Safer spaces, false allegations, and the NYC Anarchist Bookfair

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://libcom.org/blog/safer-spaces-false-allegations-nyc-anarchist-book...

<p> I&#039;ve written this blog in response to <a href="http://libcom.org/forums/news/kafka-sales-will-be-through-roof-nyc-anarc... class="bb-url">another thread on this site</a>, discussing the safer spaces policy at the NYC Anarchist Bookfair 2012, and why I&#039;m not convinced we need to be too preoccupied with the possibility of false rape accusations.</p>
<p><strong>TRIGGER WARNING: sexual violence</strong></p>

<p> I didn&#039;t want to get into the conversation or to post on the thread in question. In the past eight months, I&#039;ve had so many private and public discussions about sexual assault, and specifically assaults carried out within the radical left and perpetrated by (mostly, but not entirely) men who would call themselves comrades and indeed feminists, I felt too exhausted and apathetic to add my voice to the discussion. I disagreed with a lot of what was being said by good friends of mine, and I&#039;d rather ignore it, and just go off on my holiday to NYC and forget about it.</p></td><td><img title="Are we the revolution, pro-revolution, counter-, or just dreamers who share a certain vocabulary?" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/combatturtle.jpg"></td></tr...

<p>I&#039;d been in town for about 24 hours when I got to the anarchist bookfair, and one of the first people I saw there was a man who sexually assaulted a friend of mine. At this point I realised that discussions about safer spaces, sexual violence, and our response to these issues as a community aren&#039;t something I am going to be able to avoid any time soon. The shitty reality is that sexual assault, as well as sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, queerphobic and other socially conditioned, oppressive bullshit (intentional or not) is not unusual. As communists, we can all agree that this kind of behaviour is A Bad Thing, <a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref1_dmtaktr" title="although some people may wish to defend their right to make racist, sexist, homophobic etc jokes, because we all know they&#039;re a communist and don&#039;t really mean it. Luckily, Polite Ire has taken the trouble to explain exactly why that&#039;s bullshit." href="#footnote1_dmtaktr">1</a> but the disagreement comes when we&#039;re talking about what we do about it.</p>
<p>Disagreement came pretty quickly once someone reproduced a letter sent by the Safer Space<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref2_u2bb9rw" title="People have been questioning the use of “safer” vs “safe” – afaik the reason “safer” is used is because even with all these policies and communist awareness and so on, discriminatory behaviour and violence continues to occur, and nowhere can quite be guaranteed as “safe”." href="#footnote2_u2bb9rw">2</a> team at the NYC Anarchist Bookfair. The letter read as follows (emphasis added):</p>
<div class="bb-quote">Quote:<br />
<blockquote class="bb-quote-body">Hi [REDACTED].<br />
I am writing to you on behalf of the 2012 NYC Anarchist Book fair Safe(r) Space Group to let you know that a request has been made that you not attend this year. The policy at the event, posted at http://www.anarchistbookfair.net/saferspace, is in place to create a supportive, non-threatening environment for all. This means that anyone may be asked to not attend. <span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-weight:bold">No blame is placed, no decision is made</span></span>, we simply ask that you not attend to prevent anyone from feeling unsafe.<br />
We understand that being asked not to attend is not easy, and we don’t take it lightly. You may not know why you are being asked not to attend or who all is requesting this, or you may feel the situation is totally unfair. Our goal is not to decide right or wrong but to maintain safety at the fair. Some situations are gray and sometimes based on simple misunderstandings, but regardless of the reasons, no matter what your defense, we still ask that you not attend this years book fair. Not attending is not an admission of guilt. In fact, you not attending is a statement that you respect everyone’s safety at the fair and are taking a positive step to uphold that principle.<br />
<span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-weight:bold">We also understand your need to know why you are being asked not to attend. However, the book fair is not the place to resolve conflict.</span></span> Please, do not approach anyone at the fair who you think is responsible for the request that you not attend, or anyone that you think may have made this request before the fair. This violates our commitment to keeping everyone safe.<br />
We realize that this email is formal. We chose to email you because we want to remain as neutral as possible in this position and situation, as well as to give you the space in which to process this request in whatever way is most comfortable and safe.<br />
<span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-weight:bold">If you have any questions please don&#039;t hesitate to contact me.</span></span> Again, do not contact anyone without their consent, especially any survivors. <span style="font-style:italic"><span style="font-weight:bold">You can field all questions through me or I can put you in contact with other safer space members</span></span>.<br />
Thanks for helping us keep it safe,<br />
[REDACTED]/ NYC Anarchist Bookfair Safer Space Team</blockquote>
</div>
<p>Responses on the forum thread were initially negative, it was called “ridiculous”, “insane”, and was said to “give insight into a collective mental process that is fundamentally at odds with even the most basic notions of justice and reason”.<br />
The main line of criticism seemed to me to be that the letter</p>
<ul class="bb-list" style="list-style-type:circle;">
<li>Doesn&#039;t detail allegations and could be confusing for the recipient</li>
<li>Doesn&#039;t give the recipient a right to reply or provide their side of the story</li>
<li>By providing anonymity to the person who requested the recipient be asked not to attend the bookfair, this letter paves the way for abuses of power and a slew of false allegations.</li>
</ul>
<p>I don&#039;t think the letter is without fault, nor do I think that people objecting to it are apologists for sexual assault by default, and I&#039;d like to make that quite clear. I decided to go and chat to the safer spaces team at the bookfair. They weren&#039;t some shadowy clique plotting people&#039;s downfall in a backroom somewhere, I met a few women sat at the very entrance to the main room, with a clear sign indicating who they were, and arm bands making them easily identifiable. They had formed a group called <a href="http://supportny.org/about/" class="bb-url">Support New York</a> who are<br />
<div class="bb-quote">Quote:<br />
<blockquote class="bb-quote-body">dedicated to healing the effects of sexual assault and abuse. Our aim is to meet the needs of the survivor, to hold accountable those who have perpetrated harm, and to maintain a larger dialogue within the community about consent, mutual aid, and our society’s narrow views of abuse. We came together in order to create our own safe(r) space and provide support for people of all genders, races, ages and orientations, separate from the police and prison systems that perpetuate these abuses</blockquote></div></p>

