Looking at London LGBT+ Community Pride CIC's documentation about the parade, various things strike me.
Pride in London have a code of conduct, which starts off by saying
Our code of conduct is designed to ensure the Parade is a safe and accepting space for everyone.
A code of conduct is a contract on both sides
Attendees promise to behave, but organisers also promise to enforce it. If they do not, it is much worse than just a waste of paper (or pixels) because it offered something – the "safe and accepting space" – that is then deliberately not there.
On and off, I having been involved in helping draft and enforce a code of conduct for over twenty years. Few things destroy years of work on gaining trust faster than being seen to ignore a code of conduct because the perpetrator is wearing an organiser's sash or, in this case, 'because it was sunny'.
Since starting to write this, the excuse has changed, slightly, to say that "Sadly, we could not forcibly remove the group as their protest was not a criminal offence."
One of the first rules of analysing a statement at times like this is looking at what it does and doesn't say. So just looking at this sentence…
"We" could not remove the group – no-one is expecting Pride in London stewards to drag them away, but were the police asked to remove them?
Whether or not you think they should have been asked to do so, the Police Service of Scotland didn't have a problem with removing five trans protesters from the front of Glasgow Pride last year… did the Metropolitan Police refuse to remove the handful of TERFs standing on the rainbow flag?
Who said "their protest was not a criminal offence"?
I am not a lawyer, but even if their behaviour towards the (expensive) flag is not criminal damage, it seems that s137 of the Highways Act 1980 applies: 'If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence'. "This power is often used to remove demonstrators who are standing outside buildings, sitting down blockading entrances or roads and in many public order situations."
Perhaps that didn't apply, even though you don't even need to block the whole thing and the police don't have to prove that anyone was obstructed, never mind 30,000ish people.
OK, s11 of the Public Order Act 1986 says that you must tell the police in writing six days (or as soon as possible) before a public march and "where a public procession is held, each of the persons organising it is guilty of an offence if the requirements of this section as to notice have not been satisfied". This bunch didn't give notice, even though the hijack was clearly more than a few days in the planning, as assorted TERF accounts have admitted.
The reason for the notice period is that if "the senior police officer, having regard to the time or place at which and the circumstances in which any public procession is being held .. reasonably believes that .. the purpose of the persons organising it is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act they have a right to do, or to do an act they have a right not to do," they can order changes in the route or ban it outright. I would not like to have to argue that this bunch did not intend to intimidate trans people – anyone want to have a go?
Perhaps that didn't apply because they hadn't actually moved off until Pride in London said 'Fuck it, you're going in front of our parade (even though you haven't paid, or agreed to the code of conduct) and we don't care what trans people think about it…'
OK, it's still an assembly. In that case s14 applies and the most senior police office present can make "directions imposing on the persons organising or taking part in the assembly such conditions as to the place at which the assembly may be (or continue to be) held, its maximum duration, or the maximum number of persons who may constitute it". Failure to comply is, obviously, a criminal offence.
Again, were the police asked about this?
Failing all those, how does the hateful literature they were handing out and their banners not constitute "intentional harassment" contrary to s4A given the context of being a LGBT event?
You don't "accidentally" not enforce a code of conduct when something like this happens
Someone – or more likely a bunch of someones – makes the decision that it would be better to throw a large section of the community under the bus than enforce it.
Here, London LGBT+ Community Pride chose to say 'fuck you' directly to..
.. one quarter of the acronym, the T
.. the very substantial chunk of the B who are trans
.. the significant sections of the L and the G who are trans
– and that's not including the vast majority of people who are not bigoted TERFs. #NotInMyName, London LGBT+ Community Pride, #NotInMyName.
As a bunch of bigoted TERFs, there was – or should have been – no way that they got to be anywhere near being in the parade, never mind being told to lead it.
Groups applying to be in the parade must agree to the code of conduct as a condition of entry.
If you're a Parade group
o The code of conduct applies equally to everyone in your group
o You are collectively responsible for behaviour within your group
o Failure to comply with the code could result in you being asked to leave the parade and also affect future applications.
With the current bunch in control, what value do those words have? Fuck all. Which is why they have to go.
Participants are specifically told and have to agree that
Pride in London is a celebration of diversity and equality, and all participants in the Pride in London parade are expected to embrace and respect this.
Nope, apparently not.
Pride in London will not tolerate any threatening, violent or offensive behavior (sic) against its volunteers, staff, other parade participants, police, security personnel or members of the public.
Nope, they will. If it's not aimed at all of the G or the L, probably, and it's sunny.
Pride celebrates diversity and will not tolerate any individual making derogatory remarks about a person's sexuality, gender, gender identity, race, age, nationality, disability, appearance, religion or any other factor.
Nope, they will.
Any volunteer or parade participant that is deemed aggressive, incapacitated, threatening, a threat to their own health, or unable to fulfill the role they intended to do due to intoxication, will not be permitted to take part in the event.
Nope, they will.
Consequences isn't just a Godley and Creme concept triple LP from 1977
In the case of the perp with the sash, as long as I am in any position to do anything about it – and I currently am – then no event with them anywhere near running it will be a 'BiCon®'. When it came to my attention that another organisation advertised their involvement in another bi event, I told them why they should have nothing to do with them.*
Here, I am not telling groups who paid up to be in the parade what to do. Beyond contributing to the Biscuit crowd funder to enable the bi float to happen, I haven't had anything significant to do with Pride in London since the bunch of losers** who did 'London Mardi Gras' finally went bust, ruining any chance that a pride event would be allowed to use Hyde Park again for many years.
But small unfunded bi community groups were charged anything from £200 (walking groups) to £350/£650 (the float) to be allowed into the parade and in their place, I would be demanding a refund of those fees. Even Pride in London now say they failed to live up to the contract.
And when I see Alison Camps – one of only two people with significant voting control over London LGBT+ Community Pride, the other being Michael "great that (the racist UKIP) were able to participate" Salter – saying..
I'm sorry to all the volunteers who put their heart and soul into #PrideInLondon and who I love like my family. And now I am going to UKBP because at a moment like this, it's the only place to be. Next year will be different. 3/3
— Alison Camps (@AliCamps) July 8, 2018
.. "Next year will be different", I think the only way that it will happen is if she and everyone else responsible for the decision – that's officially "Pride in London managers, senior managers, event managers and event directors" – resigns.
The code of conduct says that "a full report of any incident will be provided to the Community Advisory Board that falls within the remit of this code of conduct". Write it, publish it, and go.
* And was delighted to see that they were dropped from the event in question.
** Literally – they lost a fortune over the years, and I like to think it was in part because of their treatment of the B, the T, and most of the L that they failed so badly so often to make the profits they were after.