Women’s rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen thanked Nicola Sturgeon for ‘waking up Scotland’ but tensions flared at Glasgow rally as activists clashed amid a row over transgender prisoner Isla Bryson.

Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker, said at the rally organised by Standing for Women: ‘From the bottom of my heart, thank you Nicola Sturgeon!

‘Nicola Sturgeon said, “oh, it will never happen” and all of us knew it was already happening – and then along came Adam “double rapist” Graham…

‘I just want to thank the SNP for waking up Scotland and to all of you Scottish women and some men who have been campaigning about this for the past five years. Thank you to every one of you.’

At the rally against the SNP’s gender recognition reform proposals, which were passed by a majority of MSPs in December but blocked by the UK Government, Ms Keen attacked the Scottish Government over the case of transgender prisoner Isla Bryson – who raped two women while living as a man called Adam Graham.

Standing for Women, led by Kellie-Jay Keen (pictured) also known as Posie Parker, staged a protest in Glasgow today against the Scottish Government's gender recognition reform proposals

Standing for Women, led by Kellie-Jay Keen (pictured) also known as Posie Parker, staged a protest in Glasgow today against the Scottish Government’s gender recognition reform proposals

Hundreds of campaigners for women's rights gathered in Glasgow today as they railed against the Scottish government's plans for gender self-identification north of the border

Hundreds of campaigners for women’s rights gathered in Glasgow today as they railed against the Scottish government’s plans for gender self-identification north of the border

A large police presence was visible in the city’s iconic central square, keeping the large demonstration far apart from a counter rally by trans rights activists.

The slightly smaller counter-protest was staged by pro-reform advocates and dubbed Cabaret Against the Hate Speech.

Attendees waved flags, danced and sang in support of the right to self-identification. Many were in fancy dress and held up their own signs, with slogans such as ‘protect trans kids’ and ‘love is love’. 

One counter protester directly took aim at Keen herself, holding a sign that read ‘F*** Posie Parker’.

Bryson was imprisoned in segregation at Cornton Vale women’s jail near Stirling upon conviction, before being moved to a male prison after a public outcry.

Critics of the bill say their concerns about women’s safety were brought into sharp focus when Sturgeon was forced to remove Bryson from Cornton Vale so soon after her bill.

The issue was compounded days later, when ministers were again forced to intervene to prevent convicted stalker Tiffany Scott, previously known as Andrew Burns, from moving to a female estate.

One protester held up a banner with pictures of Bryson and Scott, alongside recently released prisoner Katy Dolatowski, with the slogan ‘two down – how many more to go? #KeepPrisonsSingleSex’ 

Many of the activists showed their fury at Nicola's Sturgeon's recent attempts at gender recognition reform in Scotland, which they say tramples on women's rights

Many of the activists showed their fury at Nicola’s Sturgeon’s recent attempts at gender recognition reform in Scotland, which they say tramples on women’s rights

Hundreds of campaigners gathered to protest in George Square, far exceeding organisers' expectations

Hundreds of campaigners gathered to protest in George Square, far exceeding organisers’ expectations 

One protester held up a banner with pictures of Bryson and Scott, alongside recently released prisoner Katy Dolatowski, with the slogan 'two down - how many more to go?'

One protester held up a banner with pictures of Bryson and Scott, alongside recently released prisoner Katy Dolatowski, with the slogan ‘two down – how many more to go?’

Demonstrators take part in the Let Women Speak rally organised by the group Standing for Women in George Square, Glasgow

Demonstrators take part in the Let Women Speak rally organised by the group Standing for Women in George Square, Glasgow

The protesters gathered in support of the UK Government's use of a Section 35 order to block Scotland's recent Gender Recognition Reform Bill on the grounds that it will impede the operation of the UK Equality Act

The protesters gathered in support of the UK Government’s use of a Section 35 order to block Scotland’s recent Gender Recognition Reform Bill on the grounds that it will impede the operation of the UK Equality Act

Sings including 'repeal the GRA [Gender Recognition Act]' and 'no men in women's refuges' were also proudly waved by activists

Sings including ‘repeal the GRA [Gender Recognition Act]’ and ‘no men in women’s refuges’ were also proudly waved by activists

Ms Keen’s group has also called for the repeal of the Gender Recognition Act, the current legislation that allows transgender people to obtain a gender recognition certificate the Scottish Government’s Bill was attempting to reform.

She told those at the protest: ‘In your own lives, you cannot be heard… you feel like you cannot speak,’ adding that women have told her ‘the state is gaslighting them’.

She added: ‘The watershed is finally here.

‘From this moment on, we are not afraid, we will not be quiet, we will let women speak.’  

