London Bookfair ‘won’t happen in 2018’

  • Posted on: 10 November 2017
  • By: thecollective

via Freedom News

Following a confrontation at this year’s London Anarchist Bookfair sparked by two people handing out anti-trans leaflets, and a subsequent online firestorm, the Bookfair organisers have released two statements on what happened, announcing they will not be holding one in 2018.

The decision ends a 34-year run for the event, which was the largest of its kind. The collective’s statement is reproduced below:

Statement on an open letter

A few days ago, someone sent us the following open letter. Initially we didn’t want to write a point by point response but feel it is necessary to reply to the accusations and the demands made of us.

For the record: the current Bookfair Collective will not be organising a Bookfair in 2018. Organising an annual event attended by over 2000 people is a huge amount of work – finding and negotiating with venue providers, organising the equipment needed, booking stalls and meetings, printing and distributing leaflets and programmes, as well as finding overseas speakers and the money to pay for them. Pretty much every year we receive some accusation of heinous behaviour and demands that we implement a list of externally formulated policies. We could look at this one and dismiss it as more of the same; ignore it, say the groups are not representative, if we leave it people will lose interest, etc. But at the same time we are aware that many groups who have been pressed to sign up for it have not and we do need to set out a response as much to them as to the signatories and others who have read it.

What hurts us most is we know a lot of you. A number of the signatories to the open letter are groups we know and have worked with over the years; sometimes many, many years. Yet not one of you has tried to contact us as individuals or as the Bookfair collective to ask our views before you signed the open letter, even though some people appear not to have read all of it before signing. We thought of many of you as friends. We were obviously wrong. We guess it’s easy to sign a statement. It’s a lot harder to actually talk to people and try to work things out. We are also tired of being told what to do. We are told to ban people. We are told have this or that policy. We are told this or that group can/can’t have stalls. We are told we shouldn’t have a certain venue. We are constantly told we get it wrong. However, no one has offered to join the Collective and help us make the Bookfair better or offered to take it on.

We find it sad that so many individuals and groups jumped in to sign an open letter that accused of us allowing events that “terrorised” trans people and did not grant “the bare minimum conditions for trans and gender-variant comrades to take part in the event”. We wonder if everyone signing the open letter really thinks that trans and gender-variant comrades felt intimidated coming to the Bookfair? From what we saw and have heard, many members of the trans community were quite happy to be there. Indeed some disagree with the open letter and have expressed unhappiness about the behaviour of the group of up to about 30 people who chose to demand their view set the agenda.

We have in the past been called fascists by many individuals, sometimes for as little as asking for a donation towards the event; more often for asking people not to bring in dogs (for the safety of children) or not to use cameras. We also got called fascists on Saturday by a number of people. It seriously concerns us how easy this terminology is thrown about in the anarchist milieu. Survivors of the Spanish Civil war, survivors of the death camps, political activists in Pinochet’s Chile, activists in parts of the world today and many others who have been at the blunt end of actual fascism are done a disservice by this indiscriminate use of the word. We feel that the Bookfair is not the place for tactics used on demos against fascist groups and cops. Some of us are traumatised enough by activism and look forward to enjoying an event where we can see friends and exchange ideas without the pressure of these actions.

We agree 100% with the part of the open letter that says “Calling out harmful behaviour is about holding each other to the commitment that we can do and be better.” However, we find it sits uncomfortably with a large group of people threatening one person and find it difficult to believe some of those who signed this statement don’t either.

Three years ago a group of people came to tell us they were about to kick out an undercover cop. The person accused was visibly shaken and scared as the group was about to physically eject them till someone realised they had “the wrong person”. People are unhappy that the Bookfair collective doesn’t have a safer spaces policy. But we have always questioned who these policies are for? Is it OK for a space to be safe for one group but not for others who have different views? AFem 2014 was an attempt to make an event similar to the Bookfair without cis-men and with a safer spaces policy. Having seen the result, does anyone wonder why the organisers of that event (many more than we are) didn’t feel they had the energy to do another one?

The statement claims “organisers have stepped in to defend and support those who use oppressive, violent and dehumanising language to perpetuate racist, colonial and patriarchal systems of oppression”. Do all of you feel comfortable signing these accusations against us, presented without examples or proof? Many of you have worked with us for years and happily speak to us about stall and meeting bookings year after year. Isn’t it disingenuous to come to an event or book a stall or meeting, and, in many cases, be very friendly with us when you know us to be racist, colonialist and patriarchal? Did you not think of challenging us over the years about this?

This brings us onto the demands. Despite your claim that you have “been progressively alienated over the years by the culture of the Bookfair”, not one of you has ever come and offered to either get involved or to take the event on. In 2013 or 2014 demands were made of us to implement a safer spaces policy and to ban certain individuals. These “demands” were sent to us just over a week before the Bookfair. We refused, as, given the timeframe, we had no time to discuss the lengthy demands and their serious implications. After the Bookfair we contacted the groups who had made these demands to discuss how we could work together and we set up a meeting, but were met with silence.

You ask that the date of the Bookfair doesn’t clash with the UFFC demo. Where possible we have always tried to avoid a clash. There have been years where we can’t get the venue any other weekend (a couple of times when we were at Queen Mary’s). We got kicked out of Queen Mary’s and Central St Martin’s because of the behaviour of some people. Shit happens – we move on. We put tweets out asking for people to help us find a new venue. A few friends suggested places but all were unsuitable for either access or space reasons.

The secondary school in Tottenham was ideal for everything we needed. However, the only Saturday the school could offer us clashed with the UFFC demo. We were not happy about this, but had to weigh it up against access requirements, space requirements, financial requirements and venues actually wanting the event in the first place. We have probably visited over 100 venues over the last 10 years to try to find suitable spaces. Maybe those making demands like this should be prepared to take some responsibility for finding a suitable venue? Otherwise one can only assume their brand of anarchism is getting others to do things so there is always someone else to blame.

By the way, we maintain a dialogue with UFFC. We put their demo on the Bookfair leaflet (of which we produce and distribute 20,000) and programme. We also promote their demo on social media and are happy for people to go to the demo rather than the Bookfair. Ironically on years the Bookfair hasn’t clashed with the UFFC demo, and most of us have gone, the numbers on the demo don’t increase, which says loads to us about “our” movement.

You state we should have “A clear statement outlining the politics the LABF is committed to, what kinds of behaviour and views are unacceptable and unwelcome at the Bookfair”. Have you looked at our website? There is a statement there. We suspect some of you signed the open letter without checking the website. We suspect others mean “we don’t like your statement”. If that’s the case, then be honest and say what you mean. Again, we feel not so much upset as frustrated about this.

Regarding points 4, 5 and 6: It really saddens us that comrades can sign up to these points without talking to us or thinking through and substantiating what they have signed up to. We will take them separately below.

Regarding “a commitment to incorporating anti-racist and decolonial struggle into the Bookfair”. Every year we actively approach groups and individuals to try and make the event more diverse. We pay fares and, when we can, put on nationwide tours for speakers. Have you forgotten Lorenzo and JoNina, the ex-Panthers? Have you forgotten Lindela from Abahlali baseMjondolo? Have you already forgotten Rebel Riot this year? This year we also tried really hard to get comrades from Kurdistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Venezuela (and in the past Gaza), to attend. Many of the non-white speakers at the Bookfair have been invited by the collective. Every year we also try to get local non-white groups to speak. Most don’t want to because the event, in common with the movement as a whole, is so “white”. Do you really think the Bookfair Collective alone is responsible for the current lack of diversity across the whole movement?

You say we should make space for workshops and meetings for people of colour or queer and trans (point 5) and people with disabilities (point 6). How are we not providing space? Anyone can contact us to suggest or book a meeting. Anyone can book a stall. We actively encouraged a trans rights group who had tried to book a stall last year, but contacted us too late, to book early this year, but they opted to do something else on the day. It’s interesting that because there wasn’t a meeting with “trans” or “queer” in the title some of you seem to think there were no trans speakers, implying that the only thing people of trans experience can talk about is their gender.

Regards the demands around accessibility in the open letter, again we ask how you can sign this statement without talking to us or looking at what’s been achieved over the years. We work with DPAC, we have signers on hand (3 this year) at the Bookfair to interpret for people at meetings and round stalls if needed. We have touch typists on hand for those who are hard of hearing. We spend ages finding venues that are accessible and we mean the whole venue. Yes, there are problems. Venues often don’t “get it” so we fight them on this. We had started to get there with the new venue. We had eight keys cut for the lifts, of which two were on the DPAC stall.

