- Guest post: Transgender People Are Seeking Acceptance in the Wrong Way by Caleb Murdock 29/07/2021
- Antifa and allies need to cease harassing feminists by Helen Steel 05/07/2021
- American “Humanists” cancel Richard Dawkins over their Gender Delusion 20/04/2021
- If Sarah’s killer is trans, will Sisters Uncut support him? 15/03/2021
- Nasty bullies strike again 23/01/2021
- Guest post: A very ordinary woman leaves Labour #labourlosingwomen 27/11/2020
- Cancelled cartoonist has produced a book: 2020, the year we were all cancelled! 08/11/2020
- I’m in the mood for ranting… 29/10/2020
- Remembering Magdalen Berns, one year on 13/09/2020
- Bullies use false anti-Semitism allegations to whip up hatred against women 28/08/2020
- Oops! I’ve offended the trans cult again 20/08/2020
- Authors spit dummy and resign from Rowling’s literary agents 23/06/2020
- Stephanie Hayden won’t be my friend! 20/06/2020
- Dear handmaids… (my response to an open letter to Liz Truss) 19/06/2020
- Tara Flik Wolf mans up to JK Rowling 05/06/2020
- JK Rowling mentioned me in a tweet and the shit hit the fan 03/06/2020
- About bilious Billingham and horrible humanists 17/05/2020
- Morning Star cartoon: You’re offended. I’m offended. So what? 25/03/2020
- Cowardly bullies get my video about Tara Wolf wanting to smash my face in with the support of Freedom News taken down from YouTube so here is the full content 26/02/2020
- Tara Flik Wolf wants to smash my face in proper and the anonymous cowards of Freedom News support him 19/02/2020
- The Polo Lounge in Glasgow: scene of more inhumanity from the trans cult 21/01/2020
- Trans activist bullies who “didn’t watch” my video about them hated it 18/01/2020
- Shame on you, Canada. 04/11/2019
- Happy International Pronouns Day 2019 16/10/2019
- Fuck some TERFs up 13/09/2019
- Magdalen Berns, RIP 13/09/2019
- Lesbian Strength! A day out in Leeds 09/09/2019
- Improving Rachel McKinnon’s Wikipedia page 31/08/2019
- Guest blog: A lot can happen in a year! 29/08/2019
- How transphobic is the Guardian newspaper? 24/08/2019
- Guest blog: On the lesbian protesters at Leeds Pride by Lara Adams-Miller 05/08/2019
- ContraPoints on TERFs 30/07/2019
- A gay man and several lesbians walked into a bar… 08/07/2019
- ‘My Brother’s Name is Jessica’ by John Boyne 02/07/2019
- J.K. Rowling has been following brilliant courageous feminists and it’s nobody else’s business 29/06/2019
- Guest blog: How you do politics 23/06/2019
- On Alice Roberts, Humanists UK and compassion 21/06/2019
- The physical attack on Julie Bindel and the trans cult response 09/06/2019
- A response to a response to “Doing better in arguments about sex, gender, and trans rights” 06/06/2019
- Guest blog: A list of all things transphobic 31/05/2019
- “Unless you understand what it is to be trans you’ve no right to question my existence” 17/05/2019
- Hayden vs Farrow – a view from the public gallery 07/05/2019
- Rattling the Honey Badger’s cage 28/04/2019
- What “trans community”? 16/04/2019
- A year ago I was instructed by District Judge Kenneth Grant to pretend my male assailant was a woman… 14/04/2019
- Guest blog: Growing up gay – a square peg in a round hole 10/04/2019
- The Thought Police are coming 06/04/2019
- Trans rights for the confused and bewildered 23/03/2019
- Men – however they identify – shouldn’t be allowed in shelters designed for traumatised women 16/03/2019
- When feminism isn’t feminism 23/01/2019
- Some trans activists must be the dumbest people alive! 11/01/2019
- The Handmaidens’ Tales 30/12/2018
- The Aunt Lydias of academia 27/12/2018
- Another feminist voice silenced on Twitter 16/12/2018
- Inside the warped mind of a Trans Rights Activist 27/11/2018
- How confused am I! 19/11/2018
- Guest blog: Someone else’s peak trans story 28/10/2018
- And why I’m glad I did 17/10/2018
- Why I resigned from Humanists UK 20/09/2018
- A week in the life of… 08/08/2018
- Brighton Bullies 29/07/2018
- London Pride 2018: Fearless Feminists vs Misogynists & Lesbophobes 15/07/2018
- The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 2 12/05/2018
- The ostensible trial of Tara Wolf – Part 1 12/05/2018
- Truth is the new Hate Speech 29/03/2018
- When vicious entitled thugs attack, I fight back! 28/03/2018
I am pleased to publish this piece by a guest author from across the Pond. All the opinions expressed and the choice of terminology are his own own and don’t necessarily reflect mine. Caleb Murdock is retired and lives in Rhode Island.
