Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Northeast, Queer, Trans
Report on counter-demonstration against TERF rally in so-called Trenton, New Jersey. Originally posted to Jersey Counter-Info.
On April 14, 2023 regional TERFs, organized by Jennifer Thomas, descended on the state capital to hold a “women’s free speech rally”. Their goal was to pressure the government into change existing state laws, which help prevent trans people convicted of crimes, namely trans women and femmes, from being placed in prisons which are in-congruent with their gender identity.
Jennifer Thomas, also known by her Twitter handle RevFemStBeat, publicly organized her rally two months in advance through social media and filed for a permit to host her rally for April 14, 2023 from 12pm to 4pm at the state capital building in Trenton. Thomas thoroughly documented her planning publicly via social media, and in doing so was able to butter up her online TERF community to raise money to support the event.
Despite all of her bravado about her bravery and experience protesting to her online friends, Thomas is used to regularly getting thrown out and shut down wherever she appears. She and her TERF crew have been run out of New York City, Port Townsend, Washington, and the United Kingdom, among other places. Her experience in Trenton, NJ, was no different.
In response to Thomas’ plans to hold her “women’s free speech” rally, local queer antifascists planned a counter demonstration for April 14 in Trenton. The queer antifascists collaborated with different regional groups and individuals, and were able to loop in striking Rutgers union members to form a united coalition against the TERFs and their rally.
Thomas advertised her rally online hoping to draw in attendees from the public. She received virtual recruitment help from Known Heretic, or Amy E. Sousa, a TERF YouTuber, and the Gender Mapper, Alix Aharon, a hate monger who documents and makes public doxx lists of gender clinics. These lists are often utilized by the far-right. Thomas received on-the-ground help from a team of east coast TERFs.
Unfortunately for Thomas her propaganda push was unsuccessful and the only people who attended in support of the rally were her team of TERF’s slated to speak and their boyfriends and husbands.
Thomas and her group arrived at 11:45am at the capital building and began to set up around the erected police barriers and launched their live feed via Amy Sousa on YouTube. Almost immediately upon setting up and beginning their speeches the TERFs were drowned out by queer antifascists.
Queer antifascists and other collaborators led the initial disruption actions, preventing the TERFs from being able to broadcast their hate by using megaphones, music, and air horns.
The contingent of Rutgers union strikers, fresh off directing their own protest against the University, showed up on the scene en masse shortly after to offer their support. The large group of Rutgers Union strikers used their megaphones and numbers to completely stop the rally for a period of time causing confusion amongst the TERFs. Thomas and her goons couldn’t seem to process solidarity in action. She and several other TERFs, including an enraged Brittany Ortiz, then took turns yelling at the crowd about their transphobia.
Ortiz is a long time TERF collaborator of Thomas and has her own YouTube channel where she spreads lies and propaganda against trans people. Ortiz is someone to watch out for as her energy and demeanor on site at Trenton was the most chaotic and prone to direct physical violence against trans people. Ortiz lives in Philadelphia and is employed as a midwife.
Over the course of the next hour and a half, the counter-protestors repeatedly caused the TERFs to halt their speeches and disrupted them from being heard. Additionally, their live feed being broadcasted by Sousa was delayed and disrupted several times, causing both the YouTuber and Thomas visible frustration. Sousa ended up stopping live stream early and then tried to grift her followers into donating more money to Thomas and herself.
After all of these setbacks and interruptions by counter protestors, Jennifer Thomas and her fellow TERFs were forced to end their rally two hours early. They rushed off the scene in a disorganized hurry and sped out of their area for fear of being confronted face to face by counter protestors. All in all the broad coalition of antifascists, Rutgers union members, and assorted others were successful in shutting down the event and showing Thomas and her crew what happens to TERFs and anyone else that props up the far-right in New Jersey.
Despite what went down on April 14, Thomas, Amy Sousa, Brittany Ortiz, and the other TERFs present declared “victory.” Thomas even went on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, directly before he was fired, and was interviewed about the day’s events. Thomas and friends can lie to themselves, their followers, and the general public all they want, it doesn’t change the fact that they were kicked out of NJ and failed miserably.