This week, Queen Elizabeth II has a full schedule, as the entire U.K. is celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, in honor of the Queen’s seven decades on the throne. And as the festivities kicked off this week at the Trooping the Colour parade, bystanders were surprised when a group of 25 Animal Rebellion U.K. protesters disrupted the event — resulting in multiple arrests.
So why did Animal Rebellion protest the Queen’s event? As you could probably guess, this has to do with climate change, with the group calling out the monarchy’s inaction on this global crisis.
Animal Rebellion U.K. supporters jumped barricades to protest Trooping the Colour.
On Thursday, June 2, numerous people gathered along the Mall, the street leading up to Buckingham Palace, for the Trooping the Colour parade. As explained by theSkimm, Trooping the Colour is an annual parade celebrating the monarch’s birthday, always held in June, regardless of the monarch’s actual date of birth.
As the Royal Family gathered on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the parade, at about 10:10 a.m., Animal Rebellion protesters jumped the barriers meant to keep visitors away from Grenadier Guards as they marched along the Mall, as reported by The Guardian. Grenadier Guards are known for patrolling Buckingham Palace, and are easily recognized by their red coats and tall bearskin hats.
After 25 Animal Rebellion supporters jumped the barricades, they held up flyers bearing the phrase “Reclaim Royal Land,” according to press materials Animal Rebellion shared with Green Matters. As seen in photos from the demonstration, some of the protesters even sat or laid down on the ground with their flyers, blocking the path of the guards.
Police promptly pulled the demonstrators aside, handcuffed them, and removed them from the area. As seen in footage shared by Animal Rebellion, some of the protesters were forcibly dragged or carried off the grounds by police officers.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that several of the protesters were arrested, according to The Independent.
As Animal Rebellion explains, the protest aimed to call out "the Crown's inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing, and dairy, a leading contributor to climate breakdown,” in light of the recent IPCC report on climate change.
Animal Rebellion notes that the Crown owns 6.6 billion acres of land worldwide — that's approximately one-sixth of the Earth's land. The organization believes that the monarchy has missed many opportunities to transform U.K. agricultural land away from animal agriculture and towards plant-based farming and land rewilding.
“By refusing to make the necessary changes to Royal land, the Crown is showing it does not care for millions across the U.K. and billions of the most vulnerable across the planet,” Animal Rebellion stated.
“76 percent of currently farmed land could be rewilded and absorb carbon from the atmosphere,” added protester Beau King Houston in a statement. “This would restore nature, spare billions of animals, and present a solution to the climate emergency, all in one act."
Animal Rebellion spokesperson Robert Gordon pointed out that this week’s jubilee festivities are costing between tens and hundreds of millions of pounds in taxpayer money, which could have instead been put to far more noble uses.
“This obscene amount of money could have been used to provide instant food security and kick start a plant-based future where no child is left hungry or terrified by climate collapse,” Gordon stated. “We must reclaim royal land for this."
Who is Animal Rebellion?
Animal Rebellion’s goal is to achieve a “just and sustainable plant-based food system, to halt mass extinction, alleviate the worst effects of climate breakdown, and ensure justice for animals.”
The organization demands that governments and corporations be more transparent about how animal agriculture is a leading cause of climate change, and immediately begin transitioning to a plant-based food system.
On May 23, Animal Rebellion launched its #PlantBasedFuture campaign, and today’s demonstration at the Trooping the Colour parade was the latest action as part of this campaign.