A representative from the LGBT charity The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence read aloud the Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, telling the crowd: ‘Rage against the dying of the light – that’s what we have to do here today.

‘We do not have to show our rage with insults, we will respect you the more you put us down, we will show you love, because that is what our community is about – showing love, respect and tolerance.

‘We will not go gently into that good night, we will be here and we will be dancing.’

It comes as support for Scottish independence and the SNP has plummeted amid a furious row over Nicola Sturgeon‘s party and its attitude towards trans sex attackers, a new poll suggests.

Among the counter protest, demonstrators waved banners proclaiming 'love is love' and 'Posie Parker, more like Noise Parker'

Among the counter protest, demonstrators waved banners proclaiming ‘love is love’ and ‘Posie Parker, more like Noise Parker’

One attendee painted their face in the colours of the trans flag, with the words 'no hate' on their cheeks

One attendee painted their face in the colours of the trans flag, with the words ‘no hate’ on their cheeks

Attendees waved flags, danced and sang in support of the right to self-identification. Many were in fancy dress and held up their own signs, with slogans such as 'protect trans kids' and 'love is love'

Attendees waved flags, danced and sang in support of the right to self-identification. Many were in fancy dress and held up their own signs, with slogans such as ‘protect trans kids’ and ‘love is love’

The slightly smaller counter-protest was staged by pro-reform advocates and dubbed Cabaret Against the Hate Speech

The slightly smaller counter-protest was staged by pro-reform advocates and dubbed Cabaret Against the Hate Speech

Support for the country quitting the UK has fallen by six percentage points from 53 per cent to 47 per cent since December, according to a survey carried out in the wake of the Isla Bryson furore.

Backing for the SNP at Holyrood and Westminster has also dropped after the row over Bryson, who was convicted of violent sex attacks on two women while a man called Adam Graham.

Bryson was initially sent to a women’s prison on remand before Ms Sturgeon was forced to intervene to send the violent rapist to a male facility.

But she has since struggled to set out her position on trans offenders, including whether they are male or female. 

The YouGov survey of 1,088 Scottish voters shows support for the party dropped from 50 per cent to 44 per cent in the Holyrood constituency vote and from 40 per cent to 36 per cent in the regional list, when compared to the results of the same poll in December.

SNP support at Westminster dropped marginally from 43 per cent to 42 per cent.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she plans to run the next UK election as a ‘de-facto referendum’ in the hopes of achieving a majority of votes north of the border and securing negotiations on independence.

But the First Minister’s approval rating has also suffered in recent months, dropping from a net of 7 per cent in October to -4 per cent.

Bryson, who committed two rapes while she was a man, was initially housed in segregation at Cornton Vale near Stirling – Scotland’s only all-female prison – before being moved to the male estate after public and political outcry.

The saga led to Scottish Justice Secretary Keith Brown pausing the movement of transgender prisoners into women’s jails if they have a history of violence.

Addressing the roaring crowd in George Square today, Keen said: 'From the bottom of my heart, thank you Nicola Sturgeon!'

Addressing the roaring crowd in George Square today, Keen said: ‘From the bottom of my heart, thank you Nicola Sturgeon!’

Demonstrators take part in the Let Women Speak rally organised by the group Standing for Women in George Square

Demonstrators take part in the Let Women Speak rally organised by the group Standing for Women in George Square

Support for the country quitting the UK has fallen by six percentage points from 53 per cent to 47 per cent since December, according to a survey carried out in the wake of the Isla Bryson furore.

Support for the country quitting the UK has fallen by six percentage points from 53 per cent to 47 per cent since December, according to a survey carried out in the wake of the Isla Bryson furore.

Transgender woman Isla Bryson

Adam Graham pre-transitioning

Byron was convicted of violent sex attacks on two women while a man called Adam Graham, transitioned after being arrested.

Professor John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, told the Sunday Times: ‘While the decline in support for independence is likely to be part of the explanation, it looks as though the battering the Scottish Government has suffered, especially on the issue of transgender prisoners, may also have taken its toll on SNP support.’

The party’s depute leader Keith Brown said: ‘While we take nothing for granted, this poll suggests that the SNP remains by far the most popular party in Scotland, and Nicola Sturgeon is by far the most popular leader.

‘Scotland is an enormously wealthy, resource-rich country – but under Westminster control, we face being part of the worst performing economy in the developed world, with Brexit an unfolding a disaster that is making us all poorer.

‘The fact that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is now fully signed up to the Tory hard Brexit – and indeed backs their refusal to respect Scotland’s right to determine its own future – shows why independence for Scotland is now essential.

‘Independence will mean a proper partnership of equals between Scotland and the rest of the UK instead of ever-tightening Westminster control.’

DailyMail

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