Posts Tagged ‘corporate nature’

Pride should be a Protest

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

After around 20 years of photographing the annual Pride in London I decided I had had enough. As I’ve written often before, Pride has moved from being a protest for gay rights to becoming a corporate jolly, and this year charging entry fees that have prevented many of the more radical groups from taking part officially.

So this year I didn’t bother to apply for accreditation to cover Pride, something which has become more or less essential in recent years. And later I heard that Pride had tried to refuse accreditation to many press photographers as well as more or less banning those they did accredit from where they would be able to make decent pictures. After a great deal of aggravation and complaints from the NUJ and BPPA there were some compromises, but many colleagues decided to have a day off this year.

Two years ago instead of covering the official march I’d gone with the Migrants Rights and Anti-Racist Bloc who had tried to join in the event and when they were refused had held up Pride and then marched along the route ahead of the official event. And last year I’d gone into the suburbs while Pride was taking place for a march celebrating the 70th anniversary of the NHS and against plans to close acute facilities at Epsom and St Helier Hospitals in south London.

For 2019 I decided that there were two events I wanted to cover, one completely unrelated to Pride, but the other the Queer Liberation March in protest against the increasing corporate nature of Pride which was planning to march at the end of the official parade.

This was meeting in Regent’s Park, where some of those taking part in the official event were also gathering, and at first it was difficult to tell the two groups apart. Gradually as some left to take up their place in Pride things became clearer, and it also became clear that I was in for a very long wait before anything was going to happen as Pride was moving only very slowly.

I’m not good at waiting, and decided to go and join the unrelated event, intending to return later. My journey took me much longer than expected because of the crowds for Pride, and by the time I had finished photographic the second event I was feeling tired and could not be bothered to return to find the group from Regent’s Park.

It was a poor decision, as the Queer Liberation March turned out to be rather interesting. Pride stewards tried to stop them marching along the parade route and there were scuffles with stewards and police, before police decided that they must be allowed to continue. My colleague who had stayed and waited with them got some really interesting pictures and I had missed the fun.

More at Pride is a Protest


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