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LONDON Pride organisers have relegated trade unions from the front of this year’s parade to make way for big money sponsors.
The Star revealed last week that Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) is set to lead the June 27 parade after their solidarity story was told on the silver screen in Bafta-winning film Pride.
It was supported to lead a huge block of union members to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1984-85 miners’ strike.
Led by the Tredegar Town brass band, the scene would have been reminiscent of the 1985 Pride parade, when hundreds of Welsh miners marched to repay LGSM for their support during the dispute.
Original members of LGSM are still set to lead the parade.
But the Pride board has U-turned on an agreement last week that they would be joined by union members, the Star has learned.
Board members told the TUC, which sponsors Pride, that trade unionists must march in block C of the parade — more than a mile behind the LGSM members.
Organisers have instead promoted corporate sponsors such as Barclays and Citibank, arguing that Pride depends on their funding.
The decision has reignited a long running row over Pride, with activists arguing that it has been hijacked by corporate sponsors once hostile to the LGBT community.
A source close to the dispute told the Star: “The TUC is raising an issue with the Pride board about the parade order.
“For many years there are some people involve in Pride who wanted to airbrush out the true history of how LGBT liberation was won.
“The trade union movement and socialists forced the issue on to the agenda. We want a proper remembrance of our history.”
LGBT union activists who represent the TUC on Pride’s community advisory board raised the issue at a meeting last week without success.
LGSM secretary Mike Jackson was expected to protest at the decision at a public meeting to discuss Pride held last night at City Hall.
The group 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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