We ask people who want to attend meetings or films to let us know in advance so we can get meeting notes and further info in advance to make the meeting as accessible as possible (this is all on our social media and website). This year we offered to pay for cabs to and from the venue for anyone with mobility difficulties. We specifically have a Bookfair access stall, staffed by trained people (some of whom have disabilities themselves) to support this work. Are you claiming that all your venues, offices and events are as accessible?

Several of us were incredulous when we saw point 7. We find it hypocritical that some of those signing the open letter (and we accept it’s only one or two) have not only taken photos at a previous Bookfair but circulated them publicly. There were people in the “melee” on Saturday taking photos of the person being attacked as well as of us trying to defuse the situation and comments shouted at us included “your face will be all over social media by tomorrow”.

We think it’s time for everyone to take a moment to reflect on the event and the state of the anarchist movement in general, to think how we can move forward in a more positive way. However, we have decided not to organise another Bookfair in 2018. This is because we can’t agree to implement the list of demands in the open letter and don’t expect many of the groups and individuals who signed it, or made their own statements, to accept our response. We are sad to disappoint all those who, like us, value the Bookfair and the contribution it has made to the movement. We are sad that incidents that it may have been possible to resolve have been widened out and entrenched. Our decision reflects an increasingly toxic atmosphere, which we do not want to concede to or facilitate. We also have very serious concerns about organising a Bookfair knowing that we, those who wished to attend and the venue would face attempts at harassment and disruption.

To reiterate: We will not be organising the Bookfair in 2018. For all those who think we did such a terrible job, who feel we didn’t get it right for people of colour, trans people, disabled people and probably others as well, show us how to do it properly. The Bookfair in 2018 is yours. We won’t come along and make trouble; we won’t denounce you on social media; we won’t criticise from the sidelines. But we are really interested to see how you solve all the problems you raise in your statement and implement your list of demands.

Last but not least, thank you to all those who have sent messages of support and those of you who have at least called / emailed to question us about the events and our thoughts even if you don’t agree with us.

(Please note: While others may want to continue this discussion online. We won’t be making any further comments.)

Statement on the future of the Bookfair

There have been a number of demands that the London Anarchist Bookfair Collective put out a statement on the events at this year’s Bookfair. Since we started drafting one there have inevitably been a range of statements, open letters etc. Elsewhere we will set out where we think this leaves the Bookfair collective, the Bookfair and the wider movement. Here we will try and set out some sort of position on the events of the day. It’s probably useful to keep the two separate.

Before we start, we want people to remember there were a huge number of positive things about the day; it felt more diverse, there were a lot of people who had not been before, there were some excellent outward looking meetings, the Swiss comrades raised more than £700 for G20 defendants, the Rebel Riot tour went down a storm and they’ve secured help and funding to set up a social centre in Myanmar, a comrade who came over from Hong Kong is going back to set up a bookfair there, as is another from Bulgaria we hope, and there were some great books too! What people are expecting us to make a statement about are two incidents and some leaflets. Like many, many other groups we don’t all think the same but have tried to come to some consensus. From the demands being “made” of us we know we won’t satisfy everybody. In fact we may alienate a range of people, and we may have people who presently are trying not to take sides disagreeing with us as well. All we can say to everyone is these are our thoughts.

There were some leaflets being handed out against the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act

We are all unhappy about the contents of the leaflets we have seen. One is clearly meant only to provoke, the other fails to even acknowledge the real fears and discrimination that many trans people face in everyday life and, by failing to do so, itself becomes provocative and therefore offensive. We had not seen the leaflets before the problems started and most of us did not get to see the contents until the end of the day. As anarchists we feel “banning” and “no platforming” are actions that should only be used as extreme solutions and, while the leaflet did cause offense and hurt, we will only remove literature or people from the Bookfair in extreme circumstances and not just because we disagree with it or them, even if they do cause offence.

As the Bookfair collective we have been working most of our lives to oppose oppression and we see worrying tendencies on both sides of this debate to ban, oppress and win the argument by force. We know people who feel strongly about this; who feel deeply hurt; and who feel angry. We see the contradictions, we see the splitting of our movement, and we see and feel the pain caused. Unfortunately we don’t have the answers but we are prepared to be part of any group that wants to look for a less oppressive way to deal with this debate within our movement.

We are also aware that views and attitudes vary widely. People who disagree strongly with the leaflets’ contents do not all think it’s useful to call the people distributing them fascists, or that anyone failing to condemn them should be attacked. People in our movement have a range of different views about gender, women’s spaces and so on. People who step in to stop a woman being mobbed don’t necessarily share her views or even claim understanding of all the issues. No one voice speaks for everyone on either side.

The jumping to confrontation, the retreat into “No debate” only hardens positions, poisons political and personal relationships and makes the possibility of any sort of resolution less possible. We don’t see any winners emerging out of this toxicity.

The fracas

Let’s get one thing straight. We did not step in to support people promoting transphobic hate speech. We saw two women (who had been handing out leaflets) being attacked by a group of people and separated them from the group. A member of the collective was hit by the people handing out the leaflets while trying to move them away from the stalls and lifts. The two women left the venue. The woman who was later mobbed by up to about 30 people did not hand out the leaflets or have anything to do with their production or distribution – she simply said that they had the right to distribute them. For expressing this view, she was mobbed by a crowd of people some of whom, had we not stepped in, appeared bent on physically attacking her. We and other stall holders stepped in to prevent this from happening. If any individual within our movement is threatened with physical assault at the Bookfair we always try to do what we can to protect that person, and have done so (sadly too often) at previous Bookfairs over a number of different strongly felt issues, regardless of whether we personally share their views.

We have been accused of “protecting a fascist” and of being transphobic ourselves. All of us in the collective have physically confronted fascists on the streets, at meetings and in print, and we are baffled and upset by these accusations. Accusing a person of being a fascist because you don’t like their views is dishonest and dangerous. We are not going to apologise for protecting someone being mobbed by a group of up to about 30 people, and, along with others, preventing an ugly situation from deteriorating further.

Obviously a lot of people are going to disagree with this, but anyone who seriously thinks that up to about 30 people shouting and threatening one woman, and in the process intimidating disabled comrades and children, was a “beautiful moment of direct action” should consider taking a look at themselves and their politics.

Finally to those who decided to smash and set off the fire alarm, and to anyone who thought it was clever – have you thought about the effect it had on the creche and older kids space, the numerous meetings taking place at the time, or relations with the venue? A number of children having to be led out of the older kids space were crying and talking about Grenfell. They thought it was a real fire and were really scared. This action definitely didn’t make it a safe space for them.

The end

We are unsure how this debate within our movement (and beyond) will work itself out, as there is a wide range of strongly held views. What we are sure of is that next year there are people who would want us to ban those sharing the views of the leafleteers or those who stickered the loos, others who would want us to ban people who were in the group of up to about 30 or those who set off the fire alarm. We are not prepared to ban any of these people, and, while people think the way to resolve their differences is to disrupt and shut down meetings, like the Syria meeting last year, or the whole Bookfair this year, by shouting at and fighting each other, we haven’t the appetite or the energy to organise next year’s Bookfair.

More positively and perhaps unsurprisingly we have had contacts from a range of people who do see the need for debate and discussion on the issues and the events. We don’t think our collective is the right facilitator but are prepared to work with anyone who, like us, would like to look at ways we work these (strongly felt) disagreements within our movement out face to face. If we don’t, the only winners will be capitalism and the state.

(Please note: While others may want to continue this discussion online. We won’t be making any further comments.)

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Comments

That's one down, now how about the LA Anarchist Bookfair? Is that cancelled as well? And what about NYC? And the Bay Area? Montreal? Down with ALL of the anarchist bookfairs!

Shit the trans mafia strikes again.

