LGBT activists arrested during royal wedding

police April 29th, 2011 by Ruth.Pearce

Members of anti-cuts group Queer Resistance were arrested in central London today after gathering over a kilometre away from the royal wedding celebrations.

Police arrested a number “zombie flashmob” participants, and prevented others from holding a picnic in Soho Square.

A section 60 cordon was put in place in the centre of London this morning in response to reports that anarchists were “masking up” in Soho Square. The move gave police the power to stop and search anyone in the area.

In a YouTube video uploaded by a protester, police officers can be seen telling unmasked lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists dressed as zombies to disperse before they “offend” royalists.

“So the line is because the pro-monarchy people are coming here, you have to make us go,” asks a protester. “Yes,” they are told, before being informed that: “you have four minutes, either you leave or be arrested”.

A number of individuals were arrested after arriving early in Soho Square. In an interview with Lesbilicious, queer activist Logan Le’Belle described how police arrested him on suspicion of intention to breach the peace after finding a small tube of red paint and a flyer for the zombie flashmob on his person.

“I’ve never been arrested in my life, despite my appearance I’m a law abiding citizen,” said Le’Belle. “They only arrested us because we had make-up”.

Le’Belle alleges that police officers consistently misgendered both himself and his companion, a trans woman. He described how a police woman “cupped” his companion’s “genital area” in order to ascertain her genital status before conducting a search.

The pair were questioned and then held in a police cell for three hours before being released without charge. “It was really horrible,” said Le’Belle. “We hadn’t done anything, we weren’t protesting”.

The arrests occurred as over fifty political pages, including “Save NHS”, “Rochdale Law Centre” and “ArtsAgainst Cuts” were removed from Facebook without warning. Police also performed a number of “pre-emptive” arrests on known activists ahead of the royal wedding.

 comments

  • Thank you for this article. I hope that any of the LGBT who were subjected to having their genital areas ‘cupped’ by the Police, will be submitting formal complaints to the IPCC? I find it incredibly offensive that they did that.

    Katie ∼ April 29th, 2011 11:26 pm
  • 2nding Katie.
    <3 to all.

    R Ross Selavy ∼ April 30th, 2011 3:38 pm
  • Hey. I’m compiling a collection of stories on police repressing the right to protest. Would it be ok if I included yours?
    All the best, keep up the fight!
    Luke

    Luke ∼ April 30th, 2011 5:44 pm
  • I have written a log of what happened on the day.

    http://fanoffury.wordpress.com/

    Logan Le'Belle ∼ April 30th, 2011 11:13 pm
  • Well every one was warned there would be zero tolerance on this day so why turn up ?? Sorry but with the queen n so many important royals attending they wernt gonna take any chances that means any x

    Sarah bristol ∼ May 1st, 2011 9:06 am
  • @Sarah: I was under the impression that they weren’t actually protesting, so they had no reason to believe that such “zero tolerance” would affect them.

    Also, “zero tolerance” sounds to me to be an excuse to suppress protesting - something which should be a right. Peaceful citizens - protesting or otherwise - should never have to fear “zero tolerance” measures.

    Bella ∼ May 1st, 2011 9:19 am
  • It isn’t about “tolerance”, it’s about abuse of police powers. If people broke any law then arrest them, but breach of the peace is already the second most ill-defined law on the statute (after terrorism) and yet police arrested people who’d committed no crimes in the vague hope that they might prevent one. The police were reckless with the liberty of innocent people.

    J McK ∼ May 1st, 2011 9:25 am
  • You have to actually break a rule for it to count as ‘zero tolerance’, Sarah. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_tolerance

    The article also says they were over 1km away from the wedding. The Queen wasn’t exactly “attending” Soho Square, was she?

    Anne Archist ∼ May 1st, 2011 12:05 pm

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