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Protestors to picket newspapers after Burchill trans hate rant

Protestors to picket newspapers after Burchill trans hate rant

Protests against transphobia in the UK media are scheduled to take place tomorrow (17 January) in London and Manchester.

Around 300 attendees are expected to demonstrate outside of the London offices of the Observer newspaper, part of the Guardian Media Group.

The protests were initiated by Sarah Savage, star of the Channel 4 drama My Transsexual Summer.

Trans issues have taken center stage in the UK press this week, following the Observer’s publication of a transphobic article (13 January) by outspoken columnist Julie Burchill.

Having provoked a wave of complaint, the anti-trans piece was later withdrawn from the Observer website.

But Toby Young, blogger for The Daily Telegraph newspaper, took the controversial decision to reprint the hate-filled article.

A second protest (18 January) has been now arranged outside of the offices of The Telegraph.

An open letter addressed to the Guardian Media Group laid out the reasons for the protest. It said that the Observer’s statement on its decision to withdraw Burchill’s article is not enough.

The protest’s organising group also said: ‘Given that violence and discrimination against the trans community is rife within society, we feel let down when a supposedly progressive paper publishes a piece which amounts to nothing more than an outright transphobic hate speech.’

The Guardian Media Group has previously come under fire for its coverage of trans people and themes.

Though it commissions a variety of trans writers, it also gives a platform to writers accused of transphobia.

These include feminist writer Julie Bindel, who has been subject to a ‘no platform’ motion from the National Union of Students Women’s Campaign.

The protesters’ open letter asks for a ‘full apology’ and for ‘reassurance that the paper will not publish transphobic content in future’.

For more information on the protest, see their page on Facebook.