"deadterfsclub" burning a banner of the bookfair -- not a threat at all right?: https://twitter.com/deadterfsclub/status/925781088932388864/video/1

Account of the events by one of the leafletters: https://perspicats.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/the-anarchist-bookfair/

>After a while more people objected to our leaflets, screwing them up and throwing them at us or tearing them up angrily. I didn’t feel particularly threatened at this point. The situation escalated and groups of people started shouting at us and tearing the leaflets out of our hands. I also saw them snatching them off women that we’d handed them too. Their behaviour became more aggressive: they were pushing and shoving us as well as shouting at us. My sunglasses were broken and I could see they were being even more aggressive to my friend. We were pushed up against the wall with 30 or so people shouting get out and calling us TERFs. We did not fight back at all, initially my friend tried to get her leaflets back but we are just two smallish women against an angry mob of dozens. We managed to escape through a corridor away from the crowds. Some women made their way back and thanked us for standing up for women’s rights despite the violent backlash. Helen Steele, who was at the bookfair for other reasons, helped us find a back route around the building and slip out the front gate.

Statement by Helen Steel & the leaflets: http://anarchistnews.org/content/statement-events-london-anarchist-bookf...

The mafia at speakers corner: https://youtube.com/watch?v=sx9pyvI-V7M

Awww your sunglasses broke.

Fuck with us and we'll fuck you up. Anarchism was never about nonviolence or not escalating things. You can go back to carceral feminism or liberal activism or wherever it was you came from.

Authoritarian idpol, using violence against other anarchists because they disagree with you on one point about identity, IS NOT ANARCHISM.

Aside from the fact that there are perfectly respectable anarcho-pacifist writers who are *not* in the slightest liberal (Tolstoy, Colin Ward, etc). Anarchist arguments for "violence" are NOT arguments for punching anyone who annoys you. Your attitude is simply that of a gang, a mafia. It's an Eminem lyric. You are using violence in an authoritarian way, to dominate others, and not in an anarchist way, to liberate others. And this is making it impossible to run anarchist spaces - because every anarchist space is inundated with countervailing authoritarian demands to ban each other, followed by escalation and violence when these are obeyed or ignored.

Liberalism is not objectionable to anarchists because it isn't authoritarian enough - it's objectionable because it's TOO authoritarian. Liberalism says it's wrong to subject people to cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment - anarchism says it's wrong to subject people to punishment at all. Liberalism says that the power of bosses should be hedged by checks and balances - anarchism says there shouldn't be any bosses at all, the checks and balances should be so strong as to stop the bosses having *any* power.

Anarchism was also NEVER about "not erasing you" by questioning your identity and tiptoeing around hypersensitive bigots who flip out at the slightest sign of disagreement. You mock others complaining about physical violence and yet your lot are whining about "what if a trans person saw a sticker in the toilets and felt bad". You're all for compulsory sensitivity and "oh no your words might hurt me" when it suits you, and then tough macho "can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" and "questioning my right to hit whoever I like is liberal" the next. Your double standards prove your authoritarianism, your insistence on applying indulgent principles to yourself and restrictive principles to others. Fuck you, and I hope you cunts get your heads smashed next time you pull this shit.

"Anarchist" my arse.

cool

anarchists against self defense?

Anarchists against punching other anarchists who aren't physically attacking us, because we disagree with their order of priorities as to which marginalised groups are the most oppressed.

Anarchists against online pile-ons against other anarchists you've worked with and have no prior objections to, because you jump to the calls of authoritarian idpols who want their opponents banned, beaten-up, or both.

Fuck. This is so sad. Fucking idpol ruins everything. #thisiswhywecanthavenicethings

IMO they took exactly the right position in not agreeing to police this stuff and trying to defuse conflicts when they came up. It's fucking disgusting that so many "anarchists" have jumped on the idpol zero-tolerance bandwagon and basically abused these people who've been organising a bookfair out of sheer personal commitment for decades. They get no appreciation and shitloads of flak, it's no wonder they're burning out, and it's the same for so much of the "scene" in the UK these days. We are talking about literally two or three TERFs and thirty or so intolerant trans activists ruining an event enjoyed by thousands, and taking away an important resource from the movement. Honestly the pigs could not have done a better job, the idpols are doing the pigs' job within the movement and I wouldn't be surprised to read 20 years from now that the whole thing was orchestrated. Three cheers to all the people who've made the bookfair happen down the years, and a great big fuck you to the idpols who ruin everything with their Cultural Revolution sectarian purge mentality.

Its not about trans people being intolerant. Its about being tired of facing daily harassment and violence. So if terfs wanna show up when we're with a large crew and fuck with us, of course we're going to lay into them for it and when we do its going to be with the cumulative frustration of the things we face each day.

I care more about people being able to attack those who target them than some bookfair run by green peace liberals types,

>daily harassment and violence

Not the fault of the thousands of people you've fucked over by shutting down the bookfair. I doubt much of it is even coming from TERFs.

By the way, the people engaged in transphobic abuse, and the TERFs, are probably ALSO facing daily harassment and violence, and it's coming out in the same way. Play the victim all you like - your side were the abusers at the bookfair.

>when we do its going to be with the cumulative frustration of the things we face each day

Yeah, exactly like when a working-class man gets bullied by the boss, and takes it out by battering his wife. Except instead of wives, you batter other anarchists and wreck social movements.

You're doing the state's work by doing it, and thereby reinforcing the very structures which cause you daily harassment and violence, but I'm sure the cathartic release makes this meaningless to you.

>I care more about people being able to attack those who target them than some bookfair run by green peace liberals types,

Saying something you don't like is not "targeting" you, you fucking bigot.

I don't give a fuck about what you care about, because you're an authoritarian. Yes, I care more about making anarchist events happen than about your right to beat up people who say things you don't like. And I hope anarchists grow some fucking balls and start ass-kicking you idpol scum when you pull this shit.

Bunch of whiners making excuses. Fuck with trans women and get shut down, shamed, and exiled. Wouldn't have it any other way. Next time leave us alone..

Until you fuck with someone who have more than 30 people who will fight back. At which point, you get your asses kicked. Seriously. Pigs and screws are transphobic, I dare you to pull this shit at their union conferences. Or the BNP or EDL.

By the way - not wanting to start banning people and not having the resources to police a safe space policy are NOT "making excuses", and the bookfair was NOT fucking with trans women.

You just ruined one of the few good things left in the British anarchist scene because you can't stand the fact that your opponents might give out leaflets in an uncontrolled space (where you can also give out leaflets). Fuck you.

Is this the point where Im supposed to say I've been in blocs against the police or something? Or should I point out the obvious and say that sometimes its more strategic to attack things? Do you really feel that if someone don't attack every cop they see then they can never justify any sort of offensive?

I dont care about a safe space policy. It doesn't really do anything but tell me people don't want me to feel shitty and in places that have them trans women are usually the first to be slighted anyways. Unlike the writers of the letter, I wouldn't care that much if the book fair sat back and said "you all handle it on your own". Even though its not the choice Id have made, I'm not sure whats wrong with that approach.

The fact that they defended terfs and that one of their own parrots terf's coded language is what bothers me personally and to me that qualifies as fucking with trans woman. More often than not, tefs rely on dogwhistles, which Hellen's social media is full of. Even if they're ignorant to what those things mean, fuck em.

Maybe the bookfair was good for you, but it died to me the second it defended terfs. I dont care if you miss it. Theres all sorts of things people will miss that Id prefer not exist.

Yeah, cos you care more about terfs than about fighting the state.

And you cannot justify attacking an anarchist event which you agree with 99%, because of the 1% you disagree with, when you could have been attacking cops, Nazis or other *real* enemies. And your "don't fuck with us or we'll fuck you up" (assuming you're the same poster) just proves that the real motive here is to beat up on someone weaker than you - because most of the people who fuck with trans people, you DON'T beat up.

Yes, there's times it's more strategic to attack. Not the point. It's *never* strategic to focus your attacks on people within the movement. It's easier, but it decomposes the movement and channels energies away from the struggle against *real* enemies.

I don't know if the dogwhistles are there or if you're projecting them, but none of the leaflets were calling for genocide against trans people, and we're talking about literally two or three women distributing leaflets you don't like. As for "defending terfs", if it had been 30 terfs ganging up on two or three trans people then they'd have defended the trans people. It's not about what side you're on, it's about peacekeeping and conflict management, they just don't want it coming to blows (from either side) and it was the trans side who were on the attack.

