Hundreds of fans of the rock band My Chemical Romance held protests in London on Saturday to protest over Daily Mail stories which have described the band’s fans a “suicide cult”.
At midday around 40 fans, known as emos, gathered outside the paper’s office on Derry Street, Kensington – a number agreed with the police beforehand.
The organisers had originally planned for the protesters to gather in Kensington Gardens and march to the Daily Mail offices but the plan was changed after discussions with police because of concerns about the lack of space.
Instead, a larger group of fans – reported by NME to be in its hundreds – gathered at Marble Arch where they held a separate demonstration.
The protesting fans, who organised the peaceful protest to raise awareness of the band’s “anti-suicide message”, filled the street with placards and banners carrying slogans including: “I’m Not Afraid To Keep On Living” and “We’re Not A Cult, We’re An Army – The MCRMY”. They sang songs by the band.
The organisers of the march, operating through the website Whatthefrank.co.uk, issued strict instructions to fans on how to keep the protest peaceful and police told NME that the fans have “kept well within the law and organised everything before hand”.
The protest was sparked by a series of articles the Daily Mail published in the aftermath of the suicide of a 13-year-old My Chemical Romance fan, Hannah Bond.
The coroner made comments at her inquest criticising emo’s influence in her death, with one piece claiming that “no child is safe from the sinister cult of emo”.
On the protest website, the organisers rubbished this claim, and said that My Chemical Romance is “simply a rock band that wants to save people’s lives”.
The website also says: “My Chemical Romance have always tried to ward their fans away from depression and aid them in seeking help, even going as far as to call suicide hotline numbers from the stage.
“Badly researched journalism is in danger of promoting irresponsible stereotyping and taking away from depression as a serious medical illness.”