Pride Not Profit – RS21 Article

Rainbow smoke

This year on Saturday 24 June, around a hundred people took part in radical bloc amid the thousands taking part in Dublin Pride. Radical blocs have been happening on Pride for the past number of years in various forms. Some of those involved in planning and organising this year’s bloc have been involved in some these over the years. Others came together through struggles such as Strike4Repeal, which campaigns against the 8th amendment, the south of Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion.

For years, LGBT organising has pushed in a reformist direction, seeking to accommodate us within the framework of capitalism. Pride has become politically sanitised and intensely commercial. Many radical groups have come to believe that our struggle against oppression must be based upon building the strongest possible movement, and this requires bringing our various activist groups together in common struggle. We also believe that there needs to be a resurgence of LGBTQ liberation politics which can challenge cis heteronormativity, commercialisation, and capitalism itself.  In that respect, we set out several approaches to organising the bloc as follows:

  • anti-commercialisation
  • anti-assimilation and anti-homonormativity – by “homonormativity” we mean, in the words of the American author Lisa Duggan, “a privatized, depoliticised gay culture anchored in domesticity and consumption”.
  • bringing together several grassroots campaigns in an effort to repoliticise Pride

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Dublin Pride 2016 Reflections

In 2016 one of what is now the Working Class Queeroes made a video documenting Dublin Pride, highlighting just how intense the corporate and party take-over has become, as well as discussing two radical blocs on the day.

The video transcript is shown below.

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Dublin Pride 2017 – Israeli Pinkwashing Leaflet

Below is one of two leaflets distributed by the Working Class Queeroes to hundreds at Dublin Pride 2017. The other was a general leaflet about the Working Class Queeroes “Fucking Dregs” bloc and what we stand for.

israeli pinkwash leaflet pic

Pinkwashing is not about furthering the cause of LGBT rights – it is the cynical use of LGBT rights to distract from and normalise the settler colonial and apartheid reality that the State of Israel has established in Palestine.  It is designed to cover up these violations with a façade of progressiveness and equality.

It provides an ideological cover and explicit support for Israeli militarism and occupation and apartheid – including a military surveillance unit whose job it is to discover closeted LGBTQ Palestinians and blackmail them into becoming informers by threatening to out them.


Pinkwashing perpetuates racism by portraying Israel as a haven for lgbt people while it conducts ethnic cleansing and demonises surrounding Arab and Muslim countries and societies, painting them as barbaric, uncivilised and brutal.

Major PR Techniques

Israel and its supporters use several PR techniques to re-create the image of Israel in the international arena, while brutalising the Palestinian people. More recently, pinkwashing has become a major component of the Brand Israel PR campaign. Becoming more aware of pinkwashing and being able to recognise it are the first steps of being able to fight it.


Any group or organisation that actively participates in Pinkwashing Israeli war crimes should be boycotted.  Join the global movement for queer powered BDS – the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Palestinian-lead movement.


PayPal discriminates denies its service to Palestinians – though not to Israeli settlers – in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Bank of Ireland

In 2016 Bank of Ireland closed the accounts of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign. To date they have not given any reason for this closure other than the IPSC no longer met the bank’s “risk appetite”. Meanwhile, the bank was sponsoring whiskey tasting sessions in Tel Aviv while touting for business. Do you really want to risk your money with a bank that believes Palestinian rights are a “risky business”, but doing business in Apartheid Israel is just fine?


While Palestinian people are being evicted from their homes, Airbnb are profiting off their stolen homes. Airbnb is listing properties for rent in Israeli settlements that violate international law and occupy Palestinian land illegally. Last year alone Airbnb made almost $1.7bn in revenue, and the company is worth $31bn, yet it continues to profit off the illegal settlements.

What you can do: Tell Airbnb to divest and stop listing accommodation in occupied Palestine. Ireland is the main base for Airbnb business outside the US, and we can demand they stop profiting off stolen land now.

LGBT Tourism in Israel

Any group/organisation that is part of the LGBT tourism in Israel project to promote TLV and Israel as the haven of the Middle East should be boycotted.

Cultural & Academic Institutions

All Israeli cultural and academic institutions unless proven otherwise, receive state funding and are therefore complicit in maintaining the Israeli occupation and should be boycotted. This means events organised by any of those or cooperation with them should be avoided.  This includes Tel Aviv Pride.

More info from Palestinian LGBTQ groups: Al Qaws; Aswat and Palestinian Queers for BDS


Dublin Pride 2017 – Queeroes Leaflet

Below is one of two leaflets the Working Class Queeroes distributed to hundreds at Dublin Pride 2017. The other was a leaflet against Israeli pinkwashing.

Leaflet Header



Pride is more than a parade; it’s a protest. Until we can truly be ourselves without a hint of fear, until there is true liberation for all people, we have a bone to pick and if we are going to be liberated, we can’t allow the corporate sponsors call the shots.

Remember that Pride began because of the five-day Stonewall Riots in 1969, involving volleys of bricks, bottles, and cobblestones launched at police. Pride is a gasp for freedom by the gutter people, a fist raised in defiance of a social order which has forced pink triangles on our bodies and inside our own minds.

That’s why we, the Working Class Queeroes bloc, are marching today with our banner “You Only Gave Us Rights ‘Cos We Gave You Riots” and why we’ve marched here for several years. We care about Pride and want to bring it back to what it was about all along. Sadly Pride has been commercialised. Instead of promoting queer liberation, LGB(T)’s are marching to promote corporations. But real progress means no corporations, and not being used by them for profit because we’re convenient now. Continue reading

Radical Bloc – Dublin Pride 2017 – GCN Magazine

This article is as it appears in the July 2017 edition of GCN Magazine (Gay Community News Ireland) with a few additions. Find it on the GCN website here (page 61).

We also received a shout out in this excellent Daily Edge article and on Rabble’s blog.

main banner pic

In the 34 years since a small group of queer people first marched through the streets of Dublin to celebrate their pride in the face of an establishment that had tacitly endorsed the murder of a gay man in Fairview Park, the Dublin Pride celebrations have changed beyond all recognition. For years LGBT+ organising has pushed in a reformist direction, seeking to accommodate us within the framework of the capitalist state. Inevitably Pride has become politically sanitised and intensely commercial.

The members of the Working Class Queeroes believe that our struggle against oppression must be based upon building the strongest possible movement. This requires bringing our various activist groups together in common struggle. There needs to be a resurgence of LGBT+ liberation politics which can challenge cis heteronormativity, commercialisation, and capitalism itself.


Last year, we brought together various different groups of activists to march together. As recently as 2010, Sex Workers were banned from participating in Dublin Pride. Last year, however, Sex Workers’ Alliance Ireland (SWAI) carried a ‘Queers for Sex Workers’ Rights’ banner to the front and we are happy to be joined by them again this year to continue that pro-decriminalisation message. Continue reading