LGBTQ+ activist left bloodied after ‘punch from Met officer’ at anti-drag protest 

Injured activist

The Metropolitan Police have responded to claims that an officer punched an LGBTQ+ activist in the face during an anti-drag protest at the Honor Oak Pub in south-east London, where three have been arrested.

During the protest on Saturday (24 June), three people were arrested: two for assault and one for a public order offence.

Organised by Turning Point UK – an offshoot of an American far-right group closely aligned with indicted former US president Donald Trump – the protest marks the fifth time the group has rallied against the pub hosting a drag queen story event.

A pro-LGBTQ+ activist who attended the protest has claimed they were injured by a Met officer during one of the arrests made. The Met told PinkNews they have no reason to believe their injuries were caused my an officer.

According to the Trans Safety Network, anti-drag protestors broke the pub’s window and caused “serious injuries”. 

Broken window
Trans Safety Network tweeted that anti-drag protestors broke the pub’s window. (Aaron Coe / @Shootaaroncoe)  

The group claim that the victim who was left bloodied at the protest was initially injured by anti-drag protestors.

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A tweet by the account stated that a pro-LGBTQ+ activist had been “punched across the face” by a Met territorial support group officer who was arresting someone.

The victim of the alleged incident retweeted the post, adding: “Don’t look at this picture of me and be afraid of coming down. Look at me, get angry, and come down.

“Make it clear that this won’t stand in Lewisham.” 

A Met Police spokesperson told PinkNews: “Having made enquiries and based on the information we currently have, we have no reason to believe that these injuries could have been caused by a police officer.

“Officers attempted to engage with the person at the scene about the injuries, but they declined.

“We would welcome to opportunity to engage in the future, should they wish to.” 

Honor Oak Pub protest 24 June
Police were present at the anti-drag Honour Oak Pub protest on Saturday, 24 June. (Aaron Coe / @Shootaaroncoe)

The Met said the protest was dispersed at around 12.20pm after around 6 hours rallying. 

The Honor Oak Pub took to Instagram to share a statement about the anti-drag protest, writing: “This is not about the children nor has it ever been about the children.

“This is queerphobia masquerading as concern, plain and simple.”

The London pub has become a hotspot for drag-related controversy after far-right pundits held a protest in February attempting to shut down a drag event. 

Honor Oak Pub protest
The anti-drag protest on 24 June marks the fifth time Turning Point UK has rallied against the pub hosting a drag queen story event. (Aaron Coe / @Shootaaroncoe)

Since then, members of Turning Point UK have routinely scheduled rallies which have been outnumbered by pro-drag, LGBTQ-supportive counter-protesters. 

PinkNews has contacted the Honor Oak Pub, Trans Safety Network and the injured person for comment.