<p>They were friendly and constructive, and gave me a whole load of resources about responding to sexual assault in radical communities, as well as email contacts, and the possibility of hosting some kind of workshop or talk in Scotland over the summer. They confirmed that the letters were sent out ahead of the NYC Anarchist Bookfair at the requests of survivors of (almost always) sexual or domestic violence. </p>
<p><span style="font-weight:bold">Criticisms of the letter</span><br />
I&#039;m going to focus on the final criticism I outlined above, because I think the first two are fairly easily dealt with by noticing that a) the letter does not seek to publicly defame anyone, or limit their participation in anything other than the bookfair, and b) a contact name and email is provided, with an invitation to raise any questions or concerns. I agree this could be made clearer, and perhaps a hint at the kinds of processes the recipient may be able to engage in should they want to clear all of this up would be useful. </p>
<p>The letter isn&#039;t perfect, but nor is it the Inquisition, or particularly Kafkaesque – there&#039;s no trial, no never ending process, no anonymous unreachable state bureaucracy: it&#039;s a letter from a person with a name and an email address that welcomes a response, that asks someone to not go to a two-day event.</p>
<p>Onto false allegations then. It&#039;s clear from reading the responses to the letter that the fear of false allegations of rape strike a chord, and it&#039;s easy to see why. The <a href="http://www.shakesville.com/2009/10/rape-culture-101.html" class="bb-url">rape culture</a> we all live in is supported by a media that loves to go to town on rape allegations, and makes heroes of men accused of rape (Assange, Polanski... dare I say Tupac? Yes, yes I do). The vindictive, crazy woman who wrongly accuses an innocent man of rape and ruins his life is a long standing trope, rooted in misogynistic assumptions and rape myths, given another airing recently by Plan B on his last album. Even women whose rape allegations do make it through court are often disbelieved (for some more pop culture misogynistic vitriol, have a look at the #JusticeForChed hashtag on Twitter, or google “Free Mercston”). </p>
<p>So I can see why a letter like this makes people nervous, or worried that false accusations of sexual assault might start to become a way for anarchists etc to undermine each other<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref3_q1nccsh" title="I originally quoted a post from the thread here from Steven. which was out of context as he points out below, so I&#039;ve removed this to avoid confusion" href="#footnote3_q1nccsh">3</a> Loads of false allegations that will then be made public and be used to irreparably damage innocent men&#039;s reputations. I find this conclusion both really problematic, and really unlikely.</p>
<p>Having said that, I can see why people might be worried about false allegations of sexual assault, but it frustrates me that this seems to be such a high priority when pro-active measures are taken to tackle sexual assault within the radical left. Because surely, by now, there is a better understanding of the kind of shit someone has to go through to make an allegation of sexual assault. False allegations of sexual assault are not common, for lots of reasons, and it would take a hell of a lot more than a small group of sympathetic radicals at a bookfair to change that.</p>
<p>Speaking out about domestic and sexual violence is really hard, and the majority of assaults go unreported – anyone who read any of the #ididnotreport hashtag on twitter<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref4_n95my78" title="many of the tweets have been collected here" href="#footnote4_n95my78">4</a> a few months ago will have been moved by the sheer number of people having the same reasons for never telling anyone about sexual assault. Rapists and abusers are more often than not our friends, associates, even family members and lovers. Sexual assault can involve so much power-play and coercion the survivor can often be unclear about exactly what happened. A survivor will often blame themselves (after all, there&#039;s a whole society to back up the abuser when they tell you it&#039;s your fault, or that you enjoyed it, or that what they did was normal and acceptable, and that no one will believe you anyway). When people do disclose abuse, the pressure to self-censor, to not <span style="font-style:italic">make a fuss</span>, is fucking overwhelming. When you&#039;re trying to get through something that traumatic, the idea of having to constantly explain yourself, justify your actions and responses over and over again (but why didn&#039;t you punch him? Why did you sleep in the same bed afterwards? Why have you only said this a year later?), and to eventually face down your abuser and their supporters when they say you&#039;re full of shit and you can&#039;t prove anything anyway, that&#039;s enough to make you think very carefully indeed about speaking out. </p>
<p>And speaking out for what? If a survivor does go to the police, they&#039;re going to face all that shit and worse, plus the possible disapproval of comrades for getting the police involved in the first place. Worse still may be the police&#039;s response if you happen to be queer, trans, sex working, a drug user... Even if your case <span style="font-style:italic">does</span> get to court (maybe after an internal physical exam, after all your clothes have been taken in for DNA testing, after you&#039;ve had to answer over again exactly how much you had to drink that night), the court is almost guaranteed to be a nightmare, your chances of securing a conviction are slim, and they&#039;ll probably be out in 2.5 years anyway. If you don&#039;t go to the police, there&#039;ll be another group of people who take that to mean you&#039;re making it up, and as far as I know in the UK, there are not many people in the radical left who are experienced or confident in facilitating accountability processes<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref5_0s6c6pd" title="if you are, PM me, I can think of a shitload of people who&#039;d want to talk to you" href="#footnote5_0s6c6pd">5</a>. </p>
<p>I could say a lot more about how stressful and ultimately unrewarding speaking out about sexual assault is, but I hope you get the point I&#039;m trying to make. There are so many barriers to speaking out, the idea that one small group of people sending a letter asking someone not to come to a bookfair would “encourage loads of false allegations” seems so many, many steps away from the situation we find ourselves in right now, where we as a movement are desperately ill equipped to respond to disclosures of sexual assault. I can only try to reassure you that this hypothetical day where your comrades who are the most likely to suffer sexual violence are so numerous and confident and powerful and supported enough to do damage with false allegations even if we wanted to (we don&#039;t) are a long way off – we can&#039;t even deal with really straightforward cases of assault. No one wants to make false allegations of sexual assault.</p>
<p><span style="font-weight:bold">Beyond safer spaces: what do we do when..?</span><br />
Drawing up a safer spaces policy for your event, organisation, or space is easy enough<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref6_g0u22x4" title="although don&#039;t be surprised if you find people resisting this, dismissing the need for it, or ridiculing you for being activisty/a feminist/a liberal/any other damning anarcho insult, there&#039;s a whole lot of unlearning yet to be done" href="#footnote6_g0u22x4">6</a>, but deciding what happens when someone violates that agreement is clearly a controversial issue. </p>
<p>I don&#039;t think anyone has, yet, come up with a clear, easily replicated model for dealing with these issues in our communities and networks, and recent events over the last few years in the UK have lead to lots of positive, productive discussions about our collective response to sexual violence. This weekend I was at a national meeting for the Anarchist Federation, where both the women&#039;s and queer caucuses discussed a need to gather resources and think carefully about how these issues might be tackled in the future should they need to be; discussions about safe space and responses to it&#039;s violation have been going on in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London of late in response to various events including a gang rape at Occupy Glasgow. </p>
<p>We&#039;re all learning, none of us quite know what we&#039;re doing. Letters like the one sent out before the NYC Bookfair are not perfect, but if your main concern when you read it is that rape culture will be so powerfully overturned that women will not only start to speak out about sexual assault, but also <span style="font-style:italic">make it up</span>, your priorities are wrong. How many incidents of sexual assault and discriminatory behaviour within the radical left do you know about, and how many false allegations have you ever heard of?<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref7_zepg65j" title="the woman in the movie Matewan doesn&#039;t count, she&#039;s a fictional character" href="#footnote7_zepg65j">7</a> The real, immediate and fucking serious problem here is abuse. Maybe, just maybe, some false allegations might come about as a result of this. As I&#039;ve said, I find this pretty unlikely, and I don&#039;t see how a letter like this would make dealing with false allegations any harder than it (hypothetically) would be already.</p>
<p>I&#039;m not arguing for all responses to sexual violence and other oppressive and discriminatory behaviour to be beyond criticism or debate, but for those of us who live every day with the effects of past attacks on our bodies and autonomy, and continue to be in public spaces where we are confronted with our own abusers and those we know to have abused others, there&#039;s a certain urgency to this issue that (with all due respect) may not be felt by those who are not particularly vulnerable to discrimination and violence, or those whose involvement in radical politics does not involve a lot of face to face interaction. </p>
<p>In my experience, the kind of uncritical, <span style="font-weight:bold">DO SOMETHING!!!1!!</span> responses I hear most often are along the lines of “why don&#039;t we just kick his head in?”, “cut his fucking balls off”, to the milder “why don&#039;t you just go public and make sure no one works with him again?”, or combinations of the above. Tempting as these may be, they don&#039;t solve anything. And besides, no one&#039;s head ever gets kicked in, and attempts to excommunicate people never quite seem to come off either. Our responses remain inadequate and abuse continues, often unchallenged. </p>
<p>At some point, we as a movement will hopefully grow beyond a relatively small network of people who all know someone who knows someone, and we might not be able to deal with these issues through mutual contacts and informal channels as we currently (ineffectively) do, and we are going to need to find ways to do this. So why are we wasting time thinking up hypothetical ways that something like this might possibly maybe be abused and then throwing the whole thing out, instead of thinking about how we might use this model or improve it to deal with issues we have all dealt with in our communities?</p>
<p>No one <span style="font-style:italic">wants</span> to talk about sexual violence, and even fewer people would be willing to mentor an abuser through any kind of accountability process, restorative justice, or any of the other models of dealing with abuse beyond the castration/excommunication model. There will no doubt be people who already knew, or inferred from the above that I have survived several incidents of sexual violence and would perhaps politely suggest that maybe I am biased or not objective. But then you&#039;ll need to make your minds up: either you want women and queers and people of colour to take the lead on prioritising and tackling this stuff, in which case you&#039;ll have to accept that our lived experiences of violence and discrimination will of course inform our views, <span style="font-style:italic">or</span> you&#039;re going to have to get your hands dirty and engage in proactive discussions, which may well lead to you actively confronting and following up the people who perpetrate violence and discrimination<a class="see-footnote" id="footnoteref8_8nqlllz" title="Or preferably do both of these, actually" href="#footnote8_8nqlllz">8</a>. </p>

