It was with great sadness that I resigned my position on the Green Party Regional Council and left the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW), having been a member for 8 years, in May 2021. I come from a human rights background acting as an advocate standing up for the rights of vulnerable groups of people. I had quite a high profile in Lewisham - having worked collaboratively with other groups of people on the Stop TTIP campaign and the Save Tidemill campaign. I stood in Lewisham local elections 3 times, and in the General Election 2019 (Lewisham Deptford). I was the London Federation AGM Coordinator for about 5 years, and worked on education policy for a year.
Until I stood in the General Election in 2019, I had no idea of the toxicity bubbling underneath the Green Party regarding Trans Rights Activists (TRA's) viewing anyone who stands up for women's rights as being 'Transphobic'. When I pledged my support for A Woman's Place manifesto (among a host of other pledges such as support for the Future Generations Bill etc) in the last General Election I was shocked that people in my own party piled on me on Twitter calling me a bigot and transphobic!
This harassment and bullying from within then continued and reached epic proportions when I stood for Deputy Leader on a platform of increasing engagement in the party, the need for a Women's Rights policy, and encouraging members to vote in more Greens of Colour.
When I put myself forward as a candidate for GPRC London Rep, the online abuse started again and the Elections Coordinator for the London Regional Green Party (Stephan Liberadzki, complicit with Colin Boyle the Coordinator)) tried to avoid counting the vote (as I had won by a slim margin) and attempted to re-run the election again to get a different result!
They both ignored my complaints about lack of due process and had allowed Danny Keeling who identified as a man in the 2019 General Election to put his name forward for the female rep role. I found out shortly after this that Stephan himself had called me transphobic on Twitter during the GPEX Elections 2020 as well! Colin’s view of the abuse and harassment was that it was “fair comment”!
As a GPRC rep I saw how the complaints system was being abused to continually suspend 'Gender Critical members.' This view that Women's rights is 'Transphobic' is being continually touted by the current leadership of Sian/Jonathan/Ameila/Liz Reason (Green Party Executive Chair) and the CEO Mary Clegg. It was Sian Berry and Caroline Russell who spoke against my motion at Conference to have a women's rights section (supported by Baroness Jenny Jones) put under the Green Party's Rights and Responsibilities, declaring the motion to be "transphobic and trans-exclusionary."
Following Conference, our Co-Leader Sian Berry, was crowing on Twitter that she had defeated the Women's Rights motion as if this was a good thing! This action on Sian's part was both undignified, and irresponsible. I have known both Sian and Caroline Russell (both of whom I used to have high regard for), for a number of years as I have worked alongside them in London on various campaigns.
By wrongly repeating 'Trans Activist' rhetoric and mantras about women's rights being transphobic they continue to fuel division, and incite toxicity within our party - making it an unhealthy place for any member who dares to support women's rights as set out in the UN Convention against the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women. (Ratified by the UK Government in 1986 - see: https://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/cedaw.htm)
It states that parties agree to take all appropriate measures, including legislation and temporary special measures, so that women can enjoy all their human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Convention is the only human rights treaty which affirms the reproductive rights of women and targets culture and tradition as influential forces shaping gender roles and family relations. It affirms women's rights to acquire, change or retain their nationality and the nationality of their children. It also states parties also agree to take appropriate measures against all forms of traffic in women and the exploitation of women."
I had already raised the issue of increasing levels of harassment and toxicity towards women and anyone who supports women's rights within the Green Party at the GPRC meeting in March saying that we need to have "a full, frank and open discussion about the ever-increasing levels of intolerance towards Green Party members who speak up for women's rights.”
This conversation about the divisions and toxicity within our party is long overdue as it is currently tearing the party apart. GPRC, GPEX and the CEO have a shared responsibility to ensure that the Green Party of England and Wales is adhering to UK law - both the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) as well as the Equality Act 2010 - which sets out protection for sex-based discrimination.
Prior to Conference I alerted members to the LGBTIQA+ group claiming that the Women's Rights motions were against Green Party values - this was untrue, and used as a propaganda tool to create yet more hatred against women's rights whilst gathering support for the E03 Self-ID motion which impedes upon women's rights to single-sex services, and also the E05 Recognise Trans Parents Motion which ignores Article 12 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child which again the UK ratified in 1990.
Under our Rights and Responsibilities policy RR201 - GPEW states "Accepting interconnectedness means that individuals and groups share rights to equitable status, treatment and freedoms. The Phiilosophical Basis of the party (PB303/304) states that the “legitimate interests of all people are of equal value.” The Green Party rejects all forms of discrimination whether based on race, colour, sex, religion, national origin, social origin or any other prejudice. The Green Party promotes the implementation of policies which protect human rights and rejects all forms of exploitation for any purpose whatsoever.' CEDAW is one of 9 UN Conventions that make up Universal Human Rights.
Under the Equality Act 2010 there are 9 Protected characteristics and the Green Party only has policies for 8 of them: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; sexual orientation; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief (limited to Traveller's rights), but, nothing on sex (based rights for women linked to CEDAW/or the UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against women).
