East End plans its first Gay Pride march to stop homophobic hate campaign

Campaigners are planning the first Gay Pride protest march through the streets of London’s East End.

It follows a wave of homophobic ‘hate’ when stickers appeared last month on walls and lamp-posts over a wide area.

This led actress Wendy Richardson, who found the stickers near her home in Shoreditch, to organise weekly ‘love bomb’ walks to counter the stickers with friendship posters.

Now transport workers in Poplar are staging the march next month, following talks with police and Tower Hamlets council which have given their backing. They expect at least 1,000 supporters from all sections of the community.

“These stickers declaring a ‘gay free zone’ are outrageous and insulting,” said march organiser Raymond Berry, 38.

“The march is to let people know the East End is gay-friendly and not to be intimidated or afraid.

“We’re not pointing figure at whoever was responsible for the stickers—that’s the job of the police.

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“But we have to make a stand. This hatred is a slippery slope to a divided society.”

The march is on Saturday, April 2, starting 1pm from Shadwell’s King Edward Memorial Park.

It will wind its way east along The Highway, Commercial Road and East India Dock Road, then into Woodstock Road for a rally at Poplar Recreational Park with speeches from London Deputy Mayor Richard Barnes, Poplar & Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick and comedienne Sue Perkin.