Women protesting the placement of trans-identified males in women’s prisons were met with violence from trans activists yesterday at the Alameda County Courthouse in Oakland, California.
Led by author and women’s rights advocate Kara Dansky, the small group peacefully began their protest on the steps of the courthouse, with the women carrying banners which read “No Men in Women’s Prisons” and “Dana Rivers is a Man.” Some of the demonstrators gave speeches on the importance of keeping prisons sex-segregated for the safety and dignity of female inmates.
The women, most of whom were advocates with Women’s Declaration International USA, had gathered specifically to voice opposition to the possibility that biologically male convicted murderer Dana Rivers may be housed in a women’s prison.
But it wasn’t long before the female protesters were attacked by trans activists who had reportedly arrived with the intention of intimidating them into ending their demonstration.
Speaking to Reduxx, Women’s Liberation Front founder Lierre Keith says the protest had initially been off to a good start — with members of the public expressing support for the women’s signage. But after the group moved their demonstration to the sidewalk across from the courthouse, black-clad trans activists ambushed them.
“Antifa had been lingering for a while. We saw them watching us, but they were afraid to act while we were near the courthouse, presumably because law enforcement is present,” Keith said, noting that the demonstrators had been engaged in conversation with a passerby curious about their protest when the activists struck.
“One man rammed into Kara with an umbrella. Others attacked us by slamming things into our faces and heads. Kara also got eggs smashed into her head and body. There’s a photo of actual blood behind her ear from the force.”
Keith continued that she had “minor” swelling in her eyes from the incident after a whipped cream pie was forcefully thrown at her face.
“It was over really quickly. These things are a blur in the moment. Another man came at us from the other side on a bicycle, trying to knock women down or scare us. He came very close to seriously injuring women.”
The two banners the women had been holding were also targeted, with dramatic footage emerging from the scene of multiple trans activists successfully wrestling the signs from the women. Keith estimates that there were eight trans activists who participated in the assaults, most or all of whom were male.
Keith says that the passerby who had stopped to talk to the group just before the violent attack was “horrified” by what she had witnessed.
“We tried to explain to her then that these are the men who want to get into women’s prisons — violent, abusive misogynists who take delight in hurting women for fun [and] that this has been going for over a decade. Women have lost our ability to speak and gather in public if we disagree with men. The [trans activists] did our job for us. They showed her who they are better than we ever could have!”
Police were contacted immediately following the incident.
Many who had tuned into the Facebook livestream of the event were shocked by the attack, pointing out that the female demonstrators had been there specifically to protest a man convicted of murdering a family.
Dana Rivers, a man who identifies as a transgender woman, was recently found guilty in the triple homicide of a lesbian couple and their son. After a lengthy delay in court proceedings, Rivers was finally convicted last month of murder in the first degree for the 2016 slayings of Charlotte Reed, Patricia Wright, and Benny Diambu-Wright.
Prior to the killings, Rivers was a prominent trans activist known for fighting against “gender discrimination.”
Rivers first gained notoriety in 1999 after he was fired from his job teaching at Center High School in Sacramento County, California, for openly discussing his “sexuality and the importance of gender self-determination” in class with students. Rivers launched a highly-publicized “discrimination” lawsuit and was awarded $150,000 in compensation.
Following the suit, Rivers became a well-known advocate for trans-identified males. He was invited to speak as a guest lecturer at several universities, including Stanford and UC Davis, and served as a Board Member for the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE).
Rivers was also a keynote speaker for the National Center for Lesbian Rights as well as for The Tiffany Club, an organization founded to promote the political interests of those with “gender confusion.”
Rivers was arrested on November 11, 2016 as he was fleeing the home of Wright and Reed. Neighbors had called the police after hearing gunshots sounding from the house.
When authorities arrived, they found Rivers covered in blood and gasoline and running from the property, which had been set ablaze. When officers searched Rivers, they found a bloody screwdriver, a knife, brass knuckles, bullets, pepper spray, and Benny Diambu-Wright’s iPod.
According to police reports, Rivers “began to make spontaneous statements about [his] involvement in the murders” while being arrested. Rivers ultimately confessed to killing the two women and their son, but entered a plea of not guilty on charges of triple homicide in 2017.
The case had first been set for trial in 2019, but was repeatedly delayed in order to accommodate an investigation into Rivers’ mental health. The trial finally began on October 31, and Rivers was convicted just weeks later in mid-November.
The court reconvened on December 5 to begin considerations for Rivers’ insanity claim. If accepted, Rivers will likely be sent to a psychiatric institution rather than a prison. But if rejected, there is a strong possibility Rivers will be placed in a women’s correctional facility in accordance with California state law.
California has one of the most liberal prisons self-identification policies in the country, something that has become a point of contention for women’s rights advocates.
S.B-132, also known as the Transgender Respect, Agency, and Dignity Act, was signed into effect in January of 2021 by California Governor Gavin Newsom. The law provides inmates housing based on their self-declared gender identity status.
The Act has resulted in hundreds of male inmates to issue requests for transfer to women’s institutions, many of whom have been accepted regardless of their legal gender status or conviction history.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, as of November 27, 342 male inmates currently housed in men’s prisons have requested to be moved to a female institution. The Department has previously confirmed to Reduxx that male inmates do not need to be on any hormones or have had any “gender affirming” surgeries in order to be considered for placement in a women’s facility.
Male inmates don’t even need to identify as transgender to request a transfer, and can simply mark themselves as gender non-conforming, non-binary, or not presently utilizing “he/him” pronouns.
Earlier this year, Reduxx reported that a pedophile who had molested a 4-year-old girl had been moved to the California Institution for Women despite having been denied a gender and name change, and still legally being a male.
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