Corinthia Ward, North Birmingham Socialist Party
Birmingham Socialist Party members joined the thousands of people taking part in this year’s Birmingham Pride parade.
Pride – an event which originates from the 1969 Stonewall Riots against police attacks – has a rich political history against oppression of LGBTQ+ people.
However, you would not know this by looking at the groups in this year’s parade. From TSB bank to Cadbury and private solicitor firms giving away free goodies, and the fact that the cost of the evening events go up to £70 a ticket!
Despite trade union blocs being present they were towards the back of the parade after the corporations and even the West Midlands Police.
Socialist Party members tried to bring politics to the event, linking the needs of LGBTQ+ people to the austerity attacks by the Tories and local councils on public services.
We raised the demands for affordable, council housing and a fully funded NHS with access to adequate mental health services.
Over 1,000 leaflets were handed out – being snatched out of our hands as it was the only political material being given out on the day! Many, especially young people, engaged with us about the effect of cuts on not only fellow LGBTQ+ people, but also on the wider community they live in.
This shows that people are eager to see Pride as more than just a rainbow celebration of being LGBTQ+.
Pride should be used to fight back against oppression and as a platform to promote socialist policies.