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Pride

In Pride, QUAC on 26/06/2014 at 6:01 pm

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Queers against the Cuts will be marching with the Queer Friends of Chelsea Manning on Saturday. Queer Friends of CM are registered to take part in the march and have asked us to join them. Details of where to meet are below – from Queer Friends of CM.

We’ll be near the corner of Baker Street and Dorset Street from 12pm – the parade sets off at 1pm. The nearest tubes are Baker Street and Marble Arch. We’re right in front of a Brazilian float, so that should be quite easy to spot!

Hopefully we can all meet up for a drink or a coffee after we reach Trafalgar Square

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Queers Kettled at Brighton Pride.

In Press Release, Pride, QUAC on 02/09/2012 at 8:32 pm

Our Press release

Members of Brighton Queers Against the Cuts were kettled and persistently harassed by the Police at Brighton Pride Parade last Saturday. London Queers Against the Cuts, who were guests of the Brighton group observed the kettling and also experienced the harassment first hand themselves.

“There seemed to have been trouble before the parade moved off – with our section mysteriously being moved to the back of the parade.” said Richard Farnos, London QUAC Co-Convenor.

The background and experiences of Brighton Queers Against the Cuts is described in  Beth Granter blog, the principal Brighton QUAC organiser

“But the real trouble began” said Richard “as the parade moved off when some latecomers sort to join the group.  Led by a belligerent steward (who at one point threaten to have me thrown off the march for asking why people couldn’t join the parade), a group of police on horseback and foot cut in front us and began to kettle the group.”

A member of the London group went forward to inform the organisers of the Parade what was going on, however he largely found them unhelpful.

However Caroline Lucas and Peter Tatchell who were marching with the Green Party returned and tried to reason with the Police and stewards.  Peter Tatchell pointed out that people were being allowed to join other parts of the parade and that assertions made by the stewards that thousands would join in were ridiculous.

Richard Farnos observed  “In a parallel discussion I had with another steward she questioned whether something ‘so overtly political’ should be on the parade at all and even suggested that somehow we would let fascists join our group on the march!”

As a result of Carol’s and Peter’s intervention the Queers Against the Cuts groups were allowed to continue but so did the harassment – all the way to Preston Park.  The contingent was surrounded by Police and people were prevented from joining.

“I saw people physically thrown back into the crowds,” Richard continued ” Indeed the behaviour of the police was reckless  and dangerous, at one point the horses were so close to us that one licked my neck.  We had older and disabled people with us and one stumble and fall and we would have all been under the horses.”

“I have been a political activist since the eighties and have been on many a demo.  The police behaviour does not surprise me.” Richard Farnos concluded  “What is a new experience however was the complete lack of support from the Pride organisers.  Are they so enamoured with the corporate pound that the plight of HIV+ people who will lose their benefits; or young LGBT people who will become homeless has no interest to them?  The day when Pride stops being political is the point when Pride will become pointless!”

Queers Against Cuts mistreatment at Brighton Pride – statement from organiser

In Pride, QUAC on 02/09/2012 at 8:25 pm

by Beth Granter

in her blog

I formally registered the walking group Queers Against Cuts for the Brighton Pride Parade in July, paying the £60 fee out of my own pocket and from a donation from a local trade union. Members of the group were invited from local political groups, trade unions and activist communities, to march in solidarity together against government cuts to public services and jobs. Pride began in Stonewall in 1969 as a protest against police harassment of gay and trans people in New York. As Government cuts to jobs and public services are affecting LGBTQ people disproportionately, for many reasons, this is an important reason for us to march against cuts in pride today. In my application email I explained that we would be a collective of different groups and individuals marching together, to check that this was acceptable with Pride organisers, and my application was accepted. On Thursday 30 August I was sent the parade running order (read that here: 2012 Parade Lamp Post Order) and we were pleased to discover we’d be between the National Union of Teachers, who also had an anti-cuts theme, and performance group Champagne Anarchists, at post 50.

Last Wednesday I received a call from Trevor Edwards, pride organiser, who informed me the police had been in touch with concerns about our group being a protest. Trevor said he had reassured the police we were all formally registered and there was no reason to treat us differently.

Last Thursday I received a call from the Police Protest Liaison Officer PC Frank to introduce herself and to say good luck with our banner making (i.e. to let me know she was reading our Facebook Group) and to ask for my email to send me information (which hasn’t arrived yet). I explained I had formally registered the group for the parade with no need for different treatment from the other groups.

Today I turned up to register and collected my number 50 sign (see that here). Here I was told we’d been moved to the back, but as they didn’t know why and didn’t have the paperwork for number 58, they said we could stay in our original position and they would inform the mayor the order was as originally planned when we went past.

So we all got together behind NUT at point 50 who were pleased we were marching with them and we shared accessories!

Then a Pride Organiser came and told us we were in the wrong position and had to move to the back. I informed him that the registration people had said we could stay where we were, showed him my official ’50′ sign so he went away.

Another Pride Organiser came and I explained again, and he said we were fine where we were and could stay.

Another Pride Organiser came and said we had to move back, and when we asked why, became very aggessive and threatened if we didn’t move we would get thrown off the parade. I asked him to check with the previous organisers who had said we could stay.

Then a police officer came with the final Pride Organiser and said we had all been thrown off the march and had to be removed. At this point I broke down in tears as I had put so much hard work into organising the group. At this point I asked everybody to move to the back but was told we still couldn’t join the parade.

