Leeds Pride 2022 – Time To Get the Tories Out!

Leeds Pride 2022, returning after two years of delay due to COVID, saw at least 50,000 marching, many more spectators and onlookers. A massive show of support in the aftermath of a far right demo yesterday against the “Drag Story Time”, which has been misrepresented by reactionaries and weaponised against LGBT people (see below).

Oisin Duncan, Leeds Socialist Party

The Socialist Party mobilised comrades from all around Yorkshire for Pride march itself, including Leeds, York, Sheffield, Bradford and even one member up from Swansea!

We were very well received and led chants calling for a unified fightback against attacks on trans people and the whole working class and demanding the Tories’ exit from power.

Blocs on the demo reflected the different class forces vying for the mantle of representing oppressed LGBT layers. Some were organised by corporations such as Sainsbury’s, while trade unions also had strong representation with Unison, NEU, FBU, CWU, Unite and others in attendance.

In a sense this reflects attempts by the capitalist class to co-opt a movement which has its roots in struggle against their system. In a period without fighting political representation for the working class, the ruling class have managed to obscure those roots and the continued oppression they benefit from, but the impending crises created by their system will spark mass movement against capitalism. 

Despite the trend of depoliticising Pride marches, there was a definite anti-Tory mood, with many people joining our chant of “Leeds Pride, scream and shout, its time to get the Tories Out!”, owing in part to the shameful transphobia on show during their leadership debates. However, the more pressing issues raised by those on the march included fears of a monkeypox stigma becoming attached to LGBT people, access to healthcare with dignity and of course like all workers the cost of living crisis.

We attempted to provide an alternative to despair over these concerns; by calling for a new mass workers party, not just to fight on economic issues like wages and jobs, but also to represent all oppressed layers under capitalism and demand that their needs are met as well. 

Far Right Patriotic Alternative opposed outside children’s story time event

As part of the Pride weekend Leeds Library has a Drag Queen Story hour event last Saturday 6th August.

A Leeds parent

A far right group called Patriotic Alternative gathered around 50 people to protest this calling it ‘indoctrination’. One of them broke into the library to smash the fire alarm. However the parents and children held an impromptu sing a long to drown out the noise.

Outside a counter protest of around 200 gathered to oppose the far right. This counter demo by the main entrance drowned out any noise from the far right and allowed over 60 families attend the event without having to encounter the far right.

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