Pride London, the organisers behind this year’s World Pride celebration announced last week that the annual pride parade was being reduced from floats and cars to just a ‘walking procession’. The regular street party in Soho was also cut, with no licensing for outdoor drinking or music – all celebrations are expected to take place within licensed premises.
New figures released today by activists suggest Pride London bosses lost £85,000 as investors backed out after a lack of support for the event and negative media coverage.
A proposed letter for Londoners and community groups to send has been drafted by Consortium, a network of LGBT groups. The letter says: ‘Much like the Olympics, World Pride 2012 is an opportunity for London and indeed the United Kingdom to shine on the international stage.
‘I am concerned that unlike the Olympic organizers support has fallen short from the Mayor of London and the government for Pride London as the organizers of World Pride 2012.’
The Consortium are focused on getting cars, busses and floats back into the World Pride parade which they say will cost around £66,000.
In a letter to members, Consortium boss Paul Roberts said: ‘We need to remain positive about why the parade should go ahead as originally planned,’ he says. ‘It provides us with a unique opportunity to stand side by side and promote the huge array of work we all undertake.
‘If we work together to lobby for a positive solution to this, then the world will look on in awe at what our communities can achieve together.’
However, a Facebook ‘event’ group called Shame London has published an open letter to the London Mayor expressing ‘our utter dissatisfaction and anger with you, with Westminster Council and with Pride London for the utter disgrace of this year’s World Pride,’ citing the new celebrations as a ‘lame and shameful embarrassment for the city’ and calls on Johnson to act: ‘We call on you now to end this, to reinstate World Pride as planned, to knock the heads of Westminster Council and the Met Police together and to take your rightful place at the front of our Carnival Parade.’