<ul class="footnotes"><li class="footnote" id="footnote1_dmtaktr"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref1_dmtaktr">1.</a> although some people may wish to defend their right to make racist, sexist, homophobic etc jokes, because we all know they&#039;re a communist and don&#039;t really mean it. Luckily, Polite Ire has taken the trouble to <a href="http://libcom.org/library/anatomy-joke" class="bb-url">explain exactly why that&#039;s bullshit</a>.</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote2_u2bb9rw"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref2_u2bb9rw">2.</a> People have been questioning the use of “safer” vs “safe” – afaik the reason “safer” is used is because even with all these policies and communist awareness and so on, discriminatory behaviour and violence continues to occur, and nowhere can quite be guaranteed as “safe”.</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote3_q1nccsh"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref3_q1nccsh">3.</a> I originally quoted a post from the thread here from Steven. which was out of context as he points out below, so I&#039;ve removed this to avoid confusion</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote4_n95my78"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref4_n95my78">4.</a> many of the tweets have been collected <a href="http://supportny.org/about/" class="bb-url">here</a></li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote5_0s6c6pd"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref5_0s6c6pd">5.</a> if you are, PM me, I can think of a shitload of people who&#039;d want to talk to you</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote6_g0u22x4"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref6_g0u22x4">6.</a> although don&#039;t be surprised if you find people resisting this, dismissing the need for it, or ridiculing you for being activisty/a feminist/a liberal/any other damning anarcho insult, there&#039;s a whole lot of unlearning yet to be done</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote7_zepg65j"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref7_zepg65j">7.</a> the woman in the movie <span style="font-style:italic">Matewan</span> doesn&#039;t count, she&#039;s a fictional character</li>
<li class="footnote" id="footnote8_8nqlllz"><a class="footnote-label" href="#footnoteref8_8nqlllz">8.</a> Or preferably do both of these, actually</li>
</ul>

Comments

batshit crazy: "makes heroes of men accused of rape (Assange, Polanski... dare I say Tupac? Yes, yes I do"

Assange is fighting for his life to prevent extradiction to the USA, Polanski's case was far from typical, Tupac?

