The London AIDS Memorial campaign is inviting people to take part in its annual AIDS Swish down London’s Old Compton Street tomorrow as a mark of “remembrance, pride and community”.
Organisers say: “The idea is simple; as a community, we dress up like we mean to party, then SWISH down Old Compton Street in colourful acknowledgement that we enjoy and respect life.
“The AIDS Swish is an affirmation – we’re here and we care, not just about ourselves but each other.”
The walk will begin at 6pm on the corner of Moor Street and Old Compton Street and will end at the Lo Profile bar on Wardour Street.
At 8pm, organisers promise all the bars in Soho will play ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor.
The event is not affiliated to any charity but seeks to promote awareness that London has no permanent AIDS Memorial, where people can gather “at any time, from any country, for any reason of remembrance”.
The London AIDS Memorial campaign says it aims to hold the SWISH as an annual event until a permanent space is achieved.
Stephen Fry has lent his support to the campaign saying: “A London memorial will serve, I believe, not just as a testament to all generations to come of what Britain and the world went through, but also as a fierce reminder that this scourge is far from over.”
“It is only right that London, so proud of its cultural influence, its fabulous entertainment, nightlife and its open and diverse attitude of welcome to all who visit and inhabit it, should proudly memorialise the fallen in the war against HIV.”
“It is a little shaming to think that, when one looks around the world, London is the most important city on earth not to have such a memorial and I hope that things will speedily come together to allow that to be put right.”
The AIDS Swish organisers asked: “Are you going to strut, swagger, shimmy, roller skate, stride, mince or sashay?
“We don’t care. We just want you to be there.”