In this list, Sex Matters has collated incidents we know in which transactivists harassed, attacked or assaulted women who defend sex-based rights. This is not a list of all violence and threats against women in general. Between two and three women are murdered in the UK each week, overwhelmingly by men, and around 800,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted each year in England and Wales, again overwhelmingly by men. This list concerns transactivists intimidating, threatening and assaulting women. (See also our Timeline of major incidents caught on film.)
We do not know of any incidents in which gender-critical women intimidated, threatened or assaulted transactivists. We have never heard of women threatening to decapitate transactivists, intimidating venues hosting events for trans people into cancelling bookings, or punching trans people who are holding peaceful rallies. We have never heard of a trans rally or event suffering bomb threats, having smoke flares let off outside or having to pause proceedings because the noise made by protestors means speakers cannot be heard. We do not know of a single occasion where transactivists have had to call police to ensure their safety in the face of mobs of women screaming sexualised abuse and death threats.
To the best of our knowledge, this campaign of abuse and violence is all in one direction. This is not a story of “both sides”.
60-year-old woman assaulted
13th September 2017, London
When Venice Allan decided it was time to talk about gender and the UK’s proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, she tried to organise a meeting with views on all sides. She contacted over 20 transactivists to ask them to speak at the event but none accepted. After the first venue pulled out a new one was found, the Women’s Club in Audley Square. In an effort to keep attendees safe and avoid further threats and harassment, the location was kept secret. Attendees met at Speakers’ Corner to find out where to go. A small group of transactivists turned up with placards saying “TERFs not welcome” and taunted and chanted at the women. Maria MacLachlan was taking photographs when one of the transactivists grappled with her, snatched her camera and smashed it on the ground. Another joined in and hit her several times. The second assailant, Tara Flik Wood (also known as Tara Wolf), a trans-identifying man, was convicted of assault by battery.
Woman mobbed and intimidated at book fair
26th October 2017, London
Helen Steel visited the London Anarchist Bookfair and expressed support for two women who had been distributing gender-critical leaflets. She was surrounded and intimidated by a group who verbally abused her calling her “ugly TERF, f*cking TERF scum, bitch, fascist”. She said: “I saw a man’s hand moving towards my face and when it was within inches of my face I blocked it and pushed his arm away. He then started shouting that I had assaulted him and I should be thrown out.”
Meeting disrupted by aggressive activists
2nd February 2018, Glasgow
When Venice Allan organised an event to discuss the Gender Recognition Act in Glasgow, trans-rights activists pressured the Mercure Glasgow City Hotel to cancel the booking at the last minute. A protest to intimidate attendees was organised outside the substitute venue, the Grand Hotel, and two male activists, including one trans-identified man, infiltrated the meeting and tried to disrupt it by screaming about “transphobic TERFs” as soon as the first speaker, Kate Graham, began her talk. They were removed by hotel security and police, and the meeting continued.
Women intimidated outside feminist meeting
14th February 2018, Edinburgh
Woman’s Place UK held a meeting in Edinburgh. There was an intimidating protest outside with protestors banging pots and pans throughout. Women entering the meeting were called “fascists”. After the meeting, the venue was targeted on social media with negative reviews and accusations of transphobia. The protest was intimidating and women were escorted out by the police.
Siege at a public event
19th April 2018, Bristol
Venice Allan organised a We Need to Talk event at the Jam Jar community arts centre in Bristol to talk about the Gender Recognition Act. Black-clad activists in balaclavas forced their way into the building and blocked the stairs so that women could not get in or out. The meeting required a heavy police presence to go ahead.
Woman hounded off picket line
8th March 2018, London
Trades-union official Paula Lamont was hounded off a picket line on International Women’s Day. She said the incident was “completely one-sided and unprovoked” and left her “really shaken”. Footage shows her surrounded by protesters, shouting: “TERF! TERF! TERF! Get her out of here, she’s a TERF!” Lamont says she felt so intimidated she had to leave the picket for her own safety. She believes that the attack was connected with her being recognised as having attended a meeting held by Woman’s Place UK.
