UK

London Pride Makes Feelings About DUP Abundantly Clear

'Fuck the DUP'.

08/07/2017 20:26 BST | Updated 08/07/2017 21:33 BST

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of the capital today to celebrate London Pride.

A joyous carnival atmosphere prevailed, 50 years after homosexuality was decriminalised in the UK.

But there were some negative sentiments, reserved mainly for the Democratic Unionist Party, now in a controversial Parliamentary pact with the Tories.

Most visible was this absolutely giant balloon-adorned banner.

It became the centrepiece of a number of social media posts. 

Owen Jones even took time out to pose under it.

A substantial part of the march at one point dedicated a chant to the Northern Ireland party.

Individuals also made their opinions very clear.

There also ire directed at Prime Minister Theresa May whose pre-recorded speech paying tribute to Pride was played at the event as well as being posted to her official social media accounts.

PA Wire/PA Images

Elsewhere, a gloriously polite zero-tolerance approach to homophobia on the day was displayed typified by this response to a Mr Paul Rimmer.

And in the interests of balance here is a picture of anti-Pride protestors.

Politics aside, one very different group who couldn’t be given enough praise were the members of the emergency services who responded to recent terror attacks and the Grenfell fire disaster.

They were among the thousands making their way through the city as the march set off on Saturday afternoon.

Staff from the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service and London Fire Brigade were nominated to launch the parade after helping in response to recent tragic events in the capital, organisers said.

Neil Hall / Reuters
Traffic cop.

They joined flag bearers representing countries around the world, including those where it is still illegal to be LGBT Plus.

More than 26,000 people were estimated to be taking part in the parade, which began north of Oxford Circus on Regent Street, watched by a which was expected to number around one million.

The parade, taking a 1.4 mile (2.3km) route through the city, comes after what is believed to be the world’s largest Pride festival, with over 100 events having taken place since Saturday June 24.

The large-scale event is taking place as the country’s threat level remains at severe, with police warning people to be vigilant as they enjoy the celebrations.

The Met said it is involved in high visibility police patrols, including both armed and unarmed officers, as well as plain clothes officers.

The march is also marking 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales.

In a message released ahead of the parade Mrs May, who is currently in Germany at the G20, reiterated the UK’s pledge to encourage other countries to ensure equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, and to take a stand against hate crime at home.

She said: “Around the world, cruel and discriminatory laws still exist – some of them directly based on the very laws which were repealed in this country 50 years ago.

 

“So the UK has a responsibility to stand up for our values and to promote the rights of LGBT Plus people internationally.

“That’s why we will continue to stand up for human rights, directly challenging at the highest political levels governments that criminalise homosexuality or practice violence and discrimination against LGBT Plus people.

“And here at home too, we must continue to stand up for true equality and respect for everyone, right across our United Kingdom.

“We must stamp out homophobic bullying in schools, and drive down homophobic and transphobic hate crime.”

As part of the annual Pride weekend, a rainbow flag will be projected onto the Palace of Westminster for the first time.

Lord Fowler, Speaker of the House of Lords, said the move will demonstrate the UK’s support for those living in countries around the world where people are persecuted for being gay.