Pitiful turnout of anti-drag protesters countered with ‘joyful’ LGBTQ+ street party

Turning Point UK protest

Counter-protestors have seen off right-wing group Turning Point UK, which held yet another anti-drag protest outside the Honor Oak pub in south-east London, with a “joyful” street party. 

On Saturday (27 May), around 100 LGBTQ+ folks and allies stood against 40 Turning Point UK campaigners, holding signs that read “South London loves trans people”. 

Turning Point UK – an offshoot of an American far-right group – has routinely called for its supporters to protest outside the pub in an effort to spread a hateful anti-drag message.

Saturday’s protest saw the far-right group rail against the Honor Oak pub’s Drag Queen Story Time event, which went ahead following their failed attempt to prevent kids from enjoying a family-friendly reading experience.

A Met Police spokesperson told PinkNews they were aware of the protest taking place.

The spokesperson said: “An appropriate policing plan was in place. There were no arrests.”

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Drag Queen That Girl spoke to the crowd of LGBTQ+ supporters and thanked them for fighting against “this monstrous ridiculousness, yet again”, referring to the far-right group’s repeated targeting of the pub’s Drag Queen Story Time events.

That Girl and the Honor Oak pub took to Instagram to criticise Turning Point UK for choosing to focus “on an innocent, wholesome event rather than the actual wrongs in our society”. 

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“This is not about the children, nor has it ever been about the children,” That Girl wrote. “This is queerphobia masquerading as concern, plain and simple.”

According to Turning Point UK’s Twitter account, around 40 of their campaigners were kept away from the pub by 100 LGBTQ-friendly and drag-supportive counter-protestors. 

In a tweet, the group described the counter-protester turnout as “absolute rubbish” and said: “We will bleed you dry”.

However, those opposing the far-right group disagreed, with one counter-protestor and journalist posting that south-east London had “smashed it” by seeing off “40 Turning Point weirdos” with a “joyful, righteous street party”. 

“Drag Queen Story Hour went ahead once again and we showed up to protect our own, just like we’ll do every time our community is under attack,” they wrote. “South London is anti-fascist.” 

In response to Stand Up to Racism’s tweet Turning Point UK tweeted: “Your numbers are dropping.

“Your union money is running out. We will bleed you dry.” 

The protest also saw chants of “Phillip Schofield he’s one of your own” shouted at LGBTQ+ protestors in reference to him admitting to an affair with a junior member of This Morning staff who he met when the unnamed man was a teenager.

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A protest organised by Turning Point UK in March at Honour Oak Pub saw participants from the group hold banners featuring the slogan “groom dogs, not kids”

In February, anti-LGBTQ+ GB News host Calvin Robinson was joined by far-right pundits during one of the group’s previous attempts to shut down a drag event.

Turning Point UK’s chief operating officer, Nick Tenconi, uses his Twitter platform to espouse hateful anti-trans views.

Despite Turning Point UK’s position as a far-right organisation that spreads anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, prime minister Rishi Sunak refused to condemn it during a session of Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 April. 

Turning Point UK is not associated with the charity Turning Point which is a social enterprise providing support with drugs and alcohol, mental health, learning disabilities, autism, employment and sexual health.

PinkNews has contacted Turning Point UK for comment. 

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