Headlines

PEOPLE'S PRIDE TO ‘TAKE OWNERSHIP’ OF STREETS

Mon, 19 August 2013

People’s Pride, Johannesburg's politically driven LGBTIAQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual and Queer) Pride event, has announced a programme of events that will lead up to its October 5th march.

At a public meeting at Constitution Hill on Saturday, the volunteer organising committee revealed more details, to around 150 people, on how it plans to return the city's Pride season to its more socialist and activist roots.

The People's Pride manifesto argues that in recent years Joburg Pride had become de-politicised, focused on festivities and had "catered, often explicitly, to affluent, mostly white individuals".

The organisers say they aim to produce an event that is based on "anti-racism, anti-capitalism, anti-sexism, anti-ableism and the positioning of LGBTIAQ struggles within broader socio-political and economic contexts and struggles in South Africa and globally".

In the coming weeks, People’s Pride will host a number of events, including a discussion on "race, class and queerness," a workshop on organising protests, a film festival, an art exhibition, walking tours and a multimedia advocacy and production skills workshop.

The organising committee said that members of the community could add other events to the programme "as long as it is in line with our manifesto".

The programme will conclude with a march on Saturday the 5th of October from 10am to 1pm, starting at Constitution Hill, through Hillbrow and Braamfontein and back to Constitution Hill.

The march will stop at a number of key points along the route, including Simon Nkoli Corner, the Hillbrow Police Station, Esselen Street Clinic, Cosatu House and the Joburg Civic Centre.

"I have a dream of 10,000 of us on these streets," said the organising committee's Kwezilomso Mbandazayo.

The contentious issue of the safety of the route was brought up in the meeting. A 2005 Pride march through a built up residential area of the CBD saw a brick thrown from a high rise apartment building seriously injuring a Pride participant.

Mbandazayo said that the issue had been discussed a great deal by the organising committee, but ultimately they decided that "we live in an unsafe society" and that LGBTIAQ people could not be scared from marching in the places where they live.

She asked, "Queer people live in Hillbrow, so where should we be marching?" but added that "we will take all available measures to ensure safety as best we can".

Another organising committee member argued: "We need to show people that we are here - we live here. To reclaim our spaces... We are occupying this space."

The organising committee's Carrie Shelver revealed that the City of Johannesburg had agreed to offer all its venues for use for People’s Pride events.

There were still discussions with the city on it assisting with transport and logistics as well as possibly using some of its public art budget to put in place "public artworks that talk to the lives of queer people".

The launch day saw t-shirts being printed with the People’s Pride logo, participants making video clips on the subject of "I march because..." (see below) and the crowd being entertained by poets and DJs.

Another Pride event, describing itself as the 24 annual Johannesburg Pride, will take place at Mary Fitzgerald Square in Newtown on 28 September. The event promises to include both a human rights agenda and a party into the early hours of the morning.

by Staff Writer

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Mac 9/25/2013 12:50:35 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Steve not only lesbians are being killed or abused even gay men are being abused. I think lesbians solicite too much unnecessary attention. It irritates me. I was there at that launch and there were a few white people a handful of of men ad multitudes of lesbians
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Sky 8/21/2013 1:05:10 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
@ Disgusting - If you were there then you would have seen the "rest of us" that you talk about. The invitation went out to all LGBTIAQ people and there video is a first sample of many PSAs to come, we already issued a call for people to videorise themselves following the sample script and send it through to our email, FB...it's a live video and it will continue to grow with each person that sends through their video. So if you want to continue being bitter and the name calling then suit yourself but there's a vision here and we're going for it.
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Rolando 8/21/2013 1:05:10 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Good on you sky!
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disgusting 8/19/2013 12:01:54 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
this group organising this is one of the most disgusting hypocritical groups I have yet to witness - right up there with militant evangelicals shouting their mouths off. These people TALK about the LGBTIQA community and TALK about representing us but all I ever see is BLACK LESBIANS - just look at THEIR OWN VIDEO that they posted. WHERE are the REST of us HEY? you disgusting militant activists that THINK your cause is the only cause worth anything! You are no better than the perpetrators and haters out there.
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Are you blind 8/19/2013 12:01:54 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
In the picture that goes with this article you can clearly see three white men, one white woman, one Indian woman and two kids. And this was just a snapshot, I attending the meeting and there were a lot of men and a lot of white people. Call us disgusting militant activists if you want but we are the people dying, black lesbians are the people dying and we will decide where we take our pride...
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Wayne van Niekerk 8/19/2013 12:01:54 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
Ignore the above "are you blind". This message is from a bitter, twisted racist individual. Good luck with your pride. I am proud of all of you
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steve0 8/19/2013 12:01:54 PM Down Up Reply REPLY
It's you who are disgusting! Black lesbians are bearing the brunt of attacks, murders, rape and abuse in the LGBT community. It is only right that we focus on them!
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