The public image of transgender people is that of a sad group of people who feel stuck in the wrong bodies. They are often victimized by their communities and even murdered. All of that is true. But there is another side to transgender people which inspires less sympathy. In this article, I take a closer look at that side and explain why they are working against their own best interests.
Transgender Ideology and Its Obnoxious Gaslighting
Trans people have developed an entire ideology that is designed to justify their existence. I’m not saying that they need to justify their existence, but that is apparently how they feel given that their ideology has no other discernible purpose.
At the center of this ideology is their redefinition of the word “gender”. “Gender” is a multi-purpose word that refers to any of the many differences between men and women. At its most basic level, it refers to the gender of a person’s sexual reproductive system. Thus, a person who has a penis, XY chromosomes, and other manifestations of maleness, is “gender male”, while a person who has a vagina, XX chromosomes, and other manifestations of femaleness, is “gender female”. Trans activists are trying to erase that definition. They claim that the word “gender” refers only to a person’s gender identity.
In other words, I am a man, not because I have a male body, but because I feel like a man. The problem is that I don’t have a particularly strong gender identity. For all my life I have said that if I had been born a woman, I would have adjusted to that. Personally, I resent having people with gender dysphoria telling me what it is that makes me a man. Trans people may have a strong gender identity, but that doesn’t mean that everyone does. This is the logic: If a man feels like a woman, his gender identity is “female”, and that makes him an actual woman (!). Most people know that such reasoning is absurd—you can’t be a woman if you have a male body. It’s one thing for a man to act like a woman out of some inner compulsion, but it is something else for him to pretend to be a real woman. So this redefinition of the word “gender” is entirely self-serving; it allows trans people to include themselves in their favored definitions of the words “man” and “woman”.
For several years, an obnoxious test of liberality was being circulated. It went like this: Do you agree with the statement “A trans woman is a woman”? That statement is a form of gaslighting. It is an attempt to expand the definition of the word “woman” to include transgender women. If you agree, then you pass the test. If you disagree, be prepared for the gates of Cancel Culture Hell to open up and swallow you whole.
Incidentally, the answer to “A trans woman is a woman” is “A trans woman is a trans woman” or “A trans woman is a man who feels like a woman”.
Many thanks to Helen for these words, which originally appeared as a post on Facebook.
I was horrified last night watching the footage of ‘antifa’ attacking people who had attended an advertised protest outside Wi Spa in Los Angeles after women complained of a man exposing his penis in the women’s area of the facilities.
When antifa and other anti-fascist groups started, they were about defending communities from racist and fascist violence and attacks. It is sometimes necessary and reasonable to use violence to defend yourself or others from physical attack. In the 70’s-90’s fascists were graffitiing and firebombing the homes of black people, firebombing left-wing and anarchist bookshops, physically attacking black people in the street, attacking trade unionists and anti-racists, gay-bashing and so on. The police did nothing to stop those attacks and in fact regularly colluded with the racists/fascists. In those circumstances there was little alternative but for people to join together to fight back in order to stop fascists attacking people, so groups like antifa were created. At the end of the 90’s a fascist detonated bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane and a gay pub in Soho, maiming and killing people. By what measure are some on the left falsely comparing women fighting against sexism with racists and fascists? There are no feminist dictators, there is no campaign of violence and intimidation by women.
This morning I woke to the news that the organisation laughingly known as the American Humanist Association (AHA) has withdrawn the ‘Humanist of the Year Award’ given to Richard Dawkins in…wait for it…1996!
Here’s the backstory: Ten days ago, Richard Dawkins tweeted this.
