‘LGBTQ trade unionists, not corporations, should be first at London Pride’

This 11 June 2019 video from the USA is called Capitalism’s Impact On Pride Month.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Reclaim Pride

Saturday 27th June 2015

LGSM activists set to defy Pride organisers and march at front with trade unionists

LGBT activists could be set to defy London Pride organisers who “shamefully” prioritised corporate sponsors and march at the front of today’s parade.

Who are these corporate sponsors? They include Barclays bank and Citibank.

In 2012, Barclays bank attacked and blackmailed LGBTQ organisation Stonewall for criticizing homophobic Cardinal Keith O’Brien. Homophobe Cardinal Keith O’Brien in 2015 had to resign in disgrace after his sexual abuse had become known. So far, Barclays.

Citibank is one of the largest businesses and employers in Uganda, but the company refuses to take a position against the infamous Ugandan “Kill The Gays” bill.

Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners had been invited to lead the parade on the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miners’ strike after their solidarity story was popularised in the hit film Pride.

But the group rejected the invitation after organisers said trade union members could not join them because there would be too many people at the front of the march.

LGSM are expected to be joined by thousands of trade unionists, as well as Pride director Stephen Beresford and actor Faye Marsay, in block C of the parade.

That would leave them trailing floats from economy wrecking banks Barclays and Citibank and tax-dodging Starbucks.

On the eve of the parade, an emergency motion protesting against the decision was passed unanimously at the TUC LGBT conference. GMB organiser David Braniff-Herbert accused organisers of giving in to corporate sponsorship, shouting: “Shame on you, Pride London.”

He said: “Too large to be at the front? Excuse me, we’re trade unions — we invented marching, we know how it works, thank you very much.

“Let’s also note that this is not just a slight on the trade union movement but it’s a slap in the face for LGBT history. “Comrades, will we celebrate the anniversary of the repeal of Section 28 [the part of the 1988 Local Government Act which prohibited councils from “promoting” homosexuality] or will it be too political?

“Let us now focus on building the largest trade union section at London Pride ever. Saturday must be and will be brilliant.”

But other campaigners said yesterday that they should take matters into their own hands and simply march before corporate sponsors. The call won a roaring reception from delegates, who had earlier heard from LGSM co-founder Mike Jackson.

If it goes ahead, the action would resemble the 1985 London Pride event. Organisers had initially objected to LGSM unfurling political banners but relented when a group of miners and their families from south Wales arrived to support them. The moment was immortalised in the final scene of Bafta-winning Pride.

Lucio Buffone from transport union Aslef exhorted the conference to do the same, shouting: “Why don’t we just stand at the front of the march?”

RMT delegate Lorna Tooley said: “Please make Pride something we can still be proud of.”

The conference voted to hold Pride London politically accountable for future decisions and call on London’s mayor to provide more public funding in a bid to curb corporate influence.

Amid the growing backlash over the event’s “depoliticisation,” one group will hold an “RIP Pride” funeral procession on the route today.

This video is called PRIDE [film] Press Conference | Festival 2014.

By Luke James in Britain:

The working class element of the LGBT community asserts itself again

Saturday 27th June 2015

On the eve of the Pride march MIKE JACKSON speaks to Luke James about the LGSM’s memorable past and assesses the movement’s future direction

It’s 30 years since LGSM led the 1985 Pride parade alongside Welsh miners and their families. How will you feel leading a huge trade union block on today’s parade?

What’s interesting this time is that there are more organisations and more people involved than 30 years ago.

Whereas in reality, 30 years ago there was only one coachload of south Wales mining families and one lodge banner.

This time around, reality is copying art because there are miners and banners coming from Lancashire, Yorkshire, south Wales.

We’ve got Women Against Pit Closures coming from Kent. Ann Scargill and Betty Cooke are coming. So really it’s bigger now than it was 30 years ago.

So I’ll have mixed feelings. It’s a bloody tragedy we lost the strike and there’s hardly any miners left. But what’s interesting is that all these former miners are pinning their flag to LGSM’s mast as an act of solidarity.

It’s a way that workers don’t forget who their friends and enemies are.

You know in Dulais, there was a pub that had been boycotted since 1926 and continues to be because it was the scab pub. They never forget.

In the same way that my grandmother hated Winston Churchill because he sent the troops in on the miners in Tonypandy. People don’t forget these things.

How many of the LGSM’s founding members do you expect to join you today?

When we had our first reunion in November 2013, there were 19 people who turned up. I would imagine a good 15 or so of those will be there today.

And we’ve got people coming from places like Manchester, because there was more than one LGSM group.

Admittedly ours was the biggest and had the highest profile. But there was one in Manchester supporting Bold colliery in Lancashire.

But we’ve also got schoolkids coming from Pontefract. A young lad who’s started his own LGBT youth group in Pembroke, which is a pretty isolated part of Wales.

It’s good. It’s what we’ve aspired to, to help people become activists.

Today’s Pride march would seem a natural ending to an incredible story. Where do you see the future for LGSM?

We’re all approaching or in our sixties now and I really think LGSM, it’s acted as a bit of a symbol for people, but it’s up to the next generation to carry our mantle forward.

We’ve done what we have been able to do since the movie came out to get people to subscribe to our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

As a result of that all sorts of wonderful things are happening. In Norway there is now a Lesbians and Gays Support the Dockers.

