April’s East End Gay Pride event cancelled

The besieged East End Gay Pride march has been cancelled. To many watching the unfolding events over the past weeks, it came as no surprise.  Yesterday, one of its lead organisers, Raymond Berry resigned after it was revealed he was a founding member of the English Defense League (EDL) and still had ties with far right and anti-Muslim groups.  Islamic LGBT group Imaan are promising to reveal other EEGP members far right affiliations. In a statement issued by ‘The Team’ on their Facebook page and website this morning, they blamed numerous groups and individuals including  Out East and Rainbow Hamlet

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It is with deep regret that the East End Gay Pride Team have collectively decided to cancel the march on April 2nd. With the events of the last few days coming about, we have found it extremely difficult to deal with the copious amount of personal attacks that are coming mostly from Terry Stewart of OutEast and Jack Gilbert and Rebecca Shaw of Rainbow Hamlets. These individuals have been attacking EEGP from the very beginning, even though OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets, along with Imaan and several other ‘community groups’, were invited to help create the event from day one. In a day and age where the LGBT community of East London should be working together to combat hatred of any nature, we have found it shocking that OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets have continuously set out to divide the community. Internet forums have proved this to no end. Jack Gilbert, alone, posted on a public forum, the name and contact details of a member of the EEGP team. We now call for him to be removed from his post and urge ALL of the EEGP supporters to question his role in the community. Terry Stewart has been spreading vicious lies about the entire EEGP team from day one. For someone that co-organises Hackney Pride and promotes love for all and tolerance for all, it brings into question his motives behind these attacks. The entire EEGP team had nothing but good intentions for this event from the off set. We planned to make it a fun march with no hatred being shown. We even planned on a bigger event next year, dropping the word ‘gay’ from the name and making it a festival for the entire community to show how diverse and tolerant we all are. With the help of Terry Stewart of OutEast and Jack Gilbert and Rebecca Shaw of Rainbow Hamlets, this now looks impossible. We are stepping down from this event because of the personal vendetta from OutEast and Rainbow Hamlets to name but a few. We would like to thank our supporters for standing beside us in these times and urge you to stand up against hatred within the LGBT community as well as hatred from outside of any form. The East End Gay Pride Team

This week also saw other community groups including Pride London, withdrawing their support and Peter Tatchell calling for the march to be postponed and withdrawing his support.

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