My family – being Socialists of many generations standing – fully support any and all Gay Rights initiatives (including Totnes Gay Pride). However, no matter how progressive things may seem in Devon – there is always a sting in the tail! Unlike in London’s Gay Pride – which is steadfastly linked to the political leftwing and Trade Union Movement – Totnes Gay Pride does not allow any political expression – which means at present it is just another bourgeois, capitalist supporting event that advocates a short-term and sentimentalist ‘tolerance’ of difference. This has to be said, even if I further state that I understand the prevailing (and often ‘limiting’) socio-economic conditions prevailing in the area (in other words, there may be reasons ‘behind the scenes’ why this has to happen at the moment). This is what the official ‘Totnes Pride‘ website states:
- No political parties/organisations that we deem to have strong affiliations to a political party to march in the procession. Of course, we welcome you to join us as individuals not representing a group or agenda.
The problem here, is that we definitely have a a very strong revolutionary political agenda (which we hoped would be shared by Totnes Gay Pride) which is overtly linked to the securing of Gay Rights (and Gay Freedom) by non-violently transitioning a state of predatory capitalism to one of compassionate Socialism – whilst completely defeating and totally discrediting the forces of fascism (through the lawful right to protest as decreed within democratic process)! The problem with being ‘apolitical’ is that the dangerous myth is being perpetuated that there is no difference between the political left and right. Capitalism is the essence of racism and ALL forms of discrimination, and fascism is capitalism in decline. Not to protest against capitalist (even in a mild or symbolic manner) plays into the hands of the political far-right which is very strong and active in Devon and Cornwall – with many boroughs routinely voting ‘Tory’ (as does Totnes – the MPs of which are fully supportive of Tory ‘Austerity’ depriving the poor of benefits and privatising the NHS) and the violent far-right (such as UKIP, BNP, EDL and Britain First) being prominent in Torbay, Brixham and Newton Abbott areas. The racist and homophobic messages of these poisonous far-right groups are often openly endorsed by the local churches in the area! No – as long as we cannot wear our Red T-Shirts or pro-Communist badges, etc, we will not attend this event. At least in London no one cares what you wear – just as long as you are gay-friendly and NOT a fascist! On the other hand, we fully support Totnes Gay Pride and hope in the future the organisers will allow an open leftwing presence which will proudly stand in defiance against the far-right and its vile homophobia!