Blog: RMT Members Join London Pride
The RMT had a strong presence at this years World Pride, held in London for the first time. It was also the fortieth anniversary of the first Pride parade held in London, and veterans from what would have been a very different protest for gay rights led what has largely become a celebration of LGBT liberation and values.
The RMT group was attended by Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual members as well other members who wanted to demonstrate their and the unions support for equality. This including General Secretary Bob Crow whose attendance was filmed for BBC News.
This year the Pride theme was 'decriminalise homosexuality worldwide -global equality for LGBT people.' In many countries around the world LGBT people are facing prison, violence and even death - either from a homophobic state, or homophobic groups and individuals - because of their sexuality or gender.
The RMT recently passed a motion on international LGBT rights unanimously at the Annual General Meeting.
Pride wasn't without controversy this year, as a lack of finances meant the parade was scaled down, with vehicles being banned from the parade and events in trafalgar square being shortened. Also for the second year in a row, London Mayor Boris Johnson didn't attend - a point which didn't go unnoticed by the crowd, and in spite of his 'LGBT manifesto' a non existent document which was announced and then cancelled around the time of the recent mayoral elections.
However, this was the largest attended Pride in London with around 25,000 attendees. The Parade had people marching from countries around the world, demanding rights and equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
Following the funding shortfall, and lack of support from city hall and other organisations, the TUC is to investigate how London Pride can be run as a community event which remains free to attend. They will be facilitating an open meeting about World Pride for LGBT community groups and LGBT trade union representatives on Monday 16th July at 7pm at Congress House, Great Russell Street, central London.