Below is our public reply to Pride Glasgow’s message to us:
Dear Pride Glasgow,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to our letter and for your kind offers of assistance and support, which are warmly welcomed. Please be assured that neither our decision to organise independently nor our decision to contact you in this way was intended to provoke confrontation or division but to begin a dialogue, which we hope will continue.
While we raised many detailed points in our initial letter and would thank you for the detailed responses, many areas of difference, which we feel create the need for our event to exist, remain. That difference need not be something we view as a negative but as a challenge we welcome in our collective efforts to build understanding of and between our diverse communities.
We share your view that the decision to charge in 2014 was regrettable and accepted in good faith assurances this was due to a unique set of circumstances. If, as you have noted, those circumstances persist, our collective challenge remains to return the event to a free model and we welcome your desire to do so.
We not only share your concerns about the lack of funding and support for Pride from public bodies, specifically Glasgow City Council, but intend to highlight this as part of our broader commitment to maintaining Pride as a protest. Free Pride aims to stand with PRIDE Glasgow, in holding those who make claims to support our communities which are not evidenced by their actions to account.
As we do not forsee our organisation creating mandated positions, we will have to respectfully decline your invitation to sit on the PRIDE Glasgow steering group for the time being. However, we welcome any opportunity to meet and discuss our hopes for Pride this year and beyond. We will be publishing details of our future meetings via our social media channels and hope dialogue between our groups will continue to be open and constructive. We would also welcome any support in helping to make our own event, and our contribution to PRIDE Glasgow, the best it can be.
We look forward to attending the PRIDE Glasgow parade and hope the Free Pride bloc will be a welcome addition to this year’s event.