JK Rowling on Sunday mocked male trans activists who dressed in balaclavas and black outfits to block women from speaking about women’s rights in front of a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst.
She was responding to video from Manchester which showed the black-clad men from the group Manchester Trans Rise Up dressed in masks to surround the statue of the suffragette leader.
Campaign group Standing For Women had been planning to speak in front of the statue as part of an event which said it aimed to reclaim a part of Manchester for women’s voices.
But they were forced to move elsewhere and video later showed a tussle between the two opposing groups of protesters.
Mocking the black-clad men on Twitter, Rowling wrote: “‘There is no conflict between women’s rights and our ideology. To prove it, we’ve dressed up as ninjas to block public access to a statue of a suffragette. We’re confident this has done wonders for our cause and definitely isn’t an unintentionally hilarious own goal.'”
She later added: ‘I never expected the right side of history to include so many people in masks intimidating and assaulting women, did you?
‘But she never dropped her flag. Emmelline would be proud.’
Kellie-Jay Keen, the founder of Standing For Women told the crowd the opposing demonstrators ‘can’t take our thoughts and won’t take our rights’.
Masked and hooded trans activists blocked a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in Manchester
JK Rowling ridiculed the activists for scoring ‘an unintentionally hilarious own goal’
The Harry Potter author said the trans activists looked like ‘ninjas’ as they stood in silence
She later added: ‘I never expected the right side of history to include so many people in masks intimidating and assaulting women, did you? But she never dropped her flag. Emmelline would be proud’
A trans activist and a woman are seen during the clash by the statue in Manchester
Kellie-Jay Keen (pictured at the event), the founder of campaign group Standing For Women, organised the event that aimed to reclaim a part of Manchester for women’s voices in the face of trans activism (Credit: Kellie-Jay Keen)
Ms Keen told MailOnline: ‘In 2022 nothing could encapsulate the assault on women’s rights so perfectly as masked men preventing women from speaking next to the Pankhurst statue.
‘Women face an existential threat posed by transgender ideology. An ideology that places men into women’s rights, spaces and even our language.
‘Women have had enough and we will continue to speak up in the face of squealing, entitled, tantruming men.’
On Sunday she told her supporters the masked trans activists had ‘decided to interlope into our spaces, into our conversations and we’re saying no’.
She said: ‘You’re not coming for our kids, you’re not coming for our spaces, whatever you think you’re going to gain from trying to trash women’s rights, it’s not going to happen. Not on my watch.
‘Women have decided to give up our spaces to men. They have listened to the cries of these nasty, entitled men and gone, ‘I feel sorry, I think you should come into our spaces. They only want to pee and masturbate in our toilets.
The gender critical campaigners supported by Rowling say that although gender is a social construct and can be chosen, sex is a biological fact and cannot be changed.
However, they say many pro-trans activists have conflated the meaning of the two terms and as such trans people have claimed they are a different sex to the one they were born with.
The pro-trans activists from the group Manchester Trans Rise Up dressed in masks to surround the statue of the suffragette leader, leading to a crowd of gender critical women moving to a different location
Manchester Trans Rise Up claimed the day as a victory on Twitter. The group said: ‘They didn’t get hold of the statue at any point. We claimed the space for for the entire time. Well done’
Ms Keen added: ‘They only want to convince our children that they also could join the cult of trans.
‘All we’re saying is can we not have men in our spaces? Can we not give our children mutilating drugs and hormones? Can we not encourage women to slice off their breasts?’
She added: ‘They can’t take our voices. They can’t take our thoughts and they won’t take our rights… I am not intimidated. I will not be silenced.’
The two sets of activists tussled before police officers later spoke to both groups
Other gender critical campaigners joined her in speaking on the Speaker’s Corner Tour in Manchester on Sunday
The women who were set to speak at the event went to voice their opinions elsewhere after the trans activists stood near the statue.
One of the trans activists was filmed tussling with a gender critical woman.
Manchester Trans Rise Up claimed the day as a victory on Twitter.
The group said: ‘They didn’t get hold of the statue at any point. We claimed the space for for the entire time. Well done.’
MailOnline has contacted Manchester Trans Rise Up for comment.
Who was Emmeline Pankhurst?
Emmeline Pankhurst, from Manchester, is best remembered for organising the suffragette movement and winning women the right to vote in the UK.
One of the best-known founding members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), she oversaw the group from its non-violent beginnings but later advocated for direct action as a tactic for gaining the vote.
She was arrested several times and after being convicted of conspiracy to commit property damage, she used a common suffragist prison tactic – a hunger strike – to secure better conditions for her fellow suffragettes.
When the First World War began, Pankhurst refocused the WSPU’s efforts on supporting the war, causing a split in the group and within her own family. Her daughters Sylvia and Adela were pacifists.
One of the best-known founding members of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), Emmeline Pankhurst oversaw the group from its non-violent beginnings but later advocated for direct action as a tactic for gaining the vote