Trans activists clash with conservative protesters
- Groups clashed outside story time event at the Honor Oak pub in South London
A violent clash outside a drag queen story time event in south London yesterday saw protesters injured and four arrests, with two people charged.
Pro-LGBTQ demonstrators and conservative activists faced off outside the Honor Oak pub in Lewisham yesterday during the reading session, while a transgender activist alleged they were punched in the face by a Met Police officer.
Turning Point UK, which assembled to argue the storytelling session is not suitable for children, claims their protesters ‘were attacked by armed thugs in masks swinging sticks’. The right wing group alleged a ‘concerned parent’ attending their event was stabbed in the hand.
A trans activist also claimed to have suffered ‘serious injuries’ after being punched in the face by a cop while administering first aid to fellow demonstrators. The force has said it was ‘unlikely that their injuries had been sustained as a result of contact with police’.
Of the four arrested, Jamie Turvey, 33, from Farnborough, was charged with using words to cause harassment, alarm or distress and Amardeep Dhillon, 28, from Lewisham was charged for failure to comply with conditions.
Two others were arrested in connection with the demonstrations and have been bailed pending further enquiries.
Clashes outside the pub, which appeared to have suffered damage including broken windows, between the two groups are reportedly a monthly occurrence.
Police confirmed in a statement yesterday that two people had been arrested for assault and a third for a public order offence.
Footage from the protest shows how chaos erupted outside the Honor Oak pub while drag queen That Girl hosted the storytelling session.
Video footage shared online shows how masked demonstrators swinging sticks that appeared to double as pro-LGBTQ flags clashed with other protesters.
Turning Point UK told MailOnline that their demonstrators arrived outside the pub around 6am yesterday to ‘secure the ground’ – alleging that police have ‘made it clear to both sides that whoever arrives first to an area is allowed to set up there and the other side will be moved down the pavement’.
The group claims that upon their arrival they were met by a ‘hostile group of masked thugs brandishing wooden clubs’, which some are understood to have had ‘sharpened ends’.
The protesters allege that members of the ‘ANTIFA group’ then proceeded to follow and chase them down the pavement with their clubs as they tried to ‘illegally block us from setting up our speakers and banners’.
‘These radical gender activists also pelted the concerned parents who had joined us with glass and plastic bottles,’ a Turning Point UK spokesperson told MailOnline.
‘The far-left thugs attempted to barge our protesters out of the way with their wooden clubs and then when we continued to set up they began beating people, and one even stabbed one of our protesters with a metal object.’
The group alleged that one protester, whom they identified as a ‘concerned parent’, was stabbed in the hand after the left-wing activists had targeted his face. He ‘managed to block the attack with his hand’, Turning Point UK claimed.
Similarly, the pro-LGBTQ protesters allege that their demonstrators were injured during the clash yesterday.
The Trans Safety Network – branding the conservatives as ‘fascists’, a term Turning Point UK disputes – alleged that activist Ada was injured during the face off.
‘The fascists grabbed people and began attacking them, breaking the pub window and causing serious injuries,’ the group tweeted alongside a photo of Ada.
The left wing group further claimed that police ‘targeted trans protesters whilst providing urgent first aid care’.
They stated: ‘Ada was providing this first aid support and was punched across the face by TSG officers trying to arrest someone.’
Met Police, in a statement provided to MailOnline, seemingly denied the accusation, saying: ‘We are aware of a photo on social media showing a person outside The Honor Oak pub in Lewisham with facial injuries.
‘It has been alleged that they were punched by a police officer during an altercation between protest groups on the morning of Saturday, 24 June.
‘Initial enquiries after the incident suggested it was unlikely that their injuries had been sustained as a result of contact with police.’
The statement continued: ‘Following further enquiries, we now believe the person was in the immediate vicinity when officers moved in to the middle of a group of protestors to detain an individual and it is possible that this is when they sustained their injuries.
‘Officers attempted to engage with them at the scene about their injuries but they declined any assistance. Should they wish to contact us at any point we will be happy to speak to them.’
Ada, addressing their injuries in a post online, added: ‘Don’t look at this picture of me and be afraid of coming down. Look at me, get angry, and come down. Make it clear that this won’t stand in Lewisham.’
The Trans Safety Network also claimed the ‘fascists broke flags to pieces and began launching them towards people’. They added that their demonstrators were told that protesters would ‘kick the s**t out of them’ if they did not ‘relinquish their flags’.
However, Turning Point UK says they ‘did not antagonise’ the group and instead ‘walked past them in an effort to set up away from them in an open space next to the Honor Oak before the protest’.
The right wing group alleged they ‘were attacked and acted in self-defence’, noting that is why ‘none of our people were arrested’.
Met Police have confirmed that three individuals were arrested at the protest. It is unclear if any have been formally charged yet.
Honor Oak pub has not yet responded to the violence, although photos show the establishment suffered damage during the clash.
A statement on the pub’s website published before yesterday’s incident read: ‘It has come to our attention that there may be some misunderstanding about the event, so we wanted to reassure you all that our popular Magical Storytelling event will be age appropriate and it isn’t anything different to what families will see and experience together in a theatre.
‘This event is an opportunity for families and friends to come together and listen to a reading of a storybook and have fun. The most important thing for us is that everyone is safe and happy when they are here.’
It is unclear if story time, which appears to be a routine event at the pub, will continue in the future.
MailOnline has approached Honor Oak pub and the Trans Safety Network for comment.