World Pride told: You can’t have floats, just shopping trolleys

First Pride London bosses scale back World Pride to ban floats, now they say you can have shopping trolleys instead

World Pride told: You can’t have floats, just shopping trolleys
03 July 2012

Pride London bosses have told marchers joining World Pride’s procession through the streets of the British capital that, while they aren’t allowed cars, busses, or floats, they can use shopping trolleys.

Bikes, roller skates and non-motorized scooters are also permitted.

Just last week event bosses had to scale back the parade on 7 July, banning floats, cars and busses after a cash-flow crisis left them unable to afford full safety and crowd-control measures.

Tens of thousands of pounds had already been spent on preparing floats by companies and charities – now that money will be wasted.

And the march may descend into further chaos with some activists threatening to ignore the new start time of 11am and to ‘March as One at One’ at the originally planned parade time of 1pm.

They argue there was no reason to change the time and say they don’t want to be pushed around.

Meanwhile, attempts to rescue the festival seem to have fallen flat.

Both Gaydar and Diagio, two existing sponsors, offered to provide extra cash so the axed street party in Soho could go ahead but were unable to get the plans changed again at short notice.

And Gay Star News has been told that no amount of money will now fix the festival for this year and allow a full procession with floats.

Authorities became concerned that Pride London didn’t have enough money to pay for traffic management, security, safety procedures and barriers. Even if they did now produce the money, we are told it’s too late to fully brief all the contractors involved.

Official sources have told us that pride bosses have been lagging behind with these arrangements for a ‘considerable amount of time’.

Depsite this, some are still trying to apply pressure on London’s Mayor Boris Johnson to intervene.

An open letter to the Conservative mayor from his LGBT Labour political opponents said: ‘We urge you to use your power as Mayor to get Westminster City Council back to the table with the organizers of London Pride and sort this out.

‘We understand sponsors are willing to come forward and close the financial gap. Now we need political will to get the procession back on track.’

But it’s unclear if the event could be saved at such short notice, even if Johnson did take further action.

Meanwhile, other World Pride events are going ahead this week.

Pride London says that only 11 places are left out of a 110 capacity for a global human rights conference tomorrow (4 July) focusing on decriminalizing homosexuality in Commonwealth countries.

And they say a gala dinner on Thursday (5 July) has sold around 100 seats with fewer than 25 free tickets given away, leaving just 25 more to sell before the event reaches capacity.

They have denied rumors that Hillary Clinton had been confirmed to attend the dinner but pulled out.

She has accepted a prize from Pride London and international gay charity Kaleidoscope and may now send a video message to the gala.

‘They [the US State Department] have never, ever said she is 100% definitely going to come,’ Pride director Sahran Abeysundara told Gay Star News.

Finally, the Pride London board have so far resisted calls for them to resign immediately due to the scaling back of World Pride.

Uwern Jong told GSN that it would irresponsible of them to step down this week as there was too much to organize ahead of pride day on Saturday.

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