UK: Violent Clashes Over London Art Gallery’s Drag Queen Event for Children

Ugly scenes unfolded outside the Tate Britain in London today at a protest against the art gallery hosting a drag queen story-telling event for children.

The Tate was hosting Drag Queen Story Hour UK, with tales told by author Aida H Dee, who the gallery’s website describes as “the first drag artist in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery”.

The drag queen was staging three story-telling sessions on Saturday, at 11am, noon and 2pm.

Chants of 'nazi scum' and 'shame on you' could be heard
Chants of ‘nazi scum’ and ‘shame on you’ could be heard

Protesters opposed to the event demonstrated outside the building, holding signs reading: “No drag for kids!” and “Leave our kids alone!”

The scene turned violent when those in attendance clashed with counter-protesters.

The group Stand Up to Racism attended with placards including “Don’t let the far right divide us” and “Trans rights now.”

Chants of “nazi scum, off our streets” and “shame on you” could be heard being screamed.

Five protesters are said to have entered the Tate building but failed to interrupt the story telling event.

Dee described the day as “proper emotional” on social media.

The drag queen added on Twitter that while “fuss elsewhere in the building” disrupted the first shows, the second performance “went swimmingly”.

There was a heavy police presence outside the art gallery, with officers forced to intervene to keep apart the two groups as fighting broke out.

The demonstration took place this morning
The demonstration took place this morning
Stand Up to Racism held a counter protest
Stand Up to Racism held a counter protest

One person has been arrested on suspicion of making a racially aggravated comment towards a police officer.

Around 60 people were in attendance outside the Tate in total.

A spokesman for the Tate said: “Police attended a disturbance outside Tate Britain this morning.

“The gallery has remained open to visitors throughout the day and all events went ahead as planned.’



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