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Drakeford speech marred by silent protest over women’s safety

26 Mar 2023 2 minute read
Protesters cite Welsh government’s refusal to meet with women’s groups to hear their concerns about self-ID

A silent protest accompanied the talk given by First Minister Mark Drakeford at the Festival of Ideas in St David’s Cathedral yesterday.

A group of women carrying banners, quietly joined the First Minister as he delivered a talk on ‘Wales: the big picture‘ in front of a full audience.

Mr Drakeford paused in his address as they made their way down the aisle but made no reference to the women who stayed in position until the end of his speech.

Their banners bore slogans advocating for the protection of single sex spaces and sports and one said: ‘Labour has a Women Problem’.

As Mr Drakeford ended his speech to applause and went to sit down, the protesters moved across the church, lining their banners up before leaving.

A woman from the audience rushed forwards and grabbed the banners, and threw them to the floor, shouting at the women in Welsh.

The audience stood and the applause continued as the protesters left the Cathedral, accompanied by security, where they handed out leaflets before dispersing without further incident.

Dialogue

A spokeswoman for the protesters said afterwards: “We deliberately chose to have a silent and respectful protest, aware of our surroundings and in full support of the concept of a festival of ideas.

“For the last four years Mark Drakeford and his ministers have refused to speak to representatives of women’s groups in Wales regarding the safeguarding concerns we have about maintaining single sex spaces and women’s sports.

“Last autumn he promised at a public event that Julie James MS would organise a meeting with the concerned groups, but despite polite requests, this meeting is yet to be scheduled.

“We felt that this protest was our only option to be seen and heard. We were politely asked to leave as our presence was unexpected, but we presented cards explaining that it was a peaceful and silent protest and Mr Drakeford said he was happy for us to stay.

“Outside, whilst handing out leaflets we had some engaging conversations, some people being supportive and others not so much, but the important thing for us was that there was dialogue.”


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KPA
KPA
10 months ago

As ever, the women stand patiently and peacefully just asking to be heard, while the trans privilege activists use physical and verbal aggression. I don’t understand why the Welsh government is still refusing to talk to women’s groups about these issues (especially after promising it would). Gender self-ID does very much affect women. It’s women and girls whose safety, privacy and dignity are under threat if Drakeford lets any man who utters the magic words “I’m a woman” into our spaces. Swimming change rooms, school toilets, prisons, refuges, hospital wards – these are places where people need to be separated… Read more »

Isabel Jones
Isabel Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  KPA

Their banners were calling for single-sex spaces and no males in women’s sport. That isn’t bigoted. That is an acknowledgement of the importance of sex and biology.

Rhea
Rhea
10 months ago
Reply to  Isabel Jones

How are single sex spaces not being protected. Who is currently making them unsafe? Haven’t seen anything in the news about women being to scared to go in any? I personally haven’t?

Isabel Jones
Isabel Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Rhea

Men who say they self-identify as women are being treated on women’s wards in hospitals. School loos are being converted from boys and girls to mixed-sex. Imagine having to have a pee in a cubicle next to the boy who’s been twanging your bra in class.
Men with penises are self-identifying as lesbians in order to get into lesbian-only space. And of course male rapists are saying they are women in order to be locked up in women’s prisons. How come you are unaware of all this going on?

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
10 months ago
Reply to  Isabel Jones

Then they need to sort out these spaces and competitions for themselves and not expect a man like Drakeford to do it for them.

Laura
Laura
10 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

How does one go about sorting these things out?

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
10 months ago

I’m from Merthyr Tydfil and with the new street lights that the council have installed no woman is safe walking around in the dark the street lights were far better when they were powered by gas

Mawkernewek
10 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Jones

Them there new-fangled LEDs do produce certain wavelengths of light that affect certain susceptible males and turn them to werewolves.

Steve George
Steve George
10 months ago

I don’t think it was biased at all. It was quite clear that the majority of the audience, who were there to hear Prof Drakeford, had applauded him at the end. It was also clear that some were very unhappy with the protest. The ‘news’ part of this story was that there had been a protest. Therefore, it was good journalism to find out what the protest was about and why the protesters were doing it. The protest also seems like a very good way of making a point without shouting down other people and preventing free speech- quite the… Read more »

Suffragette
Suffragette
10 months ago

Gosh. So much gaslighting and misogyny.

Give it a rest, for God’s sake!

Isabel Jones
Isabel Jones
10 months ago

I was at the event and the protest was, as the report says, silent and non-threatening and respectful of the venue. The same can’t be said of the woman who went running down the aisle at the end of the speech, knocked a video camera flying and grabbed at protesters and their banners and threw them to the ground, shouting obscenities in Welsh and waving her fist. For me the most shocking thing of all was seeing that woman swearing at other, silent women. This was a Festival of Ideas. This display of intolerance should be a matter of concern… Read more »

Daf
Daf
10 months ago

“Marred”? Really? They were silent, they weren’t aggressive (although I gather a blonde woman who ran up and snatched their banners was aggressive). I understand why Drakeford should be able to give his talks without intervention. But when he won’t meet with reasonable people, reasonable women, with real concerns?? I don’t even know if it is him or his odd office, with staff vetting out who he does and doesn’t hear from. But something has gone badly wrong in Welsh Labour.

Elizabeth O’Neill
Elizabeth O’Neill
10 months ago

Not anti trans protests at all. Listen, I am fine with trans women. They are trans women and can be proud of that. But they are not women. The fantasy world is coming down and aggressive behaviour from trans activists does nothing to help the trans community.

Alice Williams
Alice Williams
10 months ago

It is quite clear what us going on : the intention of these lunatics is to erase women out of existence.

Steffan Gwent
Steffan Gwent
10 months ago

Perhaps the church should think more carefully before hosting a political speaker.

Sue Lent
Sue Lent
10 months ago

Thank you for covering this important issue.Women are being ignored and silenced for speaking out about their rights under the Equality Act.
Mark Drakeford and most Senedd members are totally out of touch with their constituents on this and are failing women and putting women and children at risk.

Delia
Delia
10 months ago

Look at New Zealand and the physical assaults on women some elderly. For saying women have rights not just the transgender people.. Are women safe in that country?

Another Richard
Another Richard
10 months ago

“17 COMMENTS” are announced at the head of this section; but only 10 are visible. What has happened to the others? This is not the first time I have noted this issue. Is it a feature of the algorithms or is someone deciding that some views are not fit to print?

A.Redman
A.Redman
10 months ago

Someone “cherry picking” to suit a particular agenda?

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