I wasn’t irked by this comment as some were – including many on our side of the biggest cultural conflict of our time. We expect high-profile scientists to stand up for science against an ideology based on post-modernist pseudoscientific claptrap but we expect them to do so sooner rather than later. We have been disgusted by those – such as Alice Roberts, current President of Humanists UK – who’ve sold out and we’ve been dismayed by the silence of others, including Dawkins. Some responded irately on the belatedness of his intervention while others saw the framing of his comment as cowardly fence-sitting.
If the man – assuming it is a man – who murdered Sarah Everard identifies as a woman, will they mobilise in support of him…sorry, ‘her’ when ‘she’ stands trial?
Will they defame and abuse the real feminists, the ones who understand that the oppression of women by men is rooted in biological reality, the ones who support all female victims of male violence, regardless of what the perpetrators claim to be?
Will they accuse us of targeting, harassing and doxing the poor trans ‘woman’ whose behaviour, in spite of his having that mystical essence that entitles him to claim womanhood as his own, bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a vicious woman-hating thug?
I owe a debt of gratitude to Prof Alice Sullivan for raising awareness that one of those invited to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Commons Select Committee, as part of their Inquiry into proposed reforms of the Gender Recognition Act, is one Ruth Pearce who, the day after I was assaulted by three male trans activists, tweeted this.
I was aware of this tweet at the time and included it in my original account of the assault.
(Note that the intended recipient was Ada Cable who played no small part in the hate campaign against me.)
When I saw Alice’s tweet I decided to contact the Committee directly to complain about Pearce’s inclusion. Only then did I check Pearce’s Twitter timeline for any more tweets and I was horrified to discover this thread. This tweet in particular stands out.
I don’t know when Labour fell headlong down the gender ideology rabbit hole – to my shame, I was all but oblivious to this until about two and a half years ago. What became clear though, was that inexplicably, Labour had fallen in love with a neo-liberal, postmodern, anti-materialist ideology that was antithetical to Socialism. I thought Corbyn would see through this nonsense. Not a chance. Introducing himself with ‘pronouns’ prior to the last general election was … well … surprising. As well as stating the bleeding obvious – we all know you’re a bloke mate!
The manifesto offered a glimmer of hope – although how on earth they thought they could deliver their promise to reform the ‘Gender’ Recognition Act AND defend women’s rights under the Equality Act 2010 was baffling. Nevertheless, we breathed a sigh of relief. There was some recognition that sex – and women as a sex class – actually existed. Like good Socialists should, they acknowledged material reality.
A leadership contest predictably followed the election in December 2019. Most of the leadership and deputy candidates enthusiastically endorsed a ‘trans’ pledge solemnly declaring witches should be burned at the stake. Starmer did not sign – and so again there was a glimmer of hope. Continue reading
“We are not deliberately creating ‘hateful’ images, but making legitimate points about important issues in the news, to show different angles, and initiate discussion.”
Earlier this year I wrote a blog post about how the Morning Star newspaper had caved in to pressure from its trade union paymasters and apologised for a cartoon entitled ‘Endgame’, which had appeared in its print edition. I didn’t realise at the time that the paper had, as a result of the debacle, dispensed altogether with the services of the cartoon’s creator, Stella Perrett, who’d been contributing cartoons for free since 2015. Here’s a reminder of the cartoon, which is no less pertinent now than it has ever been.
Paul Ilett describes himself as a “best-selling author”. If you find that interesting, I’ll leave you to check out the novel he once wrote.
A couple of nights ago, he took it upon himself to conduct what he later described as “an interesting experiment”. This involved posting an absurd and unsupportable statement, which he undoubtedly knew would anger and offend countless women and some men.
His challenge to anyone thus offended, however, was not that they should explain why they felt as they did nor that they should attempt to engage him in a civil exchange of views in the hope of developing greater mutual understanding. Instead, he asked anyone who disagreed to ‘simply block’ him.
Many of those who are active on social media will be familiar with seeing the assertion that ‘transwomen are women’ followed by a wearisome demonstration on the part of the poster of their total inability to offer anything remotely resembling a coherent substantiation.
Almost invariably, anyone who invites an explanation of how someone born male can be a woman will be blocked, usually well before they’ve subjected the poster to anything that could be described as abuse.