This is pretty much you:

>THE U.N. WON'T LET US GENOCIDE THE TUTSIS, THAT MEANS THEY'RE DEFENDING TUTSIS WHICH MEANS THEY'RE ON THE TUTSIS' SIDE WHICH MEANS THEY'RE HUTUPHOBES OMG THIS EVENT TOLERATES HUTUPHOBES AND THEY'RE SIDING WITH THE TUTSIS WHO WANT TO GENOCIDE HUTUS

Well, actually, they're just trying to stop either side escalating past a certain point.

The dog whistles are there. She follows and reposts overtly terfy social media.

We have fundamentally different views as illustrated by your "its about peace keeping" statement. Lots of anarchists have fundamentally different views from each other. I don't see terfs as inhabiting the same movement as me. Feel free to disagree. Though, I do agree that attacking people that you see as part of the same movement as you isn't great.

If someone wants to reinforce state power, even by flyering to turn oppose reforms that weaken the legal system's grasps on me, then I dont think we have 99% in common. I don't think we need to keep the peace. Having been in men's jails as a trans woman, I see these people as being as much of an enemy to me as an individual as I do the cop who arrested me. Different functions, all reinforcing something that has had and will likely have again a certain effect on me. Which is what it comes down to really, how the person's actions effect me and my friends who are like me.

I do not see myself as having a loyalty to keeping some anarchist milieu or imagined community in tact.

>Lots of anarchists have fundamentally different views from each other

That's why we can't go round abusing each other whenever there's a bookfair.

>I don't see terfs as inhabiting the same movement as me

It's not just about the terfs, it's about the people who intervened to stop the fight, the people who were fucked over by your antics, and the people who are missing out because there won't be another bookfair.

>I do not see myself as having a loyalty to keeping some anarchist milieu or imagined community in tact

Yes, because you're a selfish little gangster who just wants to carry out stupid vendettas on political opponents.

>If someone wants to reinforce state power, even by flyering to turn oppose reforms that weaken the legal system's grasps on me, then I dont think we have 99% in common

They see YOU as reinforcing state power by allowing the state to use force to force them to admit you to their spaces. And what your lot did at the bookfair was domination, pure and simple. You were being pigs. "You break our law, we punish you".

>I do not see myself as having a loyalty to keeping some anarchist milieu or imagined community in tact.

So fuck off to some trans separatist commune and leave our bookfairs alone.

terfs are as much anarchists as ancaps and nationalist anarchists.

and lets be clear, when it comes to "other anarchists" terfs are the ones who attacked first.

Get your average terf (or at least the anfem ones) and your average trans activist to take Political Compass test. Both of them will come out in the bottom left corner. So, most likely, would whoever's writing the ITS communiques.

Ancaps will appear in the bottom right corner (or in practice often quite a way up the side); authoritarian socialists will appear in the top left quadrant, with the less objectionable ones creeping down into our quadrant. National anarchists are closet Nazis, and therefore, probably appear somewhere in the top right quadrant, up near the top.

I don't see why it has to be "with us or with the terfs", as if your George W fucking Bush.

I don't see why believing that cis women should be allowed to have dick-free spaces without being criminalised for it is in itself un-anarchist.

I also don't see why believing that trans women should get legal recognition and protection (as a partial strategic goal) is in itself un-anarchist.

On the other hand, demands (with implied threats) to ban this, that or the other group from anarchist events, and to implement vaguely-worded, coercive conduct codes, are un-anarchist.

Disrupting open-tent anarchist events, and anarchic non-regulated spaces, with idpol shenanigans directed at other idpols, is un-anarchist.

Jumping on internet condemnation bandwagons based on authoritarian idpols' claims to have been victimised by not being allowed to beat someone up, is un-anarchist.

I'm no more sympathetic to the terf idpols causing trouble than the trans idpols. But I'm frankly disgusted that a few dozen idpols have managed to cause so much damage. Basically, done what it would have cost the state much greater money, manpower, and legal hassle to achieve. Done the state's dirty work with just a handful of people. It's only happened because too many anarchists are idpol-sympathetic or soft on idpol. The bookfair collective took exactly the right line in their "respect" statement, but this isn't enough for intolerant, censorious idpols. Any space not authoritarian enough to exclude the idpol's enemy of the moment is seen as fair game. And a lot of stupid people fell for the idpol tricks and turned on the organisers in the aftermath. Well, fuck you. All of you idpols. Take your fucking in-house feud somewhere else. And anarchists, stop getting involved in these feuds. Anarchists are patsies for this authoritarian crap at the moment, one cry of *ism, *phobia and it's "to the barricades", and you're all being used by authoritarians for their power-games.

When all this shit started I was sympathetic because I thought there were real issues with sexual division of labor, sexual predators, unexamined, marginal prejudices, underrepresentation of certain groups in anarchist spaces, people not always being understanding enough of others' backgrounds. But in retrospect I wish we'd all stamped on this "internal oppression in the movement" shit the moment it appeared. It's like those games of Risk where one side (capital) dominates most of the board, and the last little pockets of adversaries can't attack it, so they keep attacking each other every turn to get their free card and increase their turf a bit. It helps the player who's already winning, but it's devastating for the marginalised adversaries. Or, like water which flows around all the sandwalls and gathers on the plains. There's a lot of frustration-aggression flying around, and most spaces hold it at bay with repression and managerial crap, and anarchist spaces get an unfair share of it because we're easy targets. People are picking on "internal oppression in the movement" because the real sources of oppression seem to powerful to attack, or else the idpols are too liberal or too cowardly to try.

"When all this shit started I was sympathetic...But in retrospect I wish we'd all stamped on this "internal oppression in the movement" shit the moment it appeared."

My analysis is that when these discussions of internal oppression became common-place, there were a few ways to respond.

One was to entirely dismiss anarchistic relationship building because THE REVOLUTION / WORKER UPRISING / INSURRECTION ("shut up and get to work.")

Another was to go over-board and become "bulldogs" for people with fewer privilege points. (instead of just being like, "yeah, society has done things to my thinking; I don't want to hurt my friends, etc."

At some point, it became the responsibility of the individual to "SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER." If they didn't jump on every IdPol discourtesy, then they were judged as weak, or irresponsible.

Anyway, I don't want to be blithe about it because seeing this book fair stuff breaks my little bitch heart, but I think a lot of this shit is people being really fucking insecure.

Society is traumatizing and I think a proactive response to social fucked-up-ness is to build (and allow for the building) of inner strength / strong sence of self.

no one cares more about fighting terfs than the state. every few years a terf pops up and gets shamed. meanwhile, trans anarchists do all sorts of other shit in between.

But people seem to care more about fighting terfs than they do about preserving spaces like the anarchist bookfair. At least, the idiot who was posting here does.

i am loath to make any detailed pronouncements as to this sad situation. i just want to point out the strangeness of the LA organizers' cretinous acceptance of disruption at their event, while the London organizers were on the receiving end of just that sort of disruption. reading the analysis and demands of the London bookfair's critics -- and really, what the fuck?! alleged anarchists making demands of other anarchists?! is nobody going to bring up that demands mean nothing without an implicit threat? -- made me cringe. the usual list of anti-oppression/anti-imperialist positions that sometimes overlap with anarchist ideas, but mostly not. the analysis and list of demands has more in common with a sectarian leftist activist outfit fishing for adherents to their front group than it does with an internal anarchist dispute.

"call-out culture" is vigilantism for leftists (some of whom are anarchists, apparently), it's based on the emotional appeal to common sense (demagoguery), and relies on a mob mentality and mob action to enforce whatever authoritarian directive is being proffered. this is what happened during the Cultural Revolution in China, and is 100% authoritarian, a way of expanding conformism.

i am not a fan of the TERF crowd, but neither am i a fan of mobs; in fact, the use of mobs by anarchists is far more troubling to me than the second-wave feminist gender essentialism of anti-trans* bigots. you might be able to have a conversation with a TERF about her reliance on the "biology is destiny" basis of her perspective (especially the patriarchal assumptions of Euro-American biological sciences), but you will never be able to have a conversation with a mob of self-righteous anti-imperialists, even if a few of them are actually anarchists. it's notoriously difficult to talk someone down after they've chosen violence as a tactic. and it's way past time to acknowledge that those who use call outs and mob tactics are implicitly accepting and promoting violence (which includes cursing and threats as well as actual physical coercion) as a problem-solving technique. this is 100% patriarchal, which maintains and enforces the ideology of hierarchical domination.

and there's no such thing as a "safe space." get a little more Stirner going for yourselves.

