Remember Brianna Ghey – mobilise to end violence against trans people!

The horrendous murder of Brianna Ghey is only the most recent example of the escalating violence against trans people. Amidst this, the Tory party & their media allies are very happy to demonise and ostracise trans people for political gain. Why does capitalism promote the hatred of trans people and other minority groups, and how can we build a movement to challenge it?

By Callum Robinson

With the horror of the recent killing of a teenager, Brinna Ghey, it is important to recognise that this violence has not occurred in a vacuum. It is linked to the rise of transphobic ideas which are taking root in society. Trans people have become a target of the “culture war” of the far right and the political establishment. This is resulting in violent physical attacks as well as more structural violence such as denial of access to life-saving health care and denial of identity.

End the Tories war on Trans people

Since the beginning of 2023, the UK Conservative government has moved to block the Scottish Gender Recognition Bill (GRA) through the use of the section 35 order (for the first time). The Tories’ decision to block GRA reforms emboldened anti-trans discrimination and violence and shore up their reactionary base. They have attempted to impose limits on sex education surrounding trans and non-binary people and expressed contempt for the use of gender-neutral inclusive language.

The dehumanising and demonising rhetoric of the Tory party drives the anti-trans actions performed in the world, on the streets and in homes. The capitalist establishment is inciting violence against a vulnerable minority group  This is gravely reflected in statistics showing that between 2020 and 2021 there was a 16% rise in reported transphobic hate crimes and these are only those which have been reported.

As global capitalism is plunged further into crisis, hate and discriminative violence are on the rise. Capitalism relies on and is characterised by its rigid social order and pre-designated gender roles which it profits from. Oxfam’s research showed that the system saves 10.8 trillion dollars a year from women and girls’ unpaid work. Why would a system driven by profit ever try to fight the very ideas that feed it exactly what it needs? Trans people are a  perceived threat to this exploitative order because trans and non-binary people challenge the rigid gender binary imposed by the capitalist system.

These past years have shown that there is no minority group, except for the rich, which the current system is beyond scapegoating and exploiting. But this shows an important lesson, that all exploitation and oppression have a root cause and that all of us impacted by them have a united struggle: Through solidarity amongst workers, of all gender identities, sexual orientations, ethnicities etc, meaningful change can be won. The working class is immensely strong if united.

Despite the seemingly endless cruelty and vitriol which caused the death of Brianna and many more people like her, all is not dark. Today, one in four people in Britain is close to a trans person and more agree (46%) than disagree (32%) that a trans man is a man and a trans woman is a woman. There has been an outpouring of grief over Brianna’s murder , shared by so many, who want for a better world and true liberation from oppression. We will not be divided and we must fight to prevent more deaths. Not one more.

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