Statement from Queer Resistance re: Events on 29th of April
On 29th April Queer Resistance the LGBTQI anti-cuts collective planned a Royal Zombie Wedding Celebration in Soho incorporating a picnic breakfast, performances, a zombie blessing and marriage ceremony by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence followed by a zombie flash mob through Soho.
This action, neither pro nor anti royal, was to highlight the impact of the cuts on the LGBTQI community, most notably;
· HIV care & prevention services
· Domestic violence services
· Treatment referrals for transgender people
· Hate crime prevention & victim support
· Youth homelessness prevention
· Anti-homophobic bullying work in schools
· Support to under 18s at risk of sexual exploitation
· Rape crisis services
· Disability living allowance and housing benefit
· Pride funding
The morning saw several arrests of early arrivals to the action; all were placed in cells, de-arrested and released after several hours. There was some particularly bad treatment by the police which included an alleged assault of one of the arrestees.
The group decided to persevere with the action and met in Soho Square at 12 o’clock, planning to picnic at 1pm after seeking confirmation from police that no arrests would be made for picnicing. Shortly after people had gathered at 1pm and before the performances were to take place individuals from the group spoke with police to once again confirm that no arrests would be made, the full video of this conversation is here: http://bambuser.com/channel/ronanshaun/broadcast/1615419
Approximately half an hour after this conversation the police evicted the group from Soho Square under threat of arrest, the full video of this can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zt98ys08vo&NR=1
Individuals from Queer Resistance are now in touch with legal advisers who are seeking statements from witnesses to the arrests; these should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those arrested are also asked to get in touch with Queer Resistance as we are planning a full debrief session to give support to those affected, discuss further action and to learn as a group from what happened.
Queer Resistance is a collective of queers and allies from across the UK coming together to fight the cuts – including lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer folk. We come from all communities, backgrounds and walks of life and we share this common objective. As a group we strongly defend the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression both of which were denied to us yesterday.