We hear you Sam loud and clear!

hey sam,

Why is it that when people are dicks back you get to blame it on "call out culture", but if people are dicks first its all fair game and no one is allowed to complain?

not sure why you think i'm sam. i'm not. i even have a different username.

when people are dicks online and deny that they deployed insults and deflections first, i take issue with them. not sure why you think that constitutes "fair game." it's words that are not connected to anything happening in real life; the consequences of the words exchanged on this site are minimal. perhaps some hurt feelings and some bruised egos. the events at the London bookfair, however, were based on words that have consequences in real life, and to various people who were physically present while those words were deployed. that's a completely different context.

i believe call-out culture is a scourge. it deliberately bypasses discussion and relies on a conformist emotional horror toward racism, (hetero)sexism, and other easy target WORDS -- because during a public call-out like the one that occurred in London (and in LA) there is little or no attempt to substantiate the allegations. all that needs to happen is for one or two people to yell that there's something racist or (hetero)sexist or colonialist or fascist happening within a supposedly safe space, and hackles go up. people get ready to fight. that's what makes it a mob (check out Canetti's "Crowds and Power"). nothing solidifies false community (and we all should know by now that most anarchist "community" is a joke) like a little demagoguery.

Thank you for not caving to that outrageous statement of demands full of the classic IDPol rhetoric of effusive, vague language. I am sorry to see that, yet again, a few dozen Maoists decided to vent their frustrations and feed their narcissistic urges by ruining an anarchist event. Perhaps the age of bookfairs is ending in relation to the ascendancy of histrionic identitarian outrage.

hear, hear. i love "histrionic identitarian outrage." it's a keeper!

The trouble is, idpols are creating an opportunity structure where it's impossible to hold events with an anarchist structure.

Side A and side B (here: trans and terf) both demand admission, and both demand the other side be banned. If the organisers refuse to ban either, they both turn up, fight, and wreck the event. If they ban A, then B turn up and wreck it (and/or start an internet pile-on). If they ban B, then A turn up and wreck it (and/or start an internet pile-on). Authoritarian events will protect themselves from this by banning A or B or both, hiring a lot of security, locking down the venue, and/or calling police. Anarchist (and other free-form, tolerant, un-securitised) events are at a disadvantage.

A typical anarchist/anarchic event has a small organising group, a larger but diffuse and unorganised participant community, and minimal or no systematic enforcement capacity. It relies either on an absence of extreme disruption or on spontaneous unification of the community in the event of an existential threat. Idpols are systematically creating situations which are unmanageable in an anarchist/anarchic context.

Idpol is fundamentally an authoritarian ideology. It demands regulated spaces and/or regular use of violence and purges so as to ensure the absence of content deemed offensive (ostensibly, "oppressive" or "violent") to idpols of a particular group. It is also extremely sectarian, with idpols of different groups necessarily splintering over which cause is the most important, and with the idpol playbook favoring acting-out against close ideological neighbors rather than systemic-level adversaries. Idpol is thus fundamentally at war, both with anarchism, and with itself.

There's only a few responses I can think of.

1. Anarchism could close ranks against idpols, and possibly exclude them. Anarchists could unite to kick out or beat up or just nonviolently contain idpols pulling idpol shit at anarchist events. Anarchists could become a distinct faction, retaliating against idpols who disrupt anarchist events. This is unlikely, because too many anarchists sympathise with idpols and get drawn into idpol internet pile-ons.

2. Anarchists could retreat into smaller, closed, secret or semi-secret groups, like Bey's tongs and bees. These groups will not be targeted by idpol demands and disruption because they are too small, and invisible. This sounds more viable, but isolates the few of us who are left.

3. Anarchists could try to regroup (and recruit) online. Basically create something like 4chan and Anonymous circa 2011, but excluding or hostile to both alt-right and idpol. Seems unlikely because anarchist online projects get caught up in scene drama and overrun with idpols.

At the moment, the prospects look bleak. We need to find a way to solve this problem if we're going to recover from this current malaise.

I agree, and in most of the cases I've experienced, idpols are happening in contexts where the id politicians encompass a heavy enough majority to be steering the consensus (or democratic votes) to wherever they wish. So talking about blocking those idpols is often useless...

How do we usually deal wiuth politicians? By playing a role in their pathetic staged drama, or...

It seems to me that anarchy SHOULD be a decentralized network of small, face-to-face groups. Hopefully involved in projects like workplace and community self-organization, worker co-ops, rewilding schools and sanctuaries. These are harder for cops to infiltrate, or idpol thugs (who may also be in the pay of cops) to get access to.

Idpol is nothing more than repackaged Maoism, and it is TOTALITARIAN, not authoritarian. At the same time, appropriately, it is NOT anti-capitalist.

Ooo no, not repackaged Maoism, and totalitarianism is authoritarian by way of subtle coersion and threat of exclusion or exile. Idpol is a facete of neo-liberalism, corporatism, X-tian socialist democracy. Maoism is neo-Marxism and corporatism, so they both share common ingredients, but as I often mention, this is the essential organic libidinal economic drive which underlies all culture, elaboration is a requirement these days, one can no longer shoot first and ask questions later,,,,,,,

PS Hah, a pundit might even say that Marxism was a form of X-tian dictatorship, and they would be far of the mark, since both doctrines share an eschatological form of Utopianism,,,,

*wouldn't be far off the mark*

"For America to Live, Europe Must Die" - Russel Means

"Hegel and Marx were heirs to the thinking of Newton, Descartes, Locke and Smith. Hegel nished the process of secularizing theology — and that is put in his own terms — he secularized the religious thinking through which Europe understood the universe. en Marx put Hegel’s philosophy in terms of “materialism,” which is to say that Marx despiritualized Hegel’s work altogether. Again, this is in Marx’ own terms. And this is now seen as the future revolutionary potential of Europe. Europeans may see this as revolutionary, But American Indians see it simply as still more of that same old European con ict between being and gaining. e intellectual roots of a new Marxist form of European imperialism lie in Marx’ — and his followers’ — links to the tradition of Newton, Hegel, and the others."

PDF: https://www.sproutdistro.com/catalog/zines/theory/america-live-europe-mu...

YouTube Lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXCLk6dZLs0

Anarchist Library: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/russell-means-for-america-to-liv...

Thankyou sooo much ! This is actually my own theoretical perspective since I have experience living and speaking indigenous, hah, I actually preceded most of the Western cultural colonialist critiques which entered the anarchist discourse, I introduced the deeper psychological and physiological elements of the nature of revolution, psychological evolution, and the materialism of the binary X-tian doctrine. This should go well in my correspondence course on philosophy.

tight.

you might like:

http://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2017/10/02/ep173-1-american-indian-phil...

(part 1/2)

I only listened to it with half an ear, but you do you. See if you find something in it.

Hah umm, you must be newish to this site, I've been around a few years, this is very familiar to me, actually I read Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee when I was 8 yrs old and studied philosophy ever since, emile used this and added his own idiosyncratic bent to the essential themes of indigenous social and cosmological processes and values. But thanks and if you can actually acquire THAT process in your own life, well, you would be an anarch then, but no long tomes, it just counters the whole legitimacy of having any essential appropriation of that actual state of consciousness, if you know what I mean, hah ,,,,,,

Redkitty, I largely agree, although I think these big tent events are useful for drawing new people in. I'm not quite sure how small affinity groups manage to multiply beyond their existing, very small numbers outside of a larger movement/network (although groups like al-Qaeda seem to be able to do it).

The other problem here is that so many anarchists are idpol-sympathetic or idpol-confused, there are already idpols in our networks even on the smallest scale, people have housemates and partners who are idpols, and this makes it very hard to form even small groups with no idpols. There would need to be a much sharper ideological break.

