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Manchester Pride 2014 - Right of way - our legal right to walk to business premises and homes


What happened? Here's what we live blogged during the weekend.


This was the personal experience of a member of staff at one of the village venues. We have permission to publish this with certain details removed.

"I felt belittled and absolutely horrendous, i was make to look like a fool infront of my other staff members, not once, but TWICE!

"So basically, on the saturday night i dressed as XXXXXXXXX [fancy dress], and had my staff pass attatched to my trousers on the costume, the sunday we were back to normal uniform. We didnt finish until 3am on sunday and i was voluntarily back in at 11am the next morning to help out. With the lack of sleep i unfortunately forgot my pass.

"This was fine at at 11am in the morning i was let through the gates and escorted to my place of work, no problems.

"At 6pm i finished work for a few hours until i had to go back to do my managrs face make up, for his XXX XXXXXXXXX. I decided that i had better go and get some form of identification so that i didnt cause problems.

"I first tried the box office, opposite the coach station, but that was closed, i was then advised by security i would have to walk around the outside of the perimeter as i didnt have m staff pass, so i walked around to the second box office near thompsons, who told me they couldnt issue a pass as they had no proof of who i was, id have to go to the box office nearer to picadilly.

"I tried to walk through to picadilly as its a VERY long way around and by this time i had already spent 30 minutes. At the entrance gates i tried to explain the situation of who i was and what had happened, i used my passport, and my staff pass. Which they didnt believe was real.

"They radiod through to get about 4 bouncers on the gates whilst i was there and had to explain my story individually to each one.

"Eventually i got a bit stressed and told one of them to follow me to XXXXXXXXX [bar/workplace], my place of work and he could speak to my manager who could verify me. Eventually David Hassle, who was on gate 5/6 escorted/frogmarched me to XXXXXXXXX [bar/workplace], to which my boss verified who i was, and then printed off a wageslip for me as further proof. David Hassle then told me he could not escort me to the picadilly office, as he didnt have the time, even though he was the only one employed directly by pride who could verify my story, instead he took me to the sackville park entrance and told me i had to walk around on my own.

"I then queued for 10 minutes to get to the box office. Where a man of mixed race, i forget his name, was INCREDIBLY condescneding in front of five other colleagues of his, and made me feel liek a complete idiot by saying sarcastically "how, on earth, could you, POSSIBLY, forget your staff pass"

"I retorted that for 350 days of the year i ddint NEED one! I showed him my passport, staff pass and wage slip but this was not enough proof, he would have to escort me to work, to which i explained to him, it wasnt escorting to work i needed, it was verification that i am who i am so i could walk about the place without being chucked out. by this time we were walking behind taurus. He then told me this was not possible, that i would HAVE to pay a five pound donation to get my wristband, i told him i wouldnt make a forced "donation" to manchester pride, but i would gladly put it in an LGF bucket.

"He then started to say loudly so that all others could hear, that i didnt care about pride and thats why i wouldnt donate. After explaining my stance on the money not being recieved by LGF last year, he then started to say he was going to escort me out if i didnt buy a wristband! eventually he started saying that i ddidnt even work in XXXXXXXXX [bar/workplace], evn though i had asked him to radio through to david hassle on gate 5/6 for advice. He said he didnt have the time to waste on me.

"Eventually i stormed off towards XXXXXXXXX [bar/workplace] so he had to follow. We eventualy got to XXXXXXXXX [bar/workplace] where my boss verified FOR THE SECOND TIME that i worked there, and the guy that led me there then said he didnt have the time to be spending with me, that he wouldnt be able to do anything about my pass.

"A regular of the bar then gave me a spare visitors pass he had so i wouldnt get into further trouble.

"30 minutes later, the guy then gave me a day pass wristband. And i was allowed to wander for 20 minutes of my three hour split shift, before having to go back to work."


Saturday 17:00

These videos show what happened.






Saturday 13:05

"I got in without a wrist band no problem last night, spoke to police first then security no problem. Went to my mates flat, wasn't interested in the venues." Damien

"Oi! Oi! Our experience last night wasn't for the fainthearted....we just walked in and got to about 50m, gaining security guards until got to about a dozen. The lead one then then just said that my DOT letter was crap and he has it on his piece (he then argued his was more recent) I just said "Your wrong call the police", we were surrounded. Any way loads of old bill, who were a bit bemused. Lead Security guard was saying to old bill how he was looking to up-date them....PC had a look at letter and was happy, by this time about half a dozen coppers. Then lead Security asked what was our goal, I put him straight, he had business in asking. Police Sergent just said I was right and to go and we got a Police escort into the village to do as we please.....Do it hold your ground, keep calm. your right." LS


Saturday 10:30

"We got in at 10.30pm we were told it was the law that the public right of way was closed and one of us was physically stopped. Then we were told that we could be there before 11 after the security man spoke to his boss. A ever changing story when they are challenged." Matthew.

