On the 13th of March, we hosted a screening which has been on the cards since the beginning of Film Club: Pride, with the original activists.
The film tells the story of queer activists in 1980s London, who raised money through the LGBTQ community to help support the Welsh miners of Dulais Valley through the miners’ strike. Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners are an inspiration to many contemporary activists, both for their uncompromising declaration of solidarity and for the comradeship which was built with the mining communities. The miners’ arrival at 1985 London is a powerful moment in queer history. To find out more about LGSM, this article is a great place to start, and the wonderful Gays The Word is always worth a visit.
As the credits rolled, and everyone wiped away tears to the tune of ‘Solidarity forever’, we invited our panel to the stage. We were joined by Mike and Gethin from LGSM, two of the original activists the film is based upon, along with Ida, Julyette and Harry, representing Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants. Founded in 2014, this group of queer activists fight to challenge the racist narrative and hostile environment that migrants face in the UK. The panel reflected on the power of the story of LGSM, and the countless solidarity groups it has inspired around the world. The censoring of the extent of LGSM’s socialist origins was revealed, leading to the wonderful but NSFW quote… ‘there were only two things banned from the script: fisting and socialism’. The activists from LGSMigrants shared their work in protesting Britain’s hostile immigration policies, and demonstrated the importance of keeping queer solidarity alive.
The event was in aid of two wonderful charities – Oasis Cardiff and Welsh Refugee Council – who work to make refugees feel welcome and supported in Wales. We raised a massive £1250, so thanks to everyone for all the support