Friday, 24 April 2009

'Gay cure' Protest - Update No 3

The numbers are still going up. As I write we are about to reach 150 "confirmed guests" on Facebook with another 1600 waiting to confirm what they are going to do.

Against this does not take into account what is going on off Facebook. As mentioned in my previous update, the LGBTQQI section of the Green Party, the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association are on the case. The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement is also now involved as well as the Queer Youth Network and the Gay Activists Alliance. Something should also have been posted on the UK Youth Parliament's forum by now. Talk about a rainbow coalition!

My rough estimate is that we have probably reach about 6000 people, probably more. Well done to all.

I heard from Stonewall's information officer last night. Here is what she said: "We are very aware that this conference is taking place, and our stance on supposed gay-cure therapies is that they are wholly discredited. Lesbian, gay and bisexual people need equal treatment by society, not misguided treatment by religious or medical professionals. I will make sure that the information and the link is passed on to the relevant people."

Police
Last night I went to the Charing Cross Police Station and officially registered the protest, something we had to do since the venue of the conference is located in the exclusion zone around Parliament. The officer I spoke to was very official but in no way antagonistic.

We will be located across the road from the venue and police will be on hand to make sure that everything happens quietly and safely for everyone. This is the point where I remind every one that this has to be a peaceful and good natured protest. Remember that there will be LGBT people in that building.

Press
The fact that the protest looks to be so big (for that sort of protest anyway), and that the BBC has now been reporting on the conference means that we need to get in touch with the mainstream media and try and get them to cover the protest.

As mention before, some of the gay news media are already on board. The Guardian has been contacted and I have emailed the think tank Ekklesia. ITV London News are aware of the protest and may turn up if this is a slow news day for them. It would be good to get BBC London to come along but I draw a blank on this. If someone has contacts with any press people, please let them knwo about the event and try and get them to cover it.

On the day
Unless something really important happens, I won't be sendind anything more until after the protest where I'll try and do a round up of the day and provide links to picture.

Please consider creating placards (ideas of slogans can be found in my second update, see below), bring your rainbow flags and generally make yourselves visible. This is particularly important if the press are going to be there. I will be taking pictures and I am sure I won't be the only one.

The weather is still looking uncertain so be ready to be wet and cold. Bring water and nibbles. It's only two hours but be gentle to yourselves.

As mention before, always remain calm and courtuous, no matter what happens. And have fun, make new friends!

I'll see you all on Saturday. Thank you again for all your support. Keeping inviting people.

New Facebook Group
Finally I have created a new Facebook group to try and gather people who want to be involved in future protests. The "Lesbian Gay Bi Trans Queer (LGBTQQI) protests in the UK" (trips nicely off the tongue, doesn't it?) can be found here.
Feel free to join and invite your friends.
I am thinking of some straight forward online presence for those not on Facebook too.

See also
- Protest against the 'gay cure' conference to be held in London (25 April).
- 'Gay cure' protest - press release
- 'Gay cure' Protest - Update No 1
- 'Gay cure' Protest - Update No 2

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