It is with a sad heart that Unite the union is not taking part in Pride Glasgow 2019.

In recent years we have seen the once great community event become steadily more commercial. We have seen the introduction of charges for their main event leading to the disaster that was 2018. And we are now seeing further commercialisation in the charges they are imposing to march, which has also been introduced in various other prides including London and Manchester. We understand that charges need to be applied for large organisations and their floats and that the ever increasing cost of closing roads due to austerity cuts to council and policing budgets. However we do not believe that the fundamental right to protest should ever be charged for.

The pride movement started as a riot 50 years ago this year at Stonewall inn and as we remember this we remember those we have lost and also celebrate the gains we have made. Yet we observe that for some large commercial organisations, support for LGBT equality merely extends to paying a fee for a Pride March or use of temporary rainbow branding to enhance their customer reach. Once Pride season is over, there is no wider benefit to the LGBT community, whose voices are often lost in the chatter.

We hear little to no information about what is happening in our own communities, about rising intolerance and hate crime and about the violence being perpetrated against the LGBT+ citizens of our country. When people are abused and beaten for being themselves the response from Prides is deafening in its silence. The politics has been driven from pride by over commercialisation and greed of those involved in making it ever more commercial for financial gain.

We believe that Pride is a celebration make no mistake but first and foremost Pride is a Protest!

ENDS

For more information contact Lorna Glen on 07790316962.

  • Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with around 150,000 members. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.