Trans-identified male, Tara Wolf, convicted of assault after Hyde Park attack

Jen Izaakson reports from the courtroom, as Tara Wolf is tried for assaulting Maria MacLachlan.

Tara Wolf, about to strike Maria MacLachlan at Hyde Park, September 13, 2017.

Earlier this month, Tara Wolf (also known as Tara Flik Wood), a trans-identified male, stood trial for striking 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan three times in Hyde Park on September 13th 2017, where women had gathered to attend a meeting called “We Need to Talk About Gender” at a yet-to-be-disclosed location. Wolf was found guilty of “assault by beating,” more commonly known as “battery.”

The two-day trial began on 9:30 a.m. on April 12th.

Two dozen individuals — mostly men with masks on, some in full combat gear — accompanied Wolf to court. Many were wearing the all black uniform of Antifa, replete with bandanas and sunglasses. Most were recognized by a member of our group as belonging to Class War, an anarchist organization that Wolf is also a member of. Others were members of Sisters Uncut, a group originally formed (ironically) to fight cuts to domestic violence services but that now focuses its energy on protesting and trying to shut down meetings women have been organizing, of late, to discuss gender identity legislation and women’s sex-based rights. Many of those present on the first day of the trial had also been at the original Hyde Park incident where MacLachlan was attacked. Three of Wolf’s supporters brought fighting dogs (Dobermans and Mastiffs), as well as a huge sound system blaring death metal. Half stayed outside the court, half came in. The machismo of it all was palpable.

Tara Wolf and some of his supporters, outside court.
Two of Tara Wolf’s supporters outside court.

A few of us who were attending to support MacLachlan arrived at court at the same time as this motley crew, which meant standing in the security queue alongside them. Despite appearances, they were a very tame bunch. A masked duo behind us were the only ones who gave us any trouble — one woman took our photograph without permission, then asked, “Who is your feminism even for?” The three of us responded, “Women!” The man standing next to her (his face covered by a lovely knitted scarf) said, “You all just hate men.” We responded, “Yes, we hate men!” Another of MacLachlan’s supporters in the queue clarified, “Well, I hate sexism.” After telling him, “Get lost, you bloody Nigel!” the knitted man said no more.

Outside the courtroom, we waited to be let in. Wolf’s supporters didn’t engage much with one another. MacLachlan’s supporters hugged hello, smiled, joked, and chatted. Wolf had bleached his hair blonde for the trial and wore leather boots with heels so high he could barely walk (there were a few strange, laboured minutes in court where Wolf would take his big boots on and off, making us all watch this strange ritual). He looked mortified in the dock — his head down, sulking with his arms folded — though he perked up a bit when the judge — an older white upper-middle class man — corrected MacLachlan’s use of male pronouns, saying, “The defendant wished to be referred to as a woman, so perhaps you could refer to her as ‘she’ for the purpose of the proceedings.”

MacLachlan replied, “I’m used to thinking of this person who is a male as male.” She did try, after that point, to refer to Wolf as “she” or “the defendant,” but simply kept forgetting. By the time Julia Long, one of the speakers at the meeting, testified, the judge had stopped correcting pronouns.

Wolf’s defence barrister, Jodie Anderson, argued that MacLachlan was a member of “the group known as TERF” who believe “gender is a biological construct.” Members of the gallery on the defence bench chortled, and MacLachlan corrected her, saying, “social construct.” Anderson then attempted to argue that MacLachlan was filming the trans activists at Hyde Park with the intention of “doxxing” them. The evidence for this was that she maintains a Twitter account and blog (in other words, she is an active internet user). The defence barrister presented footage that showed MacLachlan filming all of the gathered crowds, not just the trans activists. “It’s different for us because queer people don’t like to be filmed,” Wolf — a heterosexual man — would later argue.

Anderson then claimed that MacLachlan had picked up one of the trans activists at Hyde Park and thrown them around. She responded, “I’m a 61-year-old woman with osteoporosis — I can’t possibly lift anyone bigger than me.”

Long later testified that she saw Maclachlan “lower down” than the trans activists, as they were beating her, and that eventually she was knocked to the ground. Long’s testimony was briefly interrupted by Wolf when he alerted the court that he had left his handbag in the ladies loo.

Then Wolf took the stand. He chose to swear on the bible, forgot the words, stuttered the words incorrectly, and then forgot the words for a third time. Then his testimony began.

Wolf argued that “TERF” stands for “Trans Exterminationist Radical Feminists” and defended a Facebook post wherein he said he wanted to “fuck up some TERFs,” saying it was “bravado,” not an actual threat. He then claimed he tried to knock MacLachlan’s camera out of her hand because he believed she would post his image online and “out” him as a “transwoman.”

