Queer Liberation — Not Rainbow Capitalism

An anarchist critique of Pride in London

This year, Pride in London is doing its best to commemorate fifty years in LGBT+ struggle, from the Stonewall riot to now. It is a significant milestone. We must remember those who took part in the riot, such as Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P Johnson, and Sylvia Rivera, and the ways that their actions as gay and trans activists helped to kickstart the gay liberation movement from the late 1960’s. But if these activists were to show up at Pride in London today, would they be happy with what they find? Would they even be allowed to march?

It would be shortsighted to stop where we are today and think that Marsha or any of the others who were there on June 28th would be happy with where we are today. We do not yet exist in a society where being gay, bi or asexual is completely accepted. And we definitely don’t exist in a society where being trans is completely accepted or even partially understood.

And, in case you haven’t noticed, we are still living under a capitalist system that sucks the profit out of anything it can get its hands on, including progressive societal movements. Simply maintaining the status quo is exactly what those in power are trying to do, which means pain and struggle for those caught in the margins.

Pride in London is no longer an act of resistance in the way that Stonewall was. Stonewall was a riot against the police; Pride in London marches with them. Stonewall encouraged everyone to participate; Pride in London hosts TERFs and requires payment in order to be in the march. Simply looking at their website shows us that this march is not something revolutionary, but simply another route to monetary gain. The revolution will not be televised, but it also cannot be sponsored. Barclays, Amazon Music, and Tesco are sponsoring this year, just to name a few rainbow capitalists. As Peter Tatchell says of these corporations:

“They’ve got the money, so they have huge extravagant floats that outshine and overwhelm the LGBT+ community groups…Many of the companies have degayed their floats. They don’t mention LGBT+, just Pride.”

It isn’t new to see companies trying to cash in on societal movements. But if we continue to allow marches like Pride in London to be co-opted by corporations and greed, Queer Liberation will become less of a battle cry and more of a Che Guevara t-shirt.

We stand in solidarity with groups like Reclaim Pride in New York, and Transgenialer CSD in Berlin. Pride needs to be a people’s movement, not a capitalist’s parade. The Anarchist Federation condemns the way Pride in London has betrayed what pride really means: liberation. We stand in solidarity with our trans family who continue to suffer like Marsha did, and for all those affected by anti-LBGT+ violence. Queer Liberation, not rainbow capitalism! No pride in capitalism!

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Open Meeting, June 30th

Due to other commitments, we have had to move our planned open meeting from 2pm on Saturday, the 29th of June to 2pm on Sunday, the 30th June. This meeting will be held in Decentre above Freedom Bookshop, Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX.

We hope people can still make it. We will be giving a summary of what we have been doing to and what we plan to do in the future, and it’s a great opportunity for people interested in joining or just curious about what we do to come and talk to us.

Reading group #13 anarchist organising part 3

Freedom bookshop, 16 July, 7-9pm

To close (for now) our ‘season’ of anarchist organising reading groups we will look into the more practical examples of organisation with the following texts. Bearing in mind that these are not ‘manuals’, but require a critical approach:

https://archive.org/details/zabalaza_2010_anarchist_reader

https://archive.org/details/al_Rob_Sparrow_Anarchist_Politics__Direct_Action_a4

Questions to consider:

– What types of power and power relationships are prevalent in political organising and how can they be utilised?

– How does anti-authoritarian influence work?

– How to prepare direct action?

We would also encourage everyone to think of an example of successful or unsuccessful anarchist/anti-authoritarian organising, contemporary or historical, small- or large-scale, within a movement or as an autonomous project, which we can discuss applying the theory we have read in the last couple of months.

 

Green Anti-capitalists go to Brighton on 6 July

Saturday, 6 July 2019 from 16:00-17:30

Cowley Club, 12 London Rd, Brighton BN1 4JA

The Green Anti-Capitalist Front is an alliance of groups and individuals united by a belief that capitalism is one of the core causes of the environmental crisis threatening us all, and that if we do not act soon the costs of that crisis will fall on the poor and powerless. Check out our manifesto here: https://greenanticapitalist.org/

To help spread an understanding of the need for an anti-capitalist analysis in any environmental movement we’re coming to Brighton to discuss our manifesto, why we started and what we’ve got planned. Hopefully, spurring on activity in the area and making our network less London-centric.

This will be a double-header with the Anarchist Federation who will present one version of what a future society might look like: anarchist communism.

Come for the politics, stay for the Cowley Club’s vegan beer and cider festival!

Anarchy in the USA! Black Rose Federation in London 20th June

The anarchist movement in the United States is in a state of flux.
Having for many years been dominated by a strain of anarchism that is largely individualist, anti-organizational, and estranged from the workers’ movement, it has had few recent clear successes to point to.
Now, a renewed interest in socialism generally has spurred a growth on the far left of U.S. politics. Anarchist militants have similarly seen a renewed interest in our vision of a libertarian future. This talk will explore the recent history of anarchism in the United States and where it might be headed.
Cameron is a member of the Black Rose Anarchist Federation. Black Rose is a nationwide anarchist organization with locals in over a dozen cities across the U.S. You can read more about the federation online at blackrosefed.org
Decentre, above Freedom Bookshop, 7pm 20th June 2019

Stonewall Film Night – 14 June

An evening of celebration and discussion for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.

The event will feature video footage about the lives of Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera as gay and trans liberation activists. This will be followed by discussions about anarchist tactics in their activism, how queer rights have/have not changed in the past 50 years, and what queer anarchists can do as activists today to create change.

14 June, 7pm, Mayday Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London EC4 1DH

Antiuniversity 2019

We’ll be participating in the antiuniversity festival again this year!

Check out the full programme here: http://programme.antiuniversity.org

Events we host/co-host:

18 June – Reading group on anarchist communism:

http://programme.antiuniversity.org/id/anarchist-theory-reading-group-anarchist-communism

21 June: Green Anti-capitalist perspectives:

http://programme.antiuniversity.org/id/green-anti-capitalist-perspectives

22 June: Everything you ever wanted to know about anarchism:

http://programme.antiuniversity.org/id/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-anarchism