Pride 2012 has been reported as a smashing success, with tens of thousands visiting the city for the weekend, and some of them shelling out for tickets and visiting the event in Preston Park. It was colourful, it was loud, and it was certainly a party atmosphere across the city.
But what hasn’t been reported quite so widely in the media is the other side of the Pride weekend. Sussex Police reported 47 arrests had been made, and considering the level of the celebrations, maybe this isn’t a shock. Passed out drunk people lined the streets at times, but this isn’t that new for Brighton on a busy weekend as we all know. More of a shock was the attempted political silencing and censorship of the Pride Parade itself. Previously the most political part of the weekend this 2012’s parade saw heavy handed policing and sneaky tactics on behalf of the organisers (now, of course, a private company run by the monopolistic cabal who own the majority of the “gay scene” and it’s only media outlet), designed to intimidate and silence a small group of activist.
With pride of place being given over to the floats of Nandos and the Co-Op, you may have missed the small walking group shunted to the back of the parade and surrounded on all sides by police. They called themselves Queers Against the Cuts and were marching to highlight the impact of the government’s cuts to welfare, education et al, and to draw attention to a oft overlooked part of the LGBTQ community, the homeless, and the danger the new squatting laws will be placing them in. They had registered with Pride and planned to march peacefully to the park and then disperse.
But when they showed up on the day things were slightly different to what had been planned…
Join me, Formaldehyde, as I talk to Beth, one of the main organisers of the group about the harrassment they faced by the police and the organisers, why it happened the way it did, and how this impacts on Pride both here in Brighton and nation wide this Saturday on Out at 8.30pm. Will be a mixcloud link too as soon as possible.