March 16, 2011

Gay Pride march splits East End community over EDL link

The man who set up next month’s Gay Pride march through the East End has quit the project over his links with the English Defence League

Raymond Berry has stepped down from East End Gay Pride which was set up to organise the march on April 2, over his dealings with the Far Right group. It comes at the end of a day of controversy which has split the East End’s gay community.

An open letter was sent to police and Tower Hamlets council from Out East, part of the Rainbow Hamlets umbrella organisation representing LGBT groups—lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans—calling on the march to be scrapped. It is boycotting the event, claiming other EDL members are still using it to attack Muslims. Berry has accused them of jealousy and “shameful” behaviour.

“The sad reality is that the opposition against us has been from within the LGBT community,” he said. “They have made a simple gay pride event something difficult and unpleasant through sour grapes and jealousy. I find that utterly shameful on their part.”

The march is in response to a wave of ‘hate’ stickers on walls and lamp-posts declaring a ‘gay free’ zone under Allah.

Organisers are going ahead with it—despite the boycott—after accepting Berry’s resignation. East End Gay Pride said in a statement: “Raymond had dealings with the EDL, but has assured us he is no longer has any part of it. He attended marches by the EDL and Unite Against Fascism, but found both too extreme for his beliefs. None of this was previously disclosed to the rest of the team, until it came to light late yesterday evening.”

But Out East remained adamant tonight that the boycott continues. It’s co-ordinator Terry Stewart told the East London Advertiser: “There are still four more EDL members with the organisers—we want them out. The march is now tainted. EDL is using the march as a smoke-screen to attack the Bangladeshi community.”

Organisers expect 1,000 supporters on April 2 for the march setting off from Shadwell along the Commercial Road to Poplar for a rally with speakers including MP Jim Fitzpatrick.

East London Advertiser


Anonymous said...

Interesting to see if the EDL turn up at this march.

I still reckon a lot of the EDL Hoolie Brigade will balk at joining an openly gay demonstration.

Anonymous said...

This statement is still up on the East End Gay Pride website:

At no point have ANY of the organisers been involved with ANY political organisation including the EDL or the SWP. No one involved in East End Gay Pride supports the politics of these organisations.


Good luck with the march but they are naive to think that racist groups won't try to latch onto it.

Anonymous said...

Hate is hate, whether it eminates from Islamist bigots or far-right bigots, and two wrongs don't make a right in this situation. How about spreading some love and respect instead of turning to one extremist group to counter the verbal diorrhoea of another.

Hitler had gay Europeans sent to the gas chambers along with Jews, communists etc. etc.

paulbroad1 said...

I have just thrown up all over my breakfast, thanks to reading the comments section where I read such comments as "Asians are killing our grandmothers", and there are plenty of anti-Muslim, ant-asylum seekers and anti-semitic (trolling) comments allowed to be posted by the Lancashire Telegraph under the false premise of "free speech".

The country isn't going to the dogs, the online newspaper editing (or lack of), is!

I advise anybody of a sensitive anti-racist deposition to proceed with caution when viewing the bile and filth racists are allowed to post with inpunity on the Lancashire Telegraph website.

Anonymous said...

These posters were actually put up by EDLers to taint local Muslim communiuties with homophobia.

Doesn't it seem funny to you that the authorities have not bothered to check CCTV to find out who was putting up the posters, and if they they had pale white faces(therefore not Muslims after all!)

toanie said...

Gri$$in himself might be bisexual, and Haider died after spending a night out at a gay club.

Gay facsists, thouugh smaller in numbers than straight facsists, sadly do also exist.

gay man said...

Does anybody remember when the "EDL LGBT" group was physiclaly assaulted in a Wetherspoons by rank and file homophobic EDLers last year?

Racist gay men who consort with neo-nazis like the EDL are like turkeys praying for Crimbo.

99% of EDLers call their very own gay division "arse-bandits" (and worse!) behind their backs.

You have to be very dumb to join the EDL whatever your sexuality.

Anonymous said...

Like all facsists, the EDL want to turn community against community to divide and conquer.

Not so long ago, it was Jews. Now it's Muslims.

Same nazi hate, different target.

Anonymous said...

'Does anybody remember when the "EDL LGBT" group was physiclaly assaulted in a Wetherspoons by rank and file homophobic EDLers last year?'

Indeed! The (not so) secretly homophobic EDL Leadership neither helped the police with their enquiries nor punished the culprits themselves, but instead brushed the event under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

The EDL Facebook is peppered with the use of the word "faggots".

Anonymous said...

Alan Lake is into homophobic Christian fundamentalism of the type which hates gay men and lesbians.

He must be pinching himself allowing the EDL to masquerade as a champion of gay rights.

Anonymous said...

The EDL did put up the "arise and warn" stickers.

It's a fact!

Anonymous said...

These posters were actually put up by EDLers to taint local Muslim communiuties with homophobia.

Does make you wander why the police never had a look at their CCTV not that I agree with conspiracy theories.

This was obviously an inside job by the far right!