Words: Steve Brown
LGBT activists and allies will be teaming up together to recreate the first ever Pride in London demonstration.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that led to the birth of the modern gay rights movement and led to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front in London.
Between 5pm and 7pm today (June 17), veterans from the first Pride in London as well as a new generation of Gay Liberation Front activists will be recreating the first ever London pride to announce their new demands in Trafalgar Square.
Ted Brown, original and present GLF activist, said: “We are taking to Trafalgar Square to remember and reinvigorate the fires that fought back against centuries of oppression and seemingly overwhelming odds.
“We gather to remember and acknowledge those who had their rights stripped from them in the past and to ensure that doesn't happen to generations now and in the future.”
Original GLF activist, Andrew Lumsden added: “Hello all today’s protestors and revellers. It’s fifty years since the Stonewall Uprising and next year it will be fifty years since the Gay Liberation Front reached London.
“How time flies! - forty-seven years since the under-21s of the Gay Liberation Front organised London’s first Pride March.
“We are a few activists from the Gay Liberation Front, the first wave of out activism. We who were there have written ‘Rainbow Planet’ - A Souvenir Brochure for Pride 2019 - and on June 17 we invite you to come join us to launch it on the very place we had our first demonstration.
“In our culture we invert the pink triangle to honour the memory of all those who died in the gas chambers of the Nazis and concentration camps of the Stalinists.”
Stuart Feather - original and still present GLF activist says: “We were part of the first openly public demonstration by homosexuals in this country and present on the first Gay Pride March.
“Others are millennials, activists from Act Up who celebrated the achievements of GLF in 2015 and we all came together in 2016 to prepare and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 2017.
“We are now preparing to celebrate this year’s 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising and the foundation of the Gay Liberation Front in New York, the origin of the fight back that inspired and brought hope to LGBTQI+ of every country in the world.
“Gay Liberation will always be a socialist movement by virtue of its demand for social change.”
Nettie Pollard - original and still present GLF activist, says: “2020 brings the 50th anniversary of the start of Gay Liberation in London, the moment everything changed in Britain by giving us Coming Out, Gay Pride and the first Gay Pride March in 1972, making 2022 the 50th anniversary of that political demonstration and celebration.
“GLF stands for liberation: the choice is always there – liberation or slavery. Join us to recreate the spirit of the Gay Liberation Front 1970 and Pride March of 1972 and build strength in community to re-politicise what we started and fight for our demands.
“Feel the zeitgeist of the years that changed the world for LGBT people … and for everyone else! We did what we did to rescue ourselves, but we always thought of you as well – you who would come out after us, and will come out until the world ends.”