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London’s 25th Pride Parade protest-free for the first time: organizer

Some participants show off their homemade flag at the 25th Pride Parade.
Some participants show off their homemade flag at the 25th Pride Parade. Kelly Wang / 980 CFPL

Not only did 2019 mark the 25th anniversary of London’s Pride Parade, an organizer says it also marked the first time the parade went through the city without any protesters along the route.

READ MORE: Downtown London turned into rainbow as Pride Parade celebrates 25th birthday

“We had a massive turnout to be in the parade and I think as we get more people in the parade we have less people watching actually, but it was a massive turnout all around. And the first year that we didn’t see those protesters,” Pride London president Andrew Rosser told 980 CFPL.

READ MORE: (from 2017) protests show up for London Pride Parade

“I had a friend from Toronto helping me this week and volunteering and I kept saying, ‘oh, around this corner you’ll see them’ and then I turn and there’s no one! I don’t know if it was too hot — I’m going to call them fairweather protestors — but happy to say, ‘stay away, we don’t need that message.'”

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Rosser added that the parade was the culmination of 11 days of festivities. He says the Lunch and Learn series was especially popular with 80 to 100 people attending each event. Lunch and Learn topics included what it means to be intersex and sessions on who identifies as two-spirit or trans.

“All of the events, especially all the family events, were really well attended which is always great to see. That’s a big complement to our festival. We always get hose compliments about it being family-friendly which is definitely a goal of our festival.”

Rosser noted that the festival has grown consistently year after year. One volunteer tweeted that the 2019 parade involved over 120 floats and drew crowds of 25,000.

READ MORE: Police walk without uniforms at London Pride parade