JK Rowling has slammed trans rights activists in New Zealand and the UK labelling the scenes in Auckland, where anti-trans campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen was hit with tomato sauce before she could address a rally, as ‘repellant’.
The controversial anti-trans activist, who is known as Posie Parker, was doused with tomato juice at her rally on Saturday, forcing her to leave the protest early in the back of a police car.
The attack has now brought into question whether she will go forward with her upcoming rally in Wellington, with angry protesters making their views that the mother, from Wiltshire, is not welcome.
Meanwhile in London today, pro-trans activists gathered outside an event held by The Lesbian Project – it’s first workshop which it says aims to put ‘lesbians back in focus’.
Harry Potter author Rowling shared a tweet from one of the workshop’s attendees, which claimed that activists outside were aiming to disrupt the meeting and ‘protesting that lesbians are meeting without men present’.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling previously wore a t-shirt designed by Posie Parker. It reads ‘Nicola Sturgeon, destroyer of women’s rights’
Rowling responded to the tweet claiming that those attending the meeting in Euston were ‘being intimidated and threatened.’
She also claimed that those gathering in New Zealand at Parker’s rally were equivalent to a ‘mob’ and that they had ‘assaulted women speaking up for their rights’.
Rowling previously wore a t-shirt designed by Posie Parker. It reads ‘Nicola Sturgeon, destroyer of women’s rights’ after a Holyrood inquiry approved plans to allow Scots to self-identify their legal gender without medical proof.
Parker, 48, is a self-described transphobe, and has become a controversial figure in the UK after public appearances and stunts which she claims are advocating for women’s rights.
She has recently received backlash for a series of rallies across Australia and has travelled to New Zealand to continue her ‘Let Women Speak’ tour, which campaigns against letting transgender women in female-only spaces.
But more than 2,000 pro-trans counter-protesters saw the British woman off the stage on Saturday, causing her to leave her rally before starting her speech.
As she approached the stage at the city’s Albert Park, one counter-protester rushed towards her and poured a bottle of liquid, which appeared to be tomato sauce or juice, over her head.
Controversial anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen was doused with tomato juice at her Auckland rally on Saturday, forcing her to leave the protest early in the back of a police car and question whether to go forward with her upcoming rally in Wellington
As she approached the stage at the city’s Albert Park, one counter-protester rushed towards her and poured a bottle of liquid, which appeared to be tomato sauce or juice, over her head
A protester rushed the stage and poured a red liquid over Ms Keen before she started speaking
Ms Keen was unable to speak as she was drowned out by more than 2,000 LGBTQIA protesters
Taking to Twitter after the rally, Ms Keen, who also goes by Posie Parker, said she ‘feared for her life’.
As she left the scene in the back of a police car she hinted that she may cancel her Wellington rally, with a statement from Speak Up For Women later confirming it won’t be taking place.
Ms Keen herself has not confirmed whether the next rally will go ahead or not.
In a live YouTube video she said it ‘might be time to say ‘we can’t do it” and asked cops to take her to the police station as she was ‘afraid’ of returning to her hotel.
Men wearing Nazi paraphernalia were also in attendance to protest against trans people, although Ms Keen has previously insisted she has no association with that group.
Ms Keen was escorted onto the stage by security
The self-described transphobe, 48, who caused controversy with a series of rallies across Australia has travelled to New Zealand to continue her ‘Let Women Speak’ tour which campaigns against letting transgender women in female-only spaces
More than 2,000 pro-trans counter-protesters saw the British woman off the stage on Saturday, causing her to leave her rally before starting her speech
Men wearing Nazi paraphernalia also were also in attendance to protest against trans people, although Ms Keen has previously insisted she has no association with that group
White nationalist and neo-Nazi group Action Zealandia were also there to protest transpeople
Early in the day, pro LGBTQIA protesters (seen in the background) hugely outnumbered the biological sex campaigners (seen in front of the band stand)
A statement released by Speak Up For Women this afternoon said a planned Wellington speaking event had been cancelled after being ‘overrun by a violent mob’.
‘Speak Up for Women thanks Mrs Keen-Minshull for having the courage to come to New Zealand and showing up in Albert Park today, despite receiving multiple death threats and threats of violence in the last week,’ the statement read.
‘In the coming weeks Speak Up For Women will be gathering witness statements and laying a formal complaint with the Independent Police Conduct Authority about the lack of police action to prevent violence in what was clearly an increasingly volatile situation.’
Ms Keen, who calls herself a ‘women’s right activist but not a feminist’, believes it’s impossible to change gender and campaigns to exclude trans women from female-only spaces.