The dock workers in Norway are on strike and we got contacted by a group who formed the group. They completely lifted our banner, which is fine.

And they’ve just put an insert where it says “miners” and put “plus dockers.” They took that on a march in Oslo recently. So stuff like that is just fantastic to see.

So it seems like the momentum behind your story is now reaching different parts of the world…

We’re still being invited to speak at things — I’ve got a programme that extends to October at the moment.

We’ve just come back from Maastricht where we attended the Dutch gay pride and we’ve got another invitation to go to Antwerp soon.

In South Korea too, there was a gay pride march planned, but it was banned. So there’s been an international campaign to try to get the Korean authorities to step up. LGSM’s Facebook page has been quite important to Korean campaigners, because it’s got so many members.

So there’s all kind of repercussions coming from the film.

How far has Britain come in terms of LGBT rights since the strike?

We’ve come much further in my lifetime than I could possibly have imagined in my wildest dreams 30 years ago.

We’ve got gay marriage, legal protection at work and all kinds of things. That’s bloody marvellous.

Still a long way to go. There’s still bullying that goes on, there’s still homophobia around. I heard a straight guy only recently outside pub say: “Do you know what gay stands for? Got aids yet.”

So homophobia is still there. We’ve got legislation but that’s not the end of it. And of course the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Rights can be taken away as quickly as we gain them.

In Pride, your group was shown on the fringes of the LGBT community. After Pride organisers prioritised the interests of big business over LGSM in this year’s parade, do you feel you’re still in a minority?

Initially the Pride committee invited us to head the march and then got cold feet. But I mean it’s the natural home for us to be marching with the unions, so that’s fine.

The miners’ strike was so big and had such a huge impact on British society. It gave working-class people, regardless of sexuality, a voice.

We had to step up. I’m a firm believer that most people are workers and their interests are working-class interests.

Although most people are not aware of that.

When you get a huge momentous struggle, then people suddenly start learning very quickly.

What was wonderful for LGSM, was the way the working-class element of the LGBT community suddenly asserted itself and gained confidence.

In just the same way that working-class women in the pit villages also gained confidence. You get that little taste of the revolution when that happens.

So will today be another “taste of revolution” for you?

I think so, yeah. I think we’re going to get a tremendous reception from people in the crowds and on the march. And it just shows that we are the many.

The powerful and rich might be powerful and rich but they’re certainly not the many. This will be a complete assertion of that.

Mike Jackson is co-founder of LGSM.

This 28 January 2015 video from Ireland is called Q&A Session on film ‘Pride’ with Robert Kincaid LGSM – Portrush Film Theatre.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

TUC LGBT Conference: Gay rights activist shames Pride over profiteering drive

Friday 26th June 2015

LEGENDARY gay rights campaigner Mike Jackson issued a scathing attack on Pride organisers yesterday, claiming that the parade was full of “shameless pink-pound profiteering and rank hypocrisy.”

The Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) co-founder made the statement after the group refused to lead the parade if they could not be joined by trade unionists.

Organisers told LGSM, which raised funds for Welsh miners during the 1984-85 strike, that there would be too many union members to lead the march.

But the group said yesterday that they were “too real” for Pride organisers.

Mr Jackson said: “We feel sure that Pride in London organisers wanted to appear radical by ‘allowing’ LGSM and a few ex-miners to head up this year’s ‘parade.’

“But when our contingent became a rallying point for trade unionists and a new generation of LGBT activists, Pride in London said No.

“LGSM is not a photogenic historical re-enactment society, we are activists and we will march alongside our real supporters.”

The group did not spare harsh words about many of this year’s Pride sponsors, including tax-dodging banks Barclays and Citibank and coffee chain Starbucks.

“This is shameless ‘pink-pound’ profiteering and rank hypocrisy,” added Mr Jackson.

His remarks came merely hours after Labour MP Angela Eagle’s address to this year’s TUC LGBT conference.

Speaking to a cheering crowd, Ms Eagle cried: “It would be nice wouldn’t it if you could have a Pride march through London without having to pay several hundred thousand pounds privilege?

“It would also be nice to have a mayor who might realise this is the third largest event in London and perhaps could contribute a bit more.”

Similar calls were made by other organisations, including the student National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts which will be marching with LGSM.

London Pride report: here.

LEGENDARY campaigner Mike Jackson is supporting Jeremy Corbyn’s bid to become Labour leader, the Morning Star can reveal. Mr Jackson, a founding member of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, is backing the left candidate to return the party to its “core values”: here.

17 thoughts on “‘LGBTQ trade unionists, not corporations, should be first at London Pride’

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  2. LABOUR leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn was “mobbed” by supporters on Saturday’s London Pride parade.

    Mr Corbyn rushed back from a hustings event in Birmingham to join the huge trade union bloc.

    Journalist Owen Jones was among supporters who took photos with a board on which they had written why they were voting for him.

    Mr Corbyn’s name was chanted by the crowds and people queued to have selfies with the left candidate.

    “When we got to Trafalgar Square we were mobbed by people wanting selfies,” one campaigner said.

    “But Jeremy still managed to fight his way through the crowd to visit the picket line at the National Gallery.”

    Andy Burnham also attended the parade in a T-shirt with the slogan: “Never kissed a Tory.”



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