, 24 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
As there are inaccurate accounts of yesterday's attack on @helensteel12 at @AnokBookfair here's what I saw.
Two women came & handed out a leaflet questioning transgender politics, mainly re Gender Deregulation legislation being discussed now.
They were apparently involved in tussle with some transgender activists who tore leaflets and shouted n pushed them. I didn't see this.
Helen Steel was in info stall nearby & got up to argue against them being attacked. The two women left. Helen came back in.
She was keeping an eye on someone who was involved in Hyde park incident few weeks ago, and was then surrounded by large group.
20+ trans activists shouting at her, calling her fascist, ugly terf, terf cunt, demanding she leave bookfair.
Was repeatedly accused of handing out the leaflet - she wasn't - that she filmed Hyde park incident & gave footage to cops, also not true.
Several of us inc some bookfair organisers and others went to prevent her being mobbed and stood in front of group. Was some pushing.
Went on for hour & a half, she moved 3 times & they followed. Several attempts to rush her. Several stalls disturbed or blocked in fracas.
Reasoned attempts to calm it down rejected, asks to move outside rejected, unless Helen left event.
Many arguments, lots of chants of Out Out, terfs out etc. If we prevented physical attacks on her we were accused of violence & assault,
Suggestions to force the trans group out physically we're rejected by bookfair collective who attempted to see if a dialogue could be had.
Trans group refused to talk unless she left. Someone set off fire alarm, Helen went outside one way and her attackers were unable to follow.
She later came back in & wasn't targeted again tho other people who had defended her did get into some rows later.
I was present from point where H was herself targeted but didn't see initial fight with leafletters.
Trans group say H's views are violence against them. That she is as good as fascist.
Bookfair collective position was to suggest discussion but trans activists (mostly, 1 or 2 exceptions) said it's not up 4 debate.
I don't think original leaflets helpful myself. But stand against mass violence against 1 woman whose views do not equate to fascism.
I was accused of assault for blocking their path to get in her face. Happy and proud to have stood in their way.
A lot of folk very upset and some were scared. H was accused of assault on someone who put their hand in her face which she then pushed away
There's a real debate to be had around trans rights and feminism. Attacking one person in this way unlikely to advance that.
Trans attacks & silencing of anyone who questions assertions or doesn't immediately fall into line behind them also won't advance change.
Other accounts are no doubt available.
Past Tense stands in solidarity with Helen and @AnokBookfair collective. Trans rights yes. Violence against women, feminists, no.
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