I am sure that most people have heard the news about World Pride – below is the latest update that we have received as one of the walking groups that have registered to take part in the parade. Whilst I am sure that many people will direct their anger and frustration at Pride London by giving them a virtual kicking over the internet I suggest we pause a moment – the world is watching – what can we do to save our Pride?
I suggest we do what many brave LGBTQI people have done before us and seize the moment and this opportunity to reclaim Pride – to put our best frocks on, to get our banners ready and march like we have done before. We don’t need all the fancy expensive stuff to demonstrate our solidarity with each other, to show our support to other LGBTQI people who are fighting for their own rights in other countries around the world, we just need each other – so come and join us on Saturday 7th of July for the biggest, loudest, brightly coloured demonstration of real pride that we can muster – let’s show the world what our community is really made of.
Mark Healey, founder of 17-24-30
I would also like to note, that in 2009 Pride London along with others came to the support of 17-24-30 and helped us stage the largest anti-hate crime vigil in recent history, attended by over 10,000 people. We could not have done it without their support. Whilst Pride London has it’s faults – there are many many good people, un-paid volunteers, who have spent hours of their time fire-fighting to make this event happen. Lets set aside our differences until after the event has taken place and work with them to make sure it goes ahead. We can make this happen, and use the momentum of these events to change Pride for the better.
E-mail received: late 28/06/12
Following the press release that was disseminated this afternoon, I am writing to you to on behalf of the Board of Directors of Pride London, to alert you of major changes that have been made to the Parade (which had been planned as part of the WorldPride celebrations).
The Parade will now be a Procession. This Procession will take the same route as planned, and outlined to you in your WorldPride Handbook, but it is with regret that there will be an exception – there will be no vehicles or floats participating. There will only be walking groups.
If you are a float in the Parade, may I please ask you to read the attached letter from the Board of Directors which explains what is happening.
If you are a walking group, then there is no change for you and you do not need to do anything other than follow the new timings and information below.
If you are a float, and having read the letter from the Board of Directors, I would be grateful if you could please let me know by 5pm on Saturday 30 June whether:
a) you would still like to participate as a walking group
b) you would like to be removed from the Procession completely.
The Procession will commence at the earlier time of 11:00 instead of the scheduled 13:00. We expect those who will be joining the Procession to commence arriving from 10:15 at Baker Street. Your Section Supervisor will be sending you the confirmed details.
I have included the press release below which outlines what has been said.
As volunteers we are unable to comment further.
I very much hope you will continue to support us on WorldPride Day.
With very best wishes
World Pride London 2012: 23 June-8 July 2011, Parade Day 7 July 2012
Pride London is a company registered by guarantee in England, number 5061574
Pride London is a registered charity, number 1104774
Registered Office: 27 Old Gloucester Street, LONDON, WC1N 3AX
Press release – 28 June 2012
Following an all-agency meeting at City Hall on the 27th June regarding the Pride London World Pride 2012 celebrations on the 7th of July, we’re pleased to announce that despite previous misreports in the press about cancellation, this crucial event to celebrate the equality and diversity of the LGBT community will be going ahead.
Each and every year, Pride London needs to achieve some serious commercial targets to fund the event – and this year, targets are even higher than before, because of increased cost, the sheer scale of the planned event and mounting pressure to deliver a “world class” event. To a backdrop of a more difficult economic climate and tough sponsorship calls considering everything that is happening in London this year, fundraising from both corporates and from within the community has been more challenging than ever. Despite creating a strong sponsorship base for this year’s planned event, there is, in the week leading up to the 7th of July, still a shortfall.
All agencies involved in delivering the event, including the GLA, WCC and Met Police have agreed that it is prudent to deliver an event that is affordable, without compromising the safety, security and integrity of the event.
As a result, we are returning to the roots of the original Pride London rallies. The ‘parade’ as we know it will now be a procession. It will cover the same route as planned, but with the exception that there will be no vehicles or floats participating. The procession will commence at an earlier time of 11am instead of the scheduled 1pm kick-off.
The celebrations in Trafalgar Square are expected to proceed, but with some changes to the programme, including an earlier start and finish time.
There will be no official World Pride events in Soho. Licensing regulations will be that of any normal day, the Golden Square event will be cancelled and the Family Area in Soho will proceed independently. Nonetheless, whilst World Pride will have no official activities in Soho, we do expect the day’s celebrations to continue and for Soho to be very busy.
More news on the event will be posted to the Pride London website shortly. As you can imagine, the press office will be extremely busy over the coming week, please direct all communications to email@example.com and we will respond appropriately.
Letter to Float Organisers
Dear Pride float organiser
We are sorry to be writing to you under such difficult circumstances but unfortunately we have to inform you that there are some changes to the format of this year’s Pride event.
We are very sorry if you have heard this news through media reports before we have been able to contact you. We hope you can appreciate that our efforts have been focussed on finding a way to allow the event to happen as originally planned and we didn’t want to cause unnecessary concern by making an announcement before we had exhausted all options. We regret that not all the organisations that have been involved in this process have respected this and information was released before we were able to contact you.
You will be contacted individually tomorrow but we wanted to address some of the main concerns we think all our float organisers will have as quickly as possible. We can confirm that due to the tough economic climate we are all facing at the moment we have been left with a shortfall in the funds required to deliver the event. There will still be an event on Saturday 7 July consisting of a procession along the announced route starting at 11am but most importantly for your float booking, we are not able to have any floats or motor vehicles in this procession.
We hope that you will still want to be a part of this event and we would encourage all of our floats to take part in the procession as a walking group. We will be happy to refund your booking fee for float registration but if you felt able to waive this refund to help support the event this would be much appreciated. We understand that you may already have incurred costs in producing your float but hope you will accept our apologies that we are not in a position to offer any compensation for this.
The rest of the event will see a shorter programme of events in Trafalgar Square from 1:30pm – 6pm. There will be no events in Soho or Golden Square but the Family, Fostering & Adoption Area sponsored by Tesco in St Anne’s Church garden will go ahead.
We hope that you can appreciate that we are all incredibly disappointed and this is not a situation that any of us imagined we would find ourselves in. We would like to apologise once again and thank you for your support so far.
The Pride Board