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The politics of the event seemed limited to the collective show of defiance (and pride obviously) from the lesbian, gay and transgender community. While there was a bit of ranting from the stage occasionally (informing everyone how the police were now much more tolerant towards gays and that allegedly it gay police officers providing the security that day), it was mostly cliche show tunes and camp celebrities. This was even more true elsewhere as the Pride was split between four main official venues and where it was really happening certainly wasn't Trafalgar Square.
The bars around Old Compton Street were rammed and the streets likewise despite the rain and deep puddles. I barely squeezed through and sought sanctuary and the company of females at the womens stage in Romilly Street (although my chances of pulling were slim to say the least). On the way there I witnessed an arrest, a drunk gay guy knocked to the ground by police then thrown into the back of a police van which just seconds before had been a police community outreach info point displaying banners about hate crime. Few people seemed to pay much attention to the incident and the drinking in the surrounding bars unaffected.
The prospect of all those pink pounds was clearly exciting more than just the bars and off'ies cashing in on an increasingly thirsty crowd. Corporate sponsorship of the event included everyone's favorite climate criminal's British Airways - despite Pride also being sponsored by our mayor, 'green' Ken.
BA had taken over the whole of Soho Square, imaginatively rebranding it British Airways Square, giving away free champagne to the first 500 people to enter their 'Arrivals Lounge' while their 'cabin crew' encouraged people to enter a prize draw to win flights to Australia and gave out what appeared to be giant inflatable sex toys emblazoned with the words British Airways in case anyone forgot who was paying for this particular chunk of the day's events.
Soho Square, (sorry, I mean British Airways Square) was a quagmire of mud rivaling Glastonbury as week or so earlier. Some people, by now quite drunk, chose to dance in bare feet - others bared more. The mostly male crowd partied hard till British Airways called time at 8pm and chucked everyone out of the square. The sky darkened and the rain turned into a deluge as I made my way home, apparently the only person without an umbrella.