London Mardi Gras agrees OutRage! Proposals for Community Control of the March/Parade

London Mardi Gras has agreed that a newly-created forum of community groups will have exclusive decision-making powers concerning future Pride marches/parades, and that it will advise London Mardi Gras on policies regarding the post-march/parade Festival in the park and the Pride Arts Festival.

London Mardi Gras has also agreed to fund the community-run march/parade.

Endorsing a proposal put forward by Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, London Mardi Gras leaders and representatives from 28 community groups backed the new plan at an open meeting held at City University in London on Wednesday, 8th September, 1999.

“This is a major breakthrough in our negotiations over the future of Pride. It ensures that the march will remain a democratic, community-controlled celebration”, said Tatchell.

“Although there is still not full agreement over the post-march Festival in the park, London Mardi Gras says it will remedy many of the criticisms of this year’s Festival. We will use the new community forum to make sure that our concerns are addressed.”

In a separate development, London Mardi Gras has indicated to Peter Tatchell that it will adopt “many” of the key proposals put forward by OutRage! in its five-page proposal on the future of Pride, published on 30th July, 1999.

Last week’s open meeting at City University was chaired by Barry Jackson, a director of London Mardi Gras, and was attended by three other LMG directors, Colin Bell, Jean T and Boo Armstrong, plus LMG Festival Director, Jason Pollock.

Tatchell’s six-point proposal, put on behalf of OutRage!, was agreed as follows:

  1. The community forum –open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups– be empowered to determine all policies regarding the march/parade.
  2. All groups be invited to send two representatives to the forum.
  3. The forum to meet monthly, with the first meeting being held at the end of September.
  4. London Mardi Gras directors and staff be invited to attend the community forum to facilitate liaison and consultation.
  5. The execution of the policies agreed at the forum to be delegated to LMG staff and professional contractors.
  6. London Mardi Gras to fund the march/parade to ensure a large, high-profile, successful event.

Peter Tatchell is also proposing that the community forum nominate a representative to sit on the board of LMG, although this was not put to last Wednesday’s meeting and has not been agreed. It is a proposal that Tatchell intends to table at the next meeting of the forum, later this month.

The “London Mardi Gras Parade Community Forum” is holding its next meeting on Friday, 1st October, from 6 – 8 p.m.  This is open to all L/G/B/T community groups. Any group not having already received an invitation is invited to ring Paul Craig on 020- to book places. Disabled access is guaranteed at all meetings.