For anyone familiar with Wolf’s online history this was transparently false. Wolf started a GoFundMe in 2015 for voice surgery. The text in his crowdfunder read, “Hi, I’m Tara and I’m a 25 year old trans woman. Right now I’m transitioning and I’m saving up for voice surgery. The procedure shortens the vocal chords, which will feminize my voice so it matches my identity, and allow me to pass completely.”

Tara Wolf’s GoFundMe campaign

Wolf claimed his punches to MacLachlan’s back, shoulder, and face were an attempt to defend his former girlfriend from MacLachlan. The prosecutor played footage showing Wolf’s former girlfriend and a man with a long ponytail attacking MacLachlan from behind. After the footage was put to Wolf, he conceded that indeed the pair had attacked MacLachlan from behind as she tried to get away. The footage showed that MacLachlan was not attacking anyone. She was holding on to her camera, while people tried to wrench it from her hands (and which was eventually thrown to the  ground and broken).

“People like her want to kill me,” Wolf said, adding, “they are fascists” and “they were meeting to have a hate rally.” Anderson tried to support his claim, saying that the feminists at Hyde Park chanted, “Lesbians and queers!” as an insult (in fact, the slogan was, “Lesbian not queer!”) and said “members of TERF target trans children.” No examples of any feminist committing violence or targeting anyone were offered, let alone any reference to MacLachlan, specifically, advocating violence. A tweet MacLachlan posted joking about Wolf’s receding hairline, weeks after he had beaten her up, was the only “evidence” provided. That tweet would later be used during sentencing by the judge as retrospective mitigation for MacLachlan’s battering.

By day two, Wolf’s supporters had dwindled to around a dozen. All but one were men. MacLachlan’s supporters were all women.

Two of Maria MacLauchlan’s supporters outside court.

Four witnesses testified in Wolf’s defence.

The first was Ananya Jaidev, who is a main organizer with South East London Sisters Uncut, and who snatched the glasses off a woman’s face outside a Woman’s Place UK meeting in February. When asked how she knew who was an “enemy” and who was an ally at the Hyde Park incident, Jaidev explained she knew which side was which because “we were all queer and trans and they were older and not queer.” The prosecution played footage that showed Jaidev standing close to MacLachlan, in full view of the whole incident. Nonetheless, Jaidev claimed she did not see any of the violence against MacLachlan. “I wasn’t paying attention,” she said.

Next, a man named Laurel Uziell testified that he saw the entire event up close and claimed MacLachlan attacked Wolf. Video showed that Uziell, was goading Long as she sang, fairly far away from the incident and facing the opposite direction.

Devawn Wilkinson, a woman who is on film harassing Miranda Yardley, a transsexual and one of the speakers at the event on September 13th testified that “TERFS hate Trans people,” “TERFs are fascists,” and “TERFs are a danger to queers.” Devawn also stated she was one of those responsible for pressing the original venue for the meeting to withdraw, prompting women to meet in Hyde Park before heading to what had to be a secret location.

The final defence witness was Katherine Higgins. Video showed Higgins at at Hyde Park, watching as her friend is shoved by the man with the ponytail after he attacked MacLachlan. Higgins stated she, like Devawn, had campaigned to get the first venue booked for the meeting to cancel. She admitted she did not see anything, but instead testified about the context, stating she was a “cis woman” and that she was there that day to stop the meeting from happening. Higgins was the only witness who didn’t use the term “TERF,” instead referring to the women gathered in Hyde Park as “activists” and “feminists.” When we then heard closing arguments by both barristers, the defence referred to the women at Hyde Park as “TERFs.” Wolf’s barrister also repeatedly stated that filming trans-identified individuals in public spaces was completely different and had exceptional dire consequences as compared to capturing non-trans-identified individuals on camera.

After lunch, the judge returned his verdict. Wolf’s Facebook post stating he wished to “fuck up some TERFs” was not taken into consideration despite the prosecutor arguing that it demonstrated premeditation. The judge did not accept Wolf’s argument of self-defence and imposed a fine and court costs of £430. In order to mitigate the punishment, Wolf’s defence lawyer argued that autism and oppositional defiant disorder, diagnosed at age six, were mitigating factors. She also said the judge ought to consider that Wolf wishes to be a “role model for other trans people in the trans community” and work in the “transgender charity sector.”

After the verdict, McLachlan’s supporters shouted , “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty! He’s guilty!”

