LGSM members and supporters together with a vibrant trade union contingent led the parade at the 70,000-strong Birmingham Pride festival on Saturday May 23rd.  Many in the gathered crowd that lined the route recognised our original banner from the film and greeted it with cheers and rapturous applause.

Geoff Dexter, on of the activists co-ordinating the bloc, said: “The crowds clapped people on the parade more enthusiastically than ever.

“There were banners from ten unions and the TUC, alongside the National Pensioners Convention and LGBT Against Islamophobia.”

Activists then took part in an LGSM / Trade Union event at the local LGSM centre which featured film showings, panel discussions and a socialist choir! Seasoned and new activists discussed the importance now more than ever of having a politicised presence at Pride and amongst the LGBT community. Speakers included an emotional address from miner Dave Cliff who marched with us. Festival headliner Jimmy Somerville held up a Pits and Perverts poster commemorating the event he headlined 30 years ago.

LGSM formed a ‘Pride’ Bloc at the UN Anti-Racism day demonstration which brought together 15,000 people to march through London against racism, fascism, Islamophobia, anti-semitism, for migrants and to celebrate diversity. We were proud to join the march – the brutal austerity agenda is using racism as a weapon of mass distraction to target migrants and Muslim communities, diverting attention from the top 1% who are responsible for and are profiting from the crisis. This has led to a rise in the far right across Europe who then turn their fire on other communities, including LGBT people. Gethin Roberts, original LGSM member, addressed the rally at Trafalgar Square.

Mike Jackson of LGSM was proud to speak at and support the Focus E15 Mothers who are fighting eviction from housing in East London. The combination of brutal Tory cuts and rising house prices and rents are impacting on the poorest in big cities like London. When LGSM reformed, we knew it would be important to demonstrate solidarity with contemporary communities who are suffering under Cameron just as we did with those, like the miners and the printers, who suffered under Thatcher.