Saturday, 2 September 2017

Reading Trades Union Council at Reading Pride

RTUC Vice-President, Nada Al-Sanjari (NEU), at the Reading Pride March

Reading Trades Union Council had a stall at this year's Reading Pride and delegates, including Nada Al-Sanjari (RTUC Vice-President/NEU), Ruth McEwan (RTUC/Unison) and James Parker (RTUC/Unite) played an active part.

The following text is from Nada's speech from the stage:

"The motto for this year’s reading Pride is ‘Love Unites’. The motto of the trade union movement is ‘Unity is Strength’. Unity not just with the LGBT+ cause but solidarity with any group or individual facing persecution or injustice. An injury to one is an injury to all.

"I speak as a trade unionist and a committed activist for equality. Trade unions have been fighting for LGBT+ people for decades. I want to remember the solidarity shown by the LGSM – ‘Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners’ – during the Miners’ Strike in the mid-1980s. This act of unlikely solidarity contributed to the changes in the law that support LGBT+ rights. We owe them a few cheers.

"While we enjoy the rewards of resistance against oppression, we have to ask what we are doing about the oppression of people of colour, people with disabilities, both physical and mental, within the LGBT+ community and beyond. When the party is over, when the facepaint and glitter are washed away, we have to return to campaigning and continue the work.

"Join a trade union and have a voice. Belong to something that will fight for your rights to equal opportunities and equal pay, for your rights to participate in public life without fear of bullying or harassment. This is your basic right as humans.

"Trade unions are joining the ‘Schools Out’ campaigns to bring LGBT+ education to schools. Join us. Be heard all the time – not just at the party. Be seen as you want to be seen, whenever you want to be seen. This matters. You matter.

"The Reading Trades Union Council is committed to this cause. Not just here but internationally, we recognize the struggles of our comrades and organise with them to offer our support to be free from persecution for identifying as LGBT+.

"Governments change, Pride organisers change. But the trade unions have and will always be here to champion workers’ rights and equality for all. Let them wear their prejudice with shame as we wear our solidarity with Pride. I will leave you with this quote from the inspiring Audre Lorde: ‘I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own’. Solidarity Reading!"

Nada addresses Reading Pride