Thousands tell Boris Johnson to ‘stop stalling on LGBT+ rights’ at Reclaim Pride march

Thousands of people demanded that Boris Johnson “stop stalling on LGBT+ rights” in the UK at Saturday’s (24 July) Reclaim Pride march.

Protesters marched in the first-ever Reclaim Pride event, beginning at Parliament Square and making their way to Whitehall. The protest paused at Downing Street and the Uganda High Commission in Trafalgar Square, to protest against the UK government’s stalling on LGBT+ rights and Uganda’s persecution of LGBT+ people respectively.

The march replaced the official Pride in London, which has been postponed until September because of the coronavirus pandemic, and many Reclaim Pride participants declared that the official parade had become over-commercialised.

In response, the “community-led march” endeavoured to “get back to the roots of Pride, being both a celebration and a protest for LGBT+ rights”.

With protesters chanting “Pride is not for profit, keep your hands off it”, and “trans rights now”, the event focused on five “LGBT+ liberation demands”.

The march demanded long-awaited legislation to ban conversion therapy in the UK, reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and that the UK become a “safe haven” for queer refugees.

It also called for the decriminalisation of LGBT+ identity across the globe, and solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Yesterday’s #ReclaimPride march in London had five key demands for LGBT+ liberation and 2,500 marchers made them. pic.twitter.com/uFCacvKVYT

— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) July 25, 2021

According to activist Peter Tatchell, one of the organisers of the march, more than 2,500 people took part.

He added on Twitter: “London’s Reclaim Pride today showed that Pride doesn’t have to be corporate and commercial. It was a celebration AND protest.

“We told Boris Johnson to stop stalling on LGBTI+ rights: Ban conversion therapy NOW! Reform the Gender Recognition Act! Safe haven for LGBTI+ refugees!”

Reclaim Pride was sponsored by landmark LGBT+ organisation UK Black Pride, London Trans Pride, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, Stand Up to LGBTQ+ Hate Crime, Lesbian Visibility Week and DIVA magazine.

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, the executive director of UK Black Pride, told Reuters: “We’re here to say that Pride is about inclusion.

“It’s about diversity, about speaking truth to power on a number of different issues for our trans non-binary siblings [and] for Black Lives Matter.”