We all know that women continue to be discriminated against based upon their sex - only 26% of women in the House of Lords & 34% of female MP's (hence the 50:50 campaign to aim to have 50% of female MP's in Parliament: https://5050parliament.co.uk/) which I was the GPEW representative for (and resigned from after the Conference motion fell); 3-4 women are killed by men in the UK every week; 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime; 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault during her lifetime; in 2018 6,500 women and girls reported FGM; women and girls are subjected to trafficking for sexual exploitation, and there are only 5% of female CEO's in the top 100 UK companies.
GPRC need to do something about this before more and more women (and men) feel they can no longer in all conscience stay in the party - one of the latest resignations is of Cllr Dom Armstrong who has made this statement on Facebook here:
If you have been sitting on the fence on this issue, or if you have been put under the spell of the Trans Rights Movement (which make no mistake about it is being funded by Big Pharma who have a vested interest in the drugs used as part of the Transition process) then I would urge you to listen to evidence given this week by:
Graham Linehan at the Communications and Digital Committee Tuesday 9 March 2021:
I look forward to supporting a kind and open discussion about these issues to try to find some resolve for the party going forward.
The final straw for me was a report to GPEX by the CEO in May 2021 - stating that "women's rights infringe upon Trans rights." I spoke with a couple of colleagues before the GPEX meeting to bring this to their attention - because even as a GPRC colleague I would have been barred from raising this issue in a GPEX meeting! I emailed Martha James one of the Co-Chairs asking her to question this report which was wrong in law (Equality Act/CEDAW/HRA) and this would have been a valid and objective reason for the intervention given that GPRC have a duty of care to ensure that the `Party is in line with UK Law!
A couple of GPEX members made representations regarding the invalidity of the statement the CEO had made but Liz Reason allowed it to go to a vote and the majority of people on GPEX voted in favour - against both the law, but primarily as they saw it, against Gender Critical members and in particular women in the Green Party/Green Party Women.
I left the Green Party because I could not bear to be part of this unjust, punitive system a minute longer! When I didn't agree with the continuation of suspensions and voted against most of these suspensions bar two - one related to harassment and one related to a member using sexually explicit materials at some meeting (both of these in my view are the real kinds of cases which justify suspension), a complaint was put in about me and efforts to get me removed from GPRC.
I complained to GPRC and the CEO, but nothing much was done and no action has been taken to support Women Rights under the Equality Act either - in fact by letting GPEX hold this 'vote' in support of Mary Clegg's statement GPEX has cemented the Trans Rights focus of the GPEW.
The Automatic suspension system is not fit for purpose, there is no right to reply, if you make any representations against your suspension your rep can choose whether to speak for you or not!; it is a system that supports injustice and allows prejudice to be supported.
I will still keep campaigning on the Environment, Climate Change, social justice and women's/children's rights issues which are close to my heart, and I wanted to thank everyone who supported me when I was in the party trying to bring about positive change.
I can only hope that the new leadership will bring equality and unity to all members in the party.
Andrea Carey-Fuller is a former member of the Green Party of England and Wales and Green Left.
The need for powerful action on climate and ecological emergency grows more urgent by the day yet the Green Party constantly diverts its energies onto peripheral identity politics. Thank you Andrea Carey-Fuller for setting out this tragic tale of bullying and missed opportunities. The Greens will miss your integrity and tireless campaigning energies.ReplyDelete
I am so sorry that Andrea has received such appalling treatment from trans ideology zealots in the Green Party. I applaud her in making it publicly known. Abuse flourishes in secrecy, and the only way to combat it is to get it out in the open.ReplyDelete
That is an appalling catalogue. I do not support the 'Green Left' but it is good that you have given publicity to these shameful story.ReplyDelete
Where are the transfeminists in the Green Party of England and Wales?ReplyDelete
Andrea is one of the latest to bear witness to the decline of progressive thought and behaviour at the national level of our Party and the presence of mean-minded ,socially ignorant forces debilitating and distracting the Party's time and energy.ReplyDelete
But ,I think we also need to remember, that though Green Party members have had to suffer regressive forces within robbing it of its rightful measures of attention to the priorities of climate change & biodiversity loss and also away from addressing major social disadvantages as evidenced by foodbanks, lack of affordable childcare etc. , the vast majority of Local Party members are still focused on these priorities.
Unfortunately too many of those elected to Leadership and Governance (though not all) in recent years have colluded if not openly supported unevidenced and distorted identity politics concerns to the detriment of the Party's raison
Its been sad to see sound people like Andrea and Dee leave but clearly the disarray at national level will continue until Leadership ,Governance ,management and staff employment is put back on a sound ecological and progressive footing
It is interesting that this relatively trivial story (a woman in an almost irrelevantly small English political party resigns because the party leadership rightly rejects her trans-hating views) gains a lot of comments, while previous stories about far more important topics gain few or none. It perhaps shows that identity politics distracts many on the left from getting on with the real work of building a mass movement to transform society.ReplyDelete
As for this woman's views, it's perhaps better for the Green party if she stays away and keeps her harmful opinions to herself. Trans people are no risk to cis women, whether in segregated spaces or elsewhere. If that were not so, where is the evidence?