Batshit crazy makes it seem that a false rape accusation is a good career move!

No, but it is a great way to get people to defend every positive attribute you have as if they negate rape as a 'bad thing'. I'm pretty sure I've heard people say stuff along those lines about all 3 of those people. I guess you could add DSK to that list, looking at the torrent of support he got from the French public for raping a brown woman.

Batfuck insane, indeed, Robin.

That just proves how the people who wrote this text are fucking tools.

The whole Polanski affair was settled decades ago, the girl and her family totally forgave him after he asked for their pardon. His incrimination was entirely political, since it's Swiss, pro-US authorities who collaborated with the FBI into this. And fascist Sarkozy was also a facilitator in his arrest.

It's analogous to FBI's stalking on world-class chessmaster Boddy Fisher, just because the guy dared criticizing the US prison system, ironically after being hailed as a "hero of the free world"

Tupac? oh my... That batshit could only have been written by cops in an attempt at psyops.

Please remove that crap, Worker. Cointelpro subtext is written all over it.

Fuck this noise. At the very least Polanski raped a passed out 13 year old. If you don't see the problem with that then you got a problem.

Maybe she liked it. She'll never know since she was asleep so it's hardly fair to call that rape.

Ok, now you're just trolling

Oh, for fucks sake.

fucking is definitely not permitted! no access for you!

If they're going to be slaves at the very least they could keep their dumb fucking mouths shut about it. Amirite?

Another white person making a slavery joke. Anarchists for the win.

Admittedlythat was a dumb comment, BUT THIS IS THE INTERNET YOU CAN'T KNOW THAT THE PERSON WRITING IS WHITE. UNless you are assuming there are no anarchist POC.

There has to be a way to protect victims, I support this even though the vast majority of the shit people were posting on @ news from nyc prior to occupy made me want to off myself due to the stupidity. That shit with that one dude, was fucking silly and anyone involved with that drama should be water boarded.

I am a rare case where I have been victimized and harassed by a woman, so even though this type of shit could be used against a victim, having actual victims of shit way worse than harassment feel safe is incredibly important.

That said, for the little shit, work out your fucking problems.

"That said, for the little shit, work out your fucking problems."

No! We're like the borg we have to group-think every aspect of our lives into non-existence.

Ah, yes. Sorry comrade!

i live in new york, and since i've moved here i can offhand think of at least 3 cases of false accusations of rape involving radicals.

for example, just this year a collective space was raided by a SWAT team after a woman went to the police claiming she was raped at a party.. the place was torn apart, multiple people brought to jail.. after reviewing video surveillance, the police realized the accuser was untruthful and quickly dropped all charges and let everyone go..

as well, "But then you'll need to make your minds up: either you want women and queers and people of colour to take the lead on prioritising and tackling this stuff..."

this is nonsense because it implies that all women, queer folks and POC agree with this approach. it's true there is a feeling of frustration with previous attempts to deal with sexual abusers; but as a queer person i, for one, oppose establishing anarchist star chambers - so don't pretend that you are speaking for me or all people who belong to these groups.

There are unfortunately a lot of fucked up people out there who in order to seek revenge will do whatever they can. It is an unfortunate byproduct of our insane world.

Claiming rape I think is an extreme case, what is way more common is women/men calling each other crazy/creepy/scary/unsafe etc etc. That gets thrown around way more with the same desired effect and probably for the same reasons.

Three whole cases? Oh, wow! Better not have a safer spaces policy then, because three whole people not being allowed to attend the bookfair would be a real travesty.

I think you meant to respond to the initial post..

The enemy of my enemy is another enemy

Derrick Jensen.

*shifty eyes*

The problem is that in some milieus, it's getting so normalized that it's no longer extreme, but ordinary policy of internal repression. And yeah, that starts from the moment there is shit talk in other people's back about that guy being crazy/creepy/unsafe/violent etc.

Cointepro agents know how that stuff is efficient when applied to group dynamics, hence why they use it so extensively. The most common buzz word is "sexual harassment".

A feminist who can't directly defend herself against abusive behavior is definitely not anarchist, even less radical! In a patriarchal society, direct self-defense (no matter violent or not) is an essential element of feminist liberation struggle.

You could at least learn to spell COINTELPRO if you're going to break that one out.

fak spellingz

Sorry, CONITELPRO

cointelbro

coconutellapro

Yo yo... co-intel, bro!
lol

"A feminist who can't directly defend herself against abusive behavior is definitely not anarchist, even less radical!"

What the fuck?! Did no one else cringe at reading this?

I cringed

x2

x5

You aren't a 'real' anarchist unless you have the politics of a boxing club.

Boxing club sounds a little low class for all these trustafarian hipsters floating around ye ol' anarcho-ghetto. Seriously though, if all these bobos can stroll around like they prole can I be a WOC?

hahahahahahahah, i would upvote that if i had an account, dawg

No upvotes needed -- I do it for the lulz.

Defending yourself does not necessarily amounts to boxing. Saying "No!" or "Fuck off" to a ghoulish guy is, as well.

"A feminist who can't directly defend herself against abusive behavior is definitely not anarchist, even less radical!"

Do you really want to devote your time to defending this statement? I mean it's dumb and beside the point anyway.

Not me, I apparently don't worship the idol of victimization like you do.

"the place was torn apart, multiple people brought to jail.. after reviewing video surveillance, the police realized the accuser was untruthful and quickly dropped all charges and let everyone go.."

Was there an article written on this? I'm just curious. Also, (not in anyway implying this is what I think happened in your situation) for cops this seems like an incredibly easy way to get legal access into anarchist spaces. I mean, all it takes is a phone call, I know they don't need reasons to break in and search through your shit, but this seems like a really easy excuse. Don't get any ideas coppers.

Why didn't I ever think of that?

-COINTELPRO

*quiyntellbro

It doesn't take a phone call. All it takes is the cops saying they got a phone call. But we all know the cops wouldn't lie about something like that. Especially cops in New York, because they'd never rape anyone.

You're hitting straight at the right place in those few last words...

