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Unite to achieve trans liberation!

Trans demo manchester
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Ashley Walker

Working class people, transgender people and gender non-binary people must unite to achieve trans liberation!

The liberation of transgender and gender non-binary people would help liberate us all, by challenging and helping to shatter the patriarchal and bigoted capitalist system we currently live in.

The British government has recently launched two attacks on transgender and gender non-binary people, these being proposing to ban conversion therapy only on the basis of sexual orientation and not gender identity, and a recent announcement by health minister Sajid Javid of a review of NHS services offered to transgender and/or gender non-binary young people.

These attacks by the government are clearly motivated with several purposes, especially when put in the context of a growing British movement to attack, demonise and ultimately remove rights away from transgender and gender non-binary people.

One of which will be a typical tactic of many governments when faced with criticism, in this case over so called ‘partygate’, their disgusting plan to send people seeking refuge and to migrate to Britain, to Rwanda, and their response to the cost-of-living crisis, in order to try and distract people from these things, they launch either into a populist attack on something or some group, or an attempt to pander to some populist demand.

Another motivation behind these attacks will be pandering to the current Conservative government’s traditional base of support among bigots, far-right supporters, socially conservative religious groups and an attempt to pander to the British political alliance between far-right bigots and anti-transgender feminists.

The motivation of members of the government’s own personal bigotry, ignorance and hatred of transgender and gender non-binary people should not be underestimated either.

In order to shore up support among these groups and distract from their own failures the government have decided to attack an already incredibly oppressed group of people, as they have done so in the past, are doing so now and always will do so in the future. These kinds of divide and rule tactics are a hallmark of capitalist governments.

Meanwhile, the opposition parties such as Labour under Keir Starmer, offer only tepid words as support for the demands and needs of transgender and gender non-binary people. They may condemn conversion therapy, and they may say some nice-sounding words around supporting transgender and gender non-binary people, but ultimately, they do very little to nothing to offer any kind of real practical political support to them.

The attack on transgender and gender non-binary people is meant to divide the working class and divert their struggle against capitalism. We need to build a movement on the streets both to defend against any attack on transgender and gender non-binary people and to build a unity in struggle against all discrimination which more often than not comes from capitalist governments and bosses.

In the face of these attacks and more it is clearly the duty of all socialists to as vigorously as they are able defend and support transgender and gender non-binary people in countering these attacks, protecting their current rights and material conditions and campaigning to improve their rights and material conditions across British and international society.

The socialist political current has a long and proud history of standing with and supporting groups of oppressed people in doing so. In fact, in the view of the ISL if someone does not support all oppressed groups of people in seeking to defend themselves from attacks, protect their rights and material conditions and struggle to improve their rights and material conditions, then that person has no right to call themselves a socialist.

Without equality there can be no socialism and without socialism there can be no equality!

If a person reading this article seeks to understand the current situation transgender and gender non-binary people find themselves in, and their struggle to improve their rights and material conditions then they should look at Shon Faye’s excellent book The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice.

In this book Shon Faye excellently goes through the current situation of transgender and gender non-binary people in the UK and lists the social, political and economic rights and material conditions they should seek to protect and improve.

Based upon these and more we call for the following demands to protect and improve the rights and material conditions of transgender and gender non-binary people, and ultimately all working-class people, indeed it must be noted the vast majority of transgender and gender non-binary people are working class, the struggles of both these groups of people are ultimately in a socialist political view absolutely linked with each other:

  • The complete banning with no exceptions of conversion therapy on every single conceivable basis, conversion therapy is no less than legalised torture.
  • The protecting and expanding of NHS services for all transgender and gender non-binary people, done so under the compassionate guidance of doctors and healthcare workers, in cooperation with transgender and gender non-binary people, not cruel and corrupt capitalist politicians.
  • The complete overhaul of British gender recognition laws to allow the easy, quick, free and effective self-identification of a person’s legally recognised gender identity, which must include the ability to use any or no gender recognition markers on any and all identification and documents.
  • For a nation-wide, comprehensive, well-funded and community-based strategy and program to identify the causes of and ultimately eliminate all hate crime and violent crime from British society.
  • For a nation-wide, comprehensive, well-funded and community-based strategy and program to identify the causes of and ultimately eliminate all homelessness from British society.
  • For the complete overhaul of the British justice system, to remove any and all oppressive, bigoted and discriminatory practises, this must include a comprehensive program to immediately reform and ultimately abolish the carceral system, which does not protect people, does not deter crime and does nothing but increase human misery. It must also include a complete rethinking of how crime in general is handled in British society and an ultimate moving away from law enforcement as we know it towards more community and prevention-based methods.
  • For the full and complete funding, and where needed reform led by service users and workers, of all healthcare, social care, domestic violence, education and social security services in Britain, while simultaneously also reforming them to ensure eliminating bias, bigotry and discrimination in any way, shape or form within these services are at their heart.
  • For the expansion of laws and funding to eliminate any and all bias, bigotry and discrimination in all British workplaces, as well as fully funded, compassionate and comprehensive programs to help those who wish to work but face difficulties in finding safe, reliable and well-paid work, especially in the industries they wish to do so. This must include the removal of any and all anti-trade union legislation, and the massive expansion and protection of workers’ rights.
  • For the decriminalisation but not legalisation of sex work in Britain in order to protect and aid any and all people engaged in such work. How exactly this should be done should be led by sex workers themselves. As well as the supporting of any and all workers who wish to form trade unions to protect their workers’ rights.
  • For the complete overhaul of the British migration system, to be based on compassion, respect and genuinely helping people who wish to migrate to and from Britain. This should include the complete abolishing of all detention centres, offshore systems such as the government’s plan to ship migrant people to Rwanda and end all policies of punishing or deterring migrant people, as well as the expansion and protection of legal migration pathways. In addition, eliminating any and all bias, bigotry and discrimination within the migration system must be at its heart.

We are socialists, we believe in the ultimate revolutionary overthrow of capitalism, and its replacement with socialism, in this while we accept and support, that concessions on some or all of these demands we call for can technically be achieved within the current capitalist system, ultimately the only way to fully and properly achieve them all will most likely be the working class and oppressed people of Britain uniting together to destroy capitalism and replace it with socialism.

For without socialism there can be no equality and without equality there can be no socialism!

Note 1: conversion therapy is the practise of assuming one sexual orientation and/or gender identity is inherently better than any other and trying to alter a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity to what those practising conversion therapy deem the ‘correct’ ones, usually heterosexual and cisgender respectively.

Note 2: equality here in this document means the complete economic, social and political equality of all people within a society, and the ending of all economic, social and political oppression.

Note 3: socialism here in this document refers to the overthrowing of the current capitalist economic, social and political system and its replacement with a socialist economic, social and political system.

Note 4: trans liberation in the title of this document is used as short hand for the liberation, from all the oppression they face in their lives, of all transgender and gender non-binary people.

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