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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 September 2019

Priced out of Pride

Socialist Party members at Southampton Pride, 24.8.19, photo by Southampton Socialist Party

Socialist Party members at Southampton Pride, 24.8.19, photo by Southampton Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Maggie Fricker, Southampton Socialist Party

Southampton Pride has grown year on year. The parade on 24 August was a huge spectacle, greeted by cheers and clapping from shoppers in the streets we passed. But behind the party atmosphere is a growing resentment at the direction this event has taken.

It was the trade union council that originally got the event started four years ago. But the trade union banners are now well and truly side-lined in favour of corporate sponsors like the cruise liners, Ikea and Sainsbury's.

We parked the 'Pride is Political' Socialist Party stall outside the main entrance, as like many other groups we couldn't afford the hundreds of pounds to set up inside.

We attracted those who wanted to talk about cuts to local services and how this affects LGBT+ people. We heard stories that made it very clear that the fight for LGBT+ rights is far from over as the organisers and their corporate sponsors would have us believe.

At our public meeting the following Thursday a number of groups and individuals attended interested in a much more political Pride here in Southampton. They spoke of their anger at being ignored by the event organisers.

It was pointed out that from the Pride stage gushing thanks were given to the big companies investing in the parade but, shockingly, local groups and charities were shunned, with no mention of the valuable work they do.

Those attending from the local support group, Chrysalis (which provides lifesaving counselling and support for Trans people), felt it had become an event organised by

almost exclusively white gay men interested in having a party.

We discussed the history of Pride and how the New York City Stonewall riots in 1969 did not happen in isolation but at a time when collective struggles like the civil rights movement, the Black Panthers, and the anti-war movement were at their height.

Turning point

The miners' strike of 1984-5 in Britain was also seen as a turning point in the struggle for support for LGBT+ rights; when the solidarity of 'Gays and Lesbians support the Miners' was then reciprocated by the support the National Union of Mineworkers gave them through the Trade Union Congress and the Labour Party.

The common enemy - an anti-working-class Tory government - was recognised by many different sections. It should be the same today. We must take every opportunity to draw all sections of workers together to oppose this unelected and hated Tory government. It's often LGBT+ people who are hit hardest by austerity, homelessness and the housing crisis, cuts to health services, particularly mental health services; not to mention the harassment and discrimination LGBT+ people still suffer.

There was much discussion of setting up an alternative Pride to reflect the struggle we still face and the real diversity of our movement. But it was also felt we should have a political presence on the parade and keep up the pressure on the event organisers to recognise that many people want and need more than just a party once a year.

We will give our support to all those who have been priced out of Pride so that together we can have an event that truly reflects our diversity and the struggles ahead.

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In The Socialist 4 September 2019:


What we think

Tories out now - Corbyn in with socialist policies

Marches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?


News

Money doesn't make up for cuts - education unions must organise for funding and against Tory attacks

Bury expelled from football league: Boot out the bosses ruining our game

Dozens of protests say Boris must go - Socialist Party policies heard on TV


Climate change

20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

Climate action day - trade union round-up


Wales

Austerity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence


Retail

What strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

Workplace victory emboldens retail workers to get organised


Workplace news

TUC: name the day for a mass demo

Nottingham college workers plan 15 days of walkouts

Science Museum Group staff strike over pay restraint

DVSA strike: action impacting

South Western Railway guards strike against DOO

London bus workers protest for better hours and conditions


International socialist news and analysis

Hong Kong protests: No let-up in trial of strength


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialist Party Youth and Student national meeting

Priced out of Pride

Bradford demo: Self-determination for Kashmir


Opinion

At 96 I'm more convinced of socialism than ever

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Pride:

triangleStonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation

triangleBirmingham Pride - revitalising political struggle

triangleDiscussion and debate at Leeds Trans Pride

triangleLinking LGBT+ rights to the fight for socialism

triangleMore party than protest, but great response to socialist ideas at Leicester Pride

LGBT:

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Defend LGBT+ rights

triangleSexual harassment of LGBT+ workers shows need for unions to fight

triangleInternational Women's Day 2019: End oppression with fight for socialism

triangleSocialist Party national LGBT+ meeting

Union:

triangleUCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers

triangleTrade union conference to force secret police disclosure

triangleRMT union members at SWR to walk out in December

Southampton:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: General Election 2019 rally

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Nigeria - which way forward for the working people and youth?

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