Statement on Revolutionary Feminist Storytelling Event and Police Involvement

A group of Toronto activists gathered this Saturday, July 6, for an amazing afternoon of storytelling and crafting to share our stories about why trans women, 2-spirit people and sex workers are so important to our feminism. We brought our kids, blankets, and food to celebrate as we shared manicures, music, banner-making, and crafted paper flowers. This event was an incredible success at healing some of the rifts that radical feminism has wrought in our communities and we feel inspired to do even more to create spaces for respectful, inclusive feminisms as we move forward.

We held the event close to the radical feminist conference so that we could invite them to open their hearts and listen to the moving and beautiful stories being shared. Unfortunately, they instead chose to view our event as some type of threat and called the police. As a result, four armed, uniformed male police officers came to investigate us as we were sharing feminist stories with one another.

While it is difficult to find words to respond to accusations so bizarre and unfounded, once we talked to the police they quickly recognized that our peaceful gathering was of no threat and left within minutes.

More than ever, we are committed to creating spaces for conversation and healing among feminists and to ensure that we respect one another as community members; this includes respecting the identity and autonomy of all trans people, 2-spirit people and sex workers.

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TOMORROW! (click the photo to RSVP on Facebook)

TOMORROW!

A group of so-called “radical feminists” are in Toronto, hosting a conference where they have completely banned trans women & 2 Spirit people from attending and will be holding discussions that demean these communities as well as sex workers.

They claim to support our dignity and our rights but their speakers have a documented track record of disrespecting and degrading us, engaging in exclusion, bullying and harassment. Their politeness masks disrespect and disregard for the lives of our beloved community members.

We are fighting back by sharing our brilliance with each other! Join us as we spend an afternoon sharing our stories about why trans people (in particular trans women), 2 spirit people and sex workers are so important to our feminisms!

Because this conference demeans our communities and violates the Ontario Human Rights Code, their original venue backed out and they have moved to a new location. We will be hosting our event nearby because we’d like to invite the conference participants to come listen to our stories. (There are only 14 people present at this conference so we invite them all to attend).

Come join us in Healey Willan park at the corner of Ulster and Euclid Street and share your story on the mic or write it out!

We’ll be making a zine from our stories on why feminism *needs* the amazingness of sex workers, 2 spirit people and trans women!!!

Because we can do more than just react to the violence done to us–we can create and grow stronger together.

1 PM
HEALEY WILLAN PARK–CORNER OF ULSTER AND EUCLID
FREE
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE
GLITTER/CRAFT POSITIVE

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Beaver Hall Gallery did NOT Receive Death Threats over Radfem Rise Up

Yesterday it was announced that a coalition of women advocating for 2-Spirit, trans and sex working women’s rights were successful in convincing Toronto’s Beaver Hall Gallery to close its doors to the anti-trans, anti-sex worker ‘Radfem Rise Up!’ conference.

In response to this, a number of claims have appeared online in the last twenty-four hours that Beaver Hall Gallery had supposedly received “hundreds of threats of death and violence directed at women and at the venue staff.”

However, these claims are completely false: According to a gallery committee member, Beaver Hall Gallery did not receive any death threats.

While of course we condemn any death threat issued by anyone on any side of these debates, we have seen no evidence of such whatsoever.

Our coalition believes that this discussion would move forward in a more positive way for everyone if anti-trans, anti-sex work radical feminists would at least attempt to restrict themselves to making factual statements on the relevant issues.

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Victory! Beaver Hall Gallery Cancels as Venue for Radfem Rise Up

Toronto’s Beaver Hall Gallery at 29 McCaul Street had until recently been scheduled to host a conference called RadFem RiseUp! featuring bigoted so-called “radical feminists” who have engaged in hate campaigns against trans women, sex workers and 2-Spirit people.

The conference had planned to provide a forum to participants and presenters such as Rachel Ivey and Lierre Keith, both who espouse extreme hate toward transgender women and sex workers.  As well the conference had been hosting radical feminists who have engaged in harassment, bullying, dehumanizing language, stalking, outing transgender teenagers online and blaming us for the violence we experience.

They have also used similar hate tactics against sex workers in order to purposely, viciously, attempt to ruin lives; they repeatedly and publicly deride and denigrate sex-workers. They repeatedly, publicly, misgender trans people and 2-Spirit people and in fact they say we don’t exist; they also say that trans women are merely a perverted outgrowth of “porn culture.”

