Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/728/14940
Commercialism vs politics
Newcastle Pride took place on Saturday 21 July. It soon became clear that the march was going to be bigger than last year. At least 1,000 people assembled and the march set off around 12 noon, going through the town centre and then to the Exhibition Park.
The mood on the march was light and jolly. When we got to the park there was a festival atmosphere. And there were many stalls from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) groups from colleges, universities, trade unions and workplaces.
There was a stage, but if there were any speeches I missed them. It was mainly cheesy music.
We set out our Socialist Party stall outside the women's tent, which had a different vibe - less mainstream and less commercial.
There had been some opposition to a women-only space. According to one organiser the women's tent had the lowest budget of any tent, with all acts performing for free. It was generally judged to be a great success, and sitting outside was a good location for our stall.
Over the course of the day we sold over 30 of the Socialist Party's LGBT pamphlets as well as copies of the Socialist and pamphlets on how the cuts would affect women. Many people signed the petition against homophobia and the government's spending cuts. And there was a lot of discussion about how the cuts would affect LGBT people.
Although the mood of people seemed fairly laid back, there was a feeling of rebellion in some quarters.
Despite Pride becoming largely commercialised and depoliticised over the last few years there is a mood against this among Pride supporters all over the country. It will be interesting to see how this mood develops in the coming years and how Pride changes in these interesting times.
Sexuality, austerity & socialism - a Socialist Party LGBT pamphlet
£1.50 including postage.
Women: Fighting Austerity, Fighting for Equality - a Socialist Party pamphlet
£1.50 including postage.
Special offer to readers - both pamphlets for £2.50. Payable to Socialist Books, PO Box 24697, London E11 1YD. Discounts for bulk orders (5 or more copies) - phone 020 8988 8789.
In The Socialist 25 July 2012:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Stop NHS cuts & privatisation
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party appeal & news