LEGENDARY gay rights campaigner Mike Jackson issued a scathing attack on Pride organisers yesterday, claiming that the parade was full of “shameless pink-pound profiteering and rank hypocrisy.”
The Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) co-founder made the statement after the group refused to lead the parade if they could not be joined by trade unionists.
Organisers told LGSM, which raised funds for Welsh miners during the 1984-85 strike, that there would be too many union members to lead the march.
But the group said yesterday that they were “too real” for Pride organisers.
Mr Jackson said: “We feel sure that Pride in London organisers wanted to appear radical by ‘allowing’ LGSM and a few ex-miners to head up this year’s ‘parade.’
“But when our contingent became a rallying point for trade unionists and a new generation of LGBT activists, Pride in London said No.
“LGSM is not a photogenic historical re-enactment society, we are activists and we will march alongside our real supporters.”
The group did not spare harsh words about many of this year’s Pride sponsors, including tax-dodging banks Barclays and Citibank and coffee chain Starbucks.
“This is shameless ‘pink-pound’ profiteering and rank hypocrisy,” added Mr Jackson.
His remarks came merely hours after Labour MP Angela Eagle’s (pictured) address to this year’s TUC LGBT conference.
Speaking to a cheering crown, Ms Eagle cried: “It would be nice wouldn’t it if you could have a Pride march through London without having to pay several hundred thousand pounds privilege?
“It would also be nice to have a mayor who might realise this is the third largest event in London and perhaps could contribute a bit more.”
Similar calls were made by other organisations, including the student National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts which will be marching with LGSM.
LGSM will be marching alongside trade unions and other radical groups as part of the parade’s Block C.
The block will also be supporting the National Gallery workers on strike by visiting the PCS union pickets in Trafalgar Square on the day.