They attempt to erase 2-Spirit identities because we exist in a wider culture that has tried to erase Indigenous culture, gender and identity and that enforces colonial ideas about gender and what is the ‘right way’ to be a woman. The Radfem Rise Up conference is part of that colonial legacy, it is part of trying to control us and define us as fake and worthless.

But we know that our lives are valuable. And because we know that we are beautiful, strong, brilliant and that we have so much to offer to the feminist struggle, that’s why we raised our voices to demand that the venue pull its support for this conference.

And we won.

Beaver Hall Gallery just released emails stating that it will no longer host the conference:

“Beaver Hall Gallery is a space within Beaver Hall Artists’ Housing
Co-operative, where artists and their family members both live and
work. The gallery is managed and staffed by volunteer members who live
in the housing co-op. When gallery events may affect the entire
community of the co-op, the Board of the Co-op is required to make
determinations in the best interest of the co-op members.

A final decision has been made by the Board of Directors to not host
RadFem Rise Up! at Beaver Hall Gallery this coming weekend.

While we realize this news is disappointing for some, we hope that all
parties concerned will respect and understand the decision.

The Gallery Committee of Beaver Hall Artists’ Co-op”

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has stayed alert and informed on this issue over the last few weeks, and of course we would like to thank everyone who emailed, tweeted and campaigned to compel the venue not to host hatred on their premises.  You are beautiful, amazing and inspiring!  And in the end, it only took a few hours of campaigning to convince the venue to cancel given the ground work we have already done over the past few weeks.

Most importantly, for us a truly radical feminism rejects colonialization and loves women enough to embrace the fact that we can each make decisions about our own bodies, our own lives and our own sexuality.

Here is some more information about the organizing behind this conference: http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/how-derrick-jensens-deep-green-resistance-supports-transphobia/

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Say “Hell No!” to RadFem hate in Toronto: Stand with trans women, 2-spirit people and sex workers!

From July 5-7 the Beaver Hall Gallery at 29 McCaul Street is hosting a conference called RadFem RiseUp featuring bigoted so-called “radical feminists” who have engaged in hate campaigns against trans women, sex workers and 2-Spirit people.

The conference will be hosting participants and presenters such as Rachel Ivey and Lierre Keith, both who espouse extreme hate toward transgender women and sex workers.  The conference will also host radical feminists who have engaged in harassment, bullying, dehumanizing language, stalking, outing transgender teenagers online and blaming us for the violence we experience.

They have also used similar hate tactics against sex workers in order to purposely, viciously, attempt to ruin lives; they repeatedly and publicly deride and denigrate sex-workers. They repeatedly, publicly, misgender trans people and 2-Spirit people and in fact they say we don’t exist; they also say that trans women are merely a perverted out growth of “porn culture.”

They attempt to erase 2-Spirit identities because we exist in a wider culture that has tried to erase Indigenous culture, gender and identity and that enforces colonial ideas about gender and what is the ‘right way’ to be a woman. The Radfem Rise Up conference is part of that colonial legacy, it is part of trying to control us and define us as fake and worthless.

But we know that our lives are valuable. We know that we are beautiful, strong, brilliant and that we have so much to offer to the feminist struggle. So why would an artist-run coop in downtown Toronto host this group?

For us a truly radical feminism rejects colonialization and loves women enough to embrace the fact that we can each make decisions about our own bodies, our own lives and our own sexuality.

And so we are standing up to their hate!  Bring your gorgeousness and glitter and join us in showing the radfems that their trash politics are not welcome in Toronto and call on the Beaver Hall Gallery to immediately pull out of this event.

Please note that Radical Feminists have historically shown a strong interest in provoking confrontation in order to cast themselves as victims.  We will not fall for their tricks, we will be proud, strong and beautiful and we will not allow ourselves to descend to their hate-mongering.

Please join us in protesting at the venue! Meet us Friday, July 5 at 5 PM at Beaver Hall Gallery at 29 McCaul Street.

Further plans for the weekend to be announced shortly.

Here is some more information about some of the people who will be presenting at this conference http://www.decolonizingyoga.com/how-derrick-jensens-deep-green-resistance-supports-transphobia/

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