The issue is not trans-hating as you put it, it is defending women's rights. No more of that language please.Delete
We're getting very used to this rhetorical ploy - insisting that a piece about women's rights is actually all about transphobia. It's not going to work any more.Delete
"Trans people are no risk to cis women. Where is the evidence?"Delete
Off the top of my head, and this not the only case:
At least as far as proponents of gender self ID are concerned, Karen White was a trans woman at the time, despite some now trying to claim White wasn't.
Though if it's aegued White wasn't "really" trans that rather concedes the point that sex offenders - likely without a hint of gender dysphoria - are identifying as trans with nefarious intent.
So sad to see that another really good green has been targeted and has left. I live in hope that the next leader/s will unite the party back to its holistic roots, and facilitate mature debate and thinking. Andrea's contributions to the GP was solid, well informed and intelligent, just what the GP needs to move into the positions where we will make a difference, alas we are failing to attract the very best because of these school ground vendettas.ReplyDelete
I joined the party in 1989 because of feminism - and I've remained a feminist all my life, AND a staunch GP member - I'm a Life Member and have stood 13 times in locals.ReplyDelete
I'm devastated that some 'loud' elements within the party are preventing debate. I support the rights of anyone to choose a different gender role than society 'expects' and understand that some of the people who are identifying as gender non-conforming, genderqueer, agender etc may, like me, be against gender stereotyping. However, in a diverse society, we need to accept that some people will use gender stereotypes to feel comfortable, both cisgender and transgender people. We must recognise the difference between sex and gender, and find a way to accommodate both in our understanding of this complex (and sadly, divisive) subject.
In the meantime, I will continue being supportive and kind to my trans and enby friends and family, and will continue to fight for women's equality, as for too long women have suffered at the hands of the patriarchy and sexist discrimination.
The Labour party is going ever more right ...the Green Party is becoming a ridiculous caricature and donating ammunition to the right ...the planet is burning ...we iz fucked manReplyDelete
I am a Green Party Member and the coordinator in South Norfolk if Andrea wants to come and join us she will be extremely welcome unfortunately there is a Green Trans Militant Tendency trying to impose its narrow views upon the rest of us. Everyone has rights including women who have differing views to those trans who believe that only their views count. Lets be honest there will be no rights on a dead planet, which the trans militant tendency fail to understand or really dont give a damn about. If that upsets those who want to narrow down the membership to a group of small minded bigots so be it, personally I feel you should sod off and form your own party of narrow minded bigots like UKIP/ Brexit or Reform perhaps Nigel Farage would like to lead your group as you would no doubt fit in. So that you bigots can find me I am the South Norfolk Green Party Coordinator. Lets bring this to a conclusion should the bigots control the party for a narrow group or should it be for the ordinary member who actually cares about changing society for the good of us all and saving us from catastrophe.If you bigots want my membership number please ask for it so we can fight this out for the 'soul' of the Green Party once and for all.ReplyDelete
This is very upsetting to hear. Unfortunately it mirrors the implosion of the UK labour party which was brought about by members trying to sabotage Jeremy Corbyn by accusing him of antisemitism. It all hinges on consensus about definitions and it is obvious that those in power can use the media To distort the meaning of those definitions so that they can ask anybody they don’t like. And there are powerful players behind the scenes tweaking public opinion.ReplyDelete
It is also clear that none of these political parties really have democratic mechanisms in place. Painful!
I hope Andrea alongside other Climate Justice activists come back to the Green Party. They are sorely needed.ReplyDelete
This is madness of our own making. These people are toxic and simple minded people seem to go along with them.ReplyDelete
20 years from now I suggest practically all Women's Olympic records and International sports teams will contain NOT ONE individual who was born female. Come on Ladies stand up for your rights. You've let in something that will eat everything.
Andrea Carey-Fuller: The best leader the Green Party never hadReplyDelete
Greens can never make it beyond the margins because their ideological belief system pisses off most voters, which is a huge shame because the environment is the biggest agenda on the planet. But it needs a middle-of-the-road party to capture a sufficient demographic to get it over the line and get the ecological policy moving a lot faster than it is now.ReplyDelete
But the thing is that a woke party like The Greens doesn't really need a democratic base at all, because the humanities trained woke ascendancy that it represents already controls most of the apparatus of social administration and pedagogy, and can bypass democratic politics altogether, to do to society what Maggie Thatcher failed to do, which is to destroy it, using an unrepresentative swill of regime apparatchiks committed to fantasy identity politics and postmodernist blather.
The sad thing for gender critical feminists like Kirsten is there really isn't anywhere to go, except to start again from scratch at the grass roots, not be too puritanically fussy and build new constituencies around basic ideas that are not, as Lenin would have put it, an infantile, idealist and petty bourgeois disorder that spans everything from self indulgent adolescent fantasizing to straightjacket asylum material.
I vote for the Greens nothwithstanding, but doing so is like doing lines for the awful Dolores Umbridge, using her torture pen. I really hate doing it, but everyone else goes weak at the knees as soon as they hit a ecological speed bump that might slow the system down for five minutes....
For the record, some comments from both sides of the argument, have deleted for inflaming this debate further, than it needs to be.ReplyDelete