Woman abused for holding a banner
1st May 2019, London
At the May Day March, feminist Lesley Woodburn was attacked and racially abused for holding a banner displaying the definition “Woman: Adult human female”. She said that while she was walking on the march the group shouted “Black scum,” “Transphobe” and “TERF”. She alleges that a man tried to grab her banner from her, saying it was “transphobic”. She says he pulled on the banner and deliberately let go. She fell to the ground and injured her back.
Lesbians intimidated at Pride
22nd June 2019, Edinburgh
A small group of lesbians attended Edinburgh Pride with banners proclaiming “Lesbian Visibility”, “Lesbian, Not Queer” and “Transactivism Erases Lesbians”. They were blocked in by some very tall people wearing trans and non-binary flags draped over their shoulders – “quite literally and intentionally making us and our ‘Lesbian Visibility’ banners invisible”. Others on the march had bells rung and whistles painfully blown in their ears and had juice bottles thrown at them. An angry young person grabbed a placard from one of the lesbians and tried to rip it up, shouting “TERF!” in her face. MSPs gave speeches calling gender-critical voices “ transphobic hatred and bigotry”. Encouraged by this, people started shouting about “Getting the TERFs out”. The lesbians left the march feeling unsafe. As one said: “It was obvious this would happen. The marchers had been well and truly whipped up into a ‘righteous’ anger by our MSPs and others who spoke from that open-top bus at the pre march rally.”
Security guards restrain man to prevent assault
5th June 2019, Edinburgh
Joseph “Cathy“ Brennan, an American trans-identifying man who had tweeted “I think there should be more Speaker’s Corner type incidents” and “British TERFs need to be made afraid”, attempted to assault journalist Julie Bindel after she took part in a panel event at Edinburgh on women’s rights. Bindel recounts that on leaving she saw a man wearing a long skirt waiting for her. “He screamed I was scum, I was a c***, I was filth… He was shouting and ranting and raving, ‘You’re a f****** c***, you’re a f****** b****, a f****** TERF’.” Bindel said that Brennan lunged at her with raised fists and a security guard restrained him. Brennan was investigated by the police and accepted a fiscal fine (a form of deferred prosecution agreement in Scotland issued as an alternative to prosecution).
Bomb threat at women’s meeting
19th June 2019, Hastings
Two local women decided to host a Woman’s Place UK meeting in Hastings. As soon as they started asking around for venues they faced resistance, with an email sent to their local council urging it not to host the event. On the day of the meeting, a bomb threat was made on Twitter. Sussex Police confirmed that the threat was being taken seriously and officers were investigating.
Lesbians intimidated by mob
1st June 2019, Bradford
A group of lesbians attended Bradford Pride. While they were waiting for the start of the event they were approached by two police officers responding to a complaint that had been made about one of their placards, which read “Lesbian = female homosexual”. The officers said it had been alleged that the placard was transphobic. Later, when they were standing with their banners, a trans-identified man came to shout at them and call them “transphobic” and “TERFs”. The same person spoke from the stage, calling them “bigoted” and saying that they had no place at Pride. A group of males then joined in to physically intimidate them and cover their banners with flags. There was a police officer within 100 metres throughout who did nothing to intervene.
Lesbians spat at during Pride event
22nd June 2019, Lancaster
A group of lesbians attended Lancaster Pride with banners bearing messages including “Lesbians are female homosexuals” and “Lesbians don’t have penises” and stood on the steps of the town hall. A crowd surrounded them, chanted over them and held up flags to block their signs from public view. Some protesters grabbed at their banners. They were spat at and some protestors screamed in their faces. One man attempted to wrestle their megaphone away. The police did not control the situation and did not keep a buffer zone between the two groups. Robert Mee, CEO of Lancaster Pride, shouted at them: “F*ck off you f*cking dogs.”
