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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 July 2000

Pride Not Bigotry

UNITY AGAINST Prejudice (UAP) was organised after neo-Nazis caused the cancellation of Leicester's 'Mardi Gras' festival on 29 July. The Nazis also threatened UAP organisers.

We won't be intimidated by a small number of fascists.

This is a 'Pride' event; a celebration of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) lifestyles, to unite all groups against prejudice.

Hate crimes have risen nationally, the London 'Nail bomber' being the most extreme. David Copeland, linked with far-right groups such as the British National Party, aimed his hatred at gay people and the Black and Asian community. If the fascist groups gain confidence from getting Mardi Gras cancelled, they would threaten other events.

This is not only an attack on gay people. The fascists threaten Black and Asian people, trades unionists, lone parents, women's organisations, socialists and anyone who stands up for their rights. Gay organisations, trade union branches and other organisations have supported us including Leicester LGB centre, Leicester Lesbian and Gay Action, and NUT, PCS and UNISON branches.

We got overwhelming support at the East Midlands Regional Committee of UNISON with the promise of money and stewards. However, regional officials have gone behind the backs of elected delegates and circulated branches disassociating themselves from the event.

So much for their commitment to oppose prejudice. UNISON members are outraged and will campaign for the implementation of democratic decisions.

We intend to answer government ministers and the media who promote prejudice and distract people from where the real blame lies. This applies both to the 'promotion of family values' and to propaganda against asylum seekers.

New Labour have undermined demands for the repeal of Section 28 by requiring that teachers and others promote traditional 'family values', emphasising marriage as being the most 'desirable form' of personal relationship. This attacks relationships such as single-parent families and same-sex couples.

Both New Labour and the Tories push the idea that 'bogus' asylum seekers are 'flooding the country'. It's not surprising then that some people mistakenly believe that poor housing, low pay, inadequate benefits are all the fault of asylum seekers.

We need to answer these prejudices, to build a united movement to oppose the system that creates the conditions in which they can breed: capitalism. Capitalism uses prejudice as a means of divide and rule. Replace it with a democratic socialist society that provides for all and is based on unity and tolerance.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 28 July 2000:

Stop the Health Rip-Off

Pride Not Bigotry

Corus: Strike back at steel bosses' threat

Debt Repayment kills millions

G8: A cynical summit

Livingstone's humourless attack

Council Housing: Stop the sell -off

Israeli-Palestinian peace process: Lasting Peace remains elusive


 

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Related links:

Pride:

trianglePriced out of Pride

triangleStonewall riots' legacy shows need for socialist struggle to win LGBT+ liberation

triangleBirmingham Pride - revitalising political struggle

triangleDiscussion and debate at Leeds Trans Pride

triangleLinking LGBT+ rights to the fight for socialism

Gay:

triangle30 years on from Section 28: the legacy of fighting LGBT+ attacks must continue

triangleSupport for Socialist Party campaigns at biggest ever Leeds Pride

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

trianglePride 2017: we need a fighting, socialist movement for LGBT+ rights

Unison:

triangleHugo Pierre for Unison general secretary

triangleTower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

triangleTrade union activists from across the south of England discuss the battle for safety on the frontline

Leicester:

triangleLockdown Leicester: trade unionists and parents fight for safety

triangleEnd the scandal of sweatshop labour

Asylum:

triangleImmigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a rich elite

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