A year ago today, on hearing of Magdalen’s death, I wrote and posted a personal tribute to her. Soon afterwards, I was honoured to be invited to her funeral by her mother, Deborah Lavin who, sadly, was only to survive Magdalen – the youngest of her three children – by nine months.
At Magdalen’s funeral, I met some of those close to her and heard so much more about her than she’d ever revealed by either her online persona or her presence at the occasional meeting and in the pub afterwards. On this first anniversary of her death, I’d like to share some more reflections of her.
The dictionary provides us with a concise definition of anti-Semitism as ‘hostility and prejudice against Jews’. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance – an inter-governmental organisation set up some years ago to focus on issues related to the Jewish holocaust – provides a comprehensive list of examples. The mention of George Soros’ name and objecting to any of his political and philanthropic activities doesn’t feature in that list of examples.
Catholic journalist and commentator, Caroline Farrow – about whom I have written one post already, on the occasion of her being sued by the notorious transgender litigant, Stephanie Hayden – is the latest to be defamed in this manner.
Her accuser is none other than the repugnant and obsessed James Billingham, about whom I have also blogged previously. In this instance, Billingham uses his sock-puppet, @TheOnlySprout, to tweet a screenshot of a Facebook post by Caroline promoting a CitizenGo petition, which was launched after an article written by Soros himself in the New York Times: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook.
Yesterday I posted a new video in my series about awful arguments by trans activists. This one is entitled, ‘It’s all your fault’ and it’s about the extraordinary phenomenon of trans cultists blaming feminists and others who oppose transgender ideology for the fact that sometimes gender non-conforming women get mistaken for men and the mental gymnastics involved in attributing this mundane fact of life to ‘transphobia’. Everything I say in the video is my opinion which, in the absence of any serious challenge, I stand by.
Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee.
Though it’s hard to part I know
We’re quite happy to see you go…
As we learned from the Guardian yesterday, a small group of authors have thrown their toys out of the pram and flounced off the Blair Partnership’s list of clients because they couldn’t bully the literary agency into kowtowing to their inflated sense of entitlement by making some pointless, cringeworthy gestures.
Obviously, the Guardian doesn’t put it quite like that, going instead for more subtle, low-key humour and saying the four had “resigned after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights”.
Wow! They actually accused them of that? How very, um, serious.
I mean, really? They resigned not because of anything the agency did but because of something they wouldn’t do, something there was no need to do. Further down the Guardian piece we learn that not only did the authors want a public statement but they wanted the company to “conduct staff training with the group All About Trans”, a group that promotes itself as “Positively changing how the media understands and portrays transgender people”.
But why? Had the Blair Partnership said or done anything, either publicly or internally, that could be construed as anti-trans? It seems not.
There I was, extending the hand of friendship and not only does he refuse it but he blocks me on FB and then goes and boasts about it on Twitter. I’m broken-hearted, obviously – not only at his rejection of me but at his claim that I’ve “only ever shown hostility and hate” towards him.
That’s just not fair! Why, every time I see him in real life – which, in case you’re wondering, has always been in court watching this notoriously prolific litigant pursue his favourite pastime – I smile warmly and gaze at him fondly. Unfortunately – and probably due to an understandable lack of self-esteem on his part – he invariably misinterprets my well-intentioned and cordial behaviour as hostility and calls me horrid things!
I owe a debt of gratitude to 44-year-old retired Mixed Martial Arts fighter, Fallon Fox. Fox was the first athlete in MMA history to be openly transgender – though he only admitted it after he’d already taken part in two professional fights in the women’s division. During the course of his career, he knocked two women out: one of them – Tamikka Brents – sustained an orbital bone fracture and a head wound requiring seven staples. Six years later, Fox is still boasting about it.
Why am I grateful to him? Well, because he publicly represents all that is rotten about transgender ideology. Like all male athletes competing in women’s sporting events, he’s a cheat. And, like so many trans-identifying men, he is a violent misogynist thug.
Yet we are supposed to accept him as a woman, ‘respect his pronouns’, etc, etc. Who can blame us for feeling uncomfortable and even afraid of being in a changing room or being followed into the Ladies by men like Fox? And it’s not as if he’s the only one.