What a criminal conviction for a violent offence means is that Wolf can never work in a school or care setting, such as an old person’s home, and cannot work with other vulnerable groups. It also means travel restrictions, for example, not being able to enter the United States, and that he will be subject to immediate interview on arrival in many countries.

Afterwards, we were ordered by police to stay inside the court due to the danger posed by the trans activists outside, almost all of whom were members of Class War. Some held a banner with the words, “Squatters Against the Gendered Existent.” When I asked what it meant, they declined to explain.

As we walked up the hill to the Wetherspoons pub, a police van containing 10 police officers pulled up alongside the two lesbian feminists leading our group. The Class War activists had apparently gone to the pub, spotted these women walking up the hill, and called the police.

Particularly ironic is the fact that Class War are loud critics of what they call “carceral feminism,” a pejorative term used to smear feminists who seek justice through the legal system. Class War criticize women who telephone the police about crimes, including male violence, yet the officers informed us that they had received a phone call from the “other group in court” alerting them of our arrival. Apparently, the Class War activists couldn’t stomach our jubilation and camaraderie, or having to watch women relish a celebratory pint. What they could stomach, however, was throwing their anti-cop politics in the bin, phoning the police over a group consisting mainly of middle-aged lesbians. Some of them even came outside to smile at the police presence barring our crossing the road to the pub.

Later that evening Wolf posted a comment on Facebook saying that MacLachlan was “a man,” so therefore Wolf’s violence was “actually misandry.” Later that night he changed his Facebook name to “Tara The TERF Slayer.”

Women who want to exercise their right to free association, freedom of assembly, and who want to organize as women, should not have to face male violence as MacLauchlan did.

Feminists are indebted to all women who seek to hold violent men accountable and who assert and defend women’s legal rights to freedom and equality and protection from male violence under the law.

Jen Izaakson is a PhD student at Kingston University’s Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), researching gender and Freud. You can find her on Twitter @isacsohn and read more of her work at jenizaakson.wordpress.com.  

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  • lk

    Thanks for sharing this information…so happy that the justice system is actually holding this man accountable for his behavior.

    And I am so happy that there were women there supporting MacLachlan.

    The violence perpetrated by TIMs is a serious issue, but honestly I sometimes cant help but laugh at the ridiculousness of transideology and activists:

    -“Squatters Against the Gendered Existent.” When I asked what it meant, they declined to explain.
    LMAO…gendered existent…wtf does that even mean…

    -the judge — an older white upper-middle class man — corrected MacLachlan’s use of male pronouns, saying, “The defendant wished to be referred to as a woman, so perhaps you could refer to her as ‘she’ for the purpose of the proceedings.”
    So a man batters a woman and the judge asks the victim to refer to the man as a she. LOL, ridiculous!

    -I wanna fuck some terfs up, they are no better than fash.
    So anyone who acknowledges the reality of male and female biology is a fascist? LMAO, so like 99% of the human race are fascists.

    –“People like her want to kill me,” Wolf said, adding, “they are fascists” and “they were meeting to have a hate rally.” Anderson tried to support his claim, saying that the feminists at Hyde Park chanted, “Lesbians and queers!” as an insult (in fact, the slogan was, “Lesbian not queer!”).
    Yes, because 60 year old women are usually extremely violent and frequently go around murdering men. And women chanting that they are lesbians can absolutely be construed as being a death threat.

    Goodness TRA’s are so dramatic…someone disagreeing with your beliefs does not mean that they want to kill you!

  • TwinMamaManly

    What a bunch of pathetic little piss-ants. I found it nauseating that his tweet was not considered in relation to premeditation but her rather humourous tweet was considered mitigating (usual double standards), nevertheless it is a win for feminism. Its probably lucky he didn’t receive a custodial sentence as he would have been inflicted on the poor women already in prison (although I would have liked to have seen him thrown to the wolves in the male prison, where he belongs).

    Did anyone else notice in Tara Flik Wood’s post that HE said he was spending all his money on self-medicating? Meaning, he’s spending all his money on alcohol and drugs and expects others to fund his transition so he can “pass” – entitlement in the extreme!? Newsflash Tara – no matter what you do, no matter how much money you spend, you will NEVER be a woman.

    • Anthocerotopsida

      I noticed that too. “I make just enough money to pay the bills. Actually, scratch that. I make enough money to pay the bills plus some extra spending money, all of which I use to buy bad lipstick and drugs. Please fund my cosmetic surgery so that I don’t have to dip into my drug money.” Ok, dude. Whatever you say.

