Eco-mob ringleader brags police treat him ‘like hotel guest’ when he’s arrested
An eco-mob ringleader has bragged about the “hotel-like” conditions he has experienced in custody, ahead of Animal Rising’s big plans to storm the Epsom Derby this weekend. Drag queen Beau King Houston, who has been arrested eight times, shared what it’s like to be arrested as he briefed fellow activists who are expected to cause widespread disruption at the racecourse on Saturday (June 3).
The Express infiltrated the group’s meetings where they have been planning how to cause even more disruption than was seen at this year’s Grand National, where the race had to be delayed after members of the group invaded Aintree racecourse and attempted to glue themselves to fences.
At the training sessions our undercover reporter attended the activists were told they will board mini-buses which will take them to a safe house from their area of the UK, before ferrying them back to the safe houses from the police station – after their likely arrest. This could be for “public nuisance” or “conspiracy to commit public nuisance”.
During one of the training sessions, Houston said he had “never had a bad experience” in a police station after being detained and gloated about the favourable treatment he says the activists get in their cells.
Briefing the room about what to expect “when” they get arrested at the Derby, he said: “Honestly being in a cell is like being in a really s*** hotel room. There’s a button in the cell to press, which is basically what I call room service.”
The former actor, who claims to have performed as a “drag version” of Mariah Carey alongside the US singer on stage and “slow danced” with her at her birthday party, also told activists they can even ask to be let out of cells.
He continued: “You can ask to just be let out if you’re feeling a bit claustrophobic and they can sometimes let you have a walkaround.”
The well-versed activist said officers offer you as “much tea and coffee as you want”, and added: “You just press the bell.
“I even had it once when I came out of the shower and I was like ‘do you have any moisturiser?’ and the guy said ‘I’ve got some, you can borrow some of mine’.”
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The Barnet-based Scottish activist even said police in Scotland, who he described as “the nicest police ever”, sang him “happy birthday” after he was arrested at the Scottish Grand National in April 2023.
The Derby is held at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey on the first weekend of June every year and is dubbed Britain’s “richest flat horse race”.
Animal Rising, an off-shoot of Extinction Rebellion, attempted to stop the Grand National from taking place earlier this year – but their plot was foiled as scores of them were detained.
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Their invasion of Aintree did halt the start of the race by 15 minutes and one horse’s owner said the chaos had simply wound up the horses that the protesters wanted to protect.
It is still unclear exactly how the activists aim to stop the race at Epsom from going ahead but at one of the training sessions activists were told to dress smartly so they will go unnoticed among the huge crowd at the racecourse.
Training sessions have also included role-playing where volunteers were taught to go floppy and become a dead weight.
This, they claim, will maximise the amount of police resource needed to get them off the racetrack.
Additional reporting by Victoria Chessum.
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