- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
Police in Surrey, England, arrested 31 people on Saturday "in connection with planned criminal disruption" at the Epsom Derby Festival, one of the oldest and most famous horse races in the world.
The Jockey Club, which runs the Epsom racecourse, won a High Court injunction last month to stop animal rights protesters from disrupting the event.
Animal Rising, an animal rights group, had planned to demonstrate at the Derby, calling on "as many animal lovers as possible to peacefully descend on Epsom" in a post on Twitter.
The group posted a video on Saturday showing one protester running onto the racetrack before he was tackled by several police officers and event security personnel, and removed from the track.
The Jockey Club said it had offered Animal Rising an area near the entrance to protest. Photos from the event on Saturday showed a small group of activists had gathered outside the main gates holding signs that read: "Animal abuse is not sport" and "For All Life."
Surrey Police said in a statement that 19 people were arrested before the event, 11 in the early hours of the morning "following warrants based on intelligence received," while another eight were arrested after their vehicle was stopped.
A further 12 people were arrested within the Epsom Downs racecourse during the Derby itself, including the man who ran onto the racetrack, police added in an updated statement on Saturday afternoon.
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