Friday, 1 March 2013

Press Release from Protest Transphobia

For immediate release: [01/03/2013]

A Community United Against Police Transphobia

Photo opportunity: Anti Transphobia Demonstration: Saturday March 2nd, 14:00 - 16:00 Charing Cross Police Station, Agar Street WC2N 4JP

We are a newly formed pressure group Protest Transphobia and will be holding a peaceful protest outside the Charing Cross Police Station following the horrendous treatment of a trans person by the Metropolitan Police Service last week. The violent and dehumanizing treatment of Jose Dos Santos, 49 has drawn widespread criticism of police attitudes towards transgender people.

Mr Johnson, a witness to the attack who prefers to be identified only by his surname, reported that “The victim then had her wig ripped from her head, her handbag and purse literally emptied out on the road, so her personal belongings were damaged and scattered around her.”

'Meanwhile police officers mocked her for her dress and having feminine items in her handbag shouting at her: "You're not normal! We'll let you get up in a few minutes but you need to act like a normal human being."

The attack is reported to have continued with painful and excessive force being used on the victim as a crowd gathered.
Group member and co-organiser Fathias Yanez commented;

“The attack on Ms Santos fills me with despair. Why is transphobia still acceptable? Will we ever be treated as humans and be safe? We are resisting transphobia!”

Although this protest will target the police station and officers directly involved in last week’s violent attack, the group aims to raise national awareness of the transphobia rife throughout UK Police Forces.

The Police have kindly agreed to meet with the Protest Transphobia group at 15:00 to state their position and also to discuss the concerns that the group have.
Protest Transphobia are a group of people committed to challenging the transphobia that pervades our media, our institutions and our lives.

London’s LGBT Community Safety Charity, Galop, has been collecting statistics on the number of reported transphobic hate crimes. In 2010 there were 82 transphobic hate crimes reported to the Metropolitan Police. In 2011 the number reported had dropped to 74.

Nick Antjoule, Casework & Development Officer at Galop, commented that although current figures show a 10% reduction in reported incidents between 2010 and 2011 he believes this masks the real issue as transphobic hate crime is under reported and is not reflected in the figures provided.

Notes for Editors

Protest Transphobia was originally formed in response to the Guardian’s decision to publish an article by Julie Burchill, despite the piece being violently transphobic. The group hopes to raise awareness not only of transphobia in the UK but also of the anti-transphobia campaigning of groups such as Galop, rarely reported in the mainstream media. The original article that reported this incident first appeared in Gay Star News:

Group members are willing to be interviewed and photographed either at the demonstration or at your convenience.

Protest Transphobia