Statement by LGBTIQA+ Greens
(Green Party of England and Wales)
Recent reports have circulated regarding arrests of LGBTIQA+ protesters at Glasgow Pride on 19 August 2017. According to a statement from Free Pride:
“5 people were arrested, the reason for arrest was withheld from them for 45 minutes, and they were denied food and water. 3 of these people are trans, and were misgendered by police repeatedly. Another 2 people were arrested – one a minor, for holding a sign which read ‘these faggots fight fascists,’ on grounds of a homophobic aggregation. The other was arrested for trying to inform this minor of their legal rights during arrest.”
LGBTIQA+ Greens stand in solidarity with the five people arrested at Glasgow Pride and express our appreciation for their commitment to standing up for marginalised people.
We condemn the actions of the police in arresting LGBTIQA+ protesters at Glasgow Pride. Their disproportionate response to protesters provides further evidence that a uniformed police presence at Pride events puts the LGBTIQA+ community in danger. Pride is a protest, including a protest against police. When police take part in Pride in an official capacity, they rob the LGBTIQA+ community of the protest of Pride.
We reject the charges of homophobic aggravation against those arrested. LGBTIQA+ community members have the right to reclaim slurs used against them, without being arrested for ‘homophobic abuse’.
We call for all Pride organisations to take these actions:
- End any official uniformed police participation in any Pride event. Police should not be marching in Pride parades in any kind of official capacity.
- Minimise on-duty uniformed police presence at Pride events to a level that is necessary to ensure that LGBTIQA+ can protest and celebrate safely.
- Actively work with the whole LGBTIQA+ community, and the police, on the policing of Pride events.
We call for the police to take these actions:
- Cease any official uniformed participation in any Pride event.
- Ensure that any police safety information stands are staffed by civilian police personnel in civilian clothes.
- Actively work with the whole LGBTIQA+ community on policing of Pride events, and coordinate activities closely with Pride organisers and stewards.
- Minimise uniformed on-duty police presence at Pride events to a level that is necessary to ensure LGBTIQA+ people can protest and celebrate safely.
We acknowledge that there is an argument for a police presence at Pride events, but this must be carefully negotiated with Pride organisers and associated, and concerned, LGBTIQA+ groups. Pride organisers and the police must recognise the historic, and in many cases still ongoing, harassment, abuse and discrimination that LGBTIQA+ people, especially those who are BAME, have experienced at the hands of the police.
We affirm that Pride always has been and always will be a protest for LGBTIQA+ rights and liberation.