Thousands march through London in place of Pride celebrations

Campaigners march in London yesterday
Campaigners march in London yesterday

 

Hundreds of thousands of people usually turn out in central London to celebrate Pride.

This year, the number was much smaller as the main events have been moved online to protect from coronavirus.

The march due to be held yesterday has been postponed until a time when it is less dangerous to have crowds of people.

Despite the main event no longer taking place, demonstrators held a Black Trans Lives Matter march to remember and celebrate black transgender people.

A crowd gathered at Hyde Park Corner before a march, with many wearing face coverings and carrying placards displaying messages such as ‘Silence is violence’, ‘Protect trans youth’ and ‘No justice, no peace’.

Some of the demonstrators also carried fresh flowers, while banners said ‘Fight police brutality, fight racism! Fight imperialism!’ and ‘Black trans lives matter’.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Guy Bell/REX (10693151am) London Trans+ Pride peaceful protest for Black Trans Lives Matter. The march was a demonstration against transphobic legislation proposed by the government, a commemoration of Black Trans lives that have been lost and a celebration of the Black Trans community. Black Lives Matter protesters respond to the the death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis. The eased 'lockdown' continues for the Coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak in London. Black Trans Lives Matter March and protest over the death of George Floyd in Westminster., Westminster, London, UK - 27 Jun 2020
Thousands took to the streets (Picture: Rex)

 

People take part at a Black Trans Lives Matter march from Hyde Park, London, on the day Pride in London was due to take place, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 27, 2020. See PA story SOCIAL Pride. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
People joined a Black Trans Lives Matter protest (Picture: PA)

 

People take part at a Black Trans Lives Matter protest in Parliament Square, London, on the day Pride in London was due to take place, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 27th 2020. See PA story SOCIAL Pride. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Protesters in Parliament Square, London, yesterday (Picture: PA)

 

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell and former Gay Liberation Front (GLF) members also marched in central London.

The activists, some of whom are in their 70s and 80s, marched the route usually taken by the Pride In London parade calling for political action including the end of deportations for LGBT asylum seekers.

Mr Tatchell, 68, said: ‘Today’s march is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front.

‘We are seeking to reclaim Pride as an event for LGBT+ human rights.’

Mr Tatchell added: ‘We hope that our protest will encourage people to remember the long, difficult struggle for LGBT+ rights and remember that here in Britain, and around the world, there are still battles to fight and win.’

He said that due to Covid-19 and underlying health conditions that just around a dozen GLF veterans would be joining the march.

Mr Tatchell added: ‘As well as campaigning for LGBT+ rights, we are expressing our solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and black LGBT+ people.’

People take part at a Black Trans Lives Matter march from Hyde Park, London, on the day Pride in London was due to take place, following a raft of Black Lives Matter protests across the UK. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday January 28, 2020. See PA story SOCIAL Pride. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
People take part at a Black Trans Lives Matter march from Hyde Park (Picture: PA)

 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 27: Supporters of Trans Lives Matter march towards Downing Street on June 27, 2020 in London, England. The demonstration is in aid of Black Trans Lives Matter and follows on from demonstrations in the United States. The protests occurred following the recent murders of Black trans women Dominique
Supporters of Trans Lives Matter march towards Downing Street (Picture: Getty)

 

Demonstrators are seen during the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) pride march in London, Britain, June 27, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson
Demonstrators are seen during the Gay Liberation Front pride march in London (Picture: Reuters)

 

Many members of the LGBT community have opted to hold online celebrations throughout Pride month.

One such event was a 24-hour live stream celebration, Global Pride, which took place on Saturday from 6am.

Celebrities and politicians were among those taking part, with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer saying the virtual event allowed people to celebrate ‘diversity and equality during these challenging times’.

He added: ‘I’m proud to be an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, and I’m proud to lead a Labour Party which has consistently advanced the cause of civil rights.

‘I also know there’s much more to do. We must continue to stand against homophobia, transphobia, discrimination, in all their forms.’

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon also delivered an online message for Global Pride, saying: ‘It’s an opportunity to celebrate values like equality, diversity and solidarity and it allows us to send the very clear message that whoever you are, love is love.

‘That’s a message that Scotland is very proud to support.’

Online events will continue after Saturday, with charities including Amnesty International and Stonewall starting a week of celebration on Sunday.

The Pride Inside events will include LGBT performers and speakers and will last until July 5.

This weekend’s Pride celebrations come a week after three men were killed in a terror attack in Reading which particularly affected the town’s LGBT community.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails were killed during the incident in Forbury Gardens on June 20.

An hour was dedicated to the three men, described as ‘friends of Reading Pride’, on the online Global Pride.

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