Fact check: Video of man protesting predates Queen Elizabeth II's funeral by over a decade

  • In Business
  • 2022-09-29 14:37:28Z

The claim: A protestor demanded an apology from Britain during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

Multiple social media posts claim a protestor was among the crowd attending Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

A video shared on Facebook shows a man, Toyin Agbetu, shouting at attendants seated within Westminster Abbey. A narrator says he was demanding Britain issue a formal apology for its participation in the slave trade.

"Not a good time to do #yelling at the #funeral of the #queen," reads part of the Sept. 21 post's caption. "We want something done I'm just #confused why there was no #energy when she was #alive."

The video garnered more than 400 likes in its first week. Similar iterations of the claim have been shared on Facebook and Twitter.

The claim is false. The video shows Agbetu protesting at a 2007 service marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade, not during the queen's funeral.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment.

Video was captured 15 years prior

The footage of Agbetu protesting was aired on the BBC in 2007. Newscasters explained that the protest took place at Westminster Abbey during a service marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. It was one of several services held at Westminster Abbey that year to mark the anniversary.

Footage shows the queen sitting beside her husband, Prince Philip, when Agbetu approaches within several yards of her and demands an apology for her ancestors' roles in the slave trade.

"You're a disgrace!" he proceeds to shout at then-Prime Minister Tony Blair before being dragged out by security.

Fact check: BBC reported 28 million in United Kingdom watched Queen Elizabeth II's funeral

The incident was reported on at the time by the BBC, The New York Times and The Guardian.

Agbetu later said in an article for The Guardian that he acted because the abolition anniversary service had "eradicated any mention of resistance, rebellion and revolution instigated by millions of African people."

The claim has been debunked by Reuters, AFP and the Associated Press as well.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a protestor demanded an apology from Britain during the queen's funeral. The video was filmed at a 2007 service marking the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade.

Our fact-check sources:

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Video of man demanding apology predates queen's funeral


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