Equality lessons: protests turn ugly as UK LGBT activists are targeted

Equality lessons: protests turn ugly as UK LGBT activists are targeted May 20, 2019

LGBT activists, mainly female, were reportedly pelted with eggs last night when they came to support staff at Birmingham’s Anderton Park Primary school where staff are under siege by mainly Muslim zealots who do not want their children to be exposed to equality lessons.

Image via Facebook

Chief rabble-rouser, Shakeel Afsar, above, who has been coordinating homophobic demonstrations outside the school, accused the pro-equality activists as “provocative”, saying they had turned up at nightfall to disturbing residents and cause intimidation by putting up rainbow flags and “inflammatory” messages.

In a series of tweets he accused the group of being “vandalisers” who had provoked residents by arriving during Ramadan as most residents were about to mark iftar, the breaking of the fast.

Honor Bridgman, one of the protest organisers, said the group’s intention was to drape banners and messages on the school gates so staff at the school would know they had the backing of people in the city who supported their equality stance.

Image courtest of Tracy A

The group of around 12 women and one man, all from the LGBT community, say they came under attack while quietly putting up banners, pom-poms and heart shaped messages, including rainbow flags, on the school fence. Some were in tears after the incident.

Tracy, 49, said she felt “scared and intimidated” after a group of men gathered in the street, several arriving in cars, told them to get out of their community and chanted slogans.

It was awful. I was shaking. We had no intention of disturbing anyone – we were putting up the banners and messages we had made to show solidarity with staff. We wanted them to see something positive when they turned up for work, and to see they had our backing.

Police arrived after the women and nearby residents made 999 calls. The group said they feared for their safety.

Most of the artwork has since been ripped down.

Officers took statements from those still present when they arrived and told the group they will view videos and CCTV to try to identify any culprits responsible for the assaults.

One of the protesters who targeted the school. Image via YouTube.

The incident occurred amid daily protests opposing the school’s teaching of messages of LGBT equality to its mainly Muslim pupils.

And it came on the eve of a threatened mass withdrawal of pupils at the school in the increasingly bitter dispute. That walkout is due to take place today, Monday May 20.

Honor Bridgman said:

We turned up when we did in the hope they would still be there in the morning. We have stood by and observed these protests for weeks. We felt we wanted to do something, in a loving way. We have consciously not organised counter-protests as we feel that would make matters worse.

She said she had previously turned up at the anti-gay protests with cupcakes to hand out to protestors.

We did not want a confrontation. We wanted to quietly do what we were doing, and leave.

Honor and Tracy were from the Birmingham group SEEDS (Supporting Education of Equality and Diversity in Schools), a voluntary group that seeks to build bridges between schools and the parents who oppose equality teaching.

They say they sought – and were given – prior permission from the school to put up their artwork.

One local resident contacted BirminghamLive to say the night’s events had left him shaken.

The resident said four houses in the street had rainbow flags in windows as a silent support for the school in the wake of the ongoing protests but some were taken down last night in case of further trouble.

He added that the LGBT group were “incredibly intimidated” at one point and were trying to leave the street but were blocked in by the large group of men.

Eventually they managed to get out as a group but a couple of them were trapped as they were parked near to where the men were congregating. Around this point some of the posters and artwork were torn down.

He said Shakeel Afsar also started up chants.

Other community activists took to social media to show their support for the Muslim residents affected.

Javed Aqbal, a community and charity worker, posted on Twitter:

Why come out at night time to a venue where the community tensions are at a boiling point already. Far right attacks on high alert … especially in Ramadan we are told to be vigilant. Why do such an act. Its puzzling.

The situation at the school has been simmering for six weeks, with almost daily protests at the gates at home time, led by the troublemaker Shakeel Afsar, a property agent who runs Afsar Investment’s (sic) Ltd.

Afsar says he is backed by nearly 300 of the school’s parents who, like him, want the school to suspend LGBT books and discussions, which he says offend most of the school’s mainly Muslim parents.

