Police called as protesters clash outside Drag Queen Story Hour session at Bristol library

Police were called to the library as two sets of protesters clashed Credit: BPM Media

Protesters have clashed outside a library in Bristol ahead of a drag queen's reading session with children.

Drag Queen Story Hour with Miss Aida is being brought to multiple libraries in Bristol this week.

In it Sab Samuel, who performs as Aida H Dee reads stories with the aim of "engaging children's creativity and love for reading by giving them a brand-new, positive experience, one page at a time, all the while learning and communicating".

But a group of protesters claim it is "sexualising children", with some people who are against the performance travelling to Bristol from across the country to protest.

People say they had travelled from other parts of the country to protest Credit: BPM Media

In response, a group of counter-protestors arrived to show their support outside the session at Henleaze Library this morning (28 July).

Avon and Somerset Police were called to the library, with a spokesperson saying its officers worked to "facilitate peaceful protest and enable library staff and visitors, the event organisers and the wider community to go about their lawful business".

One woman was arrested over an alleged assault but was later de-arrested.

In a statement, Bristol City Council said: "Drag Queen Story Hour at Bristol Libraries offers children a rich experience in storytelling in an interactive way as well as an understanding of different communities.

"Lessons like this are how we can create a more inclusive society, and educate children about tolerance and difference.

"Unfortunately it seems some adults need these lessons too. As well as unacceptable abuse online, some people have decided to go to our library to protest against the session.

"We have put security in place and requested a police presence to reduce the risk of threatening behaviour towards the artists involved, our staff, and the parents and children.

"We will not tolerate any discrimination or abuse aimed at any community and will not stop striving towards creating a more inclusive society, that welcomes difference."

Police called to the scene

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they detained a woman outside the library in connection with an alleged common assault on a man.

“The incident happened during a protest and counter-protest about a drag queen touring libraries in Bristol reading a children's story," they added.

“Officers attended to facilitate peaceful protest and enable library staff and visitors, the event organisers and the wider community to go about their lawful business.

“The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault after refusing to give officers her details and later de-arrested after confirming her identity to officers.

“The incident will be recorded and investigated.”