Just Stop Oil have stormed London’s historic Pride parade, after issuing threats to the LGBTQ+ event earlier this week.
Seven eco-zealots have been arrested after nine blocked the capital’s Pride March today amidst calls for the event to condemn new oil, gas and coal.
At around 1:25pm, the group sat down in front of the festival’s Coca-Cola float, branding it ‘the world’s worst plastic polluter, accused of numerous human rights abuses’.
Black and pink paint was also sprayed across the road as the protestors slammed Pride for failing ‘to address and take responsibility’ for its damaging relationships.
Parade participants and onlookers who have travelled to the capital today were frustrated by the disruption, with some attempting to negotiate with the protesters as they were sat in the road.
It comes as millions cloaked in rainbows and glitter headed to the event to mark 51 years since its first parade for LGBTQ+ rights in 1972.
Just Stop Oil have stormed London’s historic Pride parade, after issuing threats to the LGBTQ+ event earlier this week
After 16 minutes, seven protestors were arrested for public nuisance offences
A Just Stop Oil spokesman 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?’
After just 16 minutes, it is understood that seven protestors were arrested for public nuisance offences and the parade continued again one minute later.
In a tweet, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘At 13:30 hours a small number of protestors sat down in the road at Piccadilly junction with Down Street causing the #PrideInLondon Parade to stop.
‘At 13:46 hours, seven people were arrested for public nuisance. At 13:47 hours the road was cleared and the Parade has continued.’
The anti-coal campaign has disrupted today’s festivities following talks with London Pride earlier this week.
Just Stop Oil issued a letter, in which the organisation called for the LGBTQ+ group to make a statement condemning new oil, gas and coal.
‘We also demand that they cease accepting sponsorship money from high polluting industries and stop allowing the inclusion of floats from these organisations in the parade,’ the group stressed.
‘These partnerships embarrass the LGBTQ+ community, at a time when much of the cultural world is rejecting ties to these toxic industries.
‘If London Pride fails to take these basic steps necessary to protect our community, we will have to consider potential escalations which may result in the disruption of Pride.’
Just Stop Oil gave Pride an initial deadline of 4pm on Thursday to respond to its demands, stressing that the LGBTQ+ campaign needed clarify where it sources its money.
At around 1:25pm, the group sat down in front of the festival’s Coca-Cola float
Nine eco-warriors have blocked the capital’s Pride March today while calling for the annual event to condemn new oil, gas and coal
Metropolitan Police officers arrested seven of the nine eco-zealots who had interrupted today’s parade
But now, the eco-zealots claim that Pride has ‘so far failed to make a commitment to take necessary steps to protect the LGBTQ+ community from the unfolding climate collapse’.
The Just Stop Oil spokesperson continued: ‘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.’
At 1pm LGBTQ+ members of Just Stop Oil set off on their own Pride-themed march from Parliament Square.
Following the mayhem, numerous comments have flooded Twitter, with many suggesting that police showed up at the Coca Cola display at around 2pm.
One person wrote: ‘Held up on the Pride march because of a Just Stop Oil protest and had a steward say “don’t worry, the police are just arriving”.
‘This is why I was so conflicted about being here – because apparently cops are more welcome than protest and it’s gross.’
Another wrote: ‘There’s no conceivable way that a truly radical and consistent Just Stop Oil organisation would be against Pride and *not* Glastonbury. Even if they were against them for different reasons.’
MailOnline has approached Pride for comment.
Crowds cloaked in rainbows will flood the nation’s capital this weekend for Pride
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan poses for a selfie before the Pride in London parade
More than a million will to take to the streets today in celebration of the historic event
The march is set to wind through the city’s major spots including Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly Circus before heading towards Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square
But festivities come just a day after eco-warriors at Just Stop Oil warned of hampering the historic event
While a parade will head towards Trafalgar Square, numerous stages are also dotted across the centre of London
Today’s Pride parade will see around 600 LGBTQ+ focused groups come together in celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender rights
Pride said: ‘All are welcome to attend and mark Pride with the other 1.5 million attendees’
Pride in London is an annual LGBT+ festival and parade held each summer in London
The Pride festival is a celebration of lesbian, gay, transgender, queer and bisexual rights
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan leading the Pride parade amidst celebrations today
Just Stop Oil outlined their demands for Pride in a tweet on Thursday
Today’s march was set to wind through the city’s major spots including Hyde Park Corner and Piccadilly Circus before heading towards Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square.
Around 600 LGBTQ+ focused groups are also due to come together in celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and transgender rights.
Numerous stages are dotted across the centre of London and will host an array of famous performers including singer Adam Lambert and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Victoria Scone.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was also spotted celebrating at the even today, with revellers snapping pictures with him in the midst of the crowds.
Ahead of the event today, he described Just Stop Oil as a ‘really important pressure group’ and stressed that he supported the right to protest.
When asked what he thought of their threats to Pride, he said: ‘I am somebody who feels quite passionately that we have to tackle the climate emergency.
‘And I feel quite passionately about encouraging people to join the movement to tackle the climate emergency.
‘In my view, protest should be peaceful, lawful, and safe.’
Today’s Pride parade will see around 600 LGBTQ+ focused groups come together
Crowds clap and cheer as the parade heads through London
Many were pictured cheering on the parade as they marched through London’s hotspots
Crowds of people proudly hold rainbow flags as the march winds through the capital city