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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2020

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding


London, photo Greg Randall

London, photo Greg Randall   (Click to enlarge)

Well over a thousand overwhelmingly young trans and non-binary people and supporters protested in Parliament Square on 4 July against the Tories backsliding on trans rights.

The chant of "Black Lives Matter - Trans Lives Matter" was to the fore, expressing solidarity, and showing how, when one oppressed group in society moves into action, radicalisation spreads.

Theresa May's government consulted on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, so that trans people could register their legal identity in the appropriate gender without a lengthy medical process.

The Johnson regime looks likely to ditch this idea after a transphobic campaign by the right-wing press, shamefully given encouragement by some who claim to be on the left. The Tories may even introduce a 'bathroom bill', following far-right Republicans in the US, putting trans people's safety at risk by barring them from public toilets and other facilities.

Protesters were angry and determined, with speakers addressing the difficulty of life for trans and non-binary people in a society that discriminates and denies their existence.

The Socialist Party leaflet (see 'Yes to self-identity: Fight for trans rights' at linked trans' struggles to the need to defend jobs and services, building a democratically organised mass movement against oppression, and changing society so that legal rights can be guaranteed. This was so well received that we ran out of the 500 leaflets we brought.

Many thanked us for being there and raising socialist ideas. This included putting our position to a very few who objected to socialist ideas being raised and accused us of trying to co-opt the movement.

We replied that we want it the other way around. We put our socialist ideas forward so that those ideas can be co-opted by the movement.

One person said they wouldn't take a Pride flag on a Black Lives Matter protest as "that would be against intersectionality", but had no answer when we said that is exactly the kind of link-up needed. This was a very small minority, with vastly more agreeing when we said that a fight for liberation requires a fight against capitalism.

One thing is sure, if the Tories go through with attacks there will be a big and radicalised movement in response.

The trade unions must take this up, defending trans rights and joining the fight for self-identification, both by defending trans workers in the workplace, and also politically.

Greg Randall


100 protested for Black Lives Matter and trans rights in Newcastle on 4 July. A Socialist Party member earned applause and cheers on the open mic when they raised the need for mass working-class action to achieve rights for all.

Sam Morden

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In The Socialist 8 July 2020:

Workplace news

Fantastic virtual NSSN conference: "Fight for our lives and livelihoods''

Homerton hospital workers deserve equal pay and conditions

Jobcentre reopening: only union struggle will put safety first

Southampton UCU: election victory for combative rank and file

Tower Hamlets council workers strike against wholesale attack on terms and conditions

Nottingham unions fight council job cuts


Fight for every job, fight for socialism

Tory NHS betrayal

Young people have no choice but to fight the system

Leicester: End the scandal of sweatshop labour

Covid pandemic and Northern Ireland - workers must resist the bosses' offensive

1,600 less benefits if your job goes - while super-rich splash cash

Testing: Tories' 5bn gift to private sector

Johnson blames care workers for deaths

3bn green pledge: not enough for climate or jobs

Poverty rises again - especially for BAME workers

Them and us

No going back

No going back: Nationalise social care!


The best place to start - join the Socialist Party

Trans rights protests oppose Tory backsliding

Black Lives Matter - the fight is not over

International news

Hong Kong: The fight for democratic rights

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

Readers' opinion

TV: The school that tried to end racism

Books that inspired me: The Fire Next Time

The Socialist Inbox


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Related links:

Trans rights:

triangleYork: Non-binary and trans rights protest

triangleLondon: Hundreds protest for trans rights

triangleBristol trans rights protest

triangleNottingham trans rights protest: Our demands are the same as everyone's

triangleYes to self-identity


trianglePride is a campaign, not a business opportunity

triangleTories tout toilet tensions

triangleGoing viral: Socialist comments and letters

triangleWomen's rights, trans rights and the labour movement


triangleTory cuts to UC: we need a union fightback

triangleTV review - Grenfell: The Untold Story

triangleEaling by-election: Labour council has not opposed Tory cuts


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triangleUnemployment, low pay, rip-off uni fees, climate change... Join the fight for Socialism


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