She has sparked fury across Australia with critics, with Nazis turning up at her rally in Melbourne last Saturday.
Protesters held up signs saying ‘Trans women are women’ to protest Ms Keen
Another sign compared Posie Parker to actress Parker Posie – saying the latter was more welcome
After Ms Keen left protesters celebrated righting ‘Love Wins’ in chalk
Ms Keen, who calls herself a ‘women’s right activist but not a feminist’, believes it’s impossible to change gender and campaigns to exclude trans women from female-only spaces
Ms Keen told the Australian at her latest rally in Hobart on Tuesday that she had become ‘public enemy number one’.
She said it was ‘bonkers’ that her speeches had been overrun by pro-LGBTIQA groups, while also claiming she had no association with Nazis.
Speaking on 2GB with breakfast host Ben Fordham last week, Ms Keen described herself as a ‘transphobe’ but argued that she’s ‘not scary’ because she’s ‘really small’.
When asked by Fordham why people were scared of her, Ms Keen said: ‘It’s my ability to speak directly and speak the truth.
‘I think that’s quite frightening for some people. We’ve lost the ability both in the UK and Australia and elsewhere, to just speak plainly, just just to speak the truth.’
‘In today’s money, because being transphobic means that you say ‘a woman doesn’t have a penis’, and probably I am a transphobic.’
Ms Keen has faced fierce criticism from LGBTIQA+ groups, as well as politicians who have raised concerns about her association with far-right groups and compared her anti-trans rhetoric to homophobia faced by gay people in the 1980s.
Even fellow ‘gender-critical feminist groups’ are cutting ties with the 154cm-tall mother-of-four, with one prominent UK group saying the presence of Neo-Nazis at the Melbourne event should be a ‘wake-up call’.
Ms Keen has come under fierce criticism from many groups in the past, including for allegedly posing with a campaigner who celebrated Winnie Mandela’s death and called the anti-apartheid fighter ‘a whore’ and ‘white farmer murdering c***’.
Ms Keen is seen arriving in Hobart on Tuesday with a bodyguard and police
The activist, 48, – who has been supported by JK Rowling – is described as a ‘women’s rights campaigner’ by her supporters, but her most recent rally in Melbourne was attended by Nazis
She has also been slammed by a British MP for saying access to abortion and contraceptives need to be rolled back for children and teenagers.
Ms Keen raised eyebrows recently after she criticised British MP Jess Phillips for reading out the name of a teenage trans murder victim Brianna Ghey in the House of Commons during an International Women’s Day speech.
She has also spoken alongside a number of figures in far-right groups, including Christopher Barcenas, a member of the Proud Boys, who was deposed by the US government due to his presence at the January 6 Capitol riots.
Ahead of her travel to Australia, Stephen Bates, the Greens spokesperson for LGBTIQA+ issues, wrote to Immigration Minister Andrew Giles asking him to revoke her visa.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins raised concerns about Ms Keen (pictured) entering the country ahead of her arrival
A group of Nazis held up an offensive sign as they clashed with trans rights activists on Saturday in Melbourne
Mr Bates argued that Ms Keen had a long history of ‘promoting or excusing hate and violence towards trans and other marginalised communities’.
New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins raised concerns about Ms Keen entering the country ahead of her arrival.
Speaking at a press event, Mr Hipkins said he ‘condemns’ Ms Keen’s rhetoric.
‘Anybody exercising their right to free speech, whatever the circumstances are, should be mindful that we don’t want to incite hateful behaviour or violence,’ he said.
‘In fact, it’s illegal to do so – and I think everybody should bear that in mind.’
Police officers remove a protester during the transgender rights rally as tensions boiled over in Melbourne
He explained this was in reference to the Nazis that attended her rally in Melbourne where a group of men, wearing black shirts, gave Nazi salutes on the steps of Victorian parliament and that Immigration New Zealand was reviewing policy on her entry.
However, Richard Owen, the general manager of Immigration New Zealand, told The New Zealand Herald she is able to enter New Zealand without a visa on her British passport.
Despite this, she is required to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which checks for previous convictions or removals from other countries.
‘[Immigration New Zealand] is now reviewing whether, in light of the events at the weekend, Ms Keen-Minshull is still able to travel to New Zealand on the basis of the NZeTA,’ he said.
In a video response, Ms Keen told Mr Hipkins: ‘Revoke my visa at your peril.’
‘Roll the dice my friend. I don’t think you’ll dare to keep me from coming into New Zealand – but we’ll see.’