Mob kick at windows of feminist meeting
23rd September 2019, Brighton
When Woman’s Place UK organised an event in Brighton to coincide with the Labour party conference, the first venue cancelled the booking a few hours before the meeting, saying it could not guarantee the security of the meeting. WPUK moved to an alternative venue. Around 100 transactivists, many masked, blocked both entrances and tried to intimidate attendees. Despite a police presence, the protestors were allowed to stand close to the entrance, blocking it and the pavement. A splinter group of protestors went to the back of the building where they were permitted by the police to kick and bang on the windows of the meeting room for two hours. As one attendee describes it: “The noise was deafening and I feared the windows would shatter and we would be sprayed with glass. Why the police allowed this level of harassment to go on and on is a subject for citizens of the UK to take up with their government. But I will say I felt afraid for the safety of everyone in that room.”
Professor needs a security guard at work
January 2020, Oxford
In January 2020, death threats were made against academic Selina Todd by trans activists on an online student network. The university investigated these threats and found them credible enough to arrange security for Professor Todd for the remainder of the year.
Smoke bombs set off at foot of Grenfell Tower while women meet
10th March 2020, London
Women arriving for a meeting held by Labour Women’s Declaration near the foot of Grenfell Tower were greeted by aggressive masked protesters shouting abuse. One was wearing a pink plastic dildo. While the event was going on the protesters let off smoke flares outside. Those inside the building near to the doors smelt smoke did not know the cause and were alarmed that it might be a fire. Police were called to escort attendees safely from the event.
Women taunted, threatened and attacked at Reclaim These Streets event
27th March 2021, Portsmouth
At a Reclaim These Streets event in Portsmouth to protest against male violence against women and to campaign for female safety, two young feminists were threatened, taunted and physically attacked. The two women stood on the Guildhall steps, holding a flag with the dictionary definition of the word “woman”. “They charged towards us on the guildhall steps,” one said. “We were pushed, shoved, while we clung for dear life to the meaning of what we are. I shouted ‘The definition of what a woman is is in our curriculum’. They shouted back, ‘White supremacy is in our schools’. Councillor Claire Udy encouraged the crowd to shout ‘TERF scum out!’. The crowd did not find it chilling to see men aggressive towards women at a protest against male violence. Young feminists applauded this moment.” When the women were eventually forced from the steps, the crowd taunted them, made threatening gestures and shouted “F*ck off, c*nt!” as they walked away. Feminist, lesbian and survivor Sally Jackson was also harassed and bullied at the Portsmouth event.
Porn tweeted into timeline of children’s author
JK Rowling launched Ickabog, a book for children, by inviting children and their parents to send her drawings of the characters, with the best ones to be included in the finished books. Transactivists tweeted porn into her timeline in reply to posts where she had tagged in teenagers and parents of young children. A Twitter user later accused her of ignoring “porn tweeted at children” in her posts. Rowling replied: “I reported every bit of porn so-called trans allies tweeted into Twitter threads where children were sending me artwork for the Ickabog. I didn’t respond or retweet it because I didn’t want more kids to see it.”
Author receives hundreds of death threats
2020 to 2023
Since JK Rowling began tweeting about sex and gender, she has been subjected to hundreds of rape and death threats online. She says she has received enough death threats to paper her home. Signs saying “Kill JK Rowling” and “Rot in Hell JK Rowling” were displayed at Pride in London in June 2021. In June 2023 Police Scotland launched an investigation after Rowling was threatened online by a man who said he wanted to kill her with a hammer due to her opinion on gender self-ID. He had published a voice note where he threatened her life. Rowling reported that the same man had publicly advocated for a car to be driven into a rally organised by women’s rights campaigner Posie Parker, and had posted recordings saying he wanted to kill Rosie Duffield MP with a gun.
Man screams “witch” in woman’s face
2nd September 2021
At a rally outside the Scottish Parliament organised by For Women Scotland to protest against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, counter-protesters confronted women. Footage of the event shows a trans-identified man chanting “Witch!” at the protesters. At one point, the man approaches a woman and screams “Witch! Witch! Witch!” directly into her face. Police can be seen standing between the protest and the counter-demonstration.
