Antifascists opposing a Turning Point UK drag story time protest outside the Honor Oak pub, south London. Trans Safety Network
Weird reactionary rightwing group Turning Point UK appears to have suggested that an anti-fascist activist who was beaten and bloodied at one of its events may have actually just… er… drawn on themselves with a pen.
On Saturday, Turning Point UK held the latest in a series of demonstrations against a drag story time event at the Honor Oak pub in south London. This series of protests, which also included targeting an event in Dulwich which didn’t even exist, has been promoted using out-of-context photos to claim that drag queens are giving sexualised, age-inappropriate performances to children. Critics say the group uses this supposed risk to children to push its reactionary views.
The fifth such event in recent months quickly descended into violence between anti-fascist protesters who were defending the pub and Turning Point UK activists. A total of four people were arrested, two of whom have been charged.
Trans Safety Network, a group which monitors harm against trans people and which had a reporter present, tweeted an image of a bloodied antifascist activist, Ada Cable, and said: “Fascists attacked trans counter-protesters protecting children attending a drag time story event in Honor Oak Pub this morning. The fascists grabbed people and began attacking them, breaking the pub window and causing serious injuries.”
Trans Safety Network also reported that Cable was also “punched across the face by TSG officers trying to arrest someone,” and later clarified, “Ada was attacked twice today. First by street fascists when police were entirely absent. Then again later by the police whilst making an arrest.” (A Met spokesperson said they had “no reason to believe that these injuries could have been caused by a police officer” based on “the information we currently have.”)
Turning Point UK said that in fact, its activists were attacked by antifascists, not the other way around. A spokesperson for the group said that “radical gender activists” tried to “illegally” block them from setting up their protest and “pelted the concerned parents who came along with glass and plastic bottles […] we were the victims here, and any confrontation was self-defence.”
So they’ve already changed the narrative.
First they attempted to blame attendees of our event for injuring Ada Cable.
As footage of the brawl circulated online and claim and counterclaim was made of who started it, Turning Point UK appeared to cast doubt on whether any blood actually was shed at all, tweeting: “The burning question however is, why did Cable have a red pen in their pocket and why did Cable decline medical treatment?”
Don’t be distracted by what appears to be large quantities of blood in the accompanying picture. Ask yourself, could it be from a biro?
Turning Point UK also claimed that antifascists had “already changed the narrative […] First they attempted to blame attendees of our event for injuring Ada Cable. Now they’re blaming the police.” Apparently the group is unfamiliar with the concept that one thing can happen, and then another thing can also happen.
Since the event, the group has been doxing attendees at the counter-protest, while Turning Point UK leader Nick Tenconi has been on Twitter calling “ANTIFA” a “domestic terrorist group” and claiming that, “The far-left is the number one threat to national security in 2023.”
Simon Childs is a commissioning editor and reporter for Novara Media.