Goldsmiths Students’ Union Officers stand in solidarity with #FreeThePride5, and other activists who faced police violence at Glasgow Pride 2017.
On the weekend of 19th August 2017, numerous Free the Pride and antifascist activists were peacefully protesting against the systematic oppression of LGBTQIA+ people, against fascism, and against the leading position of police during the pride event. Several arrests were made on unreasonable grounds, including walking in front of police with a banner, and carrying ‘these faggots fight fascism’ placards.*
Activists were tackled to the ground and arrested by police with excessive force. Five were arrested, put into cells, and faced court today - this included three trans activists and two anti-fascist activists, one of which was a minor. Charges have not been dropped (21/8/17).
This very incident only serves to prove the point of the activists. Pride began as a protest, and as a resistance against the state's violation of LGBTQIA+ rights. Condemning activist groups at pride events today smears the very history of the movement, and silences voices in the community. It also sets a tone of fear for young or new members of the community: how can anybody feel proud when speaking out is faced with such brutality?
We condemn the unnecessary violence used against activists this weekend, as well as the shameful response from Glasgow Pride.
We call for Glasgow Pride to seriously reconsider their inclusion of police at future Pride events. We call for Glasgow Pride and Glasgow Police to publish an apology for the trauma caused towards activists during this incident. We call for Glasgow Police, and Police forces nationwide to seriously reconsider their abuse of power against activists, and to remember that LGBTQIA+ rights began with a riot. Peaceful protest is always welcome at Pride.
Eva Crossan Jory (President GSU 2017-18)
Taylor McGraa (Education Officer GSU 2017-18)
JT (Campaigns and Activities Officer GSU 2017-18)\
Tara Mariwany (Welfare and Diversity Officer GSU 2017-18)
Jessica Hazzard (LGBTQ+ Officer GSU 2017-18)
Caitlin King (LGBTQ+ Officer GSU 2017-18)
*The use of the word faggot here is in a positive reclamation of the slur, as a statement from the community