On this day ...
On Saturday 30 April 1988, I joined the demonstration in London protesting against Clause 28. Clause 28 was passed into law as Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 on 24 May, with support of then Local Government minister, Michael Howard. How many connections there are for one week, almost half a lifetime on! Don't forget that's what the man stands for when it comes to voting this May 5th.
I remember this because it is again a May Day bank holiday weekend and in 1988 I took part in my first May Day (Labour Day) celebration, just after that march on London. I was young, naive even, but I'd been politicised, and I stood up at that May Day celebration in De Montfort Hall, Leicester, when they asked for someone to speak out for equality and against the Clause. I didn't know about the international holiday in honour of workers until 1988. Now, in 2005, the association between the May Day bank holiday and Labour Day is almost forgotten.
It's worth remembering this act of solidarity as May Day approaches:
1988 - On April 30th some 30,000 demonstrators marched in London to protest the passage of Section 28. This is still the largest lesbian and gay rally in UK history. [Reference]
It's also worth remembering that it took until 2003 for Section 28 to be repealed.
In that same week in April 1988, I was instigating my personal protest and plan to escape from university halls of residence, due to homophobic harrassment from other students. I already knew the climate of Clause 28 was doing me no favours.
At the London rally I bought my "Never Going Underground" t-shirt. I had also been at the North West Campaign for Lesbian and Gay Equality demonstration in Manchester earlier that year.
On this day we should also remember:
1999 - On 30 April, a bomb exploded in the Admiral Duncan, a gay pub in Old Compton Street, Soho, the third in a series of bombs targeted at minorities by a lone extremist. Three people died and several injured. [Reference]
Labels: LGBTQ culture