Harvie: Pride Glasgow must avoid becoming bland celebration

Patrick Harvie, the Scottish Greens’ co-convener will today tell participants at Pride Glasgow that schools and workplace have much work to do to become safe places for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.

Harvie, who will later join the parade from Clyde Place to Kelvingrove Park, will say that government action on creating an “inclusive education system”, where legislation is in place requiring all schools to be proactive in tackling homophobia, biphobia and transphobia, is long overdue.

The Green MSP for Glasgow will also warn that the UK continues to arrest, imprison and deport LGBTI asylum seekers to face state violence, adding that the Pride movement must avoid becoming a bland celebration and should use the slogan “No Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us” as its “guiding principle”.

Speaking ahead of the event, Patrick Harvie MSP said:

“Pride began as a movement of protest, and it must retain that spirit. While there has been great progress over the years, we must avoid becoming a bland celebration marked by corporate endorsements but without the angry impatience needed to continue the task. The progress we’ve benefited from only happened because people were willing to take risks, and there is still so much to do.

“Our schools and workplace are still not safe places for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people. We have heard supportive words on inclusive education, but what we need is meaningful action, across our whole education system.

“We’ve seen Parliament and Government apologise for the state violence which was done against us in the past, when the fear of arrest, imprisonment, torture and blackmail were daily realities for our community. Yet this country still arrests, imprisons and deports LGBTI asylum seekers to face that same state violence around the world today.

“We hear bland speeches at Pride from politicians who continue to select prejudiced, anti-equality candidates at every level of our politics, and homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are still given a ‘free pass’ in most political parties.

“We see corporate merchandise and big business floats at Pride, promoting companies which still fund the far right press and their campaigns of hate.

“And this week, the UK has rolled out the red carpet for a US President who is not only diminishing equality in his own country, sending lawyers into courts to try and demolish people’s civil rights, but who also promotes fascist voices in the UK and other European countries.

“Around the world, many Pride campaigners have begun to rally around a slogan – No Pride for some of us without liberation for all of us. This should be our guiding principle, and our insistent, impatient demand.”