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Pride in London cites ‘hot weather’ for anti-trans group being allowed to lead parade

Hazel Southwell July 7, 2018
Accredited media are no longer permitted within the parade route

Accredited media are no longer permitted within the parade route (Photo: Nick Duffy)

Pride in London is blaming “hot weather” and “safety” for its decision to allow anti-transgender protesters to lead the city’s Pride march.

The annual Pride march today was set to be led by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and NHS staff, but it was hijacked by an anti-trans group who led forced their way to the front of the parade.

The group, organising under the Twitter hashtag “#GetTheLOut,” numbered about 10 people and were permitted to take the prime slot on the march by organisers after a brief negotiation when they had physically blocked the march from taking place.

PinkNews filmed live from the scene and were able to report that the group led the march all the way to Trafalgar Square, uninterrupted, while handing out transphobic leaflets.

Other groups marching were quick to condemn Pride in London for the lapse.

LGBT+ Lib Dems. Chair Jennie Rigg said “I am appalled that transphobic protesters were allowed to lead the march and the crowd asked to cheer them on. This is a betrayal of the thousands marching. The Pride organisers should resign and offer a full apology.”

In a longer statement subsequently posted to their Facebook she added “Allowing them to continue, betrays the LGBT+ communities by sowing division and hatred at an event aimed at fostering inclusion, love and pride.

“Lib Dems are committed to preserving and extending rights for trans people.”

In an initial statement to PinkNews, Pride in London had claimed the parade “set off as planned.”

A Pride in London spokesperson said “Every year people come to Pride for reasons that matter to the community. As we found in our recent Pride Matters report, 24% of people say a Pride is protest. 78% said it was a celebration.

“We are pleased that the parade set off as planned and that hundreds of thousands of Londoners are demonstrating that Pride still matters.”

Pride in London has since issued a revised statement, saying that ‘hot weather’ and concern for the thousands of attendees’ safety were the reasons why the group were allowed to march at the head of the parade, adding that organisers “do not condone” the group.

A Pride in London spokesperson said: “Every year, Pride is attended by hundreds of thousands of people who demonstrate that Pride still matters.

“Given the hot weather and in the interest of the safety for everyone attending today’s event, the parade group was allowed to move ahead.

“We do not condone their approach and message and hope the actions of a very small number people does not overshadow the messages of the 30,000 people marching today.”

The flyers being handed out by the group who led the parade are clearly transphobic and go further to call for a break-up of the LGBT movement, saying that (cis) lesbians should form a separatist community.

The leaflet states “The trans movement with the complicity of ‘queer’ LGBT politics is coercing lesbians to have sex with men. We firmly condemn this visions form of anti-lesbianism disguised as protest.’

(Image – Nick Duffy)

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