.

GLF declared that it was not us that were sick, but society. That it was not us who should change, but society. Indeed, large parts of society did change through GLF’s policy of Coming Out and being visible. 

We love all the people gay or straight or bravely refusing to take a decision either way who take part in Pride events, and affectionately wish everyone who goes on the mayor’s march on 2 July, and the volunteers who make it possible, and the people who come to London to watch it, every good fortune. We love their energy and courage and their pride in coming out.

But If you can, come and join us on Friday 1 July, the actual 50th commemoration to the very day of the first London Pride march. Some who have workplaces are arranging to be free to join us that day. Those of us who were on the first Pride demonstration will be joined by many of our new friends and volunteers that we have made since 2018.

We’re Black we’re Trans we’re people of colour we’re white and we’re unabled. We invite Black Pride and Trans Pride, and all who can’t stand what Cameron, May, and Johnson have done to this country, to join us. 

Victor Orban of Hungary and President Putin of Russia, are afraid of our marches, telling us that the invasion and pauperisation of the Ukraine is a war against “gender insanity”. Timid men, aren’t they, lacking courage. Do join us.

The Route

The original London Pride march in 1972 was from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park by way of Waterloo Place, Lower Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street. The march will commence at 1:00 p.m.

Pride is both carnival and protest!

The veterans of the Gay Liberation Front

Contacts

gayliberationfrontuk@gmail.com

Advice for Editors

The 1972 Pride Protest and Carnival was organised by the under-21s of Gay Liberation Front. Sex between two gay men under the age of 21 was still a criminal offence in 1972. Straight brothers and sisters could legally start having sex at sixteen.  

Sex in private between gay men didn’t become legal at the same age as for straights until the 29th London Pride March in 2001 when England, Scotland and Wales allowed it. It wasn’t until the 36th London Pride March that gay men in Northern Ireland were allowed to have consensual sex from the age of sixteen. 

The mayor’s Pride March was an innovation a few years ago requiring e.g. £65,000 payments to Westminster Council for loss of parking fine revenues. Previously free-to-all events became ticketed ones and organisers turned to big business for support.

The results were bland. Awareness of injustices affecting everyone in the world faded. The nadir was reached in 2019 when directors of the London Mayor’s Pride parade allowed onto the route a mobile cinema by the weapons manufacturers BAE Systems, advertising fighter aircraft being sold to Saudi Arabia for use in the Yemen.  

In 2020 when there was no mayoral Pride march in London due to lockdown, signatories to this press release held one instead along the usual modern route in association with the Peter Tatchell Foundation. We found with delight that we coincided in Trafalgar Square with both a Black Lives Matter march and one by Trans Pride.

In 2021, there was a revolt by Pride’s Community Advisory Board and the volunteers who alone make possible the mayor of London’s Pride parade. They alleged racism and bullying by the board of LLCP CIC that holds mayor’s franchise. Some of its directors resigned, but not all.

We understand that the sole shareholder of LLCP who has held the mayoral franchise since 2013, formed a new company in 2017 called Pride in London UK, whose sole asset is its majority shareholding in LLCP. 

He is, it seems, Michael Salter-Church, a former Conservative administration Downing Street Director of Communications who worked for David Cameron when Prime Minister. This was at a time when Boris Johnson was Mayor of London and City Hall began to dictate policy to our own volunteer led LGBTQIA+ Pride Charity which resulted in its bankruptcy after several decades of prudent stewardship.

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