An SNP politician has hit out at a ‘decapitate terfs’ sign at a pro-trans rally, stating “violent misogyny is hiding in plain sight”.
The placard, which also featured an illustration of a guillotine, was pictured during a demonstration outside Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on Saturday.
The rally was held in protest of the UK government’s decision to block Holyrood’s Gender Recognition Reform (GRR) Bill from being officially signed into law.
The SNP’s Kaukab Stewart MSP, Kirsten Oswald MP, Stewart McDonald MP and Alison Thewliss MP have come under fierce criticism after being pictured and videoed in front of the sign.
A party spokesperson said the politicians were unaware of the placard at the time.
‘TERF’ is an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminists and is often used in reference to opponents of gender identity reforms or those critical of the transgender rights movement.
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All four politicians condemned the sign.
Ms Stewart, MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, said she was “not aware of these hateful signs” and “utterly disagree with them”.
Replying to a tweet, Ms Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, said: “I have many qualities, but having eyes in the back of my head isn’t one of them.
“If I had seen the sign you’re referring to, I’d have told the person involved how inappropriate and offensive it was, and to get rid of it.”
Ms Oswald, MP for East Renfrewshire, branded it “horrific”, adding that it “most certainly doesn’t represent my views” and had “no place in the peaceful movement for LGBT equality and democracy”.
While Mr McDonald, MP for Glasgow South, said: “The violent sign at [Saturday’s] rally is utterly heinous and condemned without question. I suspect it may even be unlawful.
“The moron who made it and is holding it has done those protesting for trans equality and democracy no favours – quite the opposite.”
Harry Potter author JK Rowling took a swipe at the politicians, posting on Twitter: “A strange new form of temporary blindness has broken out among Scottish politicians.
“None of them could read placards calling for violence against women while standing inches away from them, yet they were instantly cured when photos of them posing with the signs hit the press.”
Police Scotland has since launched a probe following complaints and said enquiries are ongoing.
Joanna Cherry, SNP MP for Edinburgh South West, welcomed the police investigation as she defended her colleagues most likely being unaware of the sign behind them.
The politician claimed had the sign called for such violence against trans people, “everyone would have rightly been up in arms”.
She added that “violent misogyny is hiding in plain sight and it’s time it was taken seriously before a woman is seriously killed or injured”.
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Image: Joanna Cherry MP speaking at a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament last year Speaking to Sky News, Ms Cherry said: “Anyone who hasn’t noticed the violent misogyny of many so-called trans rights activists hasn’t been paying attention.
“Women like me, JK Rowling, Rosie Duffield and others who have been on the receiving end of rape and death threats know this all too well.
“Signs such as those we saw on Saturday threatening murderous violence against any other group would cause outrage, but they are commonplace at such demonstrations.
“I’d like to see the leaders of the parties of all parliamentarians present on Saturday squarely condemn what occurred.”
The SNP stated that any violent or hateful language is “unacceptable”.
Speaking on behalf of the party’s MPs and MSPs, an SNP spokesperson said: “SNP MSPs and MPs attended [the] protest in defence of Scottish democracy and the rights of trans people.
“Violent or hateful language – of any kind – is unacceptable and has no place in the peaceful movement for LGBT equality and democracy.”
‘This behaviour is totally unacceptable’
Murdo Fraser, Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, reported the sign to Police Scotland and has since given a statement to officers.
He also confirmed that police are currently investigating an online threat of violence against JK Rowling “for her gender critical views”, which the force confirmed.
Image: Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser reported the placard to Police Scotland Mr Fraser said: “This behaviour is totally unacceptable and needs to be stamped on before it escalates into actual violence.
“I am glad that the police are taking these complaints seriously, but we do need to see action against those responsible, and unqualified condemnation from all those in positions of political leadership.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We received a report regarding a sign which was displayed during a rally on Buchanan Street, Glasgow on Saturday 21 January 2023. Enquiries are ongoing.”