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Sep 9, 2018, 22 tweets

We Need To Talk formed in September 2017, when a group of women organised a talk in London called ‘What Is The Meaning of Gender? The GRA and beyond’.

We asked @PeoplesMomentum to facilitate a debate, with speakers arguing for and against the @Conservatives proposals to reform the GRA. They refused. As they stated this week, Momentum would rather ‘just skip’ this conversation 🧔👇

So we decided to host the event ourselves, booking our local community library @newxlearning. We invited over 20 trans activists to speak and finally @Bex_Stinson, @stonewalluk’s trans inclusion officer, agreed to take part

However, a week before the event was due to take place, Bex from @stonewalluk pulled out. We tried to get other trans activists to take part in this debate but everyone we asked refused or ignored us 😕

So we decided to carry on with the event as a discussion, instead of a debate. Then @SistersUncut found out about it and started a campaign to shut us down. @GoldsmithsSU and @LGBTLewisham and large numbers of trans activists bombarded the library with complaints.

Yes, that’s @GoldsmithsUoL, home of @natachakennedy, featured in this weekend’s papers by @TimesLucy for leading a smear campaign against female academics, inc. @Docstockk and @GoonerProf.
The amazing Gender Trender has more info 👀…

To be continued... inc how @Skepticat_UK came to be assaulted by Class War’s Tara Wood and friends at Speakers Corner on 13/09/17 - one year this Thursday - and more on the #waronwomen 💬

On 12/09/17, the day before our first event, we had an emergency meeting with @GoldsmithsSU, who tried to persuade us to cancel the talk at @newxlearning. They said that asking the question, ‘What Is Gender?’, would make New Cross an ‘unsafe space’ for trans students 🚫

At the meeting, the woman from Goldsmiths, without irony, cried, ‘but men *can* breastfeed!’
She called our speakers, Julia Long and Miranda Yardley, hate figures.
She said that while the university had never worked with NXL, this event could ‘jeopardise future collaborations’.

Then we met with a woman from @LGBTLewisham. After checking our pronouns, she accused us of hosting an unbalanced debate and asked us to postpone it. She said that @Bex_Stinson from @stonewalluk had told her that he had never agreed to speak! 😯

For the previous 48 hours, the volunteer-run, community library, @newxlearning, had been inundated with calls, emails, facebook posts and tweets. At around 9pm, the night before our event, the management committee, @NXGTrust, decided to cancel our event

The cancellation attracted interest and women reached out to help us. We were offered a much fancier library at the historic The University Women’s Club in Mayfair. We didn’t want this new venue to receive the same abuse so we kept it secret and announced a nearby meeting point.

We arranged to meet the attendees at nearby Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, which has a long feminist history 💚💜…

When trans activists discovered that we had found a new venue for our meeting, they desperately tried to find out where it was. Here is Tara Flik Wood on Facebook on the day of the event, threatening violence against women. Post was ‘loved’ by publicly-funded @act4transhealth

‘Tara’ used to be a student at @GoldsmithsUoL and a rep for @GoldsmithsSU. We don’t know if he’s connected to the University’s gulag-loving @lgbtqgold or @natachakennedy, leader of a secret smear campaign against female academics as uncovered by @TimesLucy 🕵️‍♀️

Tara later said in court that he’d seen the demo on a Facebook event hosted by @act4transhealth, the organisation whose Edinburgh branch produced the infamous Trans Health Manifesto…
This was not a counter-demo! Speakers Corner was just our meeting point.

We didn't go to Speakers' Corner to demonstrate. Around 50 people, mainly middle-aged women, gathered to find out the location of a meeting about legislation that affected us. For our event to go ahead, we were *actually* made unsafe for asking the question, 'What Is Gender?'

WERE YOU AT SPEAKERS' CORNER 13/09/17? Please tell us your memory of what happened, either here or on our Facebook page

For an overview of what happened that evening at Speakers’ Corner, please watch @MagdalenBerns’s video:

or read: @MeghanEMurphy’s piece for @FeministCurrent…

We met at Speakers’ Corner this evening and talked about what had happened to us all this past year. 2018 #WarOnWomen

When men attack, we fight back!

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