Two members of anti-cuts group Queer Resistance, both trans people, have said they were sexually assaulted by a police officer whilst being wrongfully arrested at a peaceful demonstration in central London on the day of the royal wedding.
Dave Younger, Leeds Socialist Party LGBTQ Organiser
Queer activist Logan Le’Belle, who is a female-to-male trans person, alleges that police conducted an illegal intimiate body search on his companion, a trans woman, and also inappropriately touched him in the process of the arrest. Le’Belle described how a female police officer “cupped” his companion’s genital area in order to ascertain her genital status before conducting a search. Police officers also consistently referred the pair by the wrong gender, clearly discriminating against them because of their gender identity.
The two activists, who were arrested on suspicion of attempting to breach the peace after police found they had anti-cuts flyers on their persons, were held in police cells for three hours before being released without charge. London Metropolitan Police failed to comment when asked about the incident.
Intimate body searches are illegal in UK law. Why then is that trans people are an exception to this rule? Could it be that it is because they challenge the rigid gender roles by which our society attempts to oppress us all into stultified conformity? Why should LGBTQ people, who are already disproportionately effected by cuts to public services, also suffer by being made special targets for police prejudice and brutality? As socialists we need to stand side by side with everyone who is a victim of discrimination and abuse because of their gender, sexuality or any other reason for that matter.