Obscene signs and threats outside feminist conference
16th–17th October 2021, Portsmouth
Trans activists protested against FiLiA, Europe’s largest feminist conference, which covers topics including rape and domestic abuse and involves women from around the world. They held up signs threatening sexual violence and featuring misogynistic slurs such as “Suck my dick you transphobic c*nts”. Protesters also chalked obscene pictures and messages, such as “Transphobes can suck on my pink strap” around the front of the building and on the pavement where a femicide vigil was due to be held to commemorate women and girls killed by men.
Trans-identified men shout racist, misogynist abuse at women
21st October 2021, London
When Woman’s Place UK held an event at the QEII conference centre, a small but extremely aggressive group protested outside. It included several men dressed as women, who shouted abuse indiscriminately at women attending the WPUK event, attendees at an unrelated black business event, and at venue staff and WPUK volunteers. Taunts included “Shut the f*ck up, you c*nt” shouted into the face of a steward; “Call Weightwatchers, your body’s not doing it”; “Your hair is minging, buy a weave”; “Your breath smells like you’ve been eating ar*e, have you been eating her a*se?”; “Are you a lesbian? No man would want that”; “Your breasts are on the floor, buy a bra and some hair dye too”; “You f*cking bald b*tch”; “You’re a stuck-up b*tch”; “I have a better body than you. Like, you have no bum. How do you sit down? What kind of man would want you? A blind man?”; “We don’t want pensioners. We don’t want dinosaurs like all you lot. You are not going to be around in 40 years. Well, 40’s a push”; “You call yourself a woman? DIE! DIE! DIE!”; “You call yourself black people?”; and “Why are you here? Are you supporting these Nazis? Are you supporting neo-Nazis?”
Academics threatened with violence
June to November 2021, Cardiff
After a group of Cardiff University academics signed an open letter calling on the university to review its participation in a Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, activists began to distribute leaflets featuring an image of a woman aiming a gun alongside a list of their names and photos with the text “ACT NOW” and “Destroy the TERF menace”. The document warned signatories of “repercussions”. Violent rhetoric was posted to the Cardiff University LGBT+ Society’s official Facebook group. One member threatened to kneecap a signatory “manually with a 2×4”; another detailed the “urge to throat punch people when they’re being racist / transphobic / homophobic”. Other comments included suggesting a “petition to make punching transphobes not only legal but rewarded”. The window of a car belonging to one of the signatories was smashed. Threats against the academics continued throughout November, as stickers with a woman holding a gun and reading “Not gay as in happy, but queer as in f*ck you” were posted around campus. Police declined to investigate.
Female academic told to stay away from campus for own safety
October 2021, Sussex
University professor Kathleen Stock was warned by police to stay away from campus and teach classes online when students protested against her because she went public, both online and in her academic work, about her belief that people cannot change biological sex. She was advised to install CCTV at her home. Masked protesters put up posters around campus calling for her to be sacked. She eventually resigned from her university post.
Women assaulted at feminist vigil
12th March 2022, Manchester
Manchester Feminist Network held a male vigil to protest against and raise awareness of male violence against women. It was interrupted by a man shouting “Transwomen are women”. When the vigil resumed, a glass bottle was thrown at the women. Some left immediately, fearing for their safety and that of their children. Belstaffie, a prominent local radical feminist and lesbian, was hit on the back of the head by a milkshake. Witnesses described “a man with pink hair wearing a dress” fleeing the scene. The man later returned to grab and destroy a sign carried by two women who were accompanied by children, to throw liquid at two other women and to attack Belstaffie a second time. Another of the women attacked was Gemma Aitchison. She said that the man threw a milkshake in her face and then started a violent scuffle with another woman. She tried to get between him and the women, was punched and fell to the ground. Transactivists on Twitter responded to the incident with messages such as “TERFs are scum, Throwing milkshakes at them is a moral necessity”. On 4th July 2023 Erin Phoebe Dawson pleaded guilty to a Section 39 assault against a woman at the vigil. He was sentenced to an 18-month conditional discharge, £100 compensation to the woman and £85 court costs.