Then Caroline Lucas from the Green Party came and spoke to the police and Pride Organisers in solidarity with us. Finally we were allowed to march.

About 100 yards into the march on Marine Parade, some latecomers to our group arrived, including a breast-feeding woman with her baby and others with children. I was told by the Pride Organiser that if I didn’t make them leave our whole group would be blocked. I explained I couldn’t force people to go anywhere. Suddenly a row of police on horseback and foot ran into the middle of our group, and I was told I had to personally identify who was officially in the group to be let through. As this was mainly organised online I didn’t know everybody’s faces. I managed to get most people out of the kettle but around 15 people were left behind. Again I was in tears and others were close to it, having been part of the group organising from the start and suddenly kettled for no reason.

 

[edit: just read that police are denying a kettle. Here is a photo of the kettle with Queers Against Cuts banner in the middle of it:]

Finally we continued to march. Throughout the parade, any friends or latecomers who tried to join us were pulled from the parade by police. I managed to identify some friends to keep them in with us but others were blocked from joining us.

I’m very hurt and upset at how I was treated and spoken to by Pride, how the rest of the group were treated, how we were given no reason for our sudden relegation to the back, and our mistreatment by the police. Being surrounded by police on horses and on foot was unnecessary and too heavy handed. I was told other latecomers were allowed to join other groups such as The Conservatives.  I believe the only reason we were treated this way is because we had political banners which challenged the status quo of a corporate sponsorship of Pride, and it has really shown the lack of political solidarity from Pride Organisers.

This is my personal statement of my experience but I will be writing a formal statement from the Socialist Party of which I am a member, and asking groups and individuals to sign it once I get chance.

Well, this has inspired me to make the group bigger and even more organised next year! Who’s with me?

Plans for Brighton Pride

In Pride, QUAC on 29/08/2012 at 5:15 pm

Queers Against the Cuts will be marching on the Brighton Pride Procession this Saturday 1st September 2012. We would really welcome you to join us.

We shall be meeting up at 10.30 am at the entrance to Brighton Pier At approximately 10.45 am we will find our place in the rally.  For more details please click on the following link: http://www.pridebrighton.org/index.php/parade

Many of us either can’t afford or are not willing to pay £17.50 to get into the park – so after the march we go beach or back in town depending on the weather and how we feel.  All are welcome to join

If you have one, remember to bring your camera.

See you there

A Tail of Two Prides

In Pride, QUAC on 29/08/2012 at 4:58 pm

We are not holding a meeting this month, however that does not mean that members of QUAC have not been busy as we joined the procession for “World Pride” and had a stall a UK Black Pride.

As you may recall Pride London had a financial crisis announced in the week before the event.  A plan ‘B’ was adopted that involved the parade being turned into a march and activities around Soho cancelled.

Quite frankly it was a lament from the start – it was not so much a plan ‘B’ as an abandonment of any sort plan at all.  There was no information about where the sections would start resulting in chaos.  We had hoped to march with our friends in Queer strike and Queer Resistance – but this became impossible.

Just out of Trafalgar square we were greeted by former members of the Gay Liberation Front and Campaign for Homosexual Equality.  While welcome it was somewhat a reminder of the fact that many of these older activists who gave us the liberties that we now take for granted were effectively denied involvement in the precession because vehicles provided by the Age UK Open Doors Project had to be withdrawn.

However the people I felt most sorry for were our international guest, such as the Filipino contingent.  while their display was impressive, we were left wondering of how much more beautiful if they could have the floats that they originally intended …  I overheard someone saying “this is a – disgrace… Internationally we will become a joke!”.

By contrast UK Black Pride was very different event.  Despite also making major changes (moving from Kennington Park to The Ministry of Sound) it managed to maintain its reputation for being one the most friendly and inclusive Prides.

We had a stall tucked away in “The baby box” – a small room to the side of the main bar.  Neithertheless we managed to talk a number of people and got over a dozen people to sign up to our mailing list.

Plans for Pride

In Pride, QUAC on 05/07/2012 at 10:21 pm

Queers Against the Cuts will be marching on the Pride Procession this Saturday 7th July 2012.  We would really welcome you to join us.

We shall be meeting up at 10.30 am next to the Manor estate agents on the north east corner of Portman Square next were it meets Baker Street and Fitzhardinge Street. At approximately 10.45 am we will find our place in the rally.

The nearest tube station to the meeting point are Marble Arch, Bond Street and Baker’s Street respectively

Please following the link below for a map of the meeting point.

http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=528078&y=181333&z=0&sv=w1u+8ed&st=2&pc=w1u+8ed&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf

If you have one, remember to bring your camera.

See you there

Pride London Arrangements

In Pride, QUAC on 30/06/2011 at 6:37 pm

The arrangements for Pride London this saturday are as follows:

  • Leaflets can be picked up from the Socialist Party stall which hopes to be on the corner of Portland Place and New Cavendish Street from 10ish
  • For those marching with the QUAC banner please meet next to the Socialist Party stall at 12 noon (do come the banner is huge).
  •  At  approximately  12.30 pm we  will  find our place in the rally.  We hope to march with Queer Resistance in a sort of anti cuts contingent between the trade unions and students.
  • The march is meant to move of at 1 pm.

If you have one, remember to bring your camera.

See you there