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East London Pride will go ahead, despite ban on marches

PUBLISHED: 18:33 12 September 2011

Last year's East London Pride parade

Last year's East London Pride parade

Archant

East London’s Pride parade will go ahead later this month despite the Home Secretary’s ban on marches.

Organisers say the procession through Hackney and Tower Hamlets on September 24 has not been affected by the ban, which is in place until the beginning of October.

Scotland Yard requested an intervention to prevent the English Defence League from marching in Tower Hamlets on September 3 amid fears that their presence could result in serious public disorder.

But the ban did not distinguish between groups and other marches, including an anti fascism counter protest, were blocked.

Theresa May said she was supporting the “operational judgment of the police” when she granted the 30 day ban, which was the first in 30 years.

Jack Gilbert, spokesman for Rainbow Hamlets, said: “We knew within 48 hours of the ban being announced by the Home Secretary that our event wouldn’t be affected. The message for Pride is that east London has a vibrant community and it’s a chance for us to celebrate our diversity.”

As part of the celebrations for LGBTQ life, the parade will start from Hackney Town Hall Square at 12.30pm and travel to Oxford house in Bethnal Green.

A festival will then run until the evening with markets, entertainment and debates.

Organisers are expecting anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people to join the festivities.

There had, however, been some confusion among supporters over whether the event could go ahead or not.

Mr Gilbert added: “People were concerned because they didn’t understand the nature of the ban.”

Campaign group Unite Against Fascism complained earlier this month that it was not clear exactly what was allowed under the guidelines.

By law, neither the police nor the Home Office has the power to stop static protests which resulted in both the the EDL and UAF held standing demonstrations in the East End on September 3.

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