Just Stop Oil activists have blocked the Pride in London parade after accusing organisers of “working with industries complicit in worsening the climate crisis”.
The Pride parade was halted for 17 minutes by a group of activists spraying pink paint on the street and sitting down in front of a Coca-Cola lorry.
“Pride is a protest. But Pride in London allows destructive industries such as Coca-Cola, who are the world’s biggest plastic polluter and who have been accused of numerous human rights abuses, to co-opt it and pinkwash themselves,” posted Just Stop Oil on Twitter, in a thread explaining their actions.
“New oil and gas is a death sentence for millions of people, and the LGBTQ+ community will be one of the first to suffer.”
Just Stop Oil issued a list of demands to Pride in London before Saturday’s (July 1) parade, including a statement from Pride demanding an end to new oil and gas projects. Clarity over how Pride is funded and a ban of floats sponsored by “high-polluting” companies
Metropolitan police officers cleared the protestors after 16 minutes enabling the parade to continue. Seven arrests were made for public nuisance with online videos showing police carrying protestors away.
Just Stop Oil accused Pride in London of failing in their “responsibility to take action to protect their community,” stating: “Who do you think will be the first to suffer the consequences of societal collapse? It will be marginalised communities, such as the LGBTQ+ community.”
A statement from Pride in London said it was aware of the protest and that Met police had “resolved this issue and we have continued with the parade”.
Organisers added: “Pride in London is a place for equality and we make sure everyone feels safe and enjoys the day.”
More than 30,000 people took part in the parade which cost £1.7 million and involved some 600 groups from the LGBT+ community.
Organisers of the Wimbledon tennis championships are bracing themselves for possible protests from Just Stop Oil which continued its interruptions of major events at Lords this week. Activists tried to stop the Ashes cricket before being thwarted by players and stewards.
When asked before the protest at Pride whether he supported Just Stop Oil, London mayor Sadiq Kahn said he agrees “with protesting in a way that is lawful, safe and peaceful.”
Kahn – who joined the parade being held 51 years after the first Pride march – continued: ““I think that Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil are really important pressure groups trying to put power on those who have power and influence.
“I fully support the right to protest.
“It’s really important to recognise the joy of a democracy is protest.”
Earlier this week, Khan said ministers had blocked City Hall from flying the EU flag on the seventh anniversary of the Brexit referendum vote.