Well, in a parallel situation where we had an inclusive collective with a more-or-less democratic structure (like Occupy), and it gets taken over by authoritarian leftists or liberals because they're more numerous and they can dominate the process, generally anarchists would either agitate on the margins, piss off and set up our own shit, or even disrupt the movement. But, this seems not to be happening with the idpol takeover because too few people are recognising idpols as politicians, or idpol ideology as non-anarchist. Not only are idpol politicians passing themselves off as anarchists (which Maoists and their ilk have always done), but there's a lot of "real" anarchists who are either influenced by idpol or at least sympathise with it as a form of anarchism. And idpol ideology is constructed in such a way ("we're deconstructing everyday oppressions and hierarchies", "our demands are about inclusion, not exclusion", "you can't understand the hierarchies we're attacking without this whole grad-school theory package", "you can't understand the hierarchies we're attacking without belonging to the same group as us", "you might have unconscious hierarchical beliefs you don't know about"...) which get under the guard of anarchists who would see straight through the usual leftist crap. It's not helped by the fact that idpol sometimes draws attention to problems in anarchist scenes which really exist, and that the exact boundary between full idpol and legitimate (anarchist) concerns about structural inequality and bigotry is vague. And, it's also not helped by the fact that idpol is drawing on a whole vocabulary and methodology of pop-psych, everyday management, and other common ideological elements which have also infiltrated pretty deeply into anarchist consciousness (even though they're ultimately authoritarian).

I think in the London case, both the terf and trans factions are quite small, and don't have a majority or even a presence in the organising group, but they have a disruptive capacity on social media because they can pull other anarchist groups (often on the basis of false or partial accounts, and using guilt-tripping and the risk of being targeted oneself) into taking sides. So, the problem isn't that they dominate a democratic process, it's that they dominate a particular kind of quasi-horizontal network structure by means of a targeted use of buzzwords and dogwhistles which other anarchists respond to.

20:20

if a group of nationalist anarchists wanted in and anti-nationalists were against it, would you still have the same analysis as far as it being two groups wanting admission and no way for anarchists to sort that out without abandoning anarchist structure?

im legit curious.

I assume you mean WHITE nationalist anarchists. There are also African nationalists and others.
I hate capitalism, but have no problem with "anarcho-capitalists" showing up at a bookfair. I've been in love with other guys, and have even (gasp!) slept with other guys (which makes me a member of an Official Identity Politics Oppressed Group, which working-class whites are NOT). But I don't think people should be banned from saying homosexuality is sinful or sick (maybe because I really don't unconsciously/preconsciously believe any of this myself). Idpols are acting out their unconscious self-hate and other mental illnesses, and "speech codes" are exactly the slippery slope totalitarians want.

Remember when Michael Schmidt used to write about African anarchism but turned out to actually be a far right white supremacist.

20.20 here. With hindsight I'm simplifying a lot, because you're right, the rupture doesn't always happen when there's divisions over who should be included. And my characterisation of idpols as authoritarian interlopers might thus be mistaken in light of this. Because, comparing the two cases (if we're talking white racist types) there probably wouldn't be this kind of existential threat to the space, because enough of the community would be on the same side that they could be confronted without too much disruption, and without needing specialised coercive agencies to do it (same reason it doesn't necessarily destroy free party scenes if they try to stamp out dealing of hard drugs). If a national anarchist group was making threats, "let us table or we'll disrupt the event", and an antifa group was making counter-threats, "if they table then we'll shut them down", most people would jump on the antifa side and the conflict would be quite small-scale. And if it was just the two groups turning up and fighting and nobody cared, like maybe two very small hooligan firms having a brawl on the margins of a sports event, then this wouldn't have much effect either. But if the community was split down the middle as to whether national anarchists are really anarchists, and a sizeable subset of anarchists had sympathies with them or knew them personally, or if there was a very strong free speech/all-comers ethos like in the Berkeley free speech movement (but not strong enough to similarly be near-consensus), then there would be potential for the same kind of situation. The trans v terf thing and idpol feuds more generally cut right into the scene and the things people care about, and they involve people who are very much already part of the scene. I think the same structural problem would have arisen if (say) left vs post-left or insu vs pacifist had escalated past a certain point as well, and I think there's similar issues in the Atassa case. But, there's similar structural problems if (for instance) there's an open festival and two gangs turn up who can't stand each other. I've heard about parallel phenomena with marketplaces in West Papua: the border-crossing space between the Papuans of different groups, and the Indonesian settlers, is usually quite sustainable but is the first place to be burnt down if tensions escalate past a certain point.

If we think about it in network-mapping terms, if we visualise the anarchist scene as a cluster of overlapping affinities and connections, then with national anarchists (and authoritarian socialists, and ancaps) we're talking about a cluster outside or on the margins of the network, seeking admission to the network, and either getting in or not, whereas with idpol wars we're looking at a split between groups already enmeshed in the network, which tends to rupture the network itself. And I think this is probably what makes the situation so devastating. It's not so much that the terfs turned up and the trans people confronted them. It's that the trans people were able to mobilise a lot of other anarchist groups against the bookfair collective, because the collective takes a position of leaving it to the attendees, and the instincts of enough of the attendees were to stop the trans people beating up the terfs. And of course, BANA or ancaps or leftist sects couldn't do this. So it's not just "let's turn up and have a fight" which causes the problem, it's "let's turn up and escalate something the community is already divided about to the most intense point of conflict that we can".

I can see a binary complex forming in the idpol / anarchist milieu critique which will form the usual polarised dialectics and follow the ultimate path towards a sectarian resolution.

Good. Better a smaller sect with no safe space fraternity-terror bullshit than the current shitfest of authoritarians ruining anarchism.

The difference is that trans people and anarchism have ideological affinity. On the other hand, TERFs have affinity with Nazism and their far right bio-purism.

And this is the trouble. There's no way Helen Steel is Naziesque or bio-purist. It's absurd to say that she doesn't have affinity with anarchism. At the same time, it's also absurd to say that anarcho-trans activists don't have affinity with anarchism. Anarchism is caught between warring affines.

If this was a question of excluding right-wing MRAs/PUA's, Westboro Baptist Church or somesuch, it would be a lot easier - but it isn't.

"Side A and side B (here: trans and terf) both demand admission, and both demand the other side be banned."

When have radical feminists ever done this? They are actively trying to debate the issues. And "TERF" is not a real thing, only a slur.

Only one group here has this pattern of behavior: https://bannedbytrans.wordpress.com

"And "TERF" is not a real thing," I guess you never heard of the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Womyn%27s_Music_Festival
What would you call their previous policies?

I'm going to blog more about this but the anarchy tendencies that matter tend to be the ones that get expelled from formal gatherings and associations. It's probably that time right now. The IDPol cancer has spread to the point of outnumbering the more consistent anarchists and more importantly the post left Stirnerian type. The reddit types mark a clear majority at this point. It's time for anarchists with any self respect to get out and sell low.

Even though I understand your point and preference to not do it at all, I wish that you would still have a bookfair that is your own and rejects this type of shit.

get attacked based on my identity. Say hey leave me alone and please dont attack me for that.

get called an idpol. lol whats even happening?

Mob thuggery is NOT "please don't attack me". See my above posts.
I don't even identify as "queer", but I'm open about having loved other guys. When there really WAS a potential threat (i.e. armed white supremacist gangs in the area where my Land in the backwoods was), I was appropriately hard. I acquired an AR-15 and learned how to use it.

Badkitty, perhaps in your lifestyle isolation, your exposure to IdPol is limited to the toxic shit online but that's really just a malicious misuse of the tool.

To use your own words (which I don't really agree with) totalitarian Maoists are misusing identity. Tools are neutral, only the person who picks it up is culpable.

Is what attracts the Maoism in the first place. Personal identity is a different matter. At best that's what 'the politics is personal' ethos was going for but it mutated over time into what we have today.

Identity should be personalized not politicized.

Not sure what you are assuming by "lifestyle isolation".
I disagree, for example, with reducing male love, which is universal to human males, to even non-totalitarian IdPol in principle. This is partly formed by early experience - none of the other boys I was tight with in grade school grew up to identify as "queer".
Likewise, I disagree with reducing the regeneration of traditional Native American cultures, and the defense of the last free (hunter-gatherer-permaculturist) humans left on earth to IdPol. This fight concerns the redemption of ALL humans - i.e. the regeneration of the human Deep Structure (see my book).
And on other issues, IdPol inherently lends itself to the use of race or gender to SHOUT DOWN any discussion of CAPITALISM. This is especially unhelpful in dealing with structural racism.
That being said, I would not advocate resorting to thuggery or speech bans on these people I disagree with.

You always go on and on about living in the woods so I extrapolated that to engaging with this stuff mostly online where it's distorted.

