Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/586/7508

From The Socialist newspaper, 1 July 2009

Pride not profit - London Pride Saturday 4 July

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights movement saw the fortieth anniversary of its birth on 28 June 2009. On that date in 1969 the police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York. In itself this was nothing rare, the police raided LGBT bars all the time. This time, however, LGBT people and drag queens fought back against the police over two nights of rioting.

Greg Randall, Convenor of the Socialist Party LGBT members' group

Within weeks the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) was formed. In meetings held at the time of the riots, working class LGBT people came to the fore. The existing self-appointed gay spokespeople expended their efforts on promoting the 'respectability' of gay men and lesbians, while trying to win over the US establishment to grant limited gay rights. They treated trans people and drag queens from the Stonewall as the lowest of the low. But their time was over. The emerging LGBT community wanted, not only equality, but liberation.

That a movement for liberation sprang up after the Stonewall Riots should have been no surprise. LGBT people had been looking to the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements of the time. US society was undergoing massive radicalisation in the late sixties.

All that was needed to bring together (in many ways to create) the LGBT community was a spark, an event that would galvanise people from being angry to taking action. The New York police department provided that spark on a hot June night.

The movement spread internationally. Gay Pride marches began - originally as a commemoration of the riots. In 1970 a British GLF was set up. Homosexuality had only recently been legalised in Britain - and in much of the US it was still illegal. LGBT people were confined to the margins of society, meeting clandestinely in anonymous venues. What a contrast to today, when a confident LGBT community has won many democratic rights such as civil partnerships and anti-discrimination laws.

This change happened because of political activism, which started at the Stonewall Inn. In Britain, in particular, many rights were won due to the confidence and cohesion the LGBT community gained when fighting back against attacks, such as the Thatcher government's homophobic law 'Section 28'.

Unfortunately you will not find any mention of the Stonewall Riots in the publicity for this year's London Pride march and festival even though, without Stonewall, there would be no Pride. Instead the slogan for Pride is: "Come out and play". No politics, just commercial sponsorship - although less of that this year. Big businesses sponsor Pride to sell their products, not to support LGBT rights. In a recession advertising budgets get cut.

Lobbying groups such as the misnamed 'Stonewall' put about the idea that the pink pound will buy LGBT people liberation. This is a myth, especially for working-class LGBT people. We were told that the way towards liberation was banks having equal opportunities policies. A strategy based on trusting the banks doesn't look very clever in 2009! Stonewall is the heir of the tradition of seeking acceptability and entry into the establishment which the riots of 1969 swept aside.

LGBT struggle today

There was a small commemoration of the anniversary of the riots in London on 28 June. 35 assembled at the London School of Economics, where the British GLF was founded, heard speeches, including from Greg Randall of the Socialist Party LGBT Group, and marched through central London. A further celebration, with cabaret performers and speakers, took place in the evening.

LGBT people need to organise politically. Anti-discrimination laws alone won't abolish homophobia. Similar laws in place for over forty years haven't abolished racism. We need to rediscover the movement for liberation, not just equality - under capitalist society the question is "equality with what?" Equal treatment by the profit system is no great advance.

The gay liberation movement wanted to transform society. In the Socialist Party we share this aim and shall be part of rebuilding the traditions of Stonewall, raising the need for LGBT people to link up with workers to struggle against oppression and the system that exists only to benefit big business.

If you would like to join Socialist Party members at Pride please call Manny on 020 8988 8772.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 1 July 2009:

Militant action pays!


Youth fight for jobs

Decent jobs not poverty schemes!


Socialist Party editorial

Victories show the way forward for struggles

Total's fat fingers in every pie

"We came out with Lindsey and we'll go back with Lindsey"


Socialist Party campaigns

New Labour's house building plans amount to just a drop in the ocean

Pride not profit - London Pride Saturday 4 July

Crisis looms in FE colleges

Tower Hamlets demo

Councils try to gag us

Campaign to save Lewisham Bridge school continuing

Fast news

BNP: Looking beneath the suits


National Shop Stewards Network

National Shop Stewards Network Conference Confident and enthusiastic


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

25 years ago: Liverpool - a city that dared to fight


Workplace news and events

Glasgow council: Social work dept staff start all-out strike

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets march and rally

Construction industry in major crisis


 

Home   |   The Socialist 1 July 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Pride:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: Socialism, Pride and the fight for LGBT+ rights

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

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

London:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: France's 1968 'month of revolution'

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The ongoing plight of refugees

triangleTo produce the Socialist we need a building - help us keep ours!

triangleMcStrike: ballot for strike action at six McDonald's stores

LGBT:

triangleVital depiction of fight for Aids prevention and treatment

triangleAustralia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

triangleCardiff Socialist Students: Socialism and the struggle for LGBT rights

Gay:

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

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

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

22/4/18

Bromley

Bromley library workers win strike campaign

18/4/18

UCU

UCU members vote to end pensions dispute

18/4/18

Usdaw

Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism

18/4/18

Leeds

Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist

18/4/18

Hull

Hull says no to war, no to austerity

18/4/18

The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper

18/4/18

Socialist Party

Building fund: 150,000 milestone smashed!

18/4/18

Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!

18/4/18

Scotland

Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council

18/4/18

Newham

Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review

18/4/18

PCS

Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership

18/4/18

PCS

PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced

18/4/18

Bromley

Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues

18/4/18

Butterfields

Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

13/4/18

Cuts

Fighting the cuts to women's services

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999