Protestors claim they are not homophobic or against LGBT rights, but do not want their children to be told it is OK to be gay, or learn that some families have two mums or two dads.

But one, Abdul Ghaffar, said his children went to other local schools but he lived locally and owned a bed shop nearby.

My six-year-old son came home from school and said to me: ‘Could I be gay?’ I was shocked. It’s not right. I told him if that was the case he need not come back home. He’s not having my title. I told him if I had been gay he would not be here.

Another said he lived locally but did not have children at the school:

Our children go to school to learn maths and science, not learn this rubbish. They will have no future if they don’t learn the right things.

Last week one protestor, interviewed on Sky News, explained that being LGBT was:

Not acceptable in Islam. God created man, then he created women for man’s pleasure and companionship – not another man.

ITV screenshot

That comment sparked a huge reaction. School head teacher Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson, above, responded on Twitter:

Not this woman, or any of the women in my school, or any of the girls. This is why we have laws on equality. What shameful words and behaviour that have been invited onto the pavements of my lovely school.

Birmingham City Council has stood with the school through the protests.

Councillor John Cotton, cabinet member for communities, said:

These views are despicable, discriminatory and sexist. The people voicing them so noisily do not speak for Birmingham or any of its communities. We reject their prejudice and intolerance. I will leave no stone unturned in this fight and together we must stop this.

Yardley MP Jess Phillips added:

This school is minutes from my home and these people are miles away from representing the people where I live. Love and tolerance will out but only if we stand against hate.

Moseley Labour councillor Kerry Jenkins said the head teacher had the full support of the city council, and the school was merely fulfilling its legal duties under the Equalities Act.
We have asked West Midlands Police and the school to comment on last night’s events.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • rubaxter

    Gosh, give Afsar wanker-glasses, lose the chin pubes, and you get a tanned Rhys-Mogg, secretly wanting to burn Protestants.

  • Anat

    God created man, then he created women for man’s pleasure and companionship

    That part alone brings up so much rage just to think of it.

  • barriejohn

    Shakeel Afsar = A hassle freak

    Who’ll be the first to out him?

  • Barry Duke

    His expression says “oooh, I never knew a butt-plug could feel so good!”

  • Gord O’Mitey

    Hi, it’s yer lovin’ Lord Gord here, eh. I gotta pull the plug on that ther canard, that I created woman to serve man. I created man in My feckin’ image, eh. An’ I admit I’m a feckin’ feckless Gord, so I needed another sex to keep things on an even track, eh.

    An’ that bit ’bout Me bein’ a feckin’ biological male, eh. It don’t make no feckin’ sense. So, I gotta admit, woman exists in her own right.

  • Foxglove

    “Let children be children.”

    OK. Does that mean you’re not going to indoctrinate them with any religious nonsense? You’re just going to let them be children, right?

  • Foxglove

    Excuse me, Lord Gord, but the way I heard it, the reason you made man first was that you needed a rough draft. Do you care to comment?

  • Gord O’Mitey

    Yeah, but not that feckin’ rough, eh. But what could I expect, makin’ man in My feckin’ image, eh? Well, I’ll tell ya My excuse, eh. I wus made in the image of man*, so it’s no feckin’ wonder I’m defective.

    * More specifically, I wus made in the image of feckin’ Bronze Age war lords. That explains it all, eh.

  • Raymond Metcalfe

    They have shown themselves as backward homophobes just by there comments poor kids will tread the same backward path as there parents if the parents are allowed to have there way. If any of those kids are gay and try to come out in such a community then I fear for them greatly

  • Foxglove

    Have you ever considered attending one of those groups where people talk about their feelings, let it all out, that sort of thing? Maybe that would help smooth a few of your rough edges.

  • KenderJ

    “But one, Abdul Ghaffar, said his children went to other local schools but he lived locally and owned a bed shop nearby.

    My six-year-old son came home from school and said to me: ‘Could I be gay?’ I was shocked. It’s not right. I told him if that was the case he need not come back home. He’s not having my title. I told him if I had been gay he would not be here.”

