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Pride In Socialist Ideas
Thousands of people took to the streets last Saturday for London's gay Pride. The Socialist Party Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Group and the youth group International Socialist Resistance (ISR) marched on the parade and distributed leaflets that were part of a joint campaign against homophobic bullying.
John Cahill, Sheffield Socialist Party
Although some gains have been won by LGBT people, including the decriminalisation of homosexuality and the scrapping of the anti-gay Section 28 legislation, there is still a long way to go.
Many students still suffer from homophobic bullying in their schools. A GALLOP survey (1998) of lesbian, gay and bisexual youth put the figure for repeated verbal abuse at 54% and physical abuse at 35%. Religious-run schools and other organisations such as charities are still legally allowed to discriminate against LGBT teachers and other workers.
We put forward the socialist position that lays the blame for the prejudice and discrimination experienced by LGBT people at the door of capitalism. Under the current profit system various minorities are scapegoated to divide the working class and provide a diversion from the social and economic problems that are caused by capitalism. We argue for a democratic socialist society as the only alternative to the poverty and discrimination caused by the capitalist system.
The Socialist Party (SP) had the only socialist banner on the parade; the SP and ISR leaflets and petitions received an overwhelmingly positive response on the parade and at the rally in Trafalgar Square. Groups of students from around the country eagerly discussed the need to develop a campaign against homophobic bullying in their own schools and colleges.
This response was reflected in 49 sales of the socialist and £77.17 fighting fund. Manny from East London raised £32.70, David from Sheffield and Vanja, a new member in East London, both sold five papers each.
In The Socialist 10 July 2004:
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis