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Harman was booed because of asylum stance claims Tatchell

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  1. one of the saddest things about this, is that Harman once worked for NCCL (now Liberty), and would have been fighting this sort of thing.

    It just shows that she was only in it for the money and contacts!

  2. so interesting to me that none of the key political dramas of the gay pride this year have been taken up by any of the centre left broadsheets nor the bbc websites.

    I thought the undercurrents at this years event were very topical and it shows that the gay element is still treated in a discriminatory way ie still sidelined by straight liberals who still think of gay stuff as about dressing up and wearing wigs….

  3. blackand green 7 Jul 2008, 12:52pm

    The reason Mr Tatchell was moved away from Ms Harman was because of his agressive behaviour towards Ms Harman as as she left the backstage area and moved outside of the Pride backsage area and onto the street. His finger waving inches from her face , together with his vitriolic tirade continued after he had been asked move away. He grabbed the arm of one of the security team’ leaving several marks and it was in response to this escalation of the situation by Mr Tatchell that the action to ensure the safety of the security team members, Ms Harman and the public at large, including those being treated at the adjacent Red Cross treatment centre was taken.

  4. Sister Mary Clarence 7 Jul 2008, 1:22pm

    In response to blackand green – clearly a failure on the behalf of the organisers of Pride not to carry out a risk assessment to identify any potential causes for concern like this. Peter Tatchell made it clear beforehand that he would be asking people to boo Ms Harman and it doesn’t take Einstein to work out they having the two of them in close proximity backstage has the potential to result in an incident.

    I suspect if they’d had presidents Mugabe, Ahmadinejad or any other politician who routinely sends gay people to their deaths without the blink of an eye, there might also have been problems.

    The organisers of Pride had a duty of care to everyone attending the event, whether as a speaker, artist, participant, or a spectator – heaven only knows how many other gaffes compromised the safety of those attending. Will it take a death or serious injury before they take their responsibility seriously?

  5. eastender 7 Jul 2008, 1:41pm

    Not a failure at all.
    The reason there was security is because Pride London takes its responsibility very seriously towards its guests.
    Ms Harman was actually accompanied into the site from some distance away and was in the process of being escorted to her car when Mr Tatchell accosted her. He had spoken some time before the minister arrived and made no attempt to speak to her within the Pride backstage area. Instead HE chose a public space.
    The comment about her sending people to their deaths I presume alludes to the principle of Cabinet responsibility and not to her being responsible for the decision personally as she is not the Home Secretary.

  6. a labour minister ….there are so many reasons to boo i wouldnt need encouraging. great to see the services in the parade who got a big cheer…..aslo the gay muslim (unfortunately I think there was only one). I booed the rmt and the labout people.

  7. Two points: Harman is a member of the Cabinet, which has collective responsibility for all decisions, including those taken by another minister, including the Home Secretary; secondly, I notice the article talks about case law and precedent. I would like to know how this compares to leadership, courage and compassion. There is not one member of this govt. who possesses any of these characteristics.

  8. To be fair, there are loads of other reasons why anyone would boo the excrutiating Harriet Harperson.

  9. Dennis Hambridge 7 Jul 2008, 9:16pm

    Most of the new labour government are Human Rights Abusers including Bigots Blair, Bush, Millaband and Harmen, they have not given any rights to to LGBT community that LGBT have fought for themselves. They collect votes on the back of LGBT like the leechies they are. The quicker they are kicked out of government the better. LIBRTY AND UNITY FOR THE WORLDWIDE LGBT COMMUNITY

  10. paul canning 7 Jul 2008, 10:20pm

    To suggest that tatchell constitutes any kind of threat is hysterical. He reports that harman wanted to speak with him – why didn’t Pride facilitate this? Whose side are they on? Gay asylum seekers’ or the government?

  11. Well, I do wonder sometimes. I wouldn’t support Pride because it’s out of date and no longer reflects the complexities of a society through which gay culture has become so interwoven.

    I just don’t know what it stands for anymore.

  12. Peter Tatchell does gay asylum seekers NO favours by frightening them. Gays from oppressive regimes like Iran and Jamaica are regularly granted refugee status in this country. The courts have ruled that it is persecution if a gay person has to behave in a way unnatural to them to avoid persecution. I have been working in an organization dealing with gay refugees for over ten years and the times when people are refused assylum is when the courts believe them to be lying about their past experiences or their sexuality. (By the way, Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt did not fight for gay rights at NCCL. NCCL did not support gay rights in those days and Patricia Hewitt opposed a change in policy to support gay rights.)

  13. You can level many criticisms against Harriet Harman, but I don’t doubt that she is committed to her equality brief.

    Peter Tatchell has merely done what he always manages to do with his gay activism (I will give him praise for his efforts against Mugabe at least), and behaved in such a pathetic way that it has actually enhanced my support for his victim.

    Tatchell is one of the most self absorbed and self aggrandising activists out there, his activities with OutRage! are just embarrassing a lot of the time. In short, he really needs to get over himself. Most of the time he comes across as being sanctimonious, which is most likely because he is, and the rest of the time he just appears immature, I mean making silly pictures of some of the most horrific tyrants on the face of the planet – WOW – great way to have a meaningful debate and protest there!

  14. paul canning 12 Jul 2008, 1:34pm

    @Michael: The courts have ruled that it is persecution if a gay person has to behave in a way unnatural to them to avoid persecution.

    This is rubbish. A Glasgow court just ruled about ‘discretion’ and Smith herself just wrote those words in relation to Iran. The courts decide based on Home Office rules, they’re not making it up as they go along. Exceptions have to be fought for, the policy is ‘you can be discreet’. What about Mehdi Kazemi!?

    I’m glad to hear you’ve worked to get leave for some but the policy behind it is appalling and how do you propose we get them to change it? Silence?

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