Animal rights activists linked to Extinction Rebellion have been arrested after disrupting the start of platinum jubilee celebrations by storming the Mall during the trooping the colour parade.
Scotland Yard said officers made several arrests after the protesters jumped over barriers lining the Mall and confronted marching Grenadier Guards with leaflets demanding an end to hunting on royal land.
Animal Rebellion said 25 of its supporters disrupted the parade, due to “the crown’s inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing, and dairy”.
In a tweet showing the protest, Animal Rebellion said: “Animal Rebels disrupt the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations demanding that Royal Land is Reclaimed. This summer, we’re taking bigger action against the Dairy industry than ever before, and we need you!”
A group of protesters were dragged by police out of the path of a military band as they marched along at about 10.10am.
Video of the incident showed at least eight protesters leaping the barriers to the Mall. At least two protesters sat on the tarmac as a military band stepped around them.
Videos and photographs also showed activists being pinned to the ground by police very close to marching guards taking part in the trooping the colour parade.
The Metropolitan police said the arrests were public order related, for highway obstruction. The force said on Twitter: “Thank you to the crowd who showed their support by clapping our officers who returned to their post after dealing with the incident swiftly.”
Last year, Animal Rebellion daubed red paint on the fountain outside Buckingham Palace, accusing the Queen of having “blood on her hands”. The group campaigns against the use of crown lands for hunting and animal agriculture, as well as the Queen’s attempts to have her land exempted from an initiative to cut carbon emissions.
Beau King Houston, one of those taking action, said: “The royal family has had decades to lead the way on a just transition to plant-based farming and has failed to do so. This transition is common sense and simple, we all win.”
Robert Gordon, a spokesperson for the group, said “These jubilee celebrations are set to cost the taxpayer tens, if not hundreds of millions of pounds. All whilst we are struggling through the cost-of-living crisis and families across the country are increasingly reliant on food banks.”
The police and the Royal Parks urged people to avoid the area around Buckingham Palace as viewing space was full.
The Royal Parks tweeted: “Crowds have flocked to St James’s Park for Trooping the Colour and public viewing areas are now at full capacity. Please do not head to St James’s Park but enjoy the Jubilee celebrations elsewhere.”
The Metropolitan Police Events account tweeted: “The viewing areas in central London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are now full. To avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the viewing areas please avoid the area.”
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