Creative Workshop: Birmingham Pride #DropHSBC
Pinkwashing is a propaganda strategy by which states or corporations seek to deflect attention from human rights violations by presenting a façade of support for LGBTQ+ rights.
HSBC invest over £800million in and provide syndicated loans worth up to £19billion for, companies arming Israel. One such company is Caterpillar, who supplies the Israeli military, with specifically designed bulldozers. These bulldozers are used specifically to demolish Palestinian communities, construct Israel's illegal settlements and apartheid wall.
To obscure their complicity, and protect their branding, HSBC provides sponsorship and funding for LGBT+ pride festivals across the world, and in the UK they are the main sponsors of Birmingham pride. This funding acts to ‘pinkwash’ HSBC's image, concealing their involvement in human rights abuses.
Palestinian LGBTQ+ group, Aswat, have called for transnational solidarity to campaign against HSBC’s sponsorship of pride:
“From queers to queers, we want to call on all UK groups and specifically groups in Birmingham not to accept HSBC’s sponsorship, in the name of transnational solidarity. We, Palestinians, want to send companies and states who pinkwash their crimes a clear message: oppressed groups know too well that no one will be free unless we are all free, and no group’s rights should be used to cover the violation of any other group’s rights.”
2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that led to the birth of the modern Pride movement - but the struggle for ‘Absolute Freedom for All’ - the original aim of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) who founded Pride inspired by the Black Power Movement - is far from over. States, corporations and institutions at the heart of the military-industrial-complex that makes billions of pounds of profit from a weapons industry that continues to M**der queers (and others) across the world use Pride as a tokenistic event to try to clean up their reputation - and we ain’t going to stand for it!
Join this workshop and get directly involved in this campaign calling on Birmingham Pride to #DropHSBC! The workshop is facilitated by Dan Glass from ‘No Pride in War’ and Beautiful Trouble - a book, web toolbox and international network of artist-activist trainers whose mission is to make grassroots movements more creative and more effective.