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Bristol Library Service Comes Out Fighting

04/08/2022

Bristol’s Library Service has come out fighting after a small gaggle of homophobic protesters picketed a library in the Henleaze area of the city, which was due to host a family friendly reading session by drag queen icon Aida H Dee. The BBC reported that, taking their cue from known Neo-Nazis who stormed a similar event in Reading on Monday, the protesters claimed that drag queens were surreptitiously grooming children with stories. The library service responded that this was nonsense and were backed by a lively counter protest in favour of the event, which B247 newspaper reported quickly dwarfed the extremist right wingers. Bristol Against Hate issued a statement saying “We are concerned that groups are spreading bigotry and hatred in our communities and we would like to express our support for Drag Queen Story Hour coming to Bristol libraries. Drag queen performance hours are age appropriate, featuring fun costumes, silly voices and children’s stories. Like all children’s entertainers, the DQSH performers are DBS checked.” Analysts who monitor the activities of far right wingers have noted that, after the electoral collapse of such groups as the British National Party,  the extreme right has turned to street based violence and trying to directly intimidate its opponents. The murder of MP Jo Cox, harassment of trade union bookstores,  abusive threats to African-Caribbean businesses and threats to Islamic centres are, they report, all part of the same phenomenon, along with the attacks on Aida H Dee. Online many people  condemned the far right activists.  One commentator noted that in at least three recent court cases against violent neo-Nazis, images of extreme and violent porn had also been found on their phones. “It’s the fascist imbeciles who are the real threat to kids, not a bunch of drag queens in libraries” they quipped. For people wanting to understand more about the threat to democracy from extreme groups, there are numerous resources including the magazine “Searchlight”, the network “Hope Not Hate” and local anti-fascist organisations. 

Libraries
Drag Queen Storytime
Anti-Fascism
The Right
books
Free Speech
Hate Groups

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