Being part of this year’s Sheffield LGBT Pride event was an honour and a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Sheffield.
Thank you to the dedicated Pride committee who worked so hard to organise this wonderful event.
Holding Pride as a free event in Endcliffe Park after a Pride march down Ecclesall Road added to making the day such a success.
We were very disturbed when we found out that a group of evangelical Christians tried to sabotage the Pride celebrations, shouting offensive language through a megaphone at Pride attendees and promoting hateful literature.
People kept asking the police to move these people promoting hatred.
In the end LGBT people and supporters pushed these fundamentalist protesters to the edge of the park and cleared up the hateful leaflets.
The police should have acted earlier and removed the hostile and homophobic/transphobic protestors treating their behaviour as a hate incident.
Part of South Yorkshire Police’s role is to encourage people to report hate incidents and hate crimes so that they can deal with it. It seems on this occasion they did little to prevent it. Many people were upset and frightened and felt very threatened by the protesters and had to leave the event or be taken to a safe space.
The police did not treat the protesters’ behaviour as a hate incident.
Events such as Pride are definitely needed to celebrate diversity, take a stance against discrimination and bigotry and build communities. It seems that in Sheffield people are trying to do this without genuine support from the police.
Friends of Edward Carpenter