Thinking of buying a Manchester Pride 2016 wristband? Some very important information…

The streets of the gay village will be open to everyone during Manchester Pride this year, whether they pay or not, and we think Sackville Park will be too.

This is because Manchester Pride has acted unlawfully since 2003 in closing the streets to pedestrians who didn’t pay. In fact, blocking members of the public who were on foot was probably a criminal offence. Manchester City Council had unlawfully included pedestrians in its traffic order for the event and last year they had to rewrite it to remove this. (more…)

 

Staggering figures for reported violent and sexual crimes in Manchester’s gay village in Nov 2015

Reported violent and sexual crimes in Manchester's gay village in November 2015

These are probably the highest ever since the police crime maps were introduced in December 2010.

Where are the news stories?

Where are the protests? Yet always plenty of finger pointing overseas…

How many crimes aren’t reported or recorded by the police?

What is being done? Nothing!

See the crime maps here.

 

How to record each side of a Skype interview onto a separate channel

Here’s how you can produce a recording of a Skype interview that has the voice of one person only on the left channel and the other person only on the right. This gives you maximum flexibility when it comes to post production editing.

Behringer mixer

I use a little Behringher Xenyx 802 mixer for this. These cost around £45. I’ve had two of them for many years now.

Start by plugging a microphone into Channel One on the mixer. Here I’m using a condenser mic. Use the Pan control to direct this channel completely to the left.

Behringer mixer

Connect the FX Send Output of the mixer to the Line In (or possibly the Mic) socket of your PC. This feed takes your voice to the person you’re interviewing.

Connect the Headphone (or Line Out) socket of your PC to another input channel on the mixer. In the photo I have it going into Channel Three. This brings the other side of the Skype conversation (the remote person) into the mixer. Pan this completely to the right.

Connect the output of the mixer to a stereo audio recorder. Here I’m using an Olympus LS12.

Behringer mixer

Fade up FX Send on Channel One when you want the person at the other end to hear your microphone.

I recommend that you both wear headphones.

The usual purpose of the FX Send knob on each channel is to feed selected audio out to an external effects unit and then bring it back into the mixer via the Stereo Aux Return sockets. For example to add echo. But here we use it as a convenient way to isolate sound from the microphone.

We can’t just send the general output of the mixer to the other person because they would hear themselves as well as the mic and there would likely be a slight delay over the internet.

Behringer mixer

When the interview is over, open the audio file in your favourite editor. I use Sony Vegas. Here I’ve opened two copies of the file and switched one to play the left channel and the other the right. You’ll find that the two sides of the conversation are completely separate.

Now you can mix the two sides however you wish. Tweak the volume of either voice and even make slight adjustments to the timing of questions and answers by moving sections on the timeline.

For example if the interviewee has a habit of talking over the end of your questions you can delay their response until the question is complete. Or if you want to remove a question completely the beginning of their answer is “clean.”

 

Why Manchester’s gay village must be consigned to history

We still need safe LGBT spaces. But the future lies in decentralising the LGBT community in Manchester. We must reduce the power of a controlling elite that has us by the throat.

There may have been some good intentions behind the setting up of a “gay village” area more than 20 years ago, but now it’s time for all of us to acknowledge what a horrible and perverse thing it’s become.

It’s time to dismantle the gay village and spread our businesses, organisations, ourselves and our pink pounds across the city once again. The way things were quarter of a century ago…

Unfortunately, idealistic ideas about having our own area were exploited by marketeers, politicians, unscrupulous business types, events organisers and even charities. Now it’s time to show them who’s the boss: the consumer. (more…)

 
 

Canal Street in the 1880s: Ginger Liz, Cockney Jim and Dirty Alf

In the 1880s the Manchester Evening News published a series of articles which were then gathered together in a book called “Criminal Manchester.” One chapter is “Canal Street: Ginger Liz and Cockney Alf.”

You can download a PDF of the whole book here, courtesy of Chetham’s Library.

And here’s Chapter X about Canal Street:

CRIMINAL MANCHESTER

EXPERIENCES OF A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

Reprinted from the Manchester Evening News

CHAPTER X.

CANAL-STREET : GINGER LIZ AND COCKNEY JIM.

I have described the life that hides itself in Charter-street, Deansgate, and Gaythorn, and in this, my concluding article, I shall cover the remaining ground that can properly be dealt with, though it is scarcely so prolific as the districts that have already been under notice.

Its area is much wider, however, though its special criminality is decidedly of an inferior order, and is so scattered that it loses much of the dangerous character which is developed when its component parts are comprehensively grouped together. It has many features peculiarly its own, and as it consists of three detached localities, these features are pretty distinctly marked in each. The districts are Canal-street, Ancoats, and London-road. (more…)

 

Manchester Pride delays release of charity figure following protest (video)

Download: large (832×468/mp4) | small (320×180/mp4). Suitable for mobile or if you can’t view above.

“Manchester Pride you’re a disgrace, come down here and show your face!” This was the chant on Monday lunchtime (11 Nov) on Portland Street.

About 20 members of the LGBT community gathered to demand answers from Manchester Pride, whose offices are on the ninth floor of the Manchester One tower.

Despite a range of longstanding campaign issues about fences, exclusion and ticket prices, the most pressing concern on this occasion was the money raised from last summer’s Manchester Pride. The organisation is a registered charity

Tony Cooper, the Manager of Via and a former Deputy Chair of the Village Business Association is one of the business people who expected a fundraising total to be announced last Friday, but it never came.

He wasn’t at the protest, but blasted Pride in a public statement last week, writing “I love Manchester Pride and have attended every one but what I am hearing and seeing now is beyond worrying.”

Over the weekend rumours swirled that, despite the usual near £1 million income, the charity money had hit rock bottom. Somewhere in the region of £20,000 to £29,000. The lowest amount since the event was a jumble sale on the cobbles of Canal Street more than 20 years ago, if true. And protest plans were drawn up.

While local radio reporters conducted interviews among the protesters, village stalwart Julia Grant ‘phoned the Pride office. But the staff weren’t answering and she was directed straight to voicemail. She left a message and later said she was “disgusted.”

“At the end of the day they’re working for the community running Pride. We’ve asked how much was raised. They’re just making it more and more awkward for themselves.”

After an hour, the protesters walked the short distance to the town hall. Finding Albert Square fenced off as the Christmas market was put in place, they decided to occupy the reception area.

One banner that was waved carried the message “our Pride charity is not your tourist cash cow.” A reference to claims published by Manchester Council that Pride generates up to £22 million of economic benefit for the city each year.

The Council’s grant to Pride has been cut to just over £11,000 — about one third of what it used to be. Inevitably campaigners point to the £425,000 that the Council paid towards a brief Alicia Keys concert in 2012.

Later, Manchester Pride announced that the charity amount now won’t be made public until December. But will the gay community be willing be wait that long?

Thanks to photographer Paul Jones for the black and white photo included in the video. You can see more of his work on Flickr.

Sign the petition

Board of Manchester Pride, Manchester City Council & Manchester Police: We the undersigned demand a public meeting over the conduct and future of Manchester Pride

Technical: Panasonic HDC-SD80 camcorder, edited with Sony Vegas Pro 10, encoded with XMediaRecode and MetaDataMover.