It's about generating sectarian dynamics to exclude the bad "Individuals" from their private circles, so the anarchist milieu gets broken through division and scorn. These fuckers must be confronted, the best ways we find, and hopefully in a collective way, so it will create the necessary conflict that allows freedom to happen.

>generate
>sectarian
>bad
>"individuals"
>anarchist milieu

troll?

???

!!!

...

A SWAT team came in for rape allegations?

...that makes no sense.

How does a community create safe(r) spaces and nurture the healing processes for survivors? Practices like this one implemented at the NYC-ABF seem like a good starting point to me.

Anarchists are in a particularly difficult situation. If we desire a growing, thriving anarchist community, we have to develop better ways to protect and support the rape survivors in our community who wish to remain anonymous, and we have to develop more effective ways of stopping rape. What makes these goals more difficult for anarchists is that anarchsit also need to build community processes that can withstand infiltration and social-sabotage by those who wish to destroy us. Pigs and other enemies are aware that anarchist communities can easily be torn apart by the sowing of distrust, after all, many anarchist activities require extremely high level of trust. Because of this, many anarchists are critial and skeptical of negative things said about comrades they trust, wanting unfalsifiable proof not just of allegations of rape, but of any negative allegations about comrades. But the reality is, most incidences of rape cannot be proven with indisuptable material evidence.

What is the answer? There is no simple answer. Anarchists who want to stop rape need to work together to build the best community processes possible, acknowledging that it is a difficult task. When individuals disagree with how a safe space practice is being implemented, they can be empathetic and humble yet critical and try to make some real contributions. Name-calling doesn't help, but constructive criticism and new ideas help.

How have other stateless cultures dealt effectively with fighting rape? Those are places to begin looking for good ideas and social technologies. How have other cultures of resistance delt with the sowing of mis-information? Again, those are places to look for ideas and inspiration. Our difficult task is to create all new community processes that navigate both of these difficult issues. Anarchists working on safe space and fighting rape are trying to build these totally new social processes. Of course what has been created thus far is not perfect, it is a work in progress.

Recognise the difficulty of the task, respect those who have taken it on as a project, and be helpful.

Replying to my own comment to make a clarification- the arm band thing is creepy and I'm not down with it.

That's actually really fucking creepy. Although maybe they figure if they literally dress like PC fascists people will take it more seriously. Who knows.

If they don't have the right clothes then anarchists will get nowhere.

if there are no tape circles on the starboard the anarchist harvest-o-soul will cease and it will all have been for nothing

As long as Little Black Cart can make money, the bookfair is still a success.

"In my experience, the kind of uncritical, DO SOMETHING!!!1!! responses I hear most often are along the lines of “why don't we just kick his head in?”, “cut his fucking balls off”, to the milder “why don't you just go public and make sure no one works with him again?”, or combinations of the above. Tempting as these may be, they don't solve anything. And besides, no one's head ever gets kicked in, and attempts to excommunicate people never quite seem to come off either. Our responses remain inadequate and abuse continues, often unchallenged."

So what is YOUR solution... slander campaigns & hush-hush bad-mouthing? Internalized repression? Queer formal fascism, where you're instantly considered a sex offender if you don't dress up like the opposite gender?

What a load of left-wing fascism!

"At some point, we as a movement will hopefully grow beyond a relatively small network of people who all know someone who knows someone, and we might not be able to deal with these issues through mutual contacts and informal channels as we currently (ineffectively) do, and we are going to need to find ways to do this. So why are we wasting time thinking up hypothetical ways that something like this might possibly maybe be abused and then throwing the whole thing out, instead of thinking about how we might use this model or improve it to deal with issues we have all dealt with in our communities?"

Yeah, at some point you'll grow beyond your elitist club of socialist hipsters and lead the revolution towards a new socialist order, of horizontal coercion and conformity. Think big.

But don't worry, the political/corporate establishment is going right there. Hopefully you'll get a job for the DHS before it's too late, and your "anti-sexist" praxis will turn into a full-fledged support of the prison system... by sending all these "sex offenders" to where they belong, right?

The people who wrote that should GTFO of their condos and experience life in the streets. They'd very soon get who are the true hardcore, enforcers of patriarchy in society!

Wow. ?

This is sort of what I picture every anarchist conversation looking like back and forth prior to Occupy in New York City.

i hate it when there is an actual point buried in stupid rhetoric, fucked up jargon, outright nonsense, and just wrong-headedness.

exhausting.

Hmm, 'an actual point buried in stupid rhetoric, fucked up jargon, outright nonsense, and just wrong-headedness.' Sounds like anarchism to me.

Yes if you take away the actual point part.

As someone in NYC I can say that SupportNY is a bullshit 'group' or clique of people outside of any anarchist movement in a punk rock scene who have one manner of (not) dealing with things when friends of theirs and people from their scene are accused of violent or harmful behavior and an entirely other response when people in the anarchist scene are accused of things. I've seen them encourage physical violence and spread gossip. Not a group to emulate or empower. More than a support group trying to address a real issue they seem more to think of themselves as self appointed police and judges. They were not empowered by the bookfair collective this year to 'police' the event, wear their fucking armbands, or send their bizarrely worded emails out banning individuals. They didn't even show up to any of the bookfair collective meetings. Abuse and sexual assault are real issues for our community to deal with unfortunately so far we haven't been doing so in a serious, fair or effective manner.

Interesting... they seem like they were not-so-self-appointed, but actually appointed by you-know-who.

George Soros???

dang we need to be funded by george soros I'ma write him a letter asking him for some dough I think

This is such a convoluted issue - never fails to boggle me brain.

I am a woman who has experienced traumatizing sexually abusive situations since the age of 10. From 13 to 19 most of my sexual experiences could be described as ridiculously fucked up/coercive; in at least one instance it was I who completely violated consent (before I knew what "consent" was).

Being introduced to consent culture (is that what we call it? well, you know what I mean) has improved my life beyond measure. Sex is a zillion times more enjoyable, and all of my relationships, sexual or not, benefit from being well-versed in consent. So, personally, all them consent zines totally rocked my world. But I have seen the language be manipulated many times; I have a few male friends who have been falsely accused of assault. In one instance it was clear that the accusation wasn't even based on a real (and thus, subjective and up to interpretation) occurrence, but was rather this woman's way to get back at this man after their relationship ended sourly. It is well-known in radical communities that claiming sexual assault with get everyone up in arms and is a good way to fuck someone's world up; to say that people do not use this fact to manipulate others is naive.

