In a twist of progressive-on-progressive aggression, climate activists disrupted the London Pride march last weekend, demonstrating against LGBT activists’ alleged negligence toward marginalized communities in the face of climate change. The incident shows a growing rift within left-wing political groups, raising questions about the direction of activist movements generally.
Members of Just Stop Oil, a group committed to halting new fossil fuel licensing and production, stopped the LGBT float sponsored by Coca-Cola during the London Pride march. The activists sprayed pink and black paint on the road and the open-air bus bedecked in rainbow flags, blocking the vehicle’s path and momentarily halting the parade.
Progressives at war. Climate activists disrupt Pride activities. https://t.co/t3MbmGUTsD Who will win this bloody battle?
— Doug Bandow (@Doug_Bandow) July 2, 2023
“The LGBTQ+ community will be one of the first to suffer the consequences of societal collapse,” Just Stop Oil declared in a pointed accusation against Pride organizers. They demanded that Pride organizers condemn new oil and gas licenses. When their demands went unanswered, they took action, sitting on the road in a direct protest, suggesting a growing frustration with perceived inaction on climate issues.
Will De’Athe-Morris, from Pride in London, responded to the incident in a BBC interview, underscoring that “Pride is a protest and pride is a celebration. We are protesting for LGBTQ+ rights and for our trans siblings in a separate march alone.” The disruption, in De’Athe-Morris’ view, detracted from the parade’s critical focus on rights advocacy for the LGBT community.
The demonstration, however, spotlights an increasing tension within progressive circles. Just Stop Oil’s critique that Pride in London is “working with industries complicit in worsening the climate crisis” indicates a struggle between different progressive causes. Can they coexist in harmony, or will such conflicts escalate?
One must also consider the broader implications of Just Stop Oil’s actions. Their audacious display brought attention to the fact that Coca-Cola, a Pride sponsor, is regarded as the world’s most significant plastic polluter. The activists’ broader agenda extends beyond LGBT rights and Pride marches. As they articulated, “Pride in London has failed to address and take responsibility for these relationships. New oil and gas is a death sentence for millions of people.”
The London Pride march attempted to maintain what it called a “celebration of identity and unity,” even amid the disruption. De’Athe-Morris emphasized, “Anyone who tries to disrupt that protest and parade is really letting down those people who use this space once a year to come together to celebrate and protest for those rights.”
This unprecedented disruption of the London Pride march suggests a new and potentially volatile stage for progressive activism. Both climate activists and LGBT activists share what they describe as a common goal of advocating for marginalized communities. As always seems to be the case, the left consumes itself through irreconcilable logical contradictions.