Stepping off from London’s Baker Street and led by the ‘Veterans of 1972′, the organizers of London’s first pride parade and without floats or vehicles due to last-minute cuts. London World Pride returned more to its political roots and was a rousing success according to reports coming from the UK.
Famed UK activist Peter Tatchell who marched with the veterans under the banner ‘Decriminalise Homosexuality Worldwide” told PinkNews.co.uk:
“Despite the failures of the parade organisers, the Mayor of London and Westminster City Council, we’re here and having a fabulous WorldPride.
We’re celebrating not only the global struggle for LGBT freedom but also 40 years since the first gay pride parade in Britain. These are momentous, historic occasions. The spirit here today is amazing, it’s much more like the original spirit of pride in 1972. Even without the floats and razzamatazz, we are having a fabulous time.”
The number of spectators was also noticeably down and the march was restricted to one side of the road. Problems arose last week when WorldPride/ Pride London organizers revealed that a shortfall in funding, estimated to be around £66,000 would mean drastic last-minute changes to the event which many say have undermined the organizers for waiting to the last minute to admit it needed funding help. While many are blaming London’s Mayor Boris Johnson for not helping more after the funding problems were revealed.
Johnson was noticeably absent and did not attend the event.
But despite all the problems the spectators and marchers banded together and made the best it.
Angela Mason, former director of Stonewall and one of the 1972 veterans summed it up nicely: “Well, I think we’ve got it together again, despite all the obstacles. That’s always been the history of Pride.