So what do we do? I absolutely fucking hate the fact that I ever have to question a person when they say they have been sexually assaulted. But I also cannot ignore the fact that believing without question that a person accused of sexual assault is guilty of it can psychologically damage a person almost to the extent that being sexually assaulted can. It is ridiculous to say that being the object of public shaming will not be traumatizing to a person. So how can we know what's what without unnecessarily condemning or disbelieving any person involved?

I am so happy to be a part of a community that I know will support me, at least more than the mainstream culture, if I am assaulted. But I do think that being subjected to this bullshit rape culture has made us somewhat reactionary; this shit needs fine-tuning. Consent rules but PC culture can be oppressive as fuck. There is a big difference between consent fuck-ups and rape; there is a big difference between the person who needs to be educated in the ways of non-manipulative relations and the person who needs to get slapped upside the face and banned from our spaces.
Unfortunately, though, a lot of women could also benefit from the former. And what do we do when it comes out that someone in our community has actually falsely accused someone of assault? Do we excommunicate them, too? That behavior ain't okay. Seems like people who tend to do this are survivors of past trauma. We're all fucked up, we're all trying to deal. We all need to unlearn ingrained coercive behaviors. We have a lot to work on..

i thoroughly appreciate this comment.

the amount of people i encounter and know personally who are appreciative of those sentiments is growing rapidly.

good.

fuck, I'm nominating you president of the anarchists who are trying to deal with sexual assault in our communities. not joking.

I'm pretty sure feminists in NYC would beat you up with a baseball bat for these opinions.

The author defends the letters saying "there's no trial, no never ending process, no anonymous unreachable state bureaucracy" A trial would be an improvement! Why are we against fair trials? The process isn't never ending, because there is no process. You can say that barring individuals from public spaces isn't punishment, but it clearly is. Who has the right to do that? An anonymous emailer?

We as anarchists really need to focus on proactive, fair ways to address these issues. We want a world without police, but first we need to find ways to make them unnecessary in our own lives.

It is very important that we defend the rights of abusers to attend anarchist bookfairs.

sheep

bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

fuck off speciesist or youll get what lierre keith got

who said i was implying anything wrong of sheep

Im really sick of US anarchism to be boiled down to intrapersonal relationships. I don't care if your boyfriend was a dick.

I don't care if my dick was your boyfriend.

Sometimes I feel like somewhere in the southwest there is an anarchist paradise where a breakup wont get posted about and analyzed on the internet. If I lived there, I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. and if I did go anywhere else, I would not want to meet the anarchists.

The southwest ya say? Where can I find this eden and beyond which rainbow does it lie? Seriously though, is there anywhere where this bs isn't rampant? Cause I would probably move there.

I was speaking of Phoenix.

Ah, I see. I guess on the frontlines of fascism they have more important things to get hung up on.

Maybe, but I also think the structures, friendships and working relationships people have built over the years for whatever reason helps as well. And maybe they have organically came about that way because of the climate here. This is obviously generally speaking. But I do love Phoenix and the people who are actively doing stuff here and I encourage people to visit. Just please, nobody who has ever posted about an interpersonal argument on A News.

Unless it was for the lulz that is.

ALL TROLLS TO PHOENIX!!!! (I hope you have enough places for all of us to sleep)

Have you met any of us? We are basically all trolls, I think half of the A-News users are from Phoenix.

not me.

That can't possibly be true... @ news is just one head of the hydra that is Worker. (which one is the one with a bunch of heads? Thought it was leviathan?)

Hey Squee, your a babe, hope to see you soon!

Some of the particularly prolific trolls are form the Southeast for sure.

If you are speaking of ATL, I am out there a lot mostly to just to party and not meet anarchists but, is there anywhere you would suggest checking out? Stone Mountain?

Phoenix is mostly like that, it's true. However, a few yucky fuckers from *other places* (you can guess them in three, I bet) recently have oozed the poison in to the midst.

But, the effects don't pervade or even linger in this area... but venture outward in to their previous living areas, and the reach of that crap is still felt and visible... so as long as you stay in phoenix. forever. and ever. and ever...

... and ever

I think this post is about me, which is funny cause I'm also the original poster. Drammmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Let's talk it out at atacm. Or if its not about me maybe we can unite and drive out the ooze.

That would make sense, since only individuals of the caliber of that neurotic ooze could simultaneously make the original post, describe phoenix in that contextually favorable way, see themselves as beyond and transcendent of it, yet *still* discern that my response could be referencing them.

So that makes sense.

I took the original post to be from a type that my follow up could not likely be referring to.

Hopefully, the mistake here is that you're just paranoid and slightly insecure and it's not you I'm referring to...

Ill see you tomorrow boo, or today i guess. And I am going to hug you, whether you consent....or not

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

try le Sud-Ouest. We're sort of mature here.

And your city makes Toronto look like a dump. Learning French takes time and effort though and some people can be dicks about that. Regardless, it's definitely somewhere that would be nice to live at some point.

the reason you never hear about drama in the southwest is because not that much happens in the southwest, period.

new york is kind of special though in that drama is practically the only thing it does

Phoenix has one of the larger, organized, visible, long lasting and sexy anarchist communities in the country fyi

It's because of that bad ass comic book store.

lol

The only long-term solution is to end the cult of victimization. If we took sexuality off the fucking pedastal Christians and Sigmund Freud put it on, this wouldn't be such a big issue. We (and that includes the victims themselves) would see it as truly no different from any other form of coercion and abuse of power--forms that we deal with every day without batting an eye.

Getting there is hard, though. The culture we are born and live in now puts sex, sexuality and gender into a special category which means abuse within that category leads to a special kind of trauma, the forms of which are also defined by our culture. This trauma is real and we do have to be sympathetic to it. I'm not saying we shouldn't. Humanity today is more important than the ideological framework of a better society tomorrow.

