A CROWD of protesters picketed a meeting of a women’s rights group.

Campaign group Queer AF Brighton banged on the windows to disrupt a meeting of Women’s Place UK (WPUK) a group which “defends women’s rights”.

READ MORE: Police investigating reports of hate crimes after queer activists picket women's rights meeting

Afterwards the activists said the WPUK group had “attempted to hold a conference in Brighton to spread more hate speech about our trans and sex worker siblings”.

The Argus:

Protesters stayed outside the meeting for several hours chanting and holding signs, including a Pride flag with new colours to represent people of colour in the LGBTQ community.

Chants included “we’re proud, we’re gay and we won’t go away” and “all trans lives are valid”.

More than ten police officers were stood along the front of the building separating the group from the glass windows. 

A Sussex Police spokesman said liaison officers were present to “reduce the impact the protest was having on the meeting and the local community”.

He said: “Our focus was to balance the rights of all involved including the residential community.

“We accept that the initial protest was very noisy and officers did engage to seek a reduction in scale and to put a stop to those who were banging on windows in an attempt to disrupt the meeting. 

“A liaison officer was also present inside the building.”

The Argus:

The event was held at the Black and Minority Ethnic Community Partnership Centre in Fleet Street, Brighton, on Monday evening, with the venue only being announced one hour before the meeting began.

Queer AF Brighton said more than 200 people attended the demonstration and remained outside the building for about three hours.

The group said: “We assisted the community in raising awareness of the group’s putrid nature at the TWT and Labour Conference.”

But WPUK said the purpose of the meeting was to discuss “women’s issues”.

A spokeswoman said: “WPUK is simply not transphobic. It has platformed many trans people.

“We represent a position that believes that a person’s sex is relevant and women are subjugated on that basis.

“Consequently women’s voices must be heard on this issue.”
An advert for the event states:

“Woman’s Place UK invites Labour Party Conference delegates and members of the public to hear speakers discuss the WPUK Manifesto, focusing on women’s issues.”

WPUK was set up in September 2017 “to ensure women’s voices would be heard in the consultation on proposals to change the Gender Recognition Act”.

The act, which came into effect in 2005, “provides transsexual people with legal recognition in their acquired gender”.

A gender recognition certificate will be issued by a Gender Recognition Panel if the panel “is satisfied the applicant has or has had gender dysphoria, has lived in the acquired gender throughout the preceding two years and intends to continue to live in the acquired gender until death”.

Gender dysphoria is “a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress because there’s a mismatch between their biological sex and gender identity”, the NHS say.
Discussions on possible changes to the Gender Recognition Act are still ongoing.

WPUK’s demands relating to the act include “women only spaces to be upheld”, for “the government to consult with women’s organisations on how self-declaration would impact women”, “a review of how Equality Act examptions are being applied now to ensure women’s needs are met” and for “the government to consult on how self-declaration will impact data gathering and the monitoring of discrimination”.