Sunday, 1 July 2007

London Pride 2007

35 years of Pride

Tens of thousands of people ignored the pouring rain and failed attempts of terror attacks in the capital just hours ago, and took to the streets of London to celebrate Pride. People then gathered for the rally and pop concert in Trafalgar square, and street parties in the heart of London, in/around London's main gay 'village' - Soho. Environment was increadible, as always. You could just feel the Freedom there! It was a celebration of significant achievements of gay community in Britain. But it was not only a celebration, it was also a call, a political call to end discrimination against LGBT people in other parts of the world, particularly in Muslim world (killing Fatwas and prosecutions) and Eastern Europe (lack of rights, inequality, discrimination and homophobia).

Below is my photo-post from the London Pride 2007 (click pics to enlarge):

Peter Tatchell, prominent British gay rights activist, who was attacked during recent Moscow Pride by extreme right and religious fanatics, was among the first to start the march; I spotted him afterwards too, at the rally in Trafalgar square.

London's mayor, Ken Livingstone (centre), joined actor John Barrowman (next, left), comedian Amy Lamé (far left), and the UK’s most senior openly gay police officer (who recently retired from the force) Brian Paddick (far right) on the parade's lead float. I later spotted John Barrowman in the crowd greeting marchers and chatting with people.

LGBT members of Royal Navy, police and fire services marched through the streets in uniform.

Well-known gay rugby/football club from London; they played the ball while marching.

Different people, different styles, the way they liked it.

It was particularly great and heartening to see those brave gay Muslims who marched with their float despite the threats of death and prosecution.

All balconies along the route of the march were filled in with well-wishers, gay and straight.

A handful of Christian protesters were holding up signs citing... bullshit. Gay marchers blew kisses and gave them thumbs down as they passed by.

He was out on hist first Pride too, all dressed up :)

British Transport Police marched the streets in uniform, Metropolitan Police was in uniform too, and on their float police car was decorated with rainbow flags for the occasion.

Amnesty International marched this year Eurovision style, awarding NUL points to Eastern European countries for the state of (lack of) gay rights (these 2 pics are via UkGayNews; all other pictures in this post are taken by me during the London Pride).

Street party in Soho after the parade and rally.

P.S. Along with London, hundreds of thousands of LGBT people and their supporters gathered for massive parades this Saturday in Paris and Madrid too. Amid the fun, there was a serious message for equality and end of discrimination in Europe and elsewhere. France24 has video here

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