'Save 1 Trans, Kill 1 TERF' Graffiti Appears in Paris at International Women's Day Event

Confrontations between women's rights advocates and other groups unfolded in Paris on Sunday, as activists demonstrated against sexual violence and gender-based discrimination ahead of International Women's Day. The globally recognized holiday, which fell on Monday this year, is celebrated annually on March 8.

As shown in tweets, advocates rallying against pornography and prostitution climbed the central monument in Paris' Place de la République, displaying signs that encouraged sex workers to exit from the industry and called for resources making it easier to do so. But others, identified as "queer activists" by some social media users, struck back, appearing to spray-paint "Save 1 Trans Person, Kill 1 TERF" at the base of the monument. TERF is an acronym for "trans-exclusionary radical feminist."

"We managed to climb the statue in the Place de la République and show off our banners condemning the violence suffered by women in the porno prostitution industry," wrote Twitter user @radfmnst in a thread. "The messages read: 'We want more means for women to get our of prostitution', 'Porn producers = pimps.'"

They started spray painting at the bottom of the statue "Save a trans person, kill a terf"
We were all shoked at the degree of violence we were going through. Our sisters at the top of statue (who are in majority prostitution survivors) were traumatized and some of them cried. pic.twitter.com/VeUpYR3HVH

— narfem (@radfmnst) March 7, 2021

But another group entered the scene, calling the anti-prostitution activists transphobic SWERFs (sex worker-exclusionary radical feminists) and reportedly chanting phrases like, "One TERF, one bullet, social justice." That group also tossed eggs "and tried to spray us in the eyes with red spray paint," @radfmnst wrote.

"We were all [shocked] at the degree of violence we were going through," @radfmnst continued. "Our sisters at the top of the statue (who are in majority prostitution survivors) were traumatized and some of them cried."

The women's rights advocates were reportedly escorted from the plaza by members of another advocacy organization.

Newsweek reached out to activists involved in Sunday's demonstration for further comments, but did not receive replies in time for publication.

International Women's Day, Paris, Protest
Protesters walk past a Paris courthouse during a demonstration on International Women's Day on March 8 in Paris, France. Antoine Gyori/Corbis via Getty Images