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Bi Pride UK sever ties with Pride in London amid concerns not enough is being done to tackle racism

Josh Milton March 22, 2021
Parade goers with one holding the Bisexual Pride flag during Pride in London 2019

Parade goers with one holding the Bisexual Pride flag during Pride in London 2019. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Pride in London)

Bi Pride UK, one of Britain’s top bisexual advocacy groups, pulled support Monday afternoon (22 March) from Pride in London, saying it has “failed” to address the accusations of racism riddling its leadership.

Pride in London waded days-long demands for new bosses after its most senior Black official, Rhammel Afflick, stepped down. He said leaders “ignore Black voices”, among other damning accounts of racism.

In opening the flood gates, a wave of high-profile resignations followed, including some 20 volunteers and Pride in London’s scrutiny body, all calling for one thing: A change in leadership.

Pride in London’s co-chairs, as well as three directors, all stepped down Friday in response, vowing to shake-up the organisation and heal the deepening divisions between it and queer people of colour.

But for Bi Pride UK, this was too-little, too-late.

In a statement shared to PinkNews, members and trustees confirmed plans to sever ties with the capital’s Pride moving forward, bringing an end to its three-year-long partnership with the parade.

Pride in London ‘failed to address accusations of racism’, says Bi Pride UK

“Following our recent statement in solidarity with the experiences that Rhammel Afflick and others have shared as former Pride in London volunteers, and calling for other UK Prides to join us in recognising the part Pride spaces play in upholding and perpetuating racist and oppressive structures, the trustees and team at Bi Pride UK have decided to withdraw from all engagement with Pride in London until it becomes clear that their actions reflect their words regarding anti-racism work,” the statement read.

“While we welcome the change in leadership, we are concerned to hear from former Pride in London volunteers that they have little faith that enough is being done.

“The statement released by Pride in London on Friday evening was entirely inadequate, failing to address the accusations of racism, apologise for the harm caused, or take responsibility for making the necessary changes.”

“Until such a time as we believe there has been real, tangible work done by the organisation to commit to anti-racist practices, combat anti-Blackness and tackle the other forms of oppression that former volunteers have bravely spoken out against, we will not participate in any Pride in London events or partnerships, including marching in the main annual parade.

“As a charity focused on increasing bi visibility across the UK and having marched in the last three Pride in London parades, this is not a decision we take lightly, but we firmly believe that it is the right decision to make. ”

It comes less than a day after four of the nation’s bi+ activist groups and service providers, Biscuit, Bi Survivors Network, Bisexual Index and BWithTheT, said in a joint statement Sunday they are also distancing from the non-profit.

“The events of this week have revealed how deep Pride in London’s problems run,” it reads.

“We recognise the description of Pride in London’s leadership as hostile, combative and fixed in their thinking, as well as contemptuous towards minority groups, paying little more than lip service to what matters to our communities.

“As organisations representing a wide range of bisexual communites and issues, we have taken the decision to withdraw from Pride in London until evidence of permanent meaningful change is presented.

“We stand in solidarity with Rhammel Afflick, a bisexual man and previously the most senior Black volunteer within Pride in London whose principled stance provoked this response.”

More: Bi-Pride UK, Pride in London, racism

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