For Immediate Release – LGBTQI Community parade ‘RIP Pride’ funeral to confront Barclays and corporate sponsors
This Saturday 27th June 2015 a coalition of LGBTQI rights groups will parade an ‘RIP Pride’ mock-funeral to confront the corporate sponsors of London LGBT Pride (1). The apolitical approach to UKIP’s presence on the Pride march was sounded as‘the nail in the coffin’(2). This compounded anger at Barclay’s bank leading the march and the wider corporatisation of the London LGBT Pride (3). The official shift from a ‘protest’ to a ‘parade’ occurred in 2004, costing £100,000 extra each year to hold and necessitating the kind of commercialisation has been repelling many people from turning up each year. Many consider these developments to have killed Pride, which led to the funeral for this year’s event.
“Pride’s death knell sounded years ago as more and more corporate institutions and multinationals began to prominently feature in the parade march. This year is no exception, with corporate sponsors leading the LGBTQI parade, eclipsing our community and genuine supporters relegated to marching in their wake.” Donna Riddington, R.I.P. Pride organiser
The corporate focus of Pride in London is seen to be influenced by those involved in running it. The Pride in London Board who are responsible for ‘delivery of the Pride event, and its strategic direction’ is made up of mainly business bodies, who have little or no connection to the queer community. The Board’s Chair, Michael Salter, who was Political Head of Broadcasting at No. 10 Downing Street. It has been stated that he has a passion for LGBT+ issues, but is seen as contradictory with his role within a Tory-led coalition that is implementing spending cuts that hit women, children, the disabled, BME and LGBTQIA communities the hardest. (4)
“Pride’s disenfranchised LGBTQI family are now relegated to the parade’s belly and beyond (aka C-section). The LGBTQI community and their supporters are expected to compliantly toddle along behind corporate bullies. At R.I.P. Pride we will be mourning the loss of the true meaning of pride, the loss of politics, solidarity, protest, vision and rebellion. All of Pride’s friends and family are warmly invited to attend.”Dan Glass, R.I.P. Pride organiser and ‘Save Queer London’ activist.
“We encourage others to repeat this ritual as a form of protest and to disseminate their funereal ‘RIP Pride’ action through social media, as well as at Pride itself. Together, we will scatter Pride’s ashes across the queer territories that powerful corporations and bigoted politicians seek to claim.” Charlotte Gerada, R.I.P. Pride organiser and ‘Save Queer London’ activist.
“It’s important to maintain the political presence and voice at Pride. I always go with a political message.” – Peter Tatchell (LGBTQI political campaigner) (5)
“I want people to look at the Pride procession and feel uncomfortable and be challenged by it. I want them to be faced with something every year that stops the traffic and inconveniences them, because they might stop to think about why we march through the streets. Then I would definitely start going on Pride again.” – Julie Bindel (Feminist writer and founder of Justice for Women) (5)
“The Board’s Chair, Michael Salter passion for supporting our communities didn’t prompt him to reach out to campaigns to save queer London spaces (an estimated25% of which have closed since the beginning of the recession) from property developers, or consider put a shout out for how Pride could be in solidarity with those in our communities who are struggling most in what, for all the ‘progress’, remains an increasingly unequal society.” Dan Laverick, ‘The Joiners Lives On’ Campaign (6)
Notes to Editors
(1) 10.30: Funeral Assemble at University College London (UCL), Main Quad, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT (Nearest tubes Euston Square/Euston).
11.00: Briefing for all mourners on the day’s activities, roles to be allocated for the funeral procession and run through of service.
12.30: Walk to location where the funeral procession will take place
13.00: Arrive at where the funeral procession will take place
15.30: Burial/Cremation of Pride
Dress in your finest/glam funeral attire, we’re thinking traditional colours/outfits whatever they may be for your culture with a bit of rainbow colour.
(2) Pride in London 2015: Ukip rejected from pro-LGBT parade ‘to protect participants’
(3) ‘Don’t let corporations spoil the spirit of Pride’ [http://www.theguardian.com/
(4) ‘From Stonewall to Austerity’ [http://www.counterfire.org/
(5) Both quotes from the article ‘Is Pride today about gay rights or just partying?’ published in the Guardian, July 2012 (Pride’s 40th year).
(6) ‘Closing time for gay pubs – a new victim of London’s soaring property prices [http://www.theguardian.com/
Twitter: # QUEERFIGHTBACK # RIPPRIDE