A peaceful protest took place on Thursday afternoon outside the Guardian Media Group offices in London over Julie Burchill's column in last Sunday's Observer. Organisers of the gathering of more than 100 transgender people and supporters said the column – for which he Observer has apologised and which has been removed from its website – was "transphobic hate speech" and a "deliberate baiting" of a community that is already the subject of widespread social abuse and ridicule. "The Burchill piece was a deliberate baiting," said Martha Dunkley, a member of TransLondon. "It was straightforward, transphobic hate speech for which, had she been targeting another group, she would have been arrested. It threw us back into the days when we could be the objects of violence and ridicule with impunity."