Transgender activists have picketed and attacked a newspaper’s offices with smoke bombs after it printed an ad opposed to letting biological men ‘self-identify’ as women.
The activists chanted slogans, unfurled ‘Trans Women are Women!’ banners, and reportedly threw smoke bombs into Northcliffe House on Friday afternoon, filling the entrance of the London building with fumes and shutting down the street.
The building houses the offices of the right-leaning Daily Mail, which has occasionally questioned transgender ideology, and the Metro, which printed an ad arguing against legal changes which could allow biological men who identify as women into women’s changing room and rape crisis centres.
The protest is thought to have been aimed at the Metro, but ironically only online staff — a completely separate team that had nothing to do with the printed ad — were in the building at the time.
Outside Northcliffe House right now. Trans Rights activists protesting against The Daily Mail. Derry Street closed off. pic.twitter.com/NOYuXaOXlM
— thank u, next (@jnoahmorgan) October 19, 2018
Outside Northcliffe House right now. Trans Rights activists protesting against Metro for running a full-page ad attacking transgender rights reforms. pic.twitter.com/s4fAxujdPD
— Agustina Latourrette (@aglatourrette) October 19, 2018
The ad urged readers to “Think about it” and “#ChooseReality” in bold letters, arguing against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) which would allow biological men to legally declare themselves women — or “self-identify” — with no medical checks or treatment.
Many women’s and feminist groups, including Fair Play for Women (FPFW), which was behind the ad, have argued the changes pose a threat to biological women.
FPFW was called “transphobic” for the ads, but insist they support “the right of transgender people to live safely and free from discrimination”.
They add that the “right of [biological] women to live safely” is also important, however, and must not come at the “expense” of transgenderism.
I never thought I'd see targeted anti-trans attack ads in our papers. Eerily similar to 'Keep Section 28' campaign. They even used the same colour scheme. Those behind this are preying on fears, equating children to rapists, & obsessed with genitals. #stophate #choosereality pic.twitter.com/i19uMFJUOc
— Growing-up-trans (@DadTrans) October 10, 2018
The Advertising Standards Authority told Pink News website earlier this month it will investigate whether the FPFW ad violates advertising standards.
A spokesman said adverts should not “contain anything that is likely to cause serious or widespread offence.”
“Particular care should be taken on the grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Ads should also be prepared in a socially responsible way,” they said.
“We have received a small number of complaints about the Fair Play for Women ad which we will assess carefully to establish if there are any grounds for further action.
“In judging whether those rules have been broken, the ASA takes into account the context and medium in which an ad appears, the audience that’s likely to see it and prevailing standards in society.
“Ads may contain opinions, views or ideologies that may be distasteful to some without necessarily breaking the rules.”
Poster with Dictionary Definition of ‘Woman’ Censored After Transgender Twitter Row https://t.co/pJOcJ4YSNE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 26, 2018
A government consultation on the changes to the Gender Recognition Act finished this week, making the debate in recent weeks more urgent.
UKIP London Assembly Member David Kurten criticised the proposals, arguing: “Theresa May’s government’s proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act to allow anyone to self-certify as the gender they are not is a preposterous attack on objective scientific truth.
“The aggressive promotion of transgenderism over the last five years has seen men being allowed into women’s prisons and boys allowed to share girls’ toilets, changing rooms and accommodation blocks in schools and the girl guides.”
‘Allegedly Transgender’ Prisoner Gets Life After Raping Two Women, Sexually Assaulting Inmates in Female Jail https://t.co/S3ku109jB5
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 11, 2018