The stickers that inspired East London Pride
A Pride event scheduled for early next month with the intention of targeting homophobic stickers in London’s East End has collapsed amid controversy.
There were accusations from a number of groups that the organisers were a front for right-wing organisations after one organiser, Raymond Berry, resigned when it was discovered that he was a founding member of the anti-Muslim organisation, EDL.
There were fears that the march would spark tensions between Muslim and gay people in the neighbourhood.
The East End Gay Pride (EEGP) organisers denied the claims and said that they were victims of a personal agenda.
“With the events of the last few days coming about, we have found it extremely difficult to deal with the copious amount of personal attacks…” they said in a statement.
“The entire EEGP team had nothing but good intentions for this event from the offset. We planned to make it a fun march with no hatred being shown…”
Peter Tatchell from the group OutRage! earlier pulled his support of the event.
“We fear the march will be exploited and hijacked by the far right to create divisions and stir up intolerance against Muslim people,” Tatchell said.
“OutRage! opposes both homophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry. All forms of intolerance are wrong. We must be very careful to distinguish between Muslim people in general and the extremist minority who oppose democracy and human rights and who want to establish a clerical dictatorship,” he added.
The march was intended as a reaction to stickers that were placed around London’s East End last month which read: “Arise and warn. Gay free zone. Verily Allah is severe in punishment.”