OpinionChris Cook

Fretting about the 'vegan mob' planning to sabotage the National? I think we can all relax a bit

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Chris CookSenior reporter
Will next week's Grand National crowd contain activists seeking to spoil the race?
Will next week's Grand National crowd contain activists seeking to spoil the race?Credit: Getty Images

A victim of its own success, that's how I see the Grand National just now. Lots of people seem to be fretting about whether next week's race might be disrupted in light of a story that broke on Sunday morning, but the only thing we know for sure is that a particular protest group has massively raised its profile by piggybacking on the National's fame. 

All it took, apparently, was a hired room in Dalston, a flipchart and some loose chat about ruining "the biggest horse race in the world". Lurid fantasies were conjured up of 300 activists throwing ladders up against the perimeter fencing or attacking it with bolt cutters, then gluing themselves to each other to form an immovable barrier across the track.

But how many people were actually present in east London for the seven-hour course in Protest For Beginners of which we've heard so much? Ten, according to the reporter who cunningly infiltrated the group by, er, seeing a meeting advertised online and showing up.

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Published on 6 April 2023Last updated 14:00, 6 April 2023