Woman arrested over ‘punch TERFs’ speech at London Trans+ Pride

Sarah Jane Baker during an interview in a room filled with sound foam.

A trans woman has been arrested by Metropolitan Police officers after making a controversial statement at London Trans+ Pride.

A Met Police spokesperson confirmed to PinkNews that a 53-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of incitement to violence, confirmed by friends to have been Sarah Jane Baker.

A speech given by Baker at London Trans+ Pride on 8 July made headlines after she told the crowd of 50,000+ trans activists: “If you see a TERF, punch them in the f**king face.”

TERF refers to a trans exclusionary radical feminist – a subset of feminism which seeks to exclude trans and non-binary people from women’s movements. It’s a term often associated with so-called gender-critical views.

The Met Police confirmed that an individual had been taken into custody on Wednesday (12 July) in connection with the speech. The individual has not been charged at the time of reporting.

A friend of Baker said that they were in communication with her and that her partner was also with the police.

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Her speech was allegedly reported to the Met Police following London Trans+ Pride, but an officer stated that Baker’s call for violence was “hypothetical.”

The Met later confirmed that it had reopened an investigation and that “enquiries remain ongoing’.

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Home secretary Suella Braverman thanked the Met for reinvestigating the “incident”, saying: “I’m sure the police will consider the evidence carefully.”

In a statement days after the speech, London Trans+ Pride organisers said: “We do not condone violence. We do not back a call to arms for violence of any kind. We do condone righteous anger. We have and will continue to march in peace.”

Activists commenting on the arrest argued that it was “hypocritical” to have arrested Baker for her speech, but let anti-trans individuals make similar claims towards trans women.

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