People are entering the gay village successfully without a wristband during Manchester Pride 2016 and are reporting back what happens. This follows a ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in April 2015.
The media blackout about the changed situation continues. To their shame, the Manchester Evening News, BBC and the gay media as a whole have failed to say anything. An extraordinary situation and an eyeopener for anyone who thinks the mainstream and gay media can be trusted. So much for rights.
The FactsMCR.com website has a live blog covering events. Also people are posting about their experiences on a Facebook event and group: Manchester pride 2016 Free Event and I Love My Right to Access Premises At Manchester Pride 2016.
So far most seem to have been able to walk in without buying a wristband. As far as getting into bars without a band is concerned, it’s a mixed picture. Before the weekend, Tribeca announced on its flyers that no wristband would be required. This year Tribeca is just outside the barriers (on Sackville Street).
There is no access to the pop concert on the private car-park. The campaign has never been about demanding access to that or bars and clubs without a band. It has been about the public pavements of the gay village being closed and pedestrian access being denied to businesses which were happy to serve those without a wristband. Also about residents being bullied. In a letter sent to them in 2010 Manchester Pride claimed to have the power to “grant” access to their homes.
Greater Manchester Police has spelt out the situation in no uncertain terms this year and appears to be willing to be more proactive in defending our lawful rights. This follows the disgraceful situation in 2014 when officers stood and laughed at the gates as Pride’s guards unlawfully blocked access.
With Manchester Pride silent on the issue for two years, Manchester City Council is so concerned that it has set up a hotline which people can call if they are blocked.
The 2016 factsheet gives details of that and all the other information you need so you know your rights and can walk in with confidence and pride!