@critic did a great job explaining this stuff on the forum post about it: the short version is that identity got weaponized by the worst kind of liberal authoritarians within the last decade or two but of course, that doesn't invalidate everything else.

Identity is just a tool, its value is neutral. Blame the user.

I think this shows the unfortunate flaws of aspects of the post Stonewall sexual movements. By creating a visual minority identity structure of homosexuality this may well have inhibited greater homo and bisexual ACTIVITY. Identity should always be a means of activity not an end. If proper analysis and orientation had followed homosexual activity might have moved well beyond the balkanized coastal areas and into the heartland and across class lines as an open and accepted activity.

It's greatly regrettable that bisexuality is part of the queer identity acronym. Bisexuality should be a strived for norm that challenges the hetero standard. Humans would be a lot closer to an emerging binormative epoch if not for the visual minority identity emphasis on sexuality that has been standard since Stonewall.

Wish the Bookfair Collective could be more defiant and not cancel the bookfair as it is way too important to cancel. However I can 100% see why they wouldn't have the motivation when so many of the people they thought were friends and comrades throw all their efforts back in their face. Can't believe Class War signed the statement! What is going on?? Totally agree with whoever said why are anarchists making demands of each other?? ...and why is censorship rather than debate suddenly popular at the bookfair?? Sad times...

Bookfairs are only important in the context of almost nothing else happening

"terf" is a nonsense term made up by transactivists, conveniently far removed so as not to remind anyone they're talking about feminists, about women. (They all pronounce it "tehrf.")

Whether you anounce you have a lady soul and just like that win the oppression poker and demand that women defer to you, or just join in the bashing of "tehrfs," it's the favourite insult of woke misogyny.

Transactivists can't stand that someone "sound" could criticize them, so they must absolutely vilify radical feminists as worst than nazis; for some trans-identified males (and they're the loudest of the bunch) the fact that radfems are "insobordinate women" probably plays into the vilification as well. But a significant part of radical feminists are female detransitioners, it's completely ridiculous.

See for yourself: https://terfisaslur.com/

This vitriol might be a reaction to "the lavender menace" of second-wave feminism. I checked out your link. I had no idea.

I started my period today.

"TERF!" lol

pardon me: "this 'uterus bearer' started their period today."

few

Menstruation is a sacred process, it should not be discussed in a facetious materialistic manner, even by a nihilist.

My TP spoke of animal echo
TV adds
And 4th grade giggles
Can we?
What?
Nothing?
Front to Back.
Forward flow.
Flushing youth.

*curtsies*

Here’s the origin story. Apparently it didn’t start out as a slur, but as a descriptor of radical feminists who want to make it clear that they are pro-trans*. It seems like the ones so described were the ones to double down on their anti-trans* agendas, insisting on the “deceptive” nature of trans* folk. That is the heteronormative line of patriarchy, used to mitigate or explain violence against trans* folk. Is it any wonder that many trans* folk would understand this perspective as dehumanizing and implicitly accepting of (if not actuallly promoting) violence against any trans* person? This is partly why that asshole Milo was shut down earlier this year: for doxxing trans* people, which was correctly seen as promoting anti-trans* violence
http://theterfs.com/2013/10/11/terf-where-the-term-comes-from/

19:59 nice concoction you got there. Jump a little further each time, and you'll have crossed a chasm, eh? (1) paint radfems as +++insisting on the “deceptive” nature of trans*+++, (2) +++That is the heteronormative line of patriarchy+++ transition is woke conversion therapy (most TiMs are straight nowadays but still), you don't get to bring "heteronormative" here as a beating stick (3) +++used to mitigate or explain violence against trans* folk.+++ and here you have conflated radfems with MEN who kill trans-identified persons, whether men who feel deceived or not. Good job.

Convinced TiMs feel entitled to the "default" of all feminism, and it might also have come about as a clarification: "(trans-exclusive) radical feminism," in the same way as saying "radical feminism (which is trans-exclusive)", but whatever the case transactivists soon enough realized the potential of a far-removed nonsense term.

reading. sometimes it's hard.

TERFs are a right wing disease. There is nothing radical nor feminist about TERFs. They are nothing more than trans hating bigots. TERF should really stand for Trans Exclusionary Reactionary Feminists, Trans Exclusionary Regressive, Feminists, or Trans Exclusionary Right-wing Feminists.

TERFs have poisoned Radical Feminism, twisting it to legimitize their trans hatred. Unfortunatly, it is no longer a tendency that feminists can align themselves in good conscience. If radical feminism has become a lost cause due to the influence of TERFs, here is the the uprising of Revolutionary Anarchist Feminism and the end of trans hating right wing TERFs.

I'm quite amazed at how freaked out some anarchists are of identity politics and hOw it's becoming equivalent to the threat of communism to capitalism whereas with that any hint of communist sympathy was a threat, with anarchy now it seems it's idpol. There are some lines being blurred which is annoying where identity politics is coming to mean any talk of identity and oppression regardless of what form it takes and all trans people are apparently the main culprits behind it (oh yea, we're also a part of a mafia and/or a mob). Which is bullshit. There are things to be critiquedbut somehow this equates to throwing away all conversations on these topics and going seriously in the exact opposite direction of taking on shitty oppressive ideas in order to reject identity politics. This is shit. The problem is that a bookfair isn't happening over what boils down in people's minds to people confronting people handing out transphobic leaflets. People directly taking on people that are spreading ideas that cause harm in the real world and not relying on some authority to do it for them. Oh and these folks need to enact their anarchy better and fight whatever better target because people want to dismiss trans identity and the oppression we experience because that's obviously not anarchist at all to do that because in your ridiculous logic it's just a matter of differing views which is baffling.

If there's any comparison to be made with communist persecution, it's the Transphobic Activities Committee by transactivists; and if there's any "people that are spreading ideas that cause harm in the real world" it's transactivists and their sex roles fundamentalism. Real harm: to all the bodily harm of puberty blockers, cutting off of breasts, and inversion of genitals, they want to expose women to men who claim to have a lady soul.

But transactivists can't lose, they have to be the opressor and the opressed, play the victic while threatening you in the same breath.

“If there's any comparison to be made with communist persecution, it's the Transphobic Activities Committee by transactivists;”

I hope that you are a troll. Trans* folks are murdered so frequently in the US.

From a watch-blog: “this is the current list of trans people who have died in the US in 2017.

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, Sioux Falls, SD
Mesha Caldwell, 41, Canton, MS
Jojo Striker, 23  Toledo, OH
Jaquarrius Holland, 18   Monroe, LA
Keke Collier, 24, Chicago, IL
Chyna Gibson, 31, New Orleans, LA
Ciara McElveen, 26, New Orleans, LA
Alphonza Watson, 38, Baltimore, MD
Chay Reed, 28, Miami, FL
Brenda Bostick, 59, New York, NY
Sherrell Faulkner, 46, Charlotte, NC
Kenne McFadden, 27, San Antonio, TX
Josie Berrios, 28, Ithaca, NY
Ava Le'Ray Barrin, 17, Athens, GA
Ebony Morgan, 28, Lynchburg, VA
Tee Tee Dangerfield, 32, College Park, GA
Gwynevere River Song,  26, Waxahachie, TX
Kashmire Redd, 28, Gates, NY
Derricka Banner, 28, Charlotte, NC
Ally Steinfeld, 17  Cabool, MO
Stephanie Montez, 47  Robstown, TX
Candace Towns, 30  Macon, GA”

“and if there's any "people that are spreading ideas that cause harm in the real world" it's transactivists and their sex roles fundamentalism."

Okay, you are a troll. I am getting trolled.

"Real harm: to all the bodily harm of puberty blockers, cutting off of breasts, and inversion of genitals, they want to expose women to men who claim to have a lady soul."

You’re gross! Personally, “men with lady soul” sounds like a nicer world. lol sorry. reactionary snark.

"But transactivists can't lose, they have to be the opressor and the opressed, play the victic while threatening you in the same breath."

I’ve been raped, and hit, and abused by men .... and I’m gonna get you! *cackles*

http://transgriot.blogspot.com/2017/11/2017-us-trans-murders-list.html

"It really depends on what you mean by "identity politics".

I see the term get abused all-too-often by reactionary entryists who are trying to use some superficial common ground between themselves and anarchists (a dislike of liberalism - particularly bourgeois liberal feminism) to start pushing gradually for a narrative that any discourse on race or gender/sexuality is liberal/bourgeois/counterrevolutionary/etc.

