Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERF) are planning a conference for June 8th and June 9th at the London Irish Center in London. Last year they planned on having this at Conway Hall but since they specifically excluded transgender women the venue cancelled. They ended up getting another venue at Birkbeck, University of London at the last moment.
Statement Regarding RadFem 2012 via Democratic Underground
In consultation with the organisers of RadFem 2012 and our legal advisors, Conway Hall has decided not to allow the booking in July 2012 to proceed. This is because it does not conform to our Terms and Conditions for hiring rooms at Conway Hall. In addition, we are not satisfied it conforms with the Equality Act (2010), or reflects our ethos regarding issues of discrimination.
We had sought assurances that the organisers would allow access to all, in order to enable the event to proceed at the venue. We also expressed concern that particular speakers would need to be made aware that whilst welcoming progressive thinking and debate, Conway Hall seeks to uphold inclusivity in respect of both legal obligations and as a principle.
In the absence of the assurances we sought, the event in its proposed form could not proceed at Conway Hall.
That said, we recognise the breadth of debate to be had amongst the feminist and transgender communities and it is our sincere hope that there will be constructive and positive dialogue on these matters going forward.
In response to Sheila Jeffreys’ online Guardian article in their ‘Comment is free’ section, dated 29th May 2012, we would like it to be known that Conway Hall has in the past made clear that speakers / attendees at events for other hirers will not be permitted where we have felt that these individuals have expressed and may express (on our premises) views which conflict with our ethos, principles, and culture; the reference to David Irving was simply one of the examples given.
This year they aren’t publicizing a ban on transgender women but by watching the #radfem2013 hashtag on twitter, it is obvious trans women are not welcome. In fact, they have been using this hashtag to abuse trans women and their allies. I would urge the London Irish Center to contact the organizers to determine if hate speech will be part of the agenda and if they plan on preventing transgender women from participating.
One attendee has stated she will be asking trans women to leave if they show up. Perhaps this is their unwritten policy.
Please contact the venue and voice your opinion
The London Irish Centre
50-52 Camden Square
T: 020 7916 2222
F: 020 7916 2638
Events and Venue Hire
T: 020 7916 2222