Hostile crowd surrounds building
24th March 2022, Manchester
Woman’s Place UK held a meeting in Manchester on the theme of single-sex spaces, services, quotas and sporting competition and the Equality Act. Around 150 women attended and a crowd of around 200 people gathered outside. They stood immediately outside the building entrance, blocking access and exit from the building and shouting false and threatening slogans including “F*ck TERFs”, “TERFs get off our f*cking turf” and “Woman’s Place is a place of hate”. Many women inside felt threatened by this conduct. The venue’s management became so concerned they asked the organisers to abandon the meeting. The police kept attendees inside to prevent a breach of the peace and waited for the hostile protest to disperse. Police did nothing to contain the protestors or facilitate their right to protest at a less threatening distance.
Girl shouted, screamed and spat at in school
A sixth-former at at a girls’ school respectfully disagreed with a visiting speaker who made assertions promoting gender ideology. Later she was surrounded by more than 50 pupils who shouted, screamed and spat at her. She escaped and then collapsed, unable to breathe properly. The following day she found her desk covered in printouts of trans flags and signs saying “Trans right are human rights”. The day after, other sixth-formers staged a unscheduled “Trans Day of Visibility”, with some coming to school dressed in pink, white and blue, the colours of the trans flag. Teachers were initially supportive of her, but withdrew their backing after the other girls accused her of transphobia. The school ended up apologising for not maintaining a “safe space” in the sixth form. The teenager returned to school a few times but was told she would have to work in the library if she said anything provocative in lessons. She experienced further bullying and accusations of transphobia.
Woman assaulted by masked men occupying Suffragette statue
16th May 2022, Manchester
At a Standing For Women event organised by Kellie-Jay Keen at St Peter’s Square in Manchester, men in masks and hoods tried to intimidate attendees and to disrupt the meeting with loud music. Determined not to allow the women to get close to the statue of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, the men occupied it and physically assaulted one woman, grabbing and pushing her. The Mail reported that “one woman with a suffragette flag was attacked by the masked mob, described online as men and trans men, who tried to pull her down off a wall and grabbed her by the arms – but she clung on to her flag throughout.”
Women intimidated at rally and blockaded in pub
19th June 2022, Bristol
A Standing For Women event in Bristol was protested against by aggressive activists, primarily males associated with the Bristol Anarchist Federation, who were dressed in black and had face coverings to obscure their identities. In one video, two black-clad males can be heard screaming at the women: “Go home, get in the sea, die out! You’re dinosaurs! You’re going to die out! You are fossils!” and “You’re all abusive f*cking scumbags!” Other videos show the activists having to be physically restrained by police officers to stop them advancing on the women. After the event, the protestors followed the attendees to a pub and blockaded the premises. The pub was forced to close and the women needed a police escort in order to leave.
Female steward receives racist threats online
29th July 2022
Aja is one of the regular all-female volunteer stewarding team at the Let Women Speak outdoor events. She has faced verbal abuse and physical aggression at these events, standing between the women attending and the aggressive counter-protestors, often with inadequate police presence to maintain a distance. She often posts bodycam footage of the events as well as commentary on Twitter. She has received threats with messages including “Whats up, mouthing about trans folk, sambo??? 🦍 🦍 🦍 we no who you are and we no were you live… dont ever set foot in Liverpool again mate…” and “mouth off again at my mate would you, you little coon ???….I want to know if you’ll be my slave 🦍🦍🦍🦍 Don’t ever set foot in Liverpool again, you little slag, cos you won’t be leaving the city alive…”. Similar messages have received by many gender-critical women with public profiles. They are similar in style to the messages sent by a man convicted for sending hundreds of hate-filled messages to Birmingham MP Jess Phillips.
Trans activists stage dirty protest outside EHRC
2nd September 2022, London
Trans activists left more than 60 bottles of urine outside the offices of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to protest against the government watchdog’s policy on trans access to public facilities. Masked representatives of the anonymous group Pissed Off Trannies (POT) delivered the urine to the EHRC offices in Westminster, London by pouring it into the revolving doorway and leaving it in bottles around the perimeter, and then staged what they described as a “piss-in”. One member, wearing a rubber mask and a translucent dress through which his genitals were clearly outlined, urinated on himself and poured bottles of urine over himself and onto the pavement outside the building, all the while shouting: “The EHRC has blood on its hands and piss on its streets.”The Pissed Off Trannies .
