Protesters clash over drag queen story time at Tate Britain

Protesters clash over drag queen story time at Tate Britain thumbnail

Protesters clashed outside the Tate Britain over a drag queen storytelling event on Saturday.

Nationalist organisation Patriotic Alternative is understood to be leading a group of demonstrators against children’s author Aida H Dee reading to families at the London art gallery.

They came face to face with counter-protesters, led by campaign group Stand Up To Racism, gathered in support of the story-telling event.

People opposed to the reading held placards bearing the slogans “No drag for kids!” and “Leave our kids alone!”.

A second group held signs saying “Don’t let the far right divide us” and “Trans rights now”.

One person was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence regarding comments made to a police officer, the Metropolitan Police told Sky News.

No injuries have been reported and officers are at the scene, the force added.

Dee hosted three story-telling sessions at 11am, 12pm and 2pm at the gallery in Millbank.

The award-winning author tweeted how the first show “went amazing”, with “no problems and loads of families”.

Five people then gained access to the building causing disruption which did not affect the second performance, Dee said, adding it went “swimmingly”.

Dee hosted Drag Queen Story Hour as part of events to mark LGBT History Month.

Tate Britain said on its website that the drag artist is the first in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery.

Protesters and police at the scene outside Tate Britain

Protesters and counter-demonstrators clashed outside the central London art gallery

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A blurb about the author said: “Aida H Dee is an ADHD, neurodivergent, queer hero of literature, theatre, and children’s entertainment.

“She is a patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets London, a professional author, a five star Edinburgh Fringe act, has been featured on Forbes Magazine for being an activist for neurodivergence, and has recently been awarded Local Leader Of The Year in 2022 by PinkNews.”

Patriotic Alternative describes itself as “the most active, dynamic and fastest growing nationalist organisation in Britain”.

A spokesman for Tate Britain said none of its events had been disrupted by the protest.

“Police attended a disturbance outside the Tate Britain this morning,” they said.

“The gallery has remained opened to visitors throughout the day and all events went ahead as planned.”