Peter Tatchell, a courageous human-rights campaigner
Adam Dawe from ditto writes about this month’s Campfire storytelling night, and its guest speaker, Peter Tatchell.
Peter Tatchell has been campaigning for equal rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice since 1967. Co-founder of the world’s longest surviving LBGT human rights direct action movement OutRage!, Peter’s activist approach is firmly rooted in the non-violent struggle from key political inspirations like Mahatma Gandhi, Sylvia Pankurst and Martin Luther King. Peter is also the director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, promoting global awareness, understanding, protection and implementation of human rights, and the Green Party’s spokesperson on human rights
Peter stood as the Labour Party candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election, but was defeated in the most violent and homophobic election in modern British history. In 1987 his determined lobbying helped persuade Thabo Mbeki & the ANC to include a ban on anti-gay discrimination in South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution, the first ever constitution in the world to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In 1999 he made a citizen’s arrest of Robert Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, which resulted in Peter being arrested and Mugabe getting a police escort to go shopping at Harrods. 2 years later Peter again attempted a citizen’s arrest of Mugabe in Brussels, which resulted in him being beaten unconscious by Mugabe’s bodyguards.
He has confronted Mike Tyson about homophobic slurs used to promote a boxing match, which resulted in Tyson publically stating “I oppose all discrimination against gay people”, and has joined the attempted 2007 Moscow Gay Pride marches, which again resulted in him being beaten up.
So as you can see, Peter is not afraid to speak out.
And here is a chance to hear what he has to say, not just about his beliefs and causes, but about his life, the challenges he has faced, the journey he has taken, direct from Peter himself, and all for free at ditto’s Campfire.
As an advocate of quality of life, and an intelligent and articulate speaker, Peter will bring to Campfire his concerns about the infringements of human rights to inspire the audience to think thoughtfully about the world surrounding us and if needed, take action, like he does.
Alongside Peter’s talk there will be a specially curated exhibition showcasing some of the public opinion-changing Outrage! campaigns, as captured by renowned reportage photographer Steve Mayes. Street protests from Outrage!’s early days in the 1990s to the ‘Equal Love’ campaign of the present day are all proudly displayed on the ditto doors gallery space.
Peter’s Campfire will take place at ditto’s studio on the 18th April at 7pm – please get in touch at email@example.com for free rsvp.
The Lighthouse, 1a Canonbury Yard, 190 New North Road, N1 7BJ