Police are forced to escort Drag Queen to safety after protesters storm children’s event


Police were forced to escort a drag queen to safety after a group of protestors stormed a ‘Story Hour’ event run for three to 11-year-old children at a library.

Thames Valley Police were called to a protest of around 25 people outside a library in Abbey Square, Reading, at around 9.30am on Monday morning.

The demonstrators claimed they had turned up to ‘protect children’ and shouted at ‘woke’ parents who are ‘probably teaching their children that there are 100 genders’ as they walked inside the ticket-only event.

Drag Queen Story Hour UK is a project run by 27-year-old Sab Samuel who performs as Aida H Dee, wearing multicoloured sequinned outfits with a red wig and heavy make-up.

Mr Samuel is touring Britain across the summer, with almost 70 events in 20 areas of the UK, including Bristol, Cornwall, Oxfordshire and Portsmouth.

The group says the sessions ‘teach inclusivity’ and encourage children to ‘get fabulous’. 

However the first event in Reading forced authorities to intervene and give Mr Samuel a police escort next to a riot van to the next Story Hour show in Tilehurst Library. 

During a video taken by one protestor, a mother and her child could be seen walking into the event.

The tour involves drag queens dressing up and reading stories to children in libraries – with their bright costumes and personas designed to encourage children to ‘get fabulous’. Pictured: Sab Samuel who performs as Aida H Dee

Mr Samuel, 27 - from Nottingham, - has ADHD and autism, and claims the sessions teach inclusivity' and encourage children to 'get fabulous'

Mr Samuel, 27 – from Nottingham, – has ADHD and autism, and claims the sessions teach inclusivity’ and encourage children to ‘get fabulous’

Police were forced to escort a drag queen to safety after a group of protestors stormed a 'Story Hour' event run for three to 11-year-old children at a library. Pictured: 27-year-old Sab Samuel who performs as Aida H Dee at Reading Station

Police were forced to escort a drag queen to safety after a group of protestors stormed a ‘Story Hour’ event run for three to 11-year-old children at a library. Pictured: 27-year-old Sab Samuel who performs as Aida H Dee at Reading Station

Sab Samuel (left) who performs as Aida H Dee for children

Protestors were pictured outside the event holding signs

Drag Queen Story Hour UK is a project run by 27-year-old Sab Samuel (left) who performs as Aida H Dee for children from three to 11 however protestors (right) turned up at the ticket-only event on Monday

Who is Britain’s Drag Queen Story Hour UK founder Sab Samuel? 

Drag Queen Story Hour UK is a project run by Sab Samuel who performs as Aida H Dee, wearing multicoloured sequinned outfits with a red wig and heavy make-up.

Mr Samuel, 27 who is from Nottingham – has ADHD and autism and claims the sessions teach inclusivity’ and encourage children to ‘get fabulous’.

Mr Samuel is touring Britain across the summer, with almost 70 events in 20 areas of the UK, including Bristol, Cornwall, Oxfordshire and Portsmouth.

He was appointed as a patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM) in June 2020.

The protestor shouted: ‘I’m trying to protect you people from this’.

However, the mother replied to another protestor ‘I am thinking of my children’, as she walked inside.

A few moments later, the protestor could be heard saying: ‘You’re probably teaching kids that there’s 100 genders, there’s only two sexes, no man can be a woman. We’re here to protect children.’ 

A group of protestors, believed to be from the ‘Covid Radicals’ Twitter group, filmed the demonstration on Monday and posted videos to their page.

They describe themselves as ‘Highlighting the radicalisation of conspiracy theorists and their followers’. 

Last week, parents voiced alarm over the ‘Story Hour’ events in public libraries for children being hosted by drag queens and block-booked tickets to stop them from going ahead.

Dozens of parents sent template letters produced by charity The Family Education Trust to libraries, saying classes are ‘highly inappropriate… given that the images of men dressed as women are highly sexualised’, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The letter stated: ‘Drag shows are adults-only entertainment and not suitable for school age children. 

