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'Observer', 'Guardian' offices subject of transgender rights protest

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The Guardian Media Group's offices in North London were picketed on Thursday by protesters from the transgender movement.

The group owns The Observer, which published Julie Burchill's controversial blog about transsexuals last Sunday.

Julie Burchill transsexual column in The Observer

© The Observer

Julie Burchill

© Rex Features / Tom Oldham



The vigil was organised by transsexual blogger Sarah Savage, who deemed The Observer's apology for the Burchill piece insufficient.

The Facebook page for the protest states: "We seek a full apology from the paper, and reassurance that they will take steps to ensure that the Guardian Media Group's publications will never again be used as a platform for hate speech.

"We are aware of The Observer's withdrawal of Burchill's article from their website, but feel that this response does not give adequate reassurance that the paper will not publish transphobic content in future."

On her blog, Savage laid out her aims for the protest further, saying: "I want a palpable change in the way trans people are represented in the press and media.

"I want an actual commitment from leading members of the media agreeing that they will never again publish transphobic views. I want the media to stop devaluing and undermining trans people."

Savage later claimed on Twitter that over 150 people attended the vigil. Many carried signs with slogans such as, "I am my brain not my genitals" and, "Transphobia kills".

The Observer removed Burchill's offending piece after the controversy, with editor John Mulholland conceding that the paper "got it wrong" by publishing the article.

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