Queers storm The Daily Mail

Wednesday, 15th March, 2000

time: 11:00am


Lesbian and Gay campaigners against Section 28 occupied the Daily Mail's London offices on Wednesday March 15.

Two activists quietly made their way into the main newsroom where, to the shock of journalists present, they chained themselves to a large metal pillar at the centre of the office. Once securely chained, they sounded loud fog-horns, displayed banners and chanted "Daily Mail, Hate Mail!"

Soon after, and making use of the general confusion, a second group of three activists, ran into the building, up a long flight of mechanical stairs, past stunned security guards, and up onto the balustrade overlooking the vast atrium at the heart of the Associated Newspapers building. From there, and in full view of hundreds of office-workers from the Mail and the London Evening Standard, they displayed banners reading: "Daily Mail Promotes Anti-Gay Hatred" - while one of them chained herself onto a railing.

All activists were eventually cut free and removed from the building. There were no arrests.

Outside, a further wave of activists descended outside the building's foyer at Derry Street, and sprayed the building - as well as its very nasty security guards - with fluorescent pink "silly-string".

This latter group arrived after having carried out various "promotions of homosexuality" at various sites throughout London. They gathered outside the building, put up large banners condemning the paper's intolerance, and declared the area a "Pink Zone". Passers-by were leafletted and the area was soon covered with pink silly string.

The action has been taken in response to the Daily Mail's concerted campaign against lesbian and gay rights, and its vociferous support for the retention of Section 28 of the Local Government Act (1986). Section 28 prevents the "promotion of homosexuality", or the teaching of its acceptability as a "pretended family relationship" by any local authority.

"Section 28 is deeply offensive to gay people and their families, and can only increase the difficulties facing young people as they become aware of their sexuality", said one protester.

Another activist, speaking from the pink zone said: "The Daily Mail has been running a spiteful campaign against gay people for too long. It is their fear and their hatred that is abnormal, not us."

Her colleague added: "The Daily Mail loves to pose as the voice of the people, but it merely panders to a strident minority of repressed curtain-twitchers."

For images of the action (including inside the building): isf@abel.co.uk

Photos also available from Pierce - 0976 724 390

***Please keep checking this website for further news of the action***