Statement from Warwick Pride regarding the organisation named Warwickshire Pride. Please share with your networks.
On September 26th three members of Warwick SU’s LGBTUA+ society Warwick Pride (including two of its co-presidents) were blocked from the Leamington Spa Equality Rally Facebook event, alongside the deletion of their posts, for calling out the lack of accountability within its hosting body Warwickshire Pride and a move towards increased police presence at local LGBTUA+ events and venues despite community objections. Concerns had arisen that those making decisions on behalf of the organisation named ‘Warwickshire Pride’ were small in number, and not representative of the community which they purport to represent. Further attempts to engage Warwickshire Pride concerning their actions have resulted in all but one post by Warwick Pride members being deleted, and the Warwick Pride account banned from the event page.
The event itself was arranged in response to an increase in violence against LGBTUA+ people and People of Colour in the Leamington area in the past two years, the page citing numerous incidences of hate crime attacks. The response involved the invitation of Warwickshire police to the rally and to future LGBTUA+ events.
We find it reprehensible that an organisation that allegedly exists to call out harassment and discrimination, and to support all LGBTUA+ people, should act in such a manner. Public accountability is important for all organisations, and to act to silence criticism is a poor reflection on the worth of said organisation.
Since the events detailed above, Warwickshire Pride has also seen fit to issue a complaint to Warwick SU concerning a number of Warwick Pride members. Calling out a lack of representation and accountability is not ‘aggression’, and acting to silence such actions is deplorable.
We would like to call on Warwickshire Pride to…
- Provide a public forum to debate the accountability of the organisation.
- Commit to increased representation of women, people of colour, and trans people.
- Refrain from tone-policing those who engage with the organisation.
- Reinstate the access of those who were blocked from the event for calling out a lack of accountability, consultation, and representation.
A copy of the comment threads Warwickshire Pride deleted can be made available to inquirers upon request. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.