Tatchell to celebrate 40 years of activism

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One of the best-known gay rights advocates in Britain will soon be celebrating his 40th year of human rights campaigning.

Peter Tatchell began his first campaign in 1967 in his native Australia against the death penalty and opposition to conscription and the Australian and US war against the people of Vietnam.

“It is a great honour and privilege to have been part of the international human rights movement,” said Mr Tatchell.

“Over the last four decades, I have been involved in campaigns that have contributed to many spectacular human rights achievements: the fall of the dictatorships in Spain and Chile, independence for East Timor, an end to apartheid in South Africa, peace in Vietnam and the north of Ireland, and the transition to democracy in the former Soviet bloc states of Eastern Europe and the Baltics.”

He will celebrate 40 years of human rights campaigning on

10 December 2007, Human Rights Day, by staging a protest.

In the evening he will attend the Human Rights Awards 2007, which is

jointly organised by Liberty and Justice.

After moving to London in 1971, aged 19, he became a leading activist in the Gay Liberation Front (GLF); organising sit-ins at pubs that refused to serve “poofs”, and protests against police harassment and the medical classification of homosexuality as an illness.

Recently he was assaulted while taking part in a Pride demonstration in Moscow, and was detained by Russian police.

As well as his campaign work he also regularly writes for The Guardian and hosts a weekly current affairs programme broadcast on internet channel 18 Doughty St, entitled Talking with Tatchell.

He is the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Oxford East, and party’s spokesperson on human rights.