Pride in London 2019 to ‘enhance’ security after anti-trans hijack

The anti-trans group disrupting Pride in London's 2018 parade

Pride in London 2019 will have “enhanced” security, organisers say, after the 2018 parade faced disruptions from anti-trans activists.

Pride organisers addressed their plans to change security events in their annual impact report.

The city’s 2018 Pride parade was marred by controversy in July 2018 after anti-transgender activists forced their way to the front of the parade and physically blocked the march from taking place.

PinkNews filmed live from the scene as, after a brief negotiation with Pride organisers, the group were allowed to proceed unimpeded down the entire parade route, displaying signs opposing transgender rights and distributing anti-trans literature.

Pride organisers offered several contradictory responses, initially saying the decision was taken to allow the group to proceed because “hot weather” made it unsafe to remove them, before later telling PinkNews that Metropolitan Police officers declined to remove the protesters because their actions did not constitute a “criminal offence.”

Pride in London organisers: We have learned lessons from anti-trans protest

In the impact report, Pride in London co-chair Alison Camps writes: “As an organisation that seeks to be inclusive, we face tough decisions reconciling the different and often complex views within our community.

“We want to be clear that we do not support those who seek to divide our community; our aim is to create an event that celebrates and is respectful of difference.

“We are especially keen to support those members of our community, such as those who identify as trans, who face growing hostility from all sides, not least from an increasingly hostile media and social media.”

Anti-trans protesters at Pride in London 2018

Anti-trans protesters at Pride in London 2018 (Nick Duffy)

Camps added: “In saying this, it is important for us to explicitly acknowledge and again apologise for the invasion of this year’s Pride in London Parade by anti-trans protesters.

“This was obviously incredibly upsetting for the trans community who were right to be angry at what happened.

“We have learnt a tremendous amount and have been actively working on making sure a small protest group within our community cannot use Pride to spread hate again.”

— Alison Camps

“For our volunteers, it was also very difficult. We work hard to create a supportive and friendly environment and the events of this year were a dreadful blow in a year which otherwise marked progress and success on a range of fronts.

“We have learned lessons from what happened, and although there are unique challenges in running an event like ours in a public space, we will be implementing changes to our approach to security in 2019.”

Pride in London 2019 will ‘enhance’ security

The report lays out plans to “review and enhance event security with our delivery partners” to prevent a repeat of the incident in 2019.

Parade organisers say they will also “develop new processes to ensure, to the best of our ability, that the Parade is a safe and welcoming place for those who share the values of Pride in London.”

Several other Pride events upped their security in the wake of the London controversy.

Brighton Pride, which took place in August 2018, assured the community that security plans were in place to physically remove anti-trans protesters.

When is Pride in London 2019? 2019 London Pride dates

London’s 2019 Pride parade will take place on July 6, 2019.

Pride organisers listed transgender inclusivity as a prominent commitment in 2019.

The report commits; “In the fiftieth anniversary year of the Stonewall Inn uprising, we will recognise the contribution of those who have gone before us, ensuring that trans people are front and centre in our activities.”

The Pride in London document adds: “We live in uncertain and increasingly dangerous times, especially for those who are trans.

“It is clear to us that we can take nothing for granted and so we are determined to continue the very best traditions of the Pride movement, to fight not just for equal rights, but for genuine equality and respect for who we are”

Alison Camps said: “As we enter a year of uncertain times for the UK and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we look to Pride as a beacon of hope and unity that brings the LGBT+ community and its allies together.

“We have learnt a tremendous amount and have been actively working on making sure a small protest group within our community cannot use Pride to spread hate again.

“2019 will be all about ensuring Pride is a peaceful and positive event that serves everyone.”