But in deciding how we'll deal with sexual abuse, we really need to keep in mind the need to strip away that importance we've placed on sexuality. That's the only way to end this all and protect people in the future from the trauma people today experience.

It seems like many of the solutions I see people working on don't take that into account and in fact even do the opposite, further entrench sexuality as a thing apart. That's understandable since we're trying to make the victims feel better and safer, and affirming the horror of they feel seems like the most natural way to do that from the standpoint of empathy. We can do better, though. Supporting and being human to the victims is not mutaally exclusive from de-emphasizing sexuality.

True. They refer to "that animal part in us" when talking about sex, but how many animal species really fuck as much as we do, aside from perhaps the Bonobo monkeys? Sexual relations and their hype are completely generated through aggressive social conditioning, that pushes the minds of men into being penises willing to fuck, literally.

My love for others is usually non-sexed, and ageless, and I'm okay with that. As long as I can flow into more physical affection once in a while, when the desire comes from body and feelings, and not from my corrupt imagination.

Bonobos are apes, not monkeys. Tails and (mostly) menstruation are among the most obvious distinctions.

Tell me more.

No. Do your own research.

We all met and achieved consensus on instructing you to do the research so you are required to tell me more or you will be banned from the next book fair without a trial.

I do not recognize your credentials to achieve anything. Nyah.

I'm an anarchist, which is more than enough credentials for not achieving anything. Nyah.

The problem with the letter isn't the intent but the total ineptness of the execution and logic behind it.

"Hi, potential rapist, not saying you are one, I know this may hurt your feelings but we've been informed that you are indeed, a rapist. While you may feel tempted to respond to this anonymous charge, please don't do so in any way. Instead just abstain from going to anarchist bookfairs until you receive another anonymous letter informing you of your 'safe' designation. This message will self destruct in the time it takes for you to realize that will never fucking happen."

Oh fuck.. didn't read that part. THis is more indication of cop infiltration. Only cops try to scare people away from going to events/protests.

If you get to see one of these armband cops, please do me a favor. Trash the hell outta them.

I agree, the women with the armbands should be beaten because that is the only way to keep police out of anarchist bookfairs.

10/10

Having watched this kind of thing go down first hand in my own community, I've grown really wary of this kind of rhetoric. From the comments on here, I can tell that my city isn't alone. At first these were really needed policies to keep known offenders away, and I'd never suggest that we take that option off the table. Unfortunately it quickly evolved into the same kind of cliquey gender-based police force which people have described elsewhere. I literally shudder every time I think about it, as do may others (male and female) at this point, but of course most of us are afraid to say anything.

There's a pretty urgent need of some real analysis of "safe spaces" policies in action. The sad fact is that these practices exclude women too, often those far less privileged than their self-proclaimed champions. After seeing attempts to ban various single moms with histories of abuse and racialized women from "radical" spaces under these policies, I began to have some serious doubts about the process.

I just don't get it, why does it get like this in some places and in others people are actually able to deal with this stuff like functioning humans?

I know it has been beaten dead but it seems like in so many areas anarchists were never able to break out of their subculture and at some point just turned inward. Becoming a massive caricature of themselves. I think if anything the reaction from some in regards to Occupy proves that entirely. I hope the injection of new people just really throws everyone for a loop.

The problem is that we fall back on the common logic of our culture: if it's bad stigmatize it, isolate it, and ultimately expel it.

The problem is that abusers don't exist in vacuums, they exist in the same world we do and some of them, in the shittiest parts of it. There is nothing PC about the existence most of us live through, yet we must square the human realities of selfishness, guilty conscience, trauma, and our own attraction to power and domination with vacuous PC rhetoric.

We want justice, but our desire for it leads to the same contradictions that the prison system does. People who choose to abuse do cross a line, but it's a line that we've drawn in a world where domination and rape are the status quo. To just brand people and push them away is a solution for individuals who don't want to see them anymore, but not for the broader community.

The reality is if you want more people to enter this community those people will bring with them all the human ills and faults that have been with them their whole lives. How you separate the abusers from the 'non-abusers' will always be a problem as long as separation is our solution. And at the moment that is our only solution.

We don't want to just 'forgive and forget' because that guarantees abuse will continue unabated, but at the same time quarantining ourselves from all abusers is highly unrealistic because we have all abused and been abused at some point, and we don't know where other people have been before coming to this community. I'm sorry to hear about the women you mentioned, but until we start to find better solutions (and it takes trial and error to find them) I'm sure many other people who have been marginalized in society will find themselves pushed out of anarchist spaces because the lingering smell of their abusive past is taboo in our privileged cliques.

"We want justice..."

And here we encounter the primary contradiction of what is being discussed. The assumption that there can be some kind of revenge/retribution/restoration of balance/transformative resolution to whatever transgression has (or hasn't) occurred is exactly where the difficulties begin for anarchists. Each attempted solution I've encountered is predicated on the idea of resolving the tension between the alleged abuser and the person allegedly abused... But what if that's just not possible under current conditions where the dominant culture imposes itself in the form of cops and courts. So far all the attempted solutions seem to modeled after those institutions and procedures. The concern with a false accusation (what the cops do all the time), the concern with not being believed (how survivors in rape culture are treated), the way that shunning or exclusion are used in place of beatings (what jails are for)... all are reflections of the dominant hierarchical culture.

People don't magically become paragons of revolutionary virtue just because we adopt a particular identity (Anarchist tm). Abuse occurs, and it's unacceptable. But the ways most people in the milieu discuss it makes them sound like small-time lawyers and cops, or just vigilantes.

The whole "accountability process" reeks of enforcing grassroots social conformity by punishing individuals for transgression and deviance. Really anarchist there, comrades.

Absolutely, very glad someone made this point. I am someone who has been on the shit end of a violent abusive relationship. I don't know what justice means in this world. Whatever it is I don't think I want it. I want peace, and not just for me. I seriously hope the person who was violent towards me finds peace and stops acting in such a fucked up way. I don't want to be a "survivor" in the way that people in the anarchist community say it and thus have unlimited and unending power to ban or punish this person. That does not help me to heal. I want them to stay away from me until they deal with whatever they need to so that they can act right and respect others. If they are at a public event (bookfair) fine just don't come near me.

