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Queer activists to protest Pride in London over Red Arrows flyover

Nick Duffy May 24, 2016

A queer activist group is planning to protest Pride in London – because the Red Arrows are flying over.

The popular Royal Air Force aerobatic team was confirmed for the capital’s Pride event earlier this year, when Minister of State for the Armed Forces Penny Mordaunt confirmed on PinkNews that a flyover would be taking place.

However, ahead of the event on June 25, a “coalition of LGBTQI and anti-militarist groups” have taken issue with the involvement of the RAF stunt team – and are protesting Pride in London over their inclusion in the event.

The group will hold a ‘vigil’ outside City Hall today to protest the move as Pride organisers hold a committee meeting – donning black clothes and flowers.

A statement said: “We represent a cross-section of people from the LGBTQ community and anti-militarist groups who were shocked and outraged by the announcement that the Red Arrows would be flying over London Pride this year.

“The British military is deeply implicated in a history of homophobic and transphobic oppression, and is responsible for the destruction of human lives, including those of foreign LGBTQ communities, and the social infrastructure that supports them.

“On a day that commemorates and celebrates the courageous struggles of past and present LGBTQ individuals and communities against oppression and violent prejudice, we find it deeply offensive that the event is providing a platform for the RAF to sanitise its image and divert attention away from its role in executing British military objectives across the world, and the human suffering that such operations involve.

“We demand the unreserved withdrawal of the invitation of BAE Systems to march on this year’s parade, and of the RAF’s Red Arrows (which includes BAE-provided aircrafts) to fly over the parade.”

It continues: “We call upon all concerned individuals and groups from within and without the LGBTQ community to join us in protesting this attempt to use London Pride as a branding exercise and divert attention away from complicity in war crimes and needless human suffering.

“Because we take Pride in radically challenging gendered and sexual oppression, not in assimilation to the status quo. Because an injustice to one is an injustice to all. Because there is No Pride in War.”

More: Gay, LGBT, London, London pride, Pride, Pride in London, protest, RAF, Red arrows, war

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