When I wrote my post about JK Rowling on Wednesday, I wasn’t aware that Tara Wolf – who proudly styles himself ‘Terfslayer’ – had, in his uniquely eloquent style, posted on the same topic on his Facebook page some days earlier. Alas, I only saw it after it had been widely shared on social media but I was pleased to see that Wolf appears to have turned over a new leaf.
He doesn’t say he wants to fuck JK up as he once notoriously said about ‘TERFs’. He doesn’t say he wants to smash her face in as he did about me earlier this year. Instead, he is inviting JK to debate him – and not publicly on some online platform or even by means of private electronic communication which, judging by this former Goldsmiths undergraduate’s command of written English, he would find rather taxing.
No, he is generously suggesting that their… let’s call it ‘exchange of ideas’… should take place publicly right in the heart of London, no doubt so that his devoted disciples can attend and learn as the brilliantly percipient Wolf demolishes the hapless JK with his dazzling oratory.
In an attempt to salvage something out of the now widely-reported Twitter error JK Rowling made last Friday, which must have bewildered many of her followers who’d never heard of me and which had unpleasant consequences for both JK and for me, comedy writer and ally, Graham Linehan, invited me and my husband, Alan Henness, to tell the story behind the tweet in the hope of reaching a wider audience.
Here is a link to a recording of our conversation. And below is the blog post I wrote earlier today.
Those who swarmed to this website last weekend and entered JK Rowling’s name in the search function would only have found a blog I wrote last year about the extraordinary attacks on her for shamelessly following a few feminists on Twitter and ‘liking’ gender-critical tweets.
Until now, I haven’t felt compelled to write anything more about her.
But when one of the most famous authors in the world refers to me in a tweet, I feel kind of obligated to say something, so here it is.
These two tweets were directed at me during a Twitter spat I had with James Billingham a couple of months ago. Yes, he really is one of those men who presume to adjudicate on what feminism is. I can’t in all seriousness believe he thinks I care what he would “love” to see me do. Rather, I think these tweets were intentionally condescending to me in order to virtue-signal to his followers, who will probably applaud the insufferable arrogance of a man telling a woman old enough to be his mother how she should be doing feminism.
Weeks ago I drafted a blog post but then I got ill and, by the time I recovered, I had all sorts of other things to worry about and I forgot all about it. I’ve just found it again and, although it hardly newsworthy now…hell, I wrote it so here it is.
The Morning Star newspaper recently published this cartoon:
When I first saw this cartoon, I immediately took it is as lampooning the policy of allowing gender self-identification and the idea that a man should be accepted as a woman just because he says he identifies as one.
Cowardly bullies get my video about Tara Wolf wanting to smash my face in with the support of Freedom News taken down from YouTube so here is the full content
Edited 27.02.20 if you prefer to watch the video rather than read the transcript, it is now uploaded to Vimeo.
To recap: In my last blog post, I pointed out that Tara Wolf is a danger to women. I also drew attention to an anonymous defamatory article about me on some waste-of-space loony-tunes anarchist site called Freedom News. I considered suing them but decided it would be more fun to make a video refuting their claims, challenging them to a debate and just generally mocking them, in the full expectation that they wouldn’t have the guts or the brains to respond by any other means than trying to silence me.
And so it has come to pass. As expected, they didn’t respond to my challenge and rebutted nothing I said in the video because they know as well as I do that they can’t. Like Tara Wolf himself, they are liars, cowards and bullies.
And as expected, they complained to youtube about the video who have removed it on the pretext that it supposedly violates some rule about privacy, even though all the content in that video was or had been in the public domain. Every video I have produced with me in it has been the subject of complaints by trans activist bullies and, because of this, I always have the transcript and content ready to put into a blog.
I do, of course, have the option of uploading the video they don’t want you to see directly to this site and I might get round to doing that when I’m less busy. In the meantime, here is the transcript:
Tara Flik Wolf wants to smash my face in proper and the anonymous cowards of Freedom News support him
Tara Flik Wolf aka Wood is a danger to women. Not necessarily all women all of the time. Those who show sufficient reverence, who nurture his false identity, who feed his fantasies and fail to challenge the disturbed and disordered behaviour he displays – in particular, his manifest eagerness to intimidate and hurt women – are probably safe for the time being.
Every other woman is at risk – men, not so much. Actually not at all, I reckon.
