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Video shows Manchester Pride's security guards assault a gay man on a public street while police officers watch and do nothing in 2014

In letters in the weeks before Manchester Pride 2014 the Department For Transport gave clear instructions about pedestrian access to premises during the Pride event. The public and residents had been unlawfully obstructed from pavements every August since 2003.

This man had purchased a wristband. We understand his only "crime" was to tell someone else that they had the right to access premises without a band. As a result he was set upon by Manchester Pride's guards as he stood on the corner of Sackville Street and Bloom Street. A public pavement.

Assaulted by security at Manchester Pride 2014

As you'll see in the video, the man, who we understand is partially sighted, was dragged along the street to outside the fenced area. He was forced to the ground and held there and at this point the video ends. His wristband was cut off.

Greater Manchester Police is paid tens of thousands of pounds by Manchester Pride. You can see that police officers watched and did nothing as the assault took place. If the man had done anything wrong it was a matter for the police.

You will hear the man say that he and his mother intend to go to Napoleons bar.

This happened on a public pavement. The man had every right to be there and to make his way to Napoleons ("premises") as stated by Department For Transport. Manchester Pride's security guards had no powers nor right to touch him. This was an assault and a criminal offence. A gay man assaulted at a pride event in Manchester for speaking up about his civil rights.

The incident happened at 14:22 on Sunday 24 August 2014. The previous day there was a protest at the Whitworth/Sackville Street gate. Pride, Police and Manchester City Council were fully aware of the issues and the law.

The Local Government Ombudsman ruled the following April (2015) and confirmed what the Department For Transport had written.

Four years after this incident took place there has been no public apology from Manchester Pride for misleading the public about wristbands since 2003 and for incidents like this one. People continued to buy bands unnecessarily out of ignorance.

Mark Fletcher, the current CEO of Manchester Pride was in the role when this assault happened. Recently he has been appointed to the LGBT panel that has been put together by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. Is Mr Fletcher an appropriate person for the Panel, when he heads an organisation that has been responsible for incidents like this one as well as the wristband scam?

Factsheet 2022/23

2022 factsheet Our 2022 Factsheet (PDF) about Manchester Pride is available (there won't be a new factsheet for 2023). Read about your right to access the Gay Village without buying a wristband, history & opinion .

Download the PDF version.

And here it is as two images (handy for sharing on social media): page 1 | page 2

Our factsheet from 2021 is still well-worth a look. It has four pages of facts, gossip and fun. Download it as a PDF here. See our factsheets page for other years.

Useful reading

The ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in April 2015 (PDF). The Ombudsman decided that Manchester City Council had exceeded its powers by mentioning wristbands in a traffic order and that it was unlawful to restrict access to premises (businesses and homes).

Minutes of a meeting at Marketing Manchester in November 2002. These show that those present were told they couldn't charge people to enter public streets. However some of them went ahead and did so from 2003 onwards for a decade.

At the meeting were: Manchester City Council, GHT, the LGF (now known as the LGBT Foundation), Marketing Manchester, the organisers of Europride 2003. The advice seems to have come from the police. Yet the police apparently then turned a blind eye...

This document was unearthed at the Library Archives quite recently by a FactsMCR campaigner.

The media

Since the ruling by the Local Government Ombudsman in 2015 the media — both LGBT and mainstream — have stayed silent about the decade-long wristband fiddle and your rights. So some people continue to pay unnecessarily.

All your favourites know: GayStarNews, Pink News, Manchester Evening News, The Guardian, BBC and many more. In a letter to us, the BBC defended its journalist right not to report this. The same BBC that championed consumer rights at one time now prefers to cosy up to the civil-rights-infringing Manchester Pride, as a "sponsor" (the BBC says it doesn't give money).

These organisations don't need to lie. They simply ignore an issue completely. Or, they report some of the facts; perhaps popping in just one or two bits they don't like, to add a fake impression of balance. That's how they manipulate opinion in the direction they think it should go.

The veteran ITV reporter John Pilger says that "not reporting" is the most powerful form of censorship.

What else aren't they telling us?