Group to protest Manchester Pride over ‘right of way’ street closures

Nick Duffy August 13, 2014
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A group is planning to protest Manchester Pride next weekend, because the city’s Gay Village will be cordoned off for the ticketed event.

The Pride event – which kicks off on August 22 – will take place in Manchester’s city centre, with tickets costing £22, or £12.50 for a day ticket.

However, Manchester Evening News reports that a group are planning to intentionally trespass without tickets, arguing that ‘right to roam’ laws give them the legal ability to walk down Canal Street without paying for a ticket.

Geoff Stafford, who runs the group, titled ‘Facts about Manchester Pride’, claims that organisers have “hoodwinked” the LGBT community into paying for the event.

The council confirmed to the newspaper that the ticketed Pride events ‘do not restrict’ the fact that the area is a public right of way, and that organisers should ‘facilitate such movement’.

Mr Stafford said: “People have been led to believe they couldn’t enter without buying an expensive ticket.

“This was particularly cruel for any LGBT person who couldn’t afford to pay. It meant that ‘their’ part of the city was fenced off to them during this so-called ‘celebration’.

“And now we know that they could have done it all along. This must be one of the biggest cons ever inflicted on a gay community anywhere.”

“Of course we’re asking anyone who does this during the weekend to stay calm and polite, while standing firm and insisting on their rights without delay.”

“I know that all members of Facts About Manchester Pride will behave in a law abiding manner.”

Manchester Pride announced last month that it will release 300 discounted £5 tickets for the event, available to Greater Manchester residents undergoing financial hardship.

Orange is the New Black star Lea DeLaria was announced as the Grand Marshal of the festival’s Pride parade on Monday.

Related topics: canal street, England, Gay, gay village, group, LGBT, Manchester Pride, Pride, protest

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