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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 gbclegal@riseup.net. 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.

In Solidarity,

Queer Resistance

https://www.facebook.com/qresistance
http://queerresistance.tumblr.com/
http://twitter.com/queerresistance

06/06/17 Jeremy Corbyn in Birmingham

Video: Starbucks Zombies

Seeing the police had grabbed one person for no apparent reason and were lining three of the four exits to Soho Square, the five who had been in Soho Square for a zombie flashmob, decided to leave the area as they may be about to be kettled. They went to a Starbucks on the corner of Oxford Street to get away and have a coffee, but from here they were stopped and searched under Section 60, and then arrested for ‘breach of the peace’.

Having been illegally detained after their stop and search was over, the Starbucks Zombies are arrested by a different group of police officers who were brought in to affect the arrest. As you can see none of the police officers were quite clear on the reasons for the charges and mostly looked embarrassed.

After their arrest, detention, and eventual release, three of the five Starbucks Zombies spoke to reporter Mary Hamilton about what had happened to them.

Another of the Starbucks Zombies speaks to Mary Hamilton about her ordeal. She would like the clarify that the powers were Section 60, not Section 16. She also wishes to retract her statement about people “clearly antagonising” the police. “I have since seen footage from up close of what actually happened. From across the square we could just see people getting wound up and loud, and we knew it’d be smart to get out of there fast.”

Video: Snatch and Grab at Soho Square

In Soho Square one anarchist was snatched (and presumably arrested) by plainclothes police officers who did not announce themselves or give reason for his detention. In this video it is clear to see that he was not doing anything illegal. The cameraman was assaulted and then prevented from leaving Soho Square.