As you may be aware, there was a protest and counter-protest on September 18th in Brighton’s Victoria Gardens. The park was filled with Anti-Trans Activists (Protest) and LGBT Allies (Counter).
There were three arrests. And, of course, only one is getting any attention. So, as a Jewish trans person, I thought it was time to talk about it. Here’s my take.
Three individuals were arrested for different reasons.
- A 50-year-old man was arrested for sexually assaulting an LGBT Ally part of the counter-protest; he was later charged with assault and the possession of two blades. He is suspected to be a supporter of the Anti-Trans protest.
- A 19-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of assault after releasing a smoke bomb into the crowd; she was part of the counter-protest. [While I know her name and aliases, and have pictures of her, I won’t be sharing them due to doxxing and death threats witnessed on social medias towards her by GCs]
- A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. No further information is known about this man, but he is suspected of having been in the counter-protest.
As someone who would’ve been with the counter-protest side, I’m thoroughly disgraced by what is being pushed by both sides.
I’ve seen trans people throw the 19-year-old woman under the bus, not for throwing a smoke bomb (which I do not condone) but for believing the antisemitic lies being peddled by the Gender Critical brigade.
While I don’t condone her actions at this protest, to suggest that her previous graffiti actions against the state of Israel are antisemitic is narrowminded and blatantly incorrect.
She was previously charged with criminal damage. Why was she charged? She has sprayed red paint on the doors of Brighton Magistrates Court and wrote “Evict Elbit”.
Elbit is Elbit Systems – an aerospace and defence company in Israel. The Palestine Action members believed Elbit had connections and worked with the Sovereign House. So, how is Evict Elbit antisemitic, you say? It’s not.
There is no evidence that the woman or Palestine Action, in general, are antisemitic. However, they are against the Israeli government – and for good reason. The Israel v Palestine conflict has been going on for so long. And it’s blatant that government officials worldwide are fine supporting the Israeli government and military as they murder thousands of people, all to avoid being called antisemitic. The reality is the two states could coexist without genocide. Still, at this moment in time – Israel is occupying towns and cities in Palestine – and calling them out for doing this in the name of a “Jewish State” isn’t antisemitic. But it is ignorant.
Suggesting that an Anti-Israeli government protester is antisemitic is obscene. She’s not against Jewish people; she’s not even against the country. She’s against the government that is abusing its power. A state which the western government regularly gives funds.
I saw many gender-critical people accusing her of antisemitism while spouting it themselves just weeks or months prior. And, somewhat hilariously, a Rabbi decided to open his mouth and announce he agreed with them.
A Rabbi, agreeing with a movement backed by white nationalists, misogynists, xenophobes, and – of course – neo nazis. I’ve never felt so ashamed to be a part of the Jewish community. Seeing that less than 100 years later, some of our most distinguished people and prominent Rabbis are now siding with a movement backed by literal Nazis.
Gender Criticals are also being either very vague or utterly ignorant about the 50-year-old that was arrested. They keep suggesting one of the following:
- That this man assaulted one of their women – which isn’t true, it was a woman on the Counter-Protest side, not the Protest side.
- Or suggesting he was just a bystander…
Craig Thomas, 50 years old, was seen bickering with the protest and counter-protest before throwing abuse at the counter-protest and then assaulting a counter-protester.
He has no “fixed abode”, indicating that he is either homeless or bouncing around people’s couches. Does this support the fact he’s a bystander? Some people think so.
I, on the other hand, believe that is simply incorrect. Being homeless or having no fixed abode does not mean you can’t learn about a protest and attend it.
The concept that he spoke with both sides and then abused and assaulted a counter-protester cemented that he was probably a gender-critical or anti-trans person. Did they invite him? Probably not, because they don’t seem to invite anyone, according to Posie Parker, even though Neo Nazis and White Nationalists keep popping up at her events.
Do I condone the smoke bomb? No.
But, while it’s clear that Thomas was most likely a supporter of Posie Parker, I find it somewhat concerning that she hasn’t condemned the assault and actions by her movement.
Nobody should be assaulted.
Though, it seems the Gender Critical movement sees this differently. Instead of nobody being attacked, they seem to believe only themselves should be safe from attack.
And that is my take. Antisemitism is being used as a weapon against non-antisemitic trans people, by Gender Criticals who are backed by literal Nazis. If you align with the Gender Critical movement, I would suggest rethinking your stance or at least speaking out against the Nationalists, Racists, Homophobic, Xenophobic, and Neo Nazis your movement have obtained as followers.
More from the Brighton Counter-Protest and Posie Parker:
Questions Gender Criticals keep asking but not listening to the answers:
Simple: They don’t want to risk being doxxed or receiving online abuse for existing. In a report by GALOP, approximately 21% of Trans people reported being cyberbullied or doxxed to the police in 2020. In the same report, it is stated that 51% of trans people received death or violent threats and/or were physically, verbally, or sexually assaulted for being trans.
You shouldn’t have to risk your well-being to protest your right to exist.
This one amuses me a little. Because as far as I’m aware, it was improved. The progressive and visibly inclusive pride flag now has black and brown stripes to symbolise the men who lost their lives to HIV in the 70s and 80s, while also representing people of colour. These stripes were added along side the Trans stripes, and the Intersex flag (yellow with a purple ring). We didn’t ruin it, but Helen Joyce did.
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