How might I personally have offended this mentally unstable individual over the years? Firstly, by gathering with others at a public meeting point to go to a feminist meeting, secondly by filming a protest staged by him and other offended anti-feminists at Speakers’ Corner, thirdly by reporting the punishment he inflicted on me for doing so to the police and co-operating with the criminal justice system. Fourthly, by commenting on a Facebook page nearly two years after he was convicted of assaulting me.
In spite of his mental illness, Tara Flik Wolf is highly privileged, not least in having the fierce protection afforded to him by the lackeys and handmaids of groups like Class War, Sisters Uncut and the Freedom Press website, which recently posted an extremely vicious, false and defamatory article about me.
I am grateful to all those who have – whether publicly or privately – articulated their anger and disgust at the behaviour of these regressive political groups while expressing support for me. After considering the matter carefully, I’ve decided not to do anything about either Wolf or Freedom News at the moment apart from make another video because my saying anything public about Tara Wolf seems to upset them quite a lot.
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We know by now that trans activists will – without a trace of irony – describe anyone who doesn’t fully submit to their absurd ideology and prioritise their interests over all others as ‘haters’, ‘bigots’ and ‘transphobes’. That includes anyone concerned with preserving women’s sex-based protections from men whose claim to womanhood is based on subjective feelings and anyone who dares to point out that gay/lesbian means same-sex attracted.
Having seen WPUK repeatedly described, since its launch in November 2017, as a ‘hate group’ for brazenly stating that they are against all forms of discrimination, that they believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment and for – heaven forbid – even providing a platform to transsexual speakers like Kristina Harrison and Debbie Hayton, who dare to disagree with certain articles of transgender faith, it came as no surprise to see, from the moment it was set up in October last year, the LGB Alliance described in the exact same way. Nor was it a surprise that it was targeted with various acts of malice and attempted sabotage, such as the setting up of fake Twitter accounts purporting to be from the Alliance and getting its crowdfunding page temporarily taken down after falsely representing its motives to JustGiving.
But what are the motives of the LGB Alliance and why is it attracting such opprobrium?
After enduring a tsunami of abuse, falsehoods and defamation over the past twenty-seven months, my main aim in making these videos is simply to get the truth about my assault by trans activists at Speakers’ Corner in September 2017 out there.
I’ve done this by using the videos taken at the location, zooming in and slowing down on the crucial scenes. This tends to be a more satisfactory way of showing what actually happened than selecting stills and adding to them a false narrative in the hope that people are stupid enough to believe it.
I originally posted a few paragraphs of this story on the front page of this site under the title, ‘Shame on you Toronto’. As I like to keep front-page stories short and this one keeps growing, I’m turning it into a blog post.
Meghan Murphy is a Canadian feminist who has the courage to do what feminists are supposed to do and stand up for women. She is the creator of the excellent Feminist Current site.
Opposed to her are those who prioritise the feelings of men and their entitlement to redefine what women are.
I first got wind of the fact that Meghan Murphy was scheduled to speak at an event – organised by a group called ‘Radical Feminists Unite’ – in a building belonging to the Toronto Public Library (TPL) when I saw something about a bunch of local authors threatening to boycott the library.
We live in a world where such iniquities as child marriage, female foeticide, the torture and sexual abuse of teenage boys and the trafficking and enslavement of vulnerable human beings continues unabated, not to mention Turkey’s current offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces, during which dozens of innocent civilians have already died and 150,000 people have been forced to flee for their lives. So here’s an idea:
Let’s celebrate #InternationalPronounsDay!
On the day we hear that our queen video-maker, Magdalen, has died, it feels all the more poignant to be posting the first video I’ve ever set out to produce on youtube. If you can’t wait to see it, scroll down.
Two years ago today, I was assaulted by vicious nasty male trans activists, at Speakers’ Corner. Two days later a woman I’d never heard of before wrote a poem about the event. I wish somebody had told me about that poem at the time. It would have made a pleasant change from the screenshots of all the hate I was getting, blaming me for provoking or even starting the violence – single-handedly, of course – against a bunch of thugs in their 20s, whose sole purpose in coming to Speakers’ Corner had been to bully and harass a group of people waiting to go to a meeting about proposed changes to legislation.