April 29, 2011
LGBT activists arrested during royal wedding
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.
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