Unity is strength: LGBT, feminist, & refugee rights groups fight together in London 

Peckham Pride to march for sexual, gender and international liberation 

SOLIDARITY will bring together various campaigns for justice in London this weekend (Saturday 18 February) as part of a diverse and radical Peckham Pride march. 

Campaigners from Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSM), Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary, and Sisters Uncut will represent the ongoing demands for sexual, racial and gender justice in the festival protest. 

The Pride Parade will voice community opposition to the abuse of asylum seekers in raids and mass deportations by the Tory government, mistreatment which has led to anger and protest at Dungavel detention centre in Scotland.

Sam Bjorn from Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants said: “Peckham Pride brings LGBT+ and migrant communities together to show that we refuse to be divided and we refuse to let prejudice turn us against each other. 

“Fifty years after the decriminalisation of homosexuality, we are still seeing the government treat whole communities as illegal. And as LGBT+ people we feel we have a special responsibility to stand in solidarity with the migrants now facing the brunt of government repression.”

Read move - Police Scotland break up peaceful protest with dogs to enable deportation of mother and son

Antonia Bright from Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary, an anti-racism civil rights movement, said: “Peckham is a place where people have stood up and stopped immigration raids, preventing border agency thugs from snatching colleagues, neighbours, friends. We are facing the biggest ever anti-immigrant attack in the form of Brexit, which must be stopped. We’re marching through Peckham to build the mass movement needed to defend our community and collectively resist racist attacks.”

Rosanna from Sisters Uncut (South East London), a feminist direction action group, said: “Many migrant women fleeing domestic violence have no access to public services or risk facing detention or deportation in trying to access help. Most of the support services destroyed by austerity were specialist services for African, Caribbean and Asian communities, and LGBT+ people. 

Read more - ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants’ wreaths remember 4,200 refugee deaths

“In the post-Brexit climate, not only do survivors stand to lose the already restricted access they have to professional support services but now migrant sisters, LGBT+ people and sisters of colour are more likely to face violence from individuals and the state.

This is a result of the racist, xenophobic and islamophobic discourse that has taken a stranglehold over our country and has raised the prevalence of state violence against migrants and people of colour.”

The LGBT community has often found itself at the forefront of campaigns against wider bigotry and oppression. The original ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ group - which inspired LGSM - recognised that their struggle against bigotry was connected to the workers’ fight for justice against the government of Margaret Thatcher. 

Its efforts to bring together justice campaigns from different backgrounds were recently celebrated in the film ‘Pride’. 

Picture courtesy of Lesbian and Gays Support the Migrants 

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