Peter J Walsh | Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Clause 28 or Section 28 was a legislative designation for a series of laws across Britain that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities, including a ban on schools teaching the “acceptability of homosexuality as a familial relationship”.

Coming into force in May 1988, Clause 28 was an attempt to suppress the gay community at a time when it was already struggling to deal with the AIDS epidemic and the media-fuelled backlash towards the community. On the 20th of February 1988, a large anti-Clause 28 protest was held in Manchester with over 20,000 people taking to the streets to voice their anger towards the Thatcher-led government. The march culminated in Albert Square and remains one of the largest LGBT demonstrations ever held in the UK.

Peter J Walsh, more well-known for documenting the city’s nightlife during the ‘Madchester’ years, is one of the few who documented this important protest that would help change the face of LGBTQ+ rights in the UK. 

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

“The Anti-Clause 28 demo was one of the largest demonstrations I had covered in Manchester during that period. The starting point was on Oxford Road, by the Poly, and participants seemed to go on as far as the eye could see. Manchester City Council estimated that 20,000 people attended the demo, which was loud, happy, and vibrant. The country had been under Thatcher’s rule since 1979, and people were determined to fight back against this law. The left-wing council of Manchester welcomed the marchers and stood with them in solidarity against the divisive Tory government. The LGBQT community’s civil liberties were under attack by Thatcher, and we were prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and say enough is enough.” – Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Clause 28 Demonstration Manchester, 1988.
Clause 28 Demonstration, Manchester, 1988.

Photo © Peter J Walsh.

Gallery first published 23rd May, 2022.

© Peter J Walsh / British Culture Archive. All rights reserved.

All images © Peter J Walsh, all rights reserved. No usage or reproduction of any kind without prior permission of the copyright holder.

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