Seven people have been arrested after Just Stop Oil disrupted the London Pride march as part of their campaign to stop new fossil fuel projects in the UK.
The group had threatened to protest at the event due to London Pride’s sponsor, United Airlines, earlier this week.
Following through with the threat, a group of LGBTQ+ supporters of Just Stop Oil blocked the Pride parade by sitting in front of the Coca-Cola float.
While the float was blocked, two other activists sprayed pink and black paint over the road.
A Met Police spokesperson said seven people were arrested for “public nuisance” shortly after the road was blocked at 1.30pm. The force said the road was cleared after around fifteen minutes and that the parade continued.
A Just Stop Oil spokesperson said: “Pride was born from protest. It speaks to how far we’ve come as a community, that high polluting industries and the banks that fund them, now see Pride as a useful vehicle for sanitising their reputations, waving rainbow flags in one hand whilst accelerating social collapse with the other. It is queer people, and particularly queer people of colour in the global south, who are suffering first in this accelerating social breakdown.
“What would those who instigated the gay liberation movement, during the Stonewall riots in 1969, make of the corporatised spectacle Pride has now become?"
“These partnerships embarrass the LGBTQ+ community, at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting ties to these toxic industries.
“We call on Pride to remember the spirit in which it was founded and to respect the memory of all those who fought and died to secure the rights we now possess, whilst taking the necessary steps to protect our community long into the future.”
Ahead of the event on Saturday, Just Stop Oil issued a list of demands for the organisers to consider in order to stop any protest disrupting the event.
Directed to a representative of the board of directors of the event, the protest group demanded clarity on where Pride sources its money from, that the organisers make a statement to demand an end to new oil and gas projects, and lastly, that Pride set up a meeting for its volunteers about joining in civil resistance against new oil and gas.
The letter concludes by stating a response is required by 4pm on Thursday adding: “Beyond this time or not meeting these demands will mean we may or may not take action at this weekend’s events.”
The Mayor was also questioned about City Hall’s own relationship with United Airlines after it was revealed that the company funded the Mayor’s costs of flights for the mayor and his team, which included journeys from London to New York, New York to San Francisco, San Francisco to Los Angeles and Los Angeles back to London.
Since the Just Stop Oil campaign launched on February 14, 2022, there have been 2,200 arrests.