From here, it's not too hard to start saying that any oppression on the axis of race or gender or sexuality is unimportant, or that these struggles are invalid, because people are free and unique and should just realize that identity is a spook. As though it were that easy to address the issue.

It's important to realize on the other side of things, and also no secret, that all of these issues have been gradually co-opted by liberals. Marxist/socialist feminism was pushed out by radfem and later libfem (though the Marxists have themselves to blame for this), black liberation socialism (the Black Panthers, MLK, and Malcom X were all socialists) was COINTELPRO'd and pushed out in favor of the liberal pacificist/separatist narratives that were also present in that movement, and (I know less about this one) queer liberation has been normalized into being essentially an issue over gay marriage.

All of these share the common influence of identity politics, which is really the tendency that capitalism has to recuperate struggles back into itself that aren't directly critical of capital.

Identity politics fundamentally reifies categories of identity. A woman/POC/queer person is still just as much reduced to being merely an identity category - that is, not a free and unique human being, not a subject but rather an object - but unlike when a sexist/racist/homophobe does this, identity politics engages in this levelling in a much nicer way. It creates "spaces" where these marginalized identities can feel empowered and safe, while in reality being sequestered into more managable groups that have no desire to be aggressive and claim more space. And really, what this succeeds in doing is continue to enforce the narrative that we are merely our identities and not free and unique persons, and also open up new markets for capital.

The histories behind these identity categories, and the particular ways that they serve as a tool of oppression by the ruling class, are complicated and have their own particular characteristics. And while they don't function the same as they used to in the first world - where it's no longer necessary for all women to be housewives in order to reproduce the labor power of her husband after he is done with a 12 hour shift and is too exhausted to cook or clean, for instance - the identities remain.

And part of destroying the totality involves engaging with these axes of oppression and dismantling them on their own grounds, with their own unique logic - not by ALSO levelling them out and saying that identity is just a spook and everyone can or would "just realize" that they're spooks, and forget possibly a lifetime of having that identity category and the narrative that we are merely an identity category reproduced in them by patriarchy/racism/heteronormativity.

I would argue that feminism/black liberation/queer liberation all ultimately seek to abolish the categories of identity that they critique, as it is these categories as such and not their history as tools of oppression that are in fact oppressive to people who are put in them. Because again, we're free and unique humans, not a blob of social constructs that have been created by the ruling class.

But, the tendencies are so broad that you can't say that and take it for granted - which is why I think it's important to recognize that the critique of identity politics can and should coexist with anarcha-feminism, and that anarcha-feminism can and should continue to represent these issues from an anarchist perspective and square them off against the anarchist critique of the State and capitalism, and hierarchy in general.

The alternative as I see it is to continue taking things for granted: That anarchy just obviously involves being against these identity categories, yet not actually engaging with and critiquing them beyond "hierarchy is bad, m'kay?"; that identity categories doesn't real, so people should just obviously be able to act as rational agents and decide to not believe in the spooks anymore. Which, I think, is not only an infantile critique of the role identity categories play in hierarchical society, but also as I said earlier just makes it easy for reactionary elements to creep into the anarchist milieu."

http://anarchy101.org/14410/is-identity-politics-compatible-with-anarchi...

Anarchists can care as much as they like about gender, race, sexuality, any of these things. So long as:

1. they aren't bringing carceral authoritarian safe space shit into anarchist spaces,
2. they aren't treating other anarchists as enemies for being on the other side of identity feuds,
3. they aren't pulling "internal oppression in the movement" shit to tear down people who are actually fighting the system instead of one another,
4. they aren't demanding inverted hierarchies such as "black-led" or "women-led" struggles,
5. they aren't using reverse racist/sexist/etc stereotypes to attack, belittle, subordinate, silence, and undermine anarchists who aren't part of their identity group.
6. claiming you're being oppressed and the space is hierarchical, not because someone has actually discriminated against you, but because they haven't pre-emptively "included" you on your own terms.

These are authoritarian ways of doing things, based on authoritarian root assumptions. If you want to do identity politics in an *anarchist* way in anarchist spaces, that's fine.

It's quite possible to fight sexism or racism (etc) without getting into all this etiquette and morality-policing. As far as I know, nobody in the anarchist movement has a problem with you fighting Nazis, targeting companies which run sexist ads, unionising women in the workplace, running domestic violence shelters, organising Copwatch in black areas, going to consciousness-raising groups, disrupting homophobic churches, trolling Nazis on Twitter, sabotaging oil pipelines, locking onto things to highlight disability benefit cuts, rioting over deaths in custody, feeding refugees or homeless people, protesting at immigration removal centres, shutting down flights with deportees on, or a thousand other ways you can fight specific oppressions.

But some of us *do* have a problem with idpols turning up with demands that everyone submit to authoritarian processes and declarations of our identities and responsibilities, otherwise we're covertly "authoritarian" or "racist" or whatever.

We are not your slaves (sorry, "allies") and we are not emotional punchbags for your pent-up frustrations with capitalist society. And we are not blank slates for you to project your fantasy-images of the oppressor-group onto.

"Don't tell me what to do" is central to anarchism. Forcing people to "check their privilege", identify with someone else's view of what their motives are, or subordinate their own desires and struggles to those of the "oppressed" are authoritarian approaches.

In Mao's Little Red Book, he talks about clear lines of demarcation. I have some clear lines of demarcation for the New Maoists, er . . . I meant Anti-Oppression Activists:

Are cis straight white men the ruling class, or is the capitalist oligarchy?
Do whites (an undifferentiated mass) "have all the wealth", or do the wealthiest 5% of households have 65% of it, the wealthiest 10% have 77%, and the bottom 80% have 11%, with the bottom 60% coming in at all of 3.8%? (2013 data, Edward Wolf, N.Y.U., 2017) Are ANY of those in this bottom 60% or 80% white? WHERE are the reparations black people are owed going to come from? Working-class whites?
Are working-class whites The Cause of Everything Bad in America?
Are working-class whites the enemy of black people, or is structural racism condensed into the capitalist system?
Has liberal-guilt baiting and harranging other oppressed people, The Oppression Olympics, or disruption and physical attacks on other people revolting against the system EVER brought about a sustained rupture in the system?
WHO is the enemy, WHAT is an alliance, and on WHAT basis?

I don't think those who I call Identity Politicians have any real interest in breaking capitalist rule, and in fact are used as a tool (in many cases NOT unwittingly) to sustain it. Why there are careers to be had doing this.

If you don't want us to throw away your authoritarian concoctions, then don't disrupt our bookfairs. It's pretty simple really.

It doesn't matter that some unsavory types also hate them for their own reasons.

My reasons for disliking IDPol is that it is a decadent development from PERSONAL politics which(while flawed) is VASTLY preferable to reified constituted identity. The problem with IDPol is that it represents a pivot away from personalization towards a reconstituting of the political. Exactly what anarchist orientation should avoid.

On the issue of the trans mafia douche. You can be very much pro-trans and anti-IDPol. This particular fool obviously has a conservative hangup of sorts. I'm perfectly fine with kids and transition as it follows from my greater pro autonomy view towards adolescents and children. I'm also fine with transracial and otherkin identity. Just don't politicize it. Look at someone like Ru Paul, HE has the right idea(call me whatever the fuck you want I don't care).

Unsuprising statement from the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Bookfair of London. Down with the unnaccountable shadow cabals running these bookfairs.

may be nothing more than the people willing to DO THE WORK of getting/preparing the space and doing publicity. Imagine that! Now that the Anti-Oppression Activists have deposed the Nefarious Shadow Cabal, they are free to organize the next bookfair themselves and exclude whoever they want (if they can even manage to decide on that). They have WON! We will see if they can actually DO anything but whine, rant, manipulate, and fight among themselves. And they better, or a new Nefarious Shadow Cabal might emerge! (Made up, no doubt, of the Monsterously Privileged!)

We need more mobs and thuggery. Make anarchism dangerous again.

. . . or I'll bite you with my 2-inch fangs!

Why do a lot of leftoids moan about this or that not being a "safe space?" I don't understand their love for the convoluted idea of safe spaces. Mysterious. Also, what's up with them constantly whining about this event or that event not having enough tokenized minorities and event police?

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