Socialists at Birmingham Pride (June 11, 2012)
Socialist Party members campaign against the cuts at Birmingham Pride
By Dan Crowter
Members of the Socialist Party from Coventry and Birmingham held a successful campaign stall at Birmingham Pride on June 2nd. We campaigned on the issues of NHS cuts and privatisation, and in opposition to homophobia. We also supported the Birmingham Against the Cuts campaign by helping to distribute their leaflets.
As always the event was well attended, with various student and community groups visible on the march. There were more trade unions in attendance this year than in previous years, and an anti-capitalist section on the march, primarily made up of young people, who marched chanting slogans including “Pride is a protest – Stonewall was a riot!”
When discussing with people on the stall there were many who said that they were pleased that the Coalition Government intends to bring in same-sex marriage, but sceptical about whether they will actually bring it in – there was also a lot of anger over cuts to essential LGBT+ services, and the “new section 28”, a law that will force teachers to tell pupils the supposed “benefits” of heteronormative marriage.
Unfortunately, Pride events now bear little resemblance to their original meaning – many in the LGBT+ movement, particularly charities such as Stonewall, believe that the “pink pound” will win equality, and as such the movement often seems depoliticised. Despite this, the presence of Socialists, trade unionists and anti-capitalists on the march shows that there is still anger within the LGBT+ community, and a growing belief that we cannot simply buy our way to equality.
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