"Spoke to a very nice police woman and police man last night and asked them if they would be stopping people without a wristbands from entering to which they replied that they will not be stopping anyone exercising their right of way so don't think it will be a problem." Paul.

"Richmond Tearooms don't ask for wristbands just had a nice pot of tea there." Matthew.

No wristband darling - we won't stand and deliver

Saturday 01:15

"Just down here now been refused entry at two gates." Alex.

Saturday 00:48 and our first reports of access...

From David: "Update. I am in Napoleons and had no problem accessing the site. Was escorted by a very polite and friend security guy who took a photo of the letter and said he hadn't been told about the right of access by anybody! The police were also at the gate and confirmed to security that people have the right to access as long as they are escorted to a bar that allows access without a wristband. That bar being Napoleons."

Further update. Big fan of Charlie Hides and decided to chance my arm in Taurus of all places. Got in no problem and the doorman did not ask to see a wristband.

"ok lots to report, 1st the bands are green,2nd I got stopped going into company bar by the doorman when I asked who would not let me in he said the owner, when I said (****) who is the owner he said he didn't know then he said it was the vba and pointed to the sign on the door. so the doorman who I have never seen refused me entry.

"Then I did get served in a bar that is happy to serve everyone but will not let me say their name. PM me and I will give details. Next and MOST important when leaving I asked if I would be allowed back in(without a band,) I was told no.

They have put on a supervisor on every door to turn us away. This is what I was told by a very polite man NOBODY is getting in without a wrist band when I showed him the paper that said I have the right, he informed me that pride had closed the streets off and you needed a band to get in and the paper was worthless and he was only acting on instructions from pride and the police KNEW that this was the stance that they were taking and supported them.

"Once again the man was very respectful and took a long time talking to me(almost like he had been briefed.) he did contradict himself on numerous occasions when I said I wanted to go to mc' tuckys he said I couldn't then when I said I wanted to go to Napoleons he said I would be escorted. So there it is they are willing to fight to the death, so lets give them a fight. p.s I have pics which I will put on tomorrow afternoon showing how quiet it is." Gary

James had this experience... At the entrance near Thompson's Arms four security guards told him he couldn't enter without a band. One showed him our reply from the Department For Transport as evidence that he couldn't go in! And said that the "crown court" had granted the order.

James was recording video and one guard tried to press stop on his phone! He then called 101, the police arrived, and said that he had a right of way and told the guards to let him through. Well done GMP.

The office said he wasn't going to be a "jobsworth" and that if he was in the same situation he would want to go through too. "Off you go" he said and added that security might follow. However they didn't.

This is all on video and we'll be getting a copy which can also go to the Department For Transport in due course.

And this from From Alan, who is looking on an incident from 2008 in a new light due to the information we have discovered:

"Some years ago in 2008 I decided not to buy a wristband for Pride. I came to Canal Street [where I have been coming since 1972] before 5.30pm and was having my usual half of lager in the street before getting my usual train at 19.04.

"I was approached by 2 security guards who demanded to see my wristband. I explained that I entered before 6pm and that I was peaceably finishing my half-drunk half of lager. A police woman came then along, ripped my drink from my hand and threw the contents onto the pavement. I was then man handled out of the area by six security guards.

"I complained to GMP about this officers actions. Nothing was done. This email is going to GMP who will have a record of this illegal activity, which now seems tantamount to common assault.

"At the time, I was (as most people were) unaware of the legal position. Please post this, my experience, anywhere it may be useful and I will send this to GMP (but not hopeful of a reply). Thanks, Alan"


Factsheet about your right of access to premises via public streets during Manchester Pride The older 2014 Facts About Manchester Pride Right of Way Factsheet is here to download as a PDF document and includes copies of some of the letters received by the campaign from the Department For Transport. Please share!


Send us details of your experiences of accessing the right of way:

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FACTS! Our 2022 factsheet is available to download. As a PDF here. Or as images (handy for sharing on Facebook & Twitter!): page 1 | page 2

There won't be a new factsheet for 2023. Older factsheets can be found on this page.

You can see our Live Blog pages from 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022.

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?