Women’s Rights Protestors gather at the New Zealand Embassy

On 28th March 2023, a group of around thirty five women gathered outside the New Zealand High Commission (NZHC) to protest against the New Zealand government’s apathetic response to the violence encountered by women in Auckland, show support for the women who were caught up in it. They sang a song of solidarity and read aloud the speeches of those who were unable to speak at the cancelled events.

The protest was decided on the day before. Organiser Shirley told me ‘I thought it would be just me and a couple of others. But word spread.”

The protest wasn’t advertised on social media, and for that reason we were able to meet without a group of menacing psychopaths screaming abuse at us. Which made a nice change after Sunday.

I went along to give support and take some photographs.

The protest began outside 1 Pall Mall, where Shirley told me New Zealand bureaucrats are temporarily housed while the main embassy building is undergoing refurbishment. After about half an hour outside Kinnaird House, where the women sang and spoke to passers-by, we moved to the currently closed embassy building around the corner. This was partly because of nearby roadworks and partly so the group could ‘cover both bases’.

The chances are you already know about Kellie-Jay Keen’s visit to New Zealand on her Let Women Speak Tour and how it played out. You’ve almost certainly heard how some deranged idiot covered her in soup in Auckland, where Keen’s security guards had to drag her away from a baying mob.

In the Spectator, in a piece titled ‘Fear & Loathing in New Zealand’, Keen describes the mob as “competing groups of woman-hating losers: trans incels to the left of me and Nazis to the right, and here we were stuck in the middle.”

It was like something from a zombie-apocalypse film.” she told Spiked. “The mob surged forward… and I just thought, this is it, I’m going to get crushed to death now. Game over.”

Kellie-Jay was not the only woman to be assaulted at the rally in New Zealand. You may have seen the video of an elderly woman being punched repeatedly in the head. More and more stories are coming in of women who were injured or terrified in the riot.

The New Zealand government responded by saying it couldn’t guarantee Keen’s safety if the tour continued. The tour was cut short and Keen returned to the UK without the planned stop in Wellington. It is a tale of horror and misogyny.

My activism is simple,” says Keen. “We Let Women Speak. Why does that make anyone so angry?

I wasn’t in New Zealand, but I was outside the NZHC on Tuesday.

A story that hasn’t been told, until now, is that of the women in New Zealand who had planned to raise their voices at a Let Women Speak event but were unable to do so.

“It’s not about speaking on behalf of women in New Zealand, but about sharing the words of those who were unable to speak in Auckland or Wellington, and showing our solidarity with them,” one of the women told me.

Anyone who wanted to participate was given a speech to read out loud, while Venice Allan livestreamed their words.

In this way, those women’s voices were amplified.

I asked Shirley why she had felt the need to protest.

“Seeing Kellie-Jay almost die in Auckland… it was just so devastating,” she told me.  “I was just feeling so powerless, especially after realising that Wellington was being cancelled. There was just this feeling of ‘what can we do?’ and I just said “I want to go to the New Zealand Embassy to protest.” It’s unacceptable for a government to allow this to happen to anybody- to their own citizens, but let alone a citizen of another country.”

“Those women (in New Zealand) have had their voice taken away,” continued Shirley. “So I wanted to make a space for their speeches to be read. When the speeches were collected and sent over to us, the women specifically requested that we sing the Women’s Rights song, the Auld Lang Syne song. They had planned to sing it and they really wanted us to sing it for them. And we have done.”

After speaking to enquiring passers by and singing, as planned, the women moved on to stand outside the currently unocc NZHC where there was some shelter from the rain and the noise of roadworks. There they read out the words of the women who had been unable to speak at the rallies in New Zealand.

“It was powerful to hear the speeches that the women in New Zealand were prevented from making on their own land,” Venice told me.

You can watch videos of the speeches here, on her YouTube Channel

Part One

Part Two


There is a short video of the women singing here.

OMG I’m in tears thank you.” tweeted Linda from New Zealand.  “We were going to sing this very song on Saturday. The emotions hearing your voices is overwhelming. Sending love and thanking each and everyone that is shining a light.”

“Thank you so much for this.” tweeted Claire-Louise. “Tears in my eyes. I’m a first-generation NZer of French, German, and British descent wishing I was anywhere but NZ”

“From a kiwi/Aussie family, thank you.” tweeted another.

“Thank you,” tweeted Lizzy.” I feel so much love for you ladies you’ve brought tears to my eyes.”

There were also a lot of  scathing comments from TRAs, obviously, mostly snidey stuff along the lines of ‘you’re all old and shit at singing’.

