Ray Malone

The veterans and allies of the UK’s Gay Liberation Front (GLF) will hold a protest march to mark the 50th anniversary of the country’s first Pride.

It is set to take place on 1 July, exactly 50 years after the original march took place in 1972.

A collective statement from GLF veterans said they are “celebrating the exact anniversary of our 1972 pride march and protest regardless of any decisions the mayoral Pride run by the London LGBT Community Pride CIC (LLCP) takes for its event on Saturday, 2 July.”

The march is due to get underway at 1pm by Trafalgar Square, before moving through Waterloo Place, Lower Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Oxford Street to Marble Arch.

There will be a mass ‘Kiss-In’ on arrival, which will be followed by a ‘Party in the Park’ where attendees can play games together.

GLF is encouraging those who have been excluded by mainstream Pride celebrations to get involved in their event.

“We love all the people, gay or straight or bravely refusing to take a decision either way, who take part in Pride events, and affectionately wish everyone who goes on the Mayor’s march on 2 July, the volunteers who make it possible, and the people who come to London to watch it every good fortune and safety. We love their energy and courage and their pride in coming out,” the statement continues.

“If you can, come and join us on Friday, 1 July, the actual 50th commemoration to the very day of the first London Pride march. Those of us who were at – and who helped organise – the first Pride demonstration will be joined by many of our new friends and volunteers that we have made over the years.”

GLF added that they “would like the historical record corrected” to reflect that the event on 1 July 1972 “was not the first inauguration of London Pride, Pride in London or whichever Mayoral-supported pride organisations have emerged onto the path that GLF cleared in 1972.”

They continued: “GLF has never been beholden to corporate interest or neoliberalism’s assimilationist demands, nor have we courted the favour of politicians and charlatans. We believe in the power of the people, in accountability and that a politics of solidarity is essential to ‘pride’.”

UK Black Pride will join GLF for its 2022 march.