  • Tessa Anne

    Very pleased that he was found guilty. There are still some outrageous things about the handling of the matter in court: The insistence that a woman who was assaulted by a man call him ‘she’; the consideration of MacLachlan’s after-the-fact tweet as a mitigating factor and the failure to consider the pre-meditation displayed in Wolf’s tweet (this is especially frustrating given the change of Wolf’s Facebook name to “Tara the TERF slayer” even after being found guilty). The judge would probably consider this just more bro-vado.

  • linnet

    Surprise, men support other men, to the detriment of everyone else.

  • Jani

    Oppositional defiant disorder??!!!! In other words, a spoilt brat throwing endless tantrums so he could get his own way? I wonder how long his defence lawyer scoured the internet to find a fancy diagnosis of temper tantrums. He was described in some UK newspapers as a “model” and an “aspiring model” so I doubt we’ll see him on the catwalks of NY Fashion Week… but not necessarily because of his criminal conviction, haha!
    On a more serious note, I actually think this guy is a threat to public safety, especially to biological females (also known as “women” to those of us still living in the real world).

    • regressive

      I mean, he updated his profile as “Terf Slayer”. Sounds like he’s gloating about getting away with assault with only a slap on the wrist, and telling us that he plans to do more. Dude is definitely a threat.

    • Hekate Jayne

      I am trying to read that long ass article on Washington post about what happens when girl babies and fetuses are deemed to be garbage, and boys are valuable! So, abort the girl fetuses (by which we mean FEMALE, based SOLEY ON BIOLOGY) and keep the boys because the boys are the SMARTEST, the BESTEST, get rid of girl babies and fetuses, keep going till you get the all important BOY.

      So now, guess what is fucking happening? And getting worse? Dudes way outnumber women. And males are unable to take care of themselves, so the ones that can’t live where they work are moving back in with their MOTHERS, because they need a woman to tell them when to bathe or make them tea. Seriously. They say that.

      The entire article isn’t about girls being tossed out like garbage. It is about the suffering of the males without a wife, about their trials, how life is so, so hard when males have to learn to make their own sandwich or get their mom to do it because they literally have ZERO life skills. Males are unilaterally unable to perform basic life skills. It is pathetic.

      But they are uber valuable! Which a male is going to explain this to me, maybe, because they are unable to take basic care of themselves, and the government is afraid that these males are going to start fucking shit up out of anger because males choose to artificially inflate their numbers by killing girls. Surely, the smarter, mostest superior dudes saw this coming. So I am not sure why they are so shocked. Or unprepared.

      But dudes. So much more valuable.

      I say all of this to ask why don’t some of these dudes in India and China “identify” as ladies? I mean, that would totally fix the problem! Better yet, why not send Trans McLadydude on over there? So that he can do the great service of being a lady for some ladyless dude?

      Cambodia is actually selling women to males in China, and they promise the women jobs and other things, but don’t deliver because the women are trapped once they arrive. And the broker offers MONEY BACK if the woman is not a virgin or if she escapes. But surely, there would be no demand of a refund if a ladydude shows up with a penis. He can just explain that his penis is a “ladydick”, and that would be just fine!

      The single most prevalent predictor of violence is not education, family background or income. It isn’t owning a gun or where you live. It is if you were born with a penis.

      You are right, he is absolutely a threat. He has proven it. And his “justice” system worked very well for him. Which is just another reason that we need to avoid them as much as possible.

  • Tobysgirl

    A commenter on gendertrender pointed out that just about all of the sleaze that put up the terrorism display at the SF library were white. I am guessing that the men in class warfare are mostly, if not all, middle class. Most working-class and poor people have to work, and don’t have time to play at being anti-fascists while promoting fascism.

  • Anthocerotopsida

    I would have loved to see the look on his face when he realized that there are sometimes consequences for his actions. Who knew?!

  • Hekate Jayne

    I am having trouble with links, today. Sorry I can’t just link you.

    If you know gendertrender, the WordPress blog by gallusmag, you can find it there, it is one of the latest posts. And a lot of us reblogged it to spread it quickly.

    Long story short, though, group of dudes LARPing as “women” created an “art exhibit” of sledgehammer, axes and ball bats on which they painted the handles in pastel colors, for the unruly, bigoty terfy women. They also had some clothing with fake blood covering it, with things about punching us and the like, although some of the clothing was removed.

    Those among us with fb (I don’t do fb)left reviews on the libraries page denouncing it as blatant misogynistic bullshit, and trannies were all TERFS ARE KILLING US THOUGH, and the trans support stuff stayed up while anyone stating offense at displays of weapons to be used by males on uppity, disobedient women were mostly removed. There’s a shitshow going on with that, at the moment, about the removed posts.