The song the women sand, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne, goes like this, and was first sung by For Women Scotland. There is a pdf copy of it here:

We stand together side by side, we will defend our rights
We stand together side by side, we’ll not give up this fight
For women’s rights are human rights, we won’t let you forget
For women’s rights are human rights, this isn’t over yet.

Politicians and their friends may think we can be cowed
Our minds and bodies we’ll defend, our NO will ring out loud
For women’s rights are human rights, we won’t let you forget
For women’s rights are human rights, this isn’t over yet.

So gie’s a hand in sisterhood, our sex won’t be denied
For dignity, reality, we are standing side by side
For women’s rights are human rights, we won’t let you forget
For women’s rights are human rights, this isn’t over yet.

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Let Women Speak – back at Speakers Corner March 2023

Well, here we are again, another chilly Sunday and another ‘Let Women Speak’ event menaced by TRAs. This time they brought along foghorns, megaphones and an amplifier, and I’d like to address that first of all. There’s a bylaw in the Royal Parks which states that amplification is not allowed. It makes sense really. On a busy day at Speaker’s Corner it would be impossible to hear a thing if all the speakers were amplified. Everyone else would just be immersed in a huge nonsensical cacophony of sound. Welcome to my Sunday afternoon, which was just that.

In yet another classic example of the ‘do whatever you want, all the time’ philosophy, the police made no attempt to stop the amplification. I spoke to one officer who said something about how on this occasion they were going to respect the TRAs ‘human right’ to express themselves. And express themselves they did – I expect they’d be glad to know my ears are still ringing.

Why are my ears ringing? Because, for much of the time, I was one of the women trying to ensure the TRAs didn’t move in and kettle us in an even smaller space. The police insisted they’d got it, but a few of us stood in the bigger gaps so the women listening to the speakers could- theoretically-feel safer. Another women who had positioned herself to stop the TRAs moving closer was using a walking aid with a seat. She faced a group holding a tarpaulin with ‘TERFs off our turf- defend trans lives’ sprayed on it in black paint. A kid in a beanie and a mask, probably young enough to be her grandchild, held up a piece of cardboard in front of her. It said ‘Fuck Fascists‘. I looked over to my right. A TRA was screaming something about being on the right side of history.

It was a damp afternoon, with brief half-hearted burst of sunshine and an on-and-off drizzle. As such, I faced a row of pointy rainbow umbrellas, less than a foot away from what Julia Long once referred to as ‘the baying mob that wants us dead’.

The TRAs held signs up above their umbrellas. Sometimes they hid behind them and at others they popped up to shout abuse over the top. Most of them wore face masks. A megaphone was just a foot from my face at one point and I could see an amp on the ground nearby. The guys at the front were tall and volatile. Think I’m exaggerating? Check out some of the clips I and others have shared on Twitter.

When I thought to do so, I counted about a dozen officers inside the perimeter. I couldn’t see outside but I’m told there were about half a dozen more.

Torn between my own distrust of the police and wishing there were more of them, I looked around, trying to measure out in my head how much space we had, using the ‘one tall man lying down= 6ft’ method. I reckoned our cut-off circle was about 18ft across. There were about a hundred people, mostly women, inside the circle, and about a hundred TRAs outside.

“We’re enclosed in a really small space,” I said to one officer. “They shouldn’t have been allowed to push us so close together.” He told me there weren’t enough officers present to protect a larger circle. I asked ‘Why not?’. Hadn’t they seen what had happened in New Zealand? He nodded, but to be honest I’m not sure he’d even heard what I said. Remember, we were surrounded by five score screaming lunatics. He didn’t have an answer but at least he was willing to speak to me. At least two of the officers seemed to be employing a ‘don’t engage at all’ policy.


“Scratch a TERF a fascist bleeds!” chant the TRAs.

We’ve had a lot of meetings in Hyde Park over the last few years. I’d like to know when any woman has stood up and said anything fascistic? Because I’ve been to many, if not most, of the meetings, and I’ve never heard anything like that. The TRAs seem genuinely confused with no idea of specifics. They are double-plus good. We are double-plus ungood. We are mean, nasty poopoo heads because we don’t want to play with the gender fairy.  They are sounding foghorns and shouting that we are Nazi scum and that there are more of them than us.

“They’re moving in,” I observed to the policewoman. “If they get much closer it would be really easy for them to rush us.” She ignored me. I made the same observation to another officer, “Oh no they’re not,” he said, in a perky and reassuring tone. “Don’t worry, nothing’s going to happen. We’re here to protect everyone.”

I wasn’t sure I shared his confidence, faced as I was with over a hundred angry protestors, but to give him his due, it didn’t kick off.

