Trans activists protest against police transphobia

UK's transgender community protested against anti-trans police actions following claims officers violently handled a transgender woman in the heart of London's gay quarter

Trans activists protest against police transphobia
04 March 2013

A group of transgender rights activists held a protest against police transphobia and alleged brutality, in London.

Some 25 to 30 people gathered outside Charing Cross police station, in London, this past Saturday (2 March) to protest against transphobic actions by the London police force.

The protest followed an incident revealed by Gay Star News, where Jose Dos Santos, a 49 year-old, transgender woman was allegedly mocked and handled with excessive force by the Metropolitan Police in Soho, the gay center of the UK capital, last week.

Group members of Protest Transphobia demonstrated against alleged police ‘brutality’ and demanded that it put a stop to anti-trans behavior and prevent its reoccurrence.

Participants held banners saying: ‘Stop transphobia’, ‘Keep us safe not sorry’, ‘Transphobic assault is a hate crime’ and others.

Speaking with Gay Star News, member of Protest Transphobia group, Sophia Botha, said: ‘Considering how far we’ve come in this country in improving trans equality and that we have trans police officers; it’s bewildering as to why any officer in the Met police would mock somebody for being transgender.

‘Of course there have been past incidents of the police acting in a transphobic manner, just as there have been many past incidents of the police acting in a racist or sexist or homophobic manner.

‘This is something we don’t want to recur so we demonstrated to signal to the police we don’t want the police to act in such a manner anymore.

Protest Transphobia’s demonstration was organized withe the help of Lisa Quinn and other members who want to ensure that police knows that any slip up in standards of treatment towards transgender people will be met with a visible outcry from the transgender community.

‘We believe that transgender people need to be visible in opposing transphobic treatment whenever it occurs.

‘Too long the transgender community has remain silent in the discomfort of transphobia, our campaign is attempting to rectify this.

‘My family are originally from South Africa where police opened fired on striking miners’, said Botha.

‘We certainly have far better policing in Britain then many parts of the world but we should be weary of slipping standards and try to improve them when needed.’

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