Anti-transgender activists deface Cilla Black statue, peace monuments
Anti-transgender activists have claimed responsibility for defacing dozens of statues and monuments across the UK, including a memorial to the late Cilla Black.
Dozens of statues were targeted by the protesters, who draped t-shirts and banners bearing the slogan “Woman, noun. An adult human female” across the country.
The phrase has become a calling card for activists who are opposed to the rights of transgender women and proposed reforms to gender recognition laws.
The group ReSisters United claimed responsibility for the mass vandalisation effort, much of which appears to have taken place overnight from January 27-28.
The group tweeted: “Overnight, women all over the UK came together, organised with one purpose – to define ourselves and our boundaries. Woman is not a feeling.”
A gallery on the group’s website shows dozens of statues spanning Brighton, Manchester, Cardiff, London and Sheffield targeted.
Cilla Black statue defaced in Liverpool
A statue of the late the late singer and television presenter Cilla Black was targeted in Liverpool, dressed in a t-shirt beating the slogan.
In Brighton, activists targeted the 1912 Peace Statue memorial and a statue of Queen Victoria, while memorials to Queen Victoria and the Duke of Wellington were also defaced in Manchester.
In Newport, a monument commemorating the 1839 Newport Rising was targeted, with several statues dressed in similar t-shirts.
Local trans man Alex Jones tweeted: “This transphobic campaign has made its way to Newport. I’m absolutely heartbroken and so upset over this. Newport is a diverse city that WON’T stand up for this sort of behaviour. Trans women are women, regardless ”
Newport Council responded: “Thanks for letting us know, we are also disturbed to see this and have asked colleagues to remove as a matter of urgency.”
The council added: “The items have now been removed from the statues.”
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The action came as leading anti-transgender activists within the UK are facing scrutiny over their ties to US fundamentalist anti-LGBT groups.
In a blog post, Jean Hatchet, an opponent of gender recognition reform, alleged that accommodation on a trip to the US in January was paid for by a member of the Women’s Liberation Front, which has faced accusations of being a “paid political front” for Alliance Defending Freedom, an extreme anti-LGBT evangelical lobbying group that has advocated for the criminalisation of homosexuality.
The group of campaigners allegedly also met with representatives of the Heritage Foundation, a hardline evangelical group that opposes LGBT+ rights.
In addition to their anti-LGBT work, both Alliance Defending Freedom and Heritage Foundation are strongly opposed to women’s reproductive rights, and lobby against access to abortion across the US.
Hatchet wrote: “They advocate keeping poor women in marriages they wish to exit in order to solve the social problems those women ’cause’ government.
“They say abortion harms women. They say they will help Trump to ‘drain the swamp’.
“I don’t care what these people think about trans ideology. That cannot be separated from the things they do and advocate that specifically harm women.”