“How many more queer kids must die?” chanted a woman into a megaphone. “Family values are a lie!” screamed the guy behind her, who must have had a really shit childhood.

Wait though… what… whose family? Which values? That’s a lot of assumptions right there.

The guy with the blue wing-eyeliner continued screaming, “family values are a lie!” in a rough, gravelly and yet somehow high-pitched voice. I didn’t know whether to feel more sorry for him or his mum.

Shortly afterwards, a woman started shouting about abortion rights. I was genuinely confused for a moment. Did she honestly believe that as a group we were against abortion rights?  Someone shouted ‘gay rights are human rights’. Don’t they realise that about half the people they are kettling are LGB? One person, their head entirely covered, was holding a sign reading ‘Gender is stewpid anyway’. Yes. So it is. So what the fuck is all this about?

It’s insane. They literally have no idea what they are protesting about. They think they’re shouting at a group of women who want to exploit the poor, deny abortion rights, torture children, kick puppies and force everyone to be straight and boring. It is absolute fucking madness. And why are their signs so stewpid and hyperbolic?





Posie Parker? More like park your TERF arse elsewhere

Every trans suicide is a preventable murder

Gender is stewpid anyway

You can resist we’ll still exist

Your bigotry kills kids

Trans lives matter more than fascist feelings

“Why don’t you just kill yourselves?” yells one. A few of them take it up, giggling at their own bravado.

“Why don’t you just kill yourselves? Why don’t you just kill yourselves?”

But I digress. Where was I? Ah, yes, the amplification. Totally against the rules of the Royal Parks, for reasons we’ve already noted. I remember a year ago- two years ago?- when Posie (or possibly another woman) brought along an amplifier we were told in no uncertain terms that it wasn’t allowed.

The policeman- who seemed like a reasonable bloke, just trying to do his job yada yada- told me it had been decided by ‘command structure’ that it was the protestors ‘human right’ to use a megaphone to protest, despite the bylaw forbidding it. I asked if the bylaw was meaningless in that case, we all had human rights, so was anybody allowed to break it? No, he replied, the excemption was only for the purposes of this event.

“So are you saying his human right to use a megaphone overrules the law?” I asked.

“A minor infringement of a bylaw, yes. In order for the protest to take place.”

“Nazi scum! Nazi Scuuuuuuuuuum!” screamed the guy in front of us.

A foghorn went off by my left ear.

The officer told me the police’s role was to “make sure the event goes off without any physical altercation and everyone has the opportunity to protest peacefully.”

“Nazi Scum!” screamed the guy in front of us, banging his drum in a frenzy. “NAZI SCUM! NAZI SCUUUUUMMMMM!”

It was LOUD. So loud that now, over 5 hours after I was standing near the megaphone in Hyde Park, my ears are still ringing as if I’d just left a really loud gig. The police officer standing next to me at one point didn’t even have the luxury of moving around. She just had to stand there while they yelled “Why don’t you fucking kill yourselves?” at us and “All coppers are bastards” at her.

Freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest are vital in a civilised society. Yelling in peoples faces, making loud noises in their ears, screaming at them to kill themselves & calling them Nazis is neither free speech nor peaceful protest. It’s bullying & intimidation, and guys, wake up, you are not on the right side of history if you behave like this, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

“Nazi scum,” they shout. “Kill yourself! TERFS kill kids!

You can’t hide! You’ve got fascists on your side!”

a parorama of women (& some men) gathered at Speakers Corner


Women Spoke Anyway

Despite the frenzied noise, women did speak. I couldn’t hear any of them, but there are several links below to videos of the afternoon.

Alf up a Tree has made a great thread of YouTube videos of the speakers which you can follow on his channel, or via this thread on Twitter.

You can watch  Aja’s ‘gender junkies’ clip here and her recording of women singing here.

Mr Menno posted a video thread of his experience at Speakers Corner and how TRAs followed him and his friends afterwards.

Julia Hartley Brewer discusses the afternoon in Hyde Park, in a recording shared on Twitter by Venice, here.

Journalist Subject Access who ‘endeavour(s) to cover as many news stories as possible that the Mainstream Media refuse to report on’ recorded his experience here.

“I’ve been at Speakers Corner for 35 years. Speakers Corner is about the right to free speech. That’s not free speech. That’s the destruction of free speech.”

“The feminists are being labelled as Nazis for stating mere scientific facts,” observes Muslim YouTuber Ali Dawar in his video.

Referring to the TRAs, who pushed him, swore at him and poked him with umbrellas, he observes,“these guys are violent thugs… they’re a religion, a very violent religion.”


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