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Clause 28 March Manchester


This report from 'In the Pink', March 1988, discusses the West Midlands contingent at the massive anti Clause 28 rally in Manchester.

20,500 people, lesbians, gay men and their supporters demonstrated against in Manchester on 20th February, making it the largest Gay demo outside the USA, EVER. The West Midlands was well represented with Coventry sending two coaches, Wolverhampton two, Birmingham five, Stoke four. With many more people, from midlands towns, going by train and coach.
The march itself was very well organised, the particularly helpful stewards arranged the march into various sections: lesbian & gay rights
organisations at the front followed by other groupings, women, the disabled, blacks and bringing up the rear supportive political groups, "Will the f**king SWP pleeease get to the back!" shouted one horse steward. The guided tour of Manchester took in the gay "village" culminating in a rally outside the town hall in Manchester's Albert Square. The Council had decorated the building with a huge banner proclaiming "LESBIAN & GAY RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS" what a pleasant change this makes to other local councils we could mention.
Just a word about the police, after the recent London demo and its aggressive policing, many of us were worried that Anderton's "boys in blue" would be a little heavy handed. However the police presence was minimal and quite friendly. As one speaker said "how would you like it if your boss had a chat with god every morning".
With over 20,000 people turning up it was inevitable that the 2,500 tickets for the festival afterwards were like gold dust and snapped up about a month before the march. Even so there was plenty of other entertainment laid on. One small gripe: many of the speakers from London referred to the demo as "regional" when are they going to realise that intelligent life does exist beyond the Watford Gap! and that events don't have to be in London to be "NATIONAL".

Contributed by: In The Pink, 21

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