The re-formed Lesbians and Gay Men Support the Miners (LGSM) decided on 9 October 2015 that we would wind down as a current campaigning force and focus on the task of keeping alive the legacy of our work in 1984-85 and putting together a digital historical archive of documents, photos, personal stories, videos, audio recordings and all other written material connected to the strike. A full archive of our work in 1984-85 and more recently will be made available to all on the LGSM website (lgsm.org) in the coming months.
We took this decision with enormous pride at the role we have played in inspiring a new layer of activists and supporters to remember the strike, to keep the flame burning and to embrace the spirit of solidarity embodied by LGSM’s work. We are certain that the many young (and old!) people that have been encouraged by our work will play a full part in LGBT, socialist and labour movement campaigns and in the wider struggle to create a better society.
LGSM members will carry on taking the fight to the Tories and the rich elite in any way we can in a range of campaigns, trade unions, parties and other movements.
However, we felt that it would be wrong for future campaigning work to be channelled through LGSM, for the following reasons
We very much hope that the links made through our Facebook and Twitter presence, the touring and campaigning we have been part of will promote new alliances between our supporter network and we encourage them to make these connections in the near future. Ultimately, our social media presence will wind down and the Facebook Group will close on 31 December 2015. We will continue to use our Twitter feed to publicise website updates to followers for the foreseeable future.
We would like to thank those younger people who joined our numbers during 2014/15 – most of whom were not even born when the 1984/5 strike took place. We also wish to thank our wider supporter network - you have all been truly marvellous over the last year. You have assisted us in our work in many ways, from organising meetings, or screenings of Pride and Still the Enemy Within. You have invited us to take part in, and often lead, so many Pride events around the country. The response we received at so many of these will stay in our collective memory forever and you know that LGSM never forget our friends!
Special thanks to those from the Neath, Dulais and Swansea Valleys, who are our firm comrades and our partners in this year’s adventure.
Huge thanks to Stephen Beresford, who wrote the amazing script of Pride, and whose dream and perseverance made this year possible. Thanks also to the Director Matthew Warchus, Producer, David Livingstone, Executive Producer Cameron McCracken and all those at Pathé. Thanks also to the astonishingly good cast, many of whom are now our friends and comrades, and the entire crew from the film who all did their bit to make this dream come true and give LGSM such a year to remember.
We wish to thank the many trade union bodies that have supported our work in the last year – from the TUC and SERTUC to individual trade union branches and the international trade union federations in Belgium and the Netherlands. Thanks also to the many student bodies that have been part of our journey this year – and joined us on so many of the Pride events across the country.
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our friends at Bad Bonobo, the team behind the documentary Still The Enemy Within. They have not only invited us to participate in screenings across the country – they have also helped us record much of our journey this year on film.
Finally, we thank our amazing number of international supporters, who took our message all over the world, from the USA and Canada, through Norway, Sweden, France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany and all the way to Korea and Japan. To the many successor bodies (among them, LGSDockers in Norway, LGSMigrants in Denmark, Italy and the UK), we send solidarity. We would particularly like to mention our friends and comrades in Turkey in their heroic and tragic struggle and our thoughts are with them and the families of those who were lost at Suruc.
As this chapter of our history closes, we ask you all to keep an eye on the LGSM website. LGSM members remain available for speaking engagements at screenings and meetings. If anyone wants a speaker, please contact us via the LGSM website Contact page.