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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 September 2017

Non-fiction review: Pride

LGSM members in 2015, photo by Fae/CC

LGSM members in 2015, photo by Fae/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

Michael Johnson, Socialist Party LGBT group

'Pride' tells the story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM). The group struggled alongside miners and their families in south Wales during the 1984-85 strike, as brought to popular light by the 2014 film of the same name.

The film was an unexpected hit around the world. Especially, as the book reflects, for a film about "vegan lesbian activists and a coal mining dispute." It showed the power of working class solidarity during the miners' strike along with the radical history of LGBT+ people fighting for their rights.

It also had a significant impact politically, at least within the LGBT+ community. LGSM and supporter groups experienced a resurgence in popularity and inspired debates on the repoliticisation of pride marches.

Tim Tate's book, made up mainly of contributions and anecdotes from LGSM members and south Wales mining families, goes beyond simply retelling the film.

Instead it expands the story of LGSM to explore the political and social context that made the actions of the group and the miners significant even today.

It explores the industrial struggles in Britain running up to the 1984 strike; Thatcher and the Conservatives' preparations to crush the "enemies within"; the role of the National Union of Mineworkers in the strike and its eventual defeat.

It also explores the state of LGBT+ rights following the decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 - and the weakness of the organised labour movement in the struggle for LGBT+ liberation at that time.

Indeed, the book lays out the political battles around the events of the film warts and all. It details the controversies, setbacks and even political divisions within LGSM and the wider movement hinted at in the film.

Pride explores a tumultuous period of British politics through the personal stories of those involved. It firmly demonstrates the power of solidarity in struggle in battling prejudice and fighting for the rights of the whole working class.

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In The Socialist 6 September 2017:


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Schools and teaching

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International socialist news and analysis

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

Extreme weather events and global warming


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Determined protest against Chatsworth Ward closure

Young people are searching for an alternative - find it at Socialism 2017

Huddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

Three thousand attend Burston strike commemoration rally

Bristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

Demonstrators see off far-right in Keighley

Anti-fracking campaigners' legal fight


Socialist Party comments and reviews

How the Single Market blocks socialist policies

Bosses' pensions robbery

Magic money tree

Warts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'


 

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Related links:

Pride:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Pride and Politics, fighting LGBTphobia

triangleManchester Young Socialists: Pride is Political

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

triangleNorthern Pride's a success

triangleFighting corporate takeover at London Pride

War:

triangleKorean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

triangleCaerphilly and RCT Socialist Party: How can we avoid a nuclear war?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: North Korea and the threat of nuclear war

triangleMutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

LGBT:

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

trianglePride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

triangleCanterbury pride

Review:

triangleHuddersfield A&E closure goes to judicial review

triangle'Let the producers of wealth unite - and what can withstand them?'

Film:

triangleRussia 1917: how art helped make the revolution

Strike:

triangleCWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Miners:

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners

Working class:

triangleRefreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Wales:

triangleFord workers vote for action

Solidarity:

triangleSolidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

South Wales:

triangleBron Afon housing workers step up strike

British politics:

triangleReject Starmer's Single Market u-turn

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