Trans rights activists shout ‘F**k the TERFs’ as clash with radical feminist group hosting conference at San Francisco Hilton leads to physical assaults and spray-painted storefronts
Last weekend saw a heated clash between trans rights activists and radical feminists hosting a women’s rights conference in San Francisco.
Women’s Declaration International held their second National Women’s Convention at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District from September 15 to 17.
Videos posted around 7pm on Saturday show a growing crowd outside the hotel.
People are giving the middle fingers to the cameras and carrying signs speaking out against TERFs or ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminists’. One sign reads “Millions of Dead TERFs.”
The term ‘TERF’ is used to describe people whose views on gender identity are considered hostile to transgender people.
One sign read “Millions of Dead TERFs.” It is unclear whether it was a reference to the band MDC (Millions of Dead Cops) or a call for violence
A crowd continued to build outside the Hilton San Francisco in the city’s financial district, while conference attendees were barricaded inside for their safety.
Protesters turned off the cameras when they noticed they were being filmed
It usually refers to those who oppose the inclusion of transgender women in spaces reserved for women.
Brette Smith, an anti-trans activist, said hotel security locked the hotel doors as a protective measure as the protest increased.
“They basically locked us up to keep them out,” she explained as she filmed the commotion outside.
Some people noticed she was filming and gave her the middle finger. A crowd began shouting in unison: ‘F**k the TERFs, go to hell’ and ‘F**k you fascist’.
A person in a skinsuit and a black corset, upon noticing the camera, started thrusting his hips in a crude manner.
“Oh, he’s doing the ‘suck it’ sign again! Because as women we do that all the time,” Smith said.
She compared a protester to Jesus because of their facial hair and said, “Look at that beautiful and brave woman in purple.”
A video posted to Twitter by Meghan Murphy, the Canadian journalist and feminist writer, captured the scene from the hotel’s roof.
Below at an intersection, a crowd stands, equipped with pride flags and posters. Some shout ‘F**k you!’ and ‘F**k away!’
Some activists carried signs and posters, while others shouted “F***k TERFs!” and taunted the women filming from above
K Wang, an anti-trans activist who hosted a panel at the event, said the sign in front of the hotel had been smashed with a hammer. Photos show it has been defaced with anti-TERF rhetoric and sexual language
Protesters compared the women present to fascists and Nazis
A protester with a microphone taunts, “Come out of your little hideout. You’re fucking scared.”
Someone else repeatedly shouts, “You’re a fucking Nazi!”
“San Francisco trans activists. At this point about eight of them climbed over the fence and hurried. @StopXXErasure and I tried to attack us. We fled,” Murphy wrote, noting that one of the attackers punched the hotel’s general manager.
She tagged former trans activist K Yang, who was hosting a panel titled “Desisted Women” at 10 a.m. that day.
Yang posted a video to her own Instagram Story, showing the view from above.
The video was captioned: “Right after a man took a hammer to the bottom of the Hilton hotel sign and smashed it in an attempt to intimidate women from speaking publicly and having an opinion.”
WDI posted images of the Hilton sign after it was graffitied and vandalized.
Protesters scribbled messages such as “F**k TERFs” and “Have a lot of gay sex,” as well as sentences with vulgar references to genitals.
Some video shows police, but it is unclear whether any arrests have been made.
One participant filmed from the hotel and made sarcastic comments about the appearance of the protesters
The event was advertised as ‘for women only’ and featured panels hosted by de-transitioners, or people who were previously transgender themselves
Two protesters were seen engaging in a provocative display to antagonize radical feminists
The convention was scheduled for September 15 to 17 with an additional day of ‘Nonviolent Direct Action’ on September 18
An art exhibition entitled ‘A Nasty Piece of Work: The Art of Dissident Feminists’ opened simultaneously with the conference on Saturday.
It was advertised as “showcasing the art of women who resist the quest to construct or remake what it means to be a woman.” Although not part of the WDI convention, visitors were given the opportunity to attend the gallery opening.
The room’s windows were later defaced with red spray-paint messages that read: “NO TITLES ON OUR PERFECT!”
The WDI website includes a promotional page for the convention with a schedule of events. Panels on topics such as ‘Radical Feminist Tactics’, ‘Academic Studies of Women’ and ‘Lesbians and the Women’s Liberation Movement’.
Most panels do not explicitly reference transgenderism, with the exception of Yang’s and a session entitled ‘Discussion: De-Transition Q&A; Reclaiming Womanhood’ with Laura Becker as speaker. Becker is an outspoken de-trans activist who began turning into a man herself.
“Please note: this is a women-only event,” the registration page reads.
The schedule for Monday, September 18, contains a reference to ‘Nonviolent Direct Action’ following the training on Sunday.
It’s unclear what this entails, but the ‘Pledge of Nonviolent Action’ on the WDI site says participants must not engage in mockery or destroy property. Instead, they are told to resort to non-violent measures such as chanting, chanting and linking arms.
The opening of an art exhibition called ‘A Nasty Piece of Work: The Art of Dissident Feminists’ coincided with the conference. The gallery was vandalized with graffiti reading ‘No TERFs on our premises’
The show featured art by lesbian artists and people ‘who resist the quest to construct or remake what it means to be a woman’
It appears the event is still planned, despite mounting hostility this weekend.
“The goal of nonviolent action is to attack a regime or opposing group by causing people to withdraw support from it,” the web page reads.
“We will take our righteous anger, our love for women and girls, and our unbreakable resolve and use them for the only strategy that can bring us justice.”
WDI is centered around a document titled “The Declaration on the Sex-Based Rights of Women.”
It “affirms the sex-based rights of women and girls, and challenges the discrimination we experience through the replacement of the category of sex with that of ‘gender identity’.”
Some tenants include promoting same-sex victim support services to eliminate violence against women, retaining certain same-sex sports, and limiting participation quotas to only people of female gender.
The WDI conference and the resulting commotion came at the same time as the Let Women Speak event in Dublin, which attracted hundreds of women’s rights activists and counter-protesters.
The September 16 event was organized by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a British anti-trans rights activist and founder of the group Standing for Women.