‘When we expose children to sexual material, we blur the boundaries between adults and children, exposing them to adult sexual concepts and we risk normalising the sexualisation of children.’

The Safe Schools Alliance campaign group added: ‘Drag queens entering children’s environments is an abuse of power.’

Mr Samuel (pictured) was appointed as a patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM) in June 2020

Mr Samuel (pictured) was appointed as a patron of Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM) in June 2020

Mr Samuel (left) had to be escorted out of Reading library at the first date of his tour on Monday

Mr Samuel (left) had to be escorted out of Reading library at the first date of his tour on Monday 

Thames Valley Police

Thames Valley Police

The first reading event in Reading forced authorities to intervene and give Mr Samuel a police escort next to a riot van to the next story hour show in Tilehurst Library

Drag Queen Story Hour UK claimed a ‘far-Right neo-Nazi group’ block-booked 2,000 tickets to try to prevent the tour from going ahead.

But, despite Monday’s protest, Mr Samuel – who also reads to children via organised Zoom and Facebook sessions, said he was overwhelmed with support from residents who ‘came along and gave their support’.

He tweeted: ‘It was actually a really lovely day. Believe it or not, these protesters barely made a dent in how beautiful today was!’

Mr Samuel added: ‘The start of my UK Tour has been interesting, to say the least. I feel so loved by how many residents of Reading have reached out to stay that they either loved my show, or that they wished they came. Thank you for that support.

‘However please don’t let the stupid protestors stop you from attending the rest of the events across the country.

‘I promise you that we are more than prepared for these stupid people, and I can assure you my stories will be just as fabulous.’

Mr Samuel went on to say he found it ‘concerning’ that protestors were ‘sexualising’ a reading hour that uses ‘absolutely no sexual language’.

Thames Valley Police were called to a protest of around 25 people outside a library in Abbey Square, Reading, at around 9.30am on Monday morning

Thames Valley Police were called to a protest of around 25 people outside a library in Abbey Square, Reading, at around 9.30am on Monday morning

He told MaiOnline: ‘I find it concerning that these parent groups choose to sexualise situations that are not at all sexual. There is absolutely no sexual language during any of these shows nor are children exposed to sexual situations. 

‘What is confusing is that these groups are attempting to create a sexual focus here where none exists by drawing attention to sex and sexuality.

‘These stories celebrate the diversity found among human beings, and the delivery of these stories is a celebration of communities who have been historically marginalised and have historically had their voices silenced. 

‘To attempt to silence their voices here as well is regressive and to claim a person’s sole existence is sexual is insulting.’

A Reading Borough spokesperson told MailOnline they were ‘saddened’ by the protests who ‘do not respect parental choice’.

They added: ‘It is extremely disappointing that a small group attempted to disrupt story time. This was a ticketed event and all parents attending were aware of the nature of the performance. It is regretful that some people chose not to respect parental choice.

During a video taken by one protestor, a mother and her child could be seen walking into the event. The protestor shouted: 'I'm trying to protect you people from this'

During a video taken by one protestor, a mother and her child could be seen walking into the event. The protestor shouted: ‘I’m trying to protect you people from this’ 

‘The Council does not tolerate threats or abuse against our staff, members of the public or the entertainers we have invited to perform at our venues. We worked closely with the local police and our own security teams to ensure the safety of everyone attending the event.

‘Reading is a diverse community and our library service seeks to reflect and celebrate that by hosting and supporting a wide range of artists and audience experiences.

‘Drag Queen Story Hour UK is a well-established professional children’s entertainment provider. The sessions include stories and games and have a theme of accepting differences. We are pleased to say those who attended the performances have given positive feedback saying that the content is both entertaining and age-appropriate.’

A Thames Valley Police spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘Officers monitored a protest outside Reading Library in Abbey Square, Reading, at around 9.30am on Monday (25/7).

‘No arrests were made.’

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