Lesbians harassed at event
17th September 2022, Leeds
The Lesbian Strength march in Leeds was disrupted by transactivists, most of whom were male and many of whom were masked. The organisers of the event said: “This is harassment of lesbians on the basis of sexuality… We are being targeted because we are women and because we are exclusively same-sex attracted.” Security concerns meant the organisers had to hold a rally instead of a march.
Trans activist brings a knife to protest against women’s rally
18th September 2022, Brighton
A Standing For Women meeting in Brighton was protested against by activists who threw smoke bombs into the crowd. Three trans-rights activists were arrested. Police told The Brighton Argus: “A woman and two men were arrested: one on suspicion of assault, one on suspicion of obstructing a police officer and one on suspicion of sexual assault by touching.” One of the male activists arrested was found to be carrying a knife.
Two women harassed by mob while drinking in a pub
22nd October 2022, London
Following the LGB Alliance Conference at the QEII Centre, Maya Forstater and Helen Joyce went to the nearby Westminster Arms pub. Before long around 20 protesters turned up outside, having broken away from the main group outside the conference centre. Several wore masks or balaclavas. They stood outside the entrance to the pub chanting slogans for around 40 minutes until the women were able to get a police escort to leave.
Attendees at a university talk intimidated
25th October 2022, Cambridge
When Helen Joyce was invited to speak at Gonville and Caius College (part of Cambridge University), the Student Union LGBT+ Campaign responded with public statements of outrage and calls for the college to reconsider its decision to permit the talk to go ahead. Professor Arif Ahmed, who hosted the event, reported that several students told him they felt afraid to attend: “This was not necessarily because they were frightened of violent protests. In a way it was worse than that. They were afraid of ostracism by their student peers, and even by academic staff.” On the night of the talk around 150 protesters gathered outside chanting and banging pots and pans. A breakaway group found its way inside and disrupted the event by seeking to drown it out with noise. Professor Ahmed reported: “There was chanting, screaming and banging outside the hall. Some people were banging on the door.”
Man assaults woman to stop film screening
14th December 2022, Edinburgh
Students attempted to stop a screening by Edinburgh Academics for Academic Freedom of a film about gender politics. Students occupied a lecture theatre that was due to show the Adult Human Female documentary. Susan Dalgety, a journalist who attended, told the Scottish Daily Express that attendees were met by “a group of aggressive young men who stopped us from going to the event. They intimidated women old enough to be their grandmothers, jostling and shouting at them in a very aggressive way”. The protestors succeeded in stopping the screening. Robyn Woof, a trans-identifying man, was later charged with assault.
Online threat to women protesters
9th January 2023, Glasgow
In advance of a Let Women Speak rally in Glasgow, a man tweeted a threat directed at the organiser Kellie-Jay Keen (aka Posie Parker): “I would sure HATE it if someone took their car to glasgow green on the 5th of february and hit p*sie p*arker and friends with their car! what an awful thing that would be! that I would hate! … me watching the country’s leading defenders of women and girls exploding like bin bags full of baked beans on your windshield: oh no!” Kellie-Jay Keen tweeted that she had been advised that she needed personal security.
Protesters hold up a sign “Decapitate TERFs”
21st January 2023, Glasgow
At a transactivist rally in Glasgow to protest against the UK government’s decision to block Holyrood’s Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill from being signed into law, a protester held up a placard which said “Decapitate TERFs” and showed a picture of of a guillotine. Scottish National Party members Kaukab Stewart MSP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Stewart McDonald MP and Alison Thewliss MP were photographed and videoed in front of the sign. A party spokesperson said the politicians were unaware of the placard at the time.
