Home Office and National Crime Agency stalls removed from UK Black Pride
The Home Office and National Crime Agency will no longer have stalls at UK Black Pride on Sunday (July 7), the board of directors of UK Black Pride have decided.
In a statement released on Thursday (July 4), the board said that in light of the “continued discrimination against the communities we represent” by the Home Office and National Crime Agency (NCA) they have decided to remove both stalls from the event.
The board also referenced the work that UK Black Pride and other organisations do in supporting LGBT+ refugees and asylum seekers as a reason not to allow the Home Office and NCA to have stalls.
“When we approved their application to have a stall, we were under the impression the stall would be manned by the Home Office’s internal LGBTQ network, Spectrum,” the statement said.
I love and support @ukblackpride with all my heart but this is incredibly disappointing to learn. The same home office just last month refused asylum to gay Kenyan man Ken Macharia, this spits on the memory of our community members who have been deported to their deaths. https://t.co/9nKKQkiGYA
— Jason ?️? (@jasebyjason) July 4, 2019
“We feel a deep commitment to LGBTQ people of colour, wherever they work, and felt compelled to offer the network an opportunity to engage with the UK Black Pride community about the work they may be undertaking internally to address the Home Office’s discrimination against the communities we represent.
“We thought it would also be an opportunity for our community to respond directly to the NCA about the lack of representative data on crimes against people of colour in this country and to make clear the need for more robust interventions against hate crimes experienced by LGBTQ people of colour.”
“We understand this is not the time nor place for this conversation,” the board said.
sorry am i hearing this correctly? @ukblackpride has given a stall to the home office??? the same home officer that has deported our siblings? the same office that demands they prove their queerness and deports them anyway when their evidence doesn’t meet their standards???
— whew chillay (@fopeolaleye) July 4, 2019
The statement continued, “On reflection, and after concerns raised on social media, we realise it was an error in judgement to allow the Home Office and the NCA spaces at UK Black Pride.
“Our priority will always be the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ people of African, Asian, Caribbean, Latin American and Middle Eastern descent.
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“We are grateful that the community has raised their concerns with us and we are sorry for any alarm caused at the announcement that the Home Office and the NCA would be at UK Black Pride.”
A Home Office spokesperson said, “The Home Office is committed to supporting the LGBT+ community, both as employees and as an integral part of the public we serve, and we are disappointed by this decision.”
“This Government has a proud record of providing protection for asylum seekers fleeing persecution because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and all such claims are carefully considered in light of all the evidence available.”
UK Black Pride is on July 7 in Haggerston Park, East London.