Pride revellers take to London's streets on day of planned march

Pride revellers take to London’s streets on day official LGBT march was scheduled to go ahead – while many attend ‘virtual’ celebrations online

  • Peter Tatchell and other supporters marched the Pride of London route at 1pm 
  • Black Trans Lives Matter protesters have been marching since 2pm today 
  • Online 24-hour Global Pride has been taking place from 6am this morning

Two marches are taking place in London today on the day the official Pride in London parade was to occur before it was postponed due to coronavirus. 

Human rights activist Peter Tatchell and former Gay Liberation Front members marched from 1pm this afternoon to celebrate the organisation’s 50th anniversary.

The small group of activists, some of whom are in their 70s and 80s, marched the route usually taken by the Pride in London parade calling for political action including the end of deportations for LGBT asylum seekers.

They marched from Regent Street to Trafalgar Square, while wearing face masks and practising social distancing. 

Peter Tatchell (central) and former Gay Liberation Front members have been marching with other supporters on the original Pride of London route

 The Pride revellers marched from Regent Street to Trafalgar Square from 1pm this afternoon

Former Gay Liberation Front members, some of whom are in their 70s and 80s, are calling for political action including the end of deportations for LGBT asylum seekers

Meanwhile a separate Black Trans Lives Matter protest has been unfolding from at Wellington Arch near Hyde Park Corner at around 2pm before moving it moves onto Downing Street

Protestors for Black Trans Lives Matter move through the streets of London in support of black transgender people after the murders of Black trans women Dominique ‘Rem’Mie’ Fells and Riah Milton, who are believed to be the 13th and 14th killings of trans individuals in the United States this year

Mr Tatchell, 68, said: ‘Today’s march is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front.

‘We are seeking to reclaim Pride as an event for LGBT+ human rights.

‘We hope that our protest will encourage people to remember the long, difficult struggle for LGBT+ rights and remember that here in Britain, and around the world, there are still battles to fight and win.’

Meanwhile, a Black Trans Lives Matter protest began at Wellington Arch near Hyde Park Corner at around 2pm before moving onto Downing Street. 

A crowd gathered at Hyde Park Corner before the march, with many wearing face coverings and carrying placards displaying messages such as ‘Silence is violence’, ‘Protect trans youth’ and ‘No justice, no peace’. 

A crowd gathered at Hyde Park Corner before the march, with many wearing face coverings and carrying placards displaying messages such as ‘Silence is violence’, ‘Protect trans youth’ and ‘No justice, no peace’

Pride in London usually attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year but official events will be held online instead due to the pandemic while the unauthorised marches through London take place. 

Former members of London’s Gay Liberation Front and supporters celebrate at Trafalgar Square in London today

Some of the demonstrators also carried fresh flowers, while banners said ‘Fight police brutality, fight racism! Fight imperialism!’ and ‘Black trans lives matter’.

The movement is celebrating black transgender people and takes its inspiration from the Black Lives Matter protests that have been seen across the world since the death of American George Floyd.

Two black transgender women were killed in the US within 24 hours of Mr Floyd’s murder on June 9, sparking the movement. 

Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fell, a black transgender woman, was killed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Riah Milton, 25, was killed in Liberty Township, Ohio, 

They are believed to be the 13th and 14th trans people killed in the country this year.

Pride in London usually attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year but official events will be held online instead due to the pandemic, while the unauthorised marches through London take place.

Mr Tatchell, 68, said: ‘Today’s march is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Gay Liberation Front. ‘We are seeking to reclaim Pride as an event for LGBT+ human rights.’

Organisers predicted up to 1.5 million people turned out for the annual Pride of London march from Portland Place to Whitehall in 2019

Last year’s event marked 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York – a moment which changed the face of the gay rights movement around the world.

Organisers predicted up to 1.5 million people turned out for the annual march from Portland Place to Whitehall in 2019.

The 2020 event was scheduled for Saturday but has been postponed due to the pandemic.

Many members of the LGBT community have instead opted to hold online celebrations throughout Pride month.

One such event is a 24-hour live stream celebration, Global Pride, which has been taking place from 6am this morning.

Politicians and world leaders are set to take part in the event including US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, outgoing Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Former members of London’s Gay Liberation Front are marking the organisation’s 50th birthday by marching the route of cancelled pride parade

Sen Raj, Amnesty International’s Rainbow Network committee member, said: ‘Around the world, the pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on LGBTI+ people who have been historically discriminated against in their access to healthcare, housing and employment’

One such event is a 24-hour live stream celebration, Global Pride, which has been taking place from 6am this morning

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are also listed to take part.

Many celebrities will also take part and perform in the live stream such as Elton John, Stephen Fry and Natasha Bedingfield. 

Other online events will continue after Saturday, with charities including Amnesty International and Stonewall starting a week of celebration on Sunday.

The Pride Inside events will include LGBT performers and speakers and will last until July 5.

Sen Raj, Amnesty International’s Rainbow Network committee member, said: ‘Around the world, the pandemic is having a disproportionate effect on LGBTI+ people who have been historically discriminated against in their access to healthcare, housing and employment.

‘That’s why this year, it’s more important than ever that LGBTI+ people and their allies have a chance to come together, celebrate how far we’ve come as a movement and support each other where we still have further to go.’

Sen Raj, Amnesty International’s Rainbow Network committee member, said: ‘This year, it’s more important than ever that LGBTI+ people and their allies have a chance to come together, celebrate how far we’ve come as a movement and support each other where we still have further to go’

Mr Tatchell, 68, said: ‘We hope that our protest will encourage people to remember the long, difficult struggle for LGBT+ rights and remember that here in Britain, and around the world, there are still battles to fight and win’

This weekend’s Pride celebrations come a week after three men were killed in a terror attack in Reading which particularly affected the town’s LGBT community.

Joe Ritchie-Bennett, James Furlong and David Wails were killed during the incident in Forbury Gardens on June 20.

Deputy Chief Constable Julie Cooke, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for LGBT+ issues, gave a message of support ahead of the weekend’s events after the tragedy.

She said: ‘Pride normally gives the opportunity for LGBT+ people and allies to come together, to celebrate being themselves, meet up with friends and show their support for each other, but this year it will be very different. 

‘There are a number of virtual Prides in many parts of the country and this reinforces the need to continue to look out for each other and care for each other.’

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