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POLITICS will be put back into Pride this year when London’s annual LGBT parade is led by heroes of the 1984-85 miners strike.
Founding members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) will lead the June 27 march alongside the actors who played them in Bafta-winning film Pride.
The group will have the prestigious role 30 years after they and members of the National Union of Mineworkers headed the 1985 Pride parade.
Pride’s emotional final scene shows coachloads of Welsh miners arriving in London to show solidarity with their gay comrades in recognition of the support they had received in their struggle against sweeping pit closures.
LGSM had raised £20,000 during the dispute, including funds raised at the Pits & Perverts benefit gig, at which singer Jimmy Sommerville performed.
Members of LGSM celebrated their invitation by unveiling their new banner (pictured above) in Hyde Park, where the 1985 march started.
Mike Jackson said: “The history books show that we lost the strike. That’s true, and the fallout for those communities has been tragic.
“But we’re also here to say that we won a lot. Our experiences show how much can be achieved when we stand together.”
The LGSM invitation is a major departure from recent Pride parades, which have been sponsored by corporations, including banking giant Barclays, to the chagrin of grassroots activists.
LGSM also led last week’s Birmingham Pride parade and has been invited to take part in the Toldpuddle Martyrs festival and the Durham Miners’ Gala.
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