London, 7 July
Queer Friends of Bradley Manning had a presence at the World Pride 2012 parade in London on Saturday 7 July.
Thanks to Robert Coxwell for the photo.
Here’s a report from the event:
Despite the rain and despite the best efforts of the mayor’s office to get the event cancelled (see Peter Tatchell’s article here), the march and event went off without a hitch anyway with thousands in attendance.
QFBM had sorted a necessary pre-booked place on the march (luckily next to a loud and very festive samba band) and the ginormous banner was carried by five supporters, who also handed out specially tailored flyers and addressed the crowd through a megaphone. Thousands were exposed to the message of Bradley Manning solidarity and the megaphone got the crowd going as we went along. There was lots of applause and lots of recognition for BM; many people sick of war crimes being perpetrated and gotten away with.
The event and parade was lots of fun in and of itself; All of the Drag “kings”, Stonewall gay rugby team, costumed players, parents and kids, folks in the crowd all came over at one point or another to express their solidarity. The BM crew got jiggy to samba music as we danced along to the samba band all the way down most of the march.
The crescendo was the end of the march in Whitehall, passing Downing street and getting to call the war criminals exactly what they are on a loud hailer. The crowds seemed to me particularly receptive to us at that end.
All in all a lot was accomplished, a lot of publicity for Bradley Manning through representation at Pride which I’m sure he would love.