Convicted kidnapper yells abuse outside feminist conference
3rd February 2023, London
Woman’s Place UK hosted a feminist conference at University College London. About two dozen protesters gathered outside, among them convicted torturer and attempted murderer Sarah Jane Baker, a trans-identifying man, who yelled abuse at the women, calling them “c*nts”. The activists circled the building banging on the windows. One of the women attending the conference was assaulted. Kate Worley, aka DJ Lippy, told The Telegraph that she was filming the trans-activist protesters chanting outside the conference venue. “A hooded gentleman came up to me, said ‘Stop filming me!’ and then grabbed my phone, wrestled it out of my hand and threw it over a wall. He pulled both of my thumbs back, which are now bruised and hurt… He tussled with me and ran down the street and disappeared.”
Liberal Democrat delegate verbally abused
18th March 2023, York
Liberal Voice for Women is a group that aims to protect and advance the rights and interests of women and girls from within the Liberal Democrat Party. It got a debate scheduled at the Liberal Democrat spring conference, but at the scheduled time the chair tried to move on to next business although there was no more business for the day. Dr Zoe Hollowood was given just two minutes to make the case for the debate going ahead. As she spoke, shouts of “Bigot!” were hurled at her from the floor. Later Liberal Democrat councillor Sean MacLeod tweeted: “F**k the terfs”. A Lib Dem activist later posted online about Dr Hollowood: “TERFs are like bedbugs, or pubic lice: once you’ve got them you need to actively MAKE them go away.”
Violent criminal sends explicit violent threat to female writer
20th March 2023, online
A trans-identified man with a conviction for violence tweeted at Helen Joyce that he wanted to rip her eyes out, cut her hands off and carve up her face. He is being investigated by the police.
Film screening stopped by aggressive protesters
26th April, 2023, Edinburgh
A second attempt to screen the Adult Human Female documentary at Edinburgh University was called off after doorways were blocked by masked protesters. Although barriers had been put up to provide a space for protestors, the protestors were allowed to move around freely rather than being kept away from attendees. Attendees were subjected to degrading and dehumanising treatment by protesters. An individual who performs as “Cabaret Against The Hate” used amplification to make derogatory comments about the women over the course of around an hour, based on their sex, age and beliefs. He referred to them as “TERFs”, including saying “Stay away from the TERF, she smells bad.” University security staff refused to intervene to keep the protesters away from the attendees because of the risk of physical confrontations and opted instead to cancel the screening. There was a minor scuffle outside the theatre after two audience members tried to push through to the entrance, but were held back by security staff.
Trans activists return to EHRC with suspicious bottles
23rd May 2023, London
The “Pissed off Tranny” protest group that had staged a dirty protest at the EHRC‘s offices in September 2022 came back. Videos show masked men again leaving dozens of bottles of yellow liquid around the building, and pouring it over the ground around the entrance to the EHRC’s office. Police had to cordon off the area and do a controlled explosion on a suspicious bottle with a device inside. Writing in The Times Janice Turner said “This disgusting, unhinged, menacing tactic has one aim: to drive out the EHRC chairwoman, Baroness Falkner of Margravine.”
Protestors disrupt debate
30th May 2023, Oxford
Professor Kathleen Stock was invited to debate at the Oxford Union. Trans-rights protesters gathered outside. They distributed leaflets saying “Kathleen Stock is not welcome here. TERFs are not welcome here.” Professor Stock had to be brought into the building by a back route with security guards. The talk was disrupted by a group who unfurled banners and shouted slogans and had to be removed by security staff. The talk went ahead with a police presence. One protester glued herself to the floor next to Stock’s chair. Once she had been removed, Stock spoke over the noise of the mob outside the building.
Man sends female MP death threat
12th June 2023, online
Mx Vivian Wulf tweeted about Joanna Cherry MP: “I’d kill her with my bare hands if I ever saw her.” The National reported that the Met Police had decided that this did not meet the threshold for a crime.