    Lots of us have emailed, called, written, whatever, and it hasn’t mattered. The stuff is still there, it was financed by the library, and they had a panel yesterday of ladydudes talking about how we oppress them by not sucking their ladydick, or whatever those fucks whine about. And a lot of women were suspended or warned of suspension on fb. Basically, women were silenced and threatened with consequence if we continued to talk.

    I don’t want to abuse Megan’s space here, but I appreciate her letting us mention it. I post to gendertrender under this name, and I also have a post up, if you are looking for a chat about it.

    • SonnyGoten

      Time to create a new FB that bans p3n!s3s? Who knows any form of coding?

  • regressive

    What is your blog?

  • acommentator

    “How can people call themselves anti-fascists when they use the tactics of fascists? Someone should tell them that fascists in Italy wore black in the 1930s and 1940s.”

    Any problem they have with the fascists is over goals, not tactics. Their cause is righteous, and it would be a victory for “the man” if they were to limit themselves to legally acceptable protesting, or even to conform to rules of civilized behavior.

  • lk

    I think we have to celebrate even small victories.

    So many times, men violate women and suffer zero consequence. I’m happy that in this case, Wolf actually received some consequence for his behavior (even though its a small consequence).

  • Meghan Murphy

    Where is the commentary?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh gotcha. Thanks!

  • Kiwipally

    It reads like the main defence tactic used was provocation. Those of us familiar with that defence know it is used to excuse the behaviour of white men harming women (mainly) and harming men who don’t meet the white male heterosexual stereotype. This is the “defence” of “she made me do it” that was used for wife beaters and wife murderers. The “defence” of “he was gay and suddenly came onto me”. The sooner all legal jurisdictions toss out any notion that “provocation” is a mitigating circumstance, the closer we will all come to actual justice.

  • Hekate Jayne

    Tin foil hat mentioned that woman, the 1 with the 7 sons. They literally cannot take care of themselves in the most basic ways.

    One of the many things that angered me was the way they talked about women, the constant objectification. The “bride market “. The “bride shortage”. Not be single male said anything about wanting companionship, or love, or a partner. They needed a slave to clean, to cook, to fuck.

    And how no matter what idiot shit males pull, it is WOMEN that pay the fucking price. Every single time, and in multiple ways.

  • Tessa Anne

    they are obsessed with us. You’d think they might turn some attention to the people actually harming them (i.e. MEN).

  • Tobysgirl

    I am fully convinced that these men are PAID STOOGES. Somewhere someone mentioned that Soros among others is paying the so-called antifa to disrupt demonstrations, etc. I heard a brief snippet on DW about these fellows causing mayhem during the Mayday demonstration in Paris. For those of you who don’t know, Mayday is the left-wing labor holiday (Labor Day is the right-wing holiday).
    I think they are out-and-out fascists and are not left-wing in the least. You can call yourself anything — men calling themselves women, women calling themselves men — but that doesn’t make it so. I seriously doubt they have any deep beliefs, just a willingness to make left-wing politics appear violent and misogynistic (which I will admit it is all too easy to do).

  • Tobysgirl

    I do not accept that these men are left-wing. I think they are being paid for their activities. Do not put anything past the government who has a long history of agents provocateur.

    • acommentator

      “I do not accept that these men are left-wing. I think they are being paid for their activities. Do not put anything past the government who has a long history of agents provocateur.”

      I don’t understand why you don’t accept it. We have seen time and again that a significant portion of the left do not accept the legitimacy of free speech or the rule of law. The young man who committed the assault used the language of the militant left when he described feminists as being the same as fascists. Do you really think the British government paid him for that?

      There is a segment of the left that is as violent and illiberal as anyone on the right. It is post liberal. It does not believe in any of the tenets of liberalism, and is particularly disdainful of process and consensus. When it sees things it does not like, it wants to break things. Running for local office, making phone calls, doing get out the vote work for like minded candidates, these things have no value for these people.

  • Tobysgirl

    I’ll agree that they’re uneducated but I bet most if not all of them have been to college/university.

  • SonnyGoten

    Maybe if mom won’t cook and clean for her 7 sons + dad, they will throw acid into her face and then burn her alive. And if that ever comes to a court ruling (they are quite slow in delivering “justice” in that region of the world) it will be ruled an accident of the “exploded kerosin stove” variety.

  • Yard Sale Steals

    I agree completely. It is beyond nauseating when I see women, and I mean real women, go along with this misogynistic pathology of the “trans woman” lie. As if being a women is nothing more than a feeling or state of being, or wearing stilettos. Having a penis by definition makes one a man, and this is just another penis behaving badly.