Section 28 of the UK’s Local Government Bill was only added to that Bill on December 8th 1987. Yet, within a week, the newly-created Organisation for Lesbian and Gay Action (OLGA) had organised an 800-strong lobby of MPs at the Houses of Parliament.
Shortly thereafter, OLGA organised a series of strategy meetings at Islington Town Hall as well as a picket of the Greater London Labour Party.
But momentum really began to build in January when a national demonstration, called at short notice over the Christmas period, attracted 12,000 people. Press reports at the time suggest that many of the demonstrators thad neven been on a demonstration before. But Section 28 (or Section 27 as it was initially) had changed all that – people were furious.
The anger of the protestors was matched by the heavy-handed nature of the police response. Mounted police and riot police were present at the demonstration’s rallying point. There were also allegations of police brutality when demonstrators broke through a police cordon at Downing Street.
By the end of the day, more than 40 people had been arrested and charged with a bizarre range of offences that included kissing in public and carrying two banner poles.