    So, he admits to being a child abuser….not that anybody is going to help Abdul’s children.

  • barriejohn

    These views are despicable, discriminatory and sexist. The people voicing them so noisily do not speak for Birmingham or any of its communities.

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that, myself.

    The head teacher has now received threatening emails and phone calls:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-48339080

    Probably just being “vigilant” during Ramadan!

  • Gord O’Mitey

    Nahhhh, but thanks fer yer concern, eh. I don’t need none o’ that ther feckin’ psychobabble shit, eh. Yer see, up here in Heaven, I got ranks of Angels, scads of Saints, a host of the Elect, an’ tons of feckin’ do-gooders singin’ My praises, 24/7, eh. I mean, that’s gotta be good fer the feckin’ ego, eh.

  • Jim Jones

    And in any case, men are modified women, not the reverse.

  • Rodger

    while Lewis Wolpert suggests that we all start as female, because the egg is female, the egg is not the start of the baby, it does not start until it is fertilised. This makes the embryo either male or female depending on the x or y chromosome brought by the sperm, so the embryo is always one sex or the other at conception, except in a few cases.

  • Rodger

    “Let children be children” I totally agree stop filling their heads with hatred and superstitious ideas about imaginary beings who want them to sacrifice themselves for a non existent, invisible being who hates most of the people of the world.

  • The protesters just keep proving exactly why equality education is needed, don’t they?

  • Jim Jones

    Nipples.

  • Foxglove

    I understand completely. Sure, down here below, in my own modest way, I have plenty to say about you, so we all contribute as best we can.

  • rubaxter

    I took that as a double edged sign.

    Unfortunately, Irony is a tool of the educated.

    And, to the sign holder, BT(F)W, why are the kids in school if we’re leaving them be kids? Is it too hard to teach kids to be nice to all other kids, as opposed to they need to want to kill some of them?

  • rubaxter

    When you ‘let children be children’ you end up with Uday and Qusay Hussein …, and Uday and Qusay Trump …

  • persephone

    And they wonder why there are atheists. And they demand that we show respect to their religion. I’m stuck, because of the Constitution, having to tolerate these idiots, but there’s nothing in it that requires me to show them respect.

    Also, entirely sick to death of the commenters who say, “Well, if you’d just read [our holy book] you would understand why you are wrong and we are right.” Nope.

  • Rodger

    Although nipples do not quite have the same function in males and females they are still erogenous zones and can reach erection easily. They have also been known to produce milk on occasion. We also have an appendix with no obvious reason. Just because we have no apparent reason for having one does not mean that evolution removes them. It also does not support the reasoning that we are born female but develop into males, as I stated before an egg is not a viable person every month they are expelled fo this very reason.

  • Jim Jones

    Actually, there is an argument that the appendix serves a purpose. Something, something bacteria for the guts.

  • Rodger

    That was my point exactly. Just because you cannot see an obvious reason for something does not make it useless. Males having nipples does not show that we originated as females.

  • DingoJack

    Actually you’re not quite right.
    If SRY genes are damaged or their function is blocked, all humans formed will be functionally & developmentally female, if they aren’t, only the genetically male humans formed will be male, genetically female humans will be female.
    Without functioning SRY genes, the cascade to ‘maleness’ doesn’t occur and ‘femaleness’ is always the result.
    The ‘default’ sex, in developmental terms, is female.

  • Rodger

    The STY gene is located on the Y chromosome therefore only fertilised eggs destined to be male will have the gene. Abnormalities on this chromosome lead different development of the embryo. I could find nothing that showed they ended up as female or that this was the default case. (https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/SRY#conditions) could you please send a pointer to the information you have as I am interested in reading about this.

  • DingoJack

    See Complete Androgen Intolerance Syndrome as an example of ‘maleness’ development cascade failure leading to a genetically male but developmentally female individual.

  • Rodger

    Still only showing cases where there is a problem with development, not that the default is female.

  • DingoJack

    *sigh*
    Go and think about it.