Violent criminal tells crowd to punch women in the face
8th July 2023, London
Trans-identifying activist Sarah Jane Baker told a crowd at London Trans+ Pride, “I was gonna come here and be really fluffy and be really nice and say yeah be really lovely and queer and gay… Nah, if you see a TERF, punch them in the f*cking face”. He was cheered loudly by the crowd. In a Facebook post before the event, Baker announced a plan to attend and speak, encouraging followers to arm themselves. Police initially told a complainant that it was not in the public interest to pursue the case as the call for violence was “hypothetical” and permitted under free-speech laws. Eventually Baker was arrested and charged with intentionally encouraging the commission of the offence of assault by beating. He was acquitted. Baker also protested outside the launch of the Lesbian Project on 25th March 2023 in Camden and the Woman’s Place UK event at University College London on 4th February 2023 and was associated with signs saying “Be Trans Do Crime” and “Kill JK Rowling” at Pride in 2021.
Man punches woman
July 2023, Aberdeen
Women’s rights group Women Won’t Wheesht hosted an event at Duthie Park in Aberdeen that attracted transactivist protestors. One of the women attending the event, Julie Marshall, was seriously assaulted by a male activist who tried to steal a sign. When Julie ran after him, he struck her full in the face, still holding the sign, causing her glasses to fly off. He then punched her in the arm. Julie suffered a black eye and severe bruising and was in a great deal of pain. He was let off with a warning.
Mob close museum, follow women down the street shouting abuse
10th September 2023, Manchester
When Sex Matters held an event at the People’s History Museum to talk about equality law protesters gathered outside. They shouted as participants as they entered, and while the event was going on they chalked on the pavement outside “Adult Human Female. Noun: fascist scum”, “the only good fascist is a dead fascist”, drawings of Maya Forstater and Helen Joyce labelled “we are scum” and “know your enemy” and IF YOU SEE A TERF PUNCH THEM IN THE F*CKING FACE”. The museum, which had rented a small function room to Sex Matters felt unable to safely open the rest of the museum to the public. After the event the participants who had hoped to look around the suffragette exhibition were told to leave by the back entrance by museum staff. They were surrounded and followed down the street by masked activists shouting “TERFs off our turf”, “Maya is a liar and an enemy to feminism” and “F*ck Helen Joyce”. Forstater, Joyce and Sex Matters board member Emma Hilton had to be taken away from the scene in a police car to escape the mob. A crime report has been filed. Sex Matters asked the museum for a security debrief after the event but the board and staff of the museum refused.
Man threatens violence at event
8th October 2023, Liverpool
At a Let Woman Speak event in Liverpool, a trans-rights activist expressed his attention to “batter” women attending if the police were not there to protect them. The man stood in front of a female steward trying to make her feel intimidated. He was filmed provoking a confrontation with another female steward, asking her why the police were there and saying it was to “prop up the fascist state” and “We’d batter you if they weren’t here… Bunch of scum, you’re scum.”
Men grab women’s legs to try to stop them attending a book launch
12th October 2023, Edinburgh
Attendees at the launch of a book about gender politics at Edinburgh University described being intimidated and assaulted by trans-rights demonstrators. The activists attempted to block access to the lecture theatre. Some, who were sitting on the ground by a security barrier, attempted to prevent people entering the building by grabbing their legs.
Man intimidates women
25th October 2023, London
Trans-identified man Freda Wallace secured an invitation to speak at a debate at the Institute for Economic Affairs. He arrived inebriated and continued to drink throughout, so much so that trans-rights activist Peter Tatchell, who was speaking on the same side as Wallace, tried to stop him. Wallace was dressed in a manner that exposed part of his groin to the audience when he was seated. He repeatedly insulted the only female speaker on the panel and responded to questions with unrelated obscenities, for example about “f*cking men with my female penis at fetish clubs”. Later that weekend he visited a Standing For Women event at Hyde Park and circled the group of women with “Police: caution” tape while playing a recording of Sarah Jane Baker, a trans-identified man with convictions for kidnapping, torture and attempted murder, shouting “If you see a TERF, punch them in the f*cking face.”
This list has been compiled with thanks to everyone who has organised these events, stewarded them and documented them. If you know of further incidents in the UK, please tell us at [email protected].
See also our Timeline of major incidents caught on film.