Far right protesters have been clashing outside of Tate Britain over a drag queen story telling event for children.
The Tate have hired Aida H Dee to read stories to children, the gallery’s website describes the performer as ‘the first drag artist in Europe to read stories to children in a nursery.’
The event has gone ahead despite the large police presence outside and confrontations between both groups of protesters.
Drag queen Dee tweeted that five protesters made it into the gallery and that one person was arrest outside for hate speech.
Outside, T-shirts with slogans such as ‘groom dogs not children’ are being worn by the far-right protesters, while placards such as ‘Don’t let the far-right divide us. Defend LGBTQ+ communities’ are being held by the counter-demonstrators.
Right wing protesters clash with counter protesters outside the Tate Britain gallery in London in response to a ‘Drag Queen Story Hour’
The pop up event involves drag queen and activist Aida H Dee reading stories to children
Aida H Dee’s story telling event has gone ahead (pictured) despite the large police presence outside
Anti fascists and members of Stand up to Raciscm demonstrate against the Patriotic Alternative protest at the Tate Britain
In honor of LGBTQ history month Aida H Dee was booked to perform for children
The protests were organised by groups that encouraged attendees to ‘mask up’
The Transgender Action Block called on people to join a counter protest, but said ‘these people are dangerous’ and encouraged attendees to not be ‘identifiable’.
The drag queen’s real name is Sab Samuel, and he has been on a tour called Drag Queen Story Hour UK – which has been protested at various venues.
Samuel sparked anger after old social media posts came to light, where he made a crude joke about an orgy, and another about how ‘love has no age’.
In a similarly unpleasant — and now-deleted — offering last November, Samuel threatened to publish the personal information of a female critic and as recently as April, he aimed an abusive threat at ‘Terfs’.
Other questionable images he has posted include a picture of a pubescent boy and an older man accompanied by a comment remarking that gay clubs are ‘wild’ as you can ‘meet both types and be told both are 23’.
In an open letter to the Tate’s board of trustees, Conservative party life peer Emma Nicholson described the event as both ‘propaganda’ and ‘nonsense on stilts.’
Baroness Nicholson said: ‘Having adults read to children is a wonderful thing, of course, but why does it have to be a man pretending to be a woman?’
The MP concluded the letter by saying: ‘These are children. Are they to be offered entertainment by murderers, paedophiles, terrorists, furries and other fetishists so their parents have to explain why they cannot be left with the kooky, colourful cartoon character they have seen promoted?’
Sab Samuel (pictured) — performing as his flamboyant alter ego ‘Aida H Dee’, a play on the neurological disorder ADHD
On protestor wears a t-shirt saying ‘groom dogs not children’ as a police officer stands in front of her
Piers Corbyn was in attendance at the protest and was pictured speaking to the crowd
There have been outbursts of violence outside the gallery
A petition against the event was signed by more than 3,500 after being created by the group Art Not Propaganda.
The petition demands Tate stop imposing ‘gender ideology’ on children and claims that, as a state-funded institution, Tate is accountable to the public.
Previously, a spokesperson for the Tate said: ‘We do not programme artists in order to promote particular points of view, nor to reconcile differing points of view.
‘Our galleries offer a broad programme and visitors have the freedom to choose which aspects of it they engage with.’
Women’s Rights Network’s Claire Loneragan, previously said: ‘Drag Queen Story Hour is very far from the innocuous presence that many people assume.
‘Quite aside from the fact that drag is adult sexualised entertainment, children are already being force-fed gender ideology — drag further normalises this in the adult world and confuses them.’
Drag Queen story hour protestors clash with supporters
An anti drag queen protester (right) is confronted on the steps of the Tate Britain
Members of the right wing Patriotic Alternative group are surrounded and confronted by counter protestors at Tate Britain
Tate describes Dee on its website as an ‘ADHD, neurodivergent, queer hero of literature’