Whilst this year’s Pride in London parade has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, veterans from the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF) 1970-74, including Peter Tatchell, will march on the same day, along the same route, that the official Pride Parade was due to follow on Saturday, June 27 at 1pm from outside the BBC in Portland Place W1.
On the march, ex-GLF marchers, some in their 70s, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the London GLF, and will wear face masks and ensure social distancing.
The march, which will follow the planned official Pride route down Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Haymarket to Trafalgar Square, will comprise only of elderly GLF veterans and is not open to the wider LGBTQ+ community in order to ensure compliance with the Covid-19 regulations and to protect the health of vulnerable at-risk veterans from the early 1970s. There will be a small group of chosen supporters to give the GLF veterans back-up.
The GLF march organiser, Peter Tatchell, was one of about 40 people who helped organise the UK’s first Pride march in London in 1972. He has attended every Pride in London parade since then. This will be his 49th.
Peter Tatchell, who is now Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, said: ‘Homophobia did not defeat us, so we’re not going to let the Covid-19 pandemic stop Pride. We GLF veterans confronted anti-LGBT+ bigots 50 years ago. We faced down police harassment, far right extremists and homophobic political and religious leaders. We are marching as Pride was planned, with face masks and social distancing.
‘We support Black Lives Matter and the just demands of black communities, just as we did in the early 1970s.
‘GLF did not seek equal rights within a flawed, unjust status quo. It campaigned for the transformation of society to end straight supremacism and stood in solidarity with all other oppressed communities. This same agenda of radical social transformation is needed now as the UK faces the quadruple whammy of Covid-19, economic meltdown, endemic racism and climate destruction.’
See here more info on the Peter Tatchell Foundation: