Writer Meghan Murphy speaks at an event in a Toronto Library on Tuesday October 29, 2019. The organizer of a panel discussion on gender and sexuality says the location of the event in Vancouver has been changed over possible security risks because of the views of a featured speaker who drew protests at a Toronto public library this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Protesters gather at gender identity speaker’s Vancouver talk despite location switch

Some protesters carried signs proclaiming that ‘Trans rights are human rights’

Dozens of protesters gathered outside the venue of a panel discussion on gender and sexuality — the location of which was kept secret until shortly before the event due to security concerns.

Police stood in front of the doors of the Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel where the talk took place in an event space and prevented a group of peaceful protesters from entering.

They chanted, played music and held up signs — sometimes making noise loud enough to be heard three floors up when the event doors would open.

Some protesters carried signs proclaiming that “Trans rights are human rights” and “Trans women are women.”

The event was originally scheduled to take place at Simon Fraser University, but was moved after the senior director of campus security said there was a high safety concern.

The talk included Meghan Murphy, a freelance writer who opposes trans rights, saying they threaten the rights of cisgender women.

Her talk at a Toronto library at the end of October drew several hundred protesters, and the Toronto Public Library faced intense criticism for booking the room to the hosts.

Ticketholders to the Vancouver event learned of the new location at the Pan Pacific Vancouver hotel in an email.

The message assured attendees that a combination of hotel and the event’s security, as well as a police presence “will make this a safe event.”

Temporary gates were erected to prevent unauthorized access to the space, while several police officers and private security workers were on hand. They checked the bags of people allowed in.

Inside, the event went mostly undisturbed. After the talk concluded, attendees were escorted through a different exit in an effort to avoid protesters.

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The Canadian Press


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