Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Counter-Pride March in Madrid: The Sisters of Stonewall Would Have Been Proud of Us

Orgullo Crítico is an effort to deepen the analysis of “pink capitalism,” and is fueled by an anti-systemic spirit.

Carmen C.A.

July 15, 2017
Facebook Twitter Share

See reports on Orgullo Critico in Izquierda Diario, Spanish State.

The Orgullo Crítico (Critical Pride) took place this year on June 28th in Madrid to protest the city’s hosting of World Pride, the commercialized gay pride. World Pride is hosted in a different city each year. This was Madrid’s second Orgullo Crítico, with participants noting that the number of demonstrators had grown significantly since last year.

Orgullo Crítico attracted so much attention this year that none of the official media sources were able to ignore it. They were all forced to dedicate a few lines to the countermarch– although most with a certain pejorative tone.

Orgullo Crítico is an effort to deepen the analysis of “pink capitalism,” and is fueled by an anti-systemic spirit. This year it surpassed all expectations in the number of people who took to the streets to “protest, not parade”– one of the many chants. Such chants challenged the commercialization of the LGBT struggle, while highlighting and combatting the homo-nationalism and pink-washing of the US and Israel (that market themselves as “gay friendly” while violently repressing the Palestinian community). The march brings attention to the fact that luxury hotels and businesses profit off of pride when cover their businesses with rainbow flags and receive millions of tourists. Yet the hyper exploitation of the workers remains constant.

Orgullo Crítico is a signal that there is a sector of LGBT people that does not feel represented by a politics that commodifies our struggles for freedom. Our struggles should not be transformed into a business.

The protest passed fervorously through the streets of Madrid with non-complacent chants against the Church, capitalist political parties, pink capitalism, lesbian invisibility, racism, transphobia, biphobia, the advance of fascism, ableism, police brutality, and against the alliance formed between cis-heteropatriarchy and Capital. At some points, Orgullo Critico’s chants could be heard over the World Pride music that tried to drown them out.

Among the groups that protested were blocks such as, Plurisexualidades (Plurisexualities), Non-monogomous, anti-racist trans-fronterizo, the student block, the Trans Marica Bollo Assembly, and Pan y Rosas, among many others. The groups started from the Plaza Nelson Mandela in the neighborhood of Lavapiés towards Plaza España and finally to the Puerta del Sol, where the organizers read a manifesto stating that “if rights are only for a few, they become privileges.”

They also denounced the pinkwashing of the police, who appeared “tolerant” that week, but who spend the entire year persecuting LGBT people, especially people of color. Interviewed by Left Voice, participants of the Orgullo Critico denounced they were: “the same police who repress our community, enforce fascist laws,” in reference to the Ley Mordaza (or gag law, first introduced two years ago), which includes fines for protesting and photographing police. These are the same police who “turn the other way when a group of fascists attack us, like what recently happened in Murcia,” they added.

They also criticized the Community of Madrid and the municipality directed by Manuela Carmen, who promoted World Pride. “When pink tourism is received with open arms, we will not forget institutional racism…nor the blood that is shed on the borders of this country.”

Facing the commercialization of pride and pink capitalism, today more than ever, we must recover the spirit of Stonewall and the Compton Cafeteria Riot, and incite a wider LGBTQIA movement independent of State institutions and the Church. We need a movement that is in alliance with the most oppressed and exploited sectors, especially with working class struggle, to reignite the spark needed to win our rights and fight against the criminal alliance between capitalism and patriarchy.

Facebook Twitter Share


Migrants from Northern Africa sit in lines on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Crisis in Lampedusa: Down with Fortress Europe, Open the Borders!

The way out of the immigration crisis is through the struggle against imperialism. This is a declaration from the European organizations of the Trotskyist Fraction - Fourth International.

Germany Is Threatening to Deport Palestinian Refugees for Their Activism

#StandWithZaid: Zaid Abdulnasser, the coordinator of the Palestine solidarity network Samidoun Germany, is a Palestinian refugee from Syria. The German are threatening to revoke his residence permit due to his political activism.

Tom Krüger

September 18, 2023

Stellantis Workers in France Walk Out to Demand Breaks amid Heat Wave

Workers at a Stellantis plant in France walked out to force management to address their health concerns amid the suffocating heatwave.

Sam Carliner

September 14, 2023

FT-CI Summer Schools in Europe: More than 1,000 Young People and Workers Discuss the Challenges of Building Revolutionary Currents

The Trotskyist Fraction is moving forward with renewed strength toward our task of converging with the most advanced sectors of the working class and the youth who are looking for a real alternative to the madness and injustice of the capitalist system. 

Josefina L. Martínez

September 14, 2023


China’s Rise, ‘Diminished Dependency,’ and Imperialism in Times of World Disorder

In this broad-ranging interview, originally published in LINKS, Trotskyist Fraction member Esteban Mercatante discusses how recent global shifts in processes of capital accumulation have contributed to China’s rise, the new (and old) mechanisms big powers use to plunder the Global South, and its implications for anti-imperialist and working-class struggles today.

Esteban Mercatante

September 22, 2023
President Biden giving a speech on Friday, September 15, about the UAW strike. A UAW sign in the background.

Joe Biden Is Afraid of the UAW Strike. That’s a Good Thing.

A few days ago, Biden called on the bosses of the Big Three automakers to give concessions to the striking UAW workers. It’s because he’s scared of the UAW’s power.

Enid Brain

September 20, 2023
NYC Mayor Eric Adams stands at a podium.

The Housing Crisis and Migrant Crisis Are Crises of Capitalism

As thousands of people come to the U.S. seeking shelter, politicians around the country are claiming that housing in the U.S. is already in crisis and that there is no room for them. Both the “migrant crisis” and “housing crisis” are crises created and exacerbated by capitalism.

Mike Pappas

September 20, 2023

To Win, the UAW Strike Must Be Organized from Below

The strike at the Big Three has put the working class at the center of national politics. The autoworkers’ demands are bold and touch on issues of growing exploitation across the country. To win big, the strike must be organized from below.

Tristan Taylor

September 18, 2023