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Trans Rights Rally at the Scottish Parliament - How To Protest Peacefully and Safely

As you may be aware, the Equality Network and the Scottish Trans Alliance are organising a rally for trans rights outside the Scottish Parliament on June 12th from 12:15-13:15pm.  

It’s important to be aware that this is not an LGBT Youth Scotland event. Soif you would like to go, you would be going as an independent individual who would be responsible for your safety. However, if something were to happen on the day and you needed help from a youth worker, there will be a sessional member of staff there wearing an LGBT Youth Scotland t-shirt for you to talk to. 

The main purpose of the rally is to show support for trans people’s rights and to have a platform to positively and progressively represent trans people. The rally should show MSPs that trans equality is a vital piece in making Scotland the best place in the world for young LGBTI people 

It is quite likely that there will be a counter-protest held at the same time.  It is important the everyone has a right to protest, even although we may not agree with their views.  Staff from LGBT Youth Scotland, the Scottish Trans Alliance and Stonewall Scotland as well as the Police will be there to try to ensure anyone attending our rally will be as safe as possible, and any counter protest would be in a designated space away from the trans rights rally. 

If you want to go along, here are some things you may want to think about: 

  • You will need to make your own way to Parliament and plan your travel in advance. 
  • Your participation in the rally is voluntary, so you can leave at any point.
  • If you’re under 16 tell your parents / carers where you are going – or even better – bring them with you!  
  • Go with a pal or look out for others you know, who understand what your specific needs might be and can be there for moral/mutual support.
  • Ensure your phone is charged and has credit so that you can contact your friends and family.
  • It’s good to have a designated safe place for yourself like a café on the Royal Mile or a monument nearby that you can go to if you do need a break or if you get lost from other friends you’re attending with.
  • Ensure you have any medication that you might need.
  • If anyone is saying things or behaves in a way that is making you feel uncomfortable, you do not need to engage or be near them. If their behaviour is very concerning, you can notify the rally organisers or the Police who are there to support on the day.  
  • There will likely be a media presence there, who may be keen to speak to representatives, so images of you may be used, possibly in negative media pieces talking about trans rights or picked up by people on social media that may also have a negative view trans rights.
  • If posting about the rally on social media, keep in mind the purpose and tone of the that the organisers would like to portray about the eventAlso be aware that people who are critical of trans rights, may try and engage with you on social media, so be aware of potential backlash or trolling.  
  • Have an exit strategy planned so if you feel you need to leave, you can do so safely.  

Remember this is intended to be a peaceful rally, so don’t feel the need to rise to negativity or engage, if the atmosphere turns or if others are intimidating you.  

The best way to engage with the rally, is to emphasise the importance of trans rights for you as young people and the positive impact progressing legislation would have.  You might want to think about creative ways to express this, like making a banner to hold up. 

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