Good point Grump. It's not just courts and cops. There's sexism and exploitive sexual practices among anarchists that are independent of courts and cops. Safe spaces policies are not an over all solution for these dynamics but they are a good short term measure for anarchist book fairs to deal with all this.

"The vindictive, crazy woman who wrongly accuses an innocent man of rape and ruins his life is a long standing trope, rooted in misogynistic assumptions and rape myths, given another airing recently by Plan B on his last album."

WTF?

So in that "logic", just about any accusation of rape by a women against a guy should be taken for granted, on-the-spot!? Facts no longer matter, that's it! Case closed! Discussing what actually happened is collaborating in an "endless trial process", so it's being an enabler of male violence, therefore a TRAITOR, so let's bad-mouth everyone who's not in our gang!

Massive mindfuck happening in this text!

It's really quite logical.
Most people who rape have penises >you have a penis >you could be a rapist >you may as well be a rapist. Third wave feminism taken to its logical conclusions.

Heres the thing. I get this, men have more power in society. Rape is, for fuck sakes condoned at points in history and now. If a man is accused falsely of rape, chances are he has a decent chance to defend himself because of the prevailing power dynamic.

THAT SAID: Arguments like this do not help as half of the world are dudes and would rather not be accused of rape.

A decent chance of defending himself against a crowd, who will later label him as "violent" because he dared defending his dignity. Right.

You obviously NEVER were the target of collective repression and ganging up, especially while being alone facing a crowd of organized people, for writing stupid things like that.

False accusations, even in a male-dominated world, aren't a good tactic against oppression. This is spreading LIES, contempt, and the absence of discussion towards reconciling individuals by allowing the UNDERSTANDING of their problems.

And judgement, especially collectively-supported, is NOT paving the way towards understanding, rather towards exclusion, isolation and death. In your "community" there are clever individuals who understanding this, and are totally ok with carrying that tactic, BECAUSE IT'S THEIR JOB!!!

They are paid by the FBI, or DHS for it!

This strategy is DEAD WRONG. I have seen happening in my "community", and all it did was to keep the anarchist milieu small, marginal and pacified.

Moreover, if you're really into fighting male oppression, I suggest you'd rather share vital, private infos on the NYC Police/City establishment during that Bookfair, rather than start more slander campaigns against anarchist guys who WANT to learn breaking their own patriarchal mindset.

Repressive moralism is FAIL.

lots of illusions of grandeur here... the US anarchist scene isn't small and powerless because fbi agents are everywhere sowing distrust. it's that way because it's a subculture that only cares about maintaining itself.

Perhaps it's small because of the nature of the ideas and their unattractiveness to the majority of people in this society. It's not just about us and our personalities, anarchy really has nothing to offer people materially at this point.

I'm sorry down voter, did I hear an explanation of what anarchy materially offers to people today or how our ideas are just wildly popular in this country? Nope, just crickets.

Your comment intentionally makes simple what is more nuanced.

1. While I agree that it is likely false that paid FBI/DHS agents are making false accusations to sow discord in the milieu, it is true that Eric McDavid is going to be in jail for a long time based on the milieu being fucked with basically at random by the FBI. Is this why the scene is small? No, but it is important to take account for this too.

2. Is it true the subculture "only cares about maintaining itself?" It seems true that individual members of the milieu care about a lot more than just maintaining a subculture and to argue against that seems insane. What is a subculture besides the people in it?

3. Is the subculture "only [caring] about maintaining itself" what makes it so "small and powerless"? Both of these phenomenon could exist without one being the cause of the other. You don't give an argument so I can't really engage you on it.

4. Most often the crickets will chirp when there is just a few sentences thrown out with disdain. Be honest: you didn't come here for a discussion.

IGTT: 7/10

Suggesting discussion happen here on @news is at once a subtle and a blatant troll.

And it there really was rape, EXPOSE IT. Address it as directly as you can.

Only State servants make "accusations".

and anarchy is NOT socialism!

DUDE! I just said that I understand the argument, but that I disagreed with it. We should be saying that "all millionaires are bad," even though there may be a few that aren't because it advances our agenda. Saying that all dudes are potential rapists or even implying it is fucking stupid and should be ignored as it is worthless.

And for your personal story, I HAVE been falsely accused by a sociopath of all sorts of shit (not rape or sexual assault) in a community that was not an anarchist one. It took months for A.People to believe my side of the story B. Her to fuck up every other relationship around her and C. to finally leave because nobody wanted to deal with her anymore. But there was so little community solidarity due to an unwillingness to confront any issues at all that I had to deal with it pretty much all by myself. I could only imagine someone who was an unknown dealing with the shit I did.

So dude, I get it, trust me.

" it there really was rape, EXPOSE IT. Address it as directly as you can. Only State servants make "accusations"."

Exposing rape means accusing someone of being a rapist. Either you want people to make those accusations or you don't. Pick one.

lol its a paradox, everything sucks

Everything sucks worse when its on @news.

I think that a woman falsely accused of some sort of sexual assault would probably have even better odds of defending herself. Not that men don't have more power, or that they don't have a decent chance of defending themselves, or that if they fail the punishment wouldn't be fairly intense, or that that punishment wouldn't still be lighter than many more trivial offense. There are so many layers here, given that this is Earth where nothing is ever simple except that the state must be smashed and rape is wrong

Their group, and blog, is called "Support New York"...

Suddenly it's taking all its hidden statist meaning.

Who are they accountable to? Any organization attempting to intervene in these types of situations should have legitimacy that follows a mandate from the community in which they operate.

Dunno... MoveOn.org, Open Society Foundation? Tavistock Institute? Albert Einstein Institution? Why not... the secret service? Try to follow the money trail, might reveal lots of goodies.

Have a look at this sick stuff:

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/insurgent-g/10297

http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/blog/ironboltbruce/10532

http://the99spring.com/who-we-are/

And earlier on Anews:

http://anarchistnews.org/node/15545#comment-189693

Accountability? Yeah, hold them accountable! After all, that's part of our jobs as anarchists, to prevent the movement from being controlled by the Left, and other State tools.

I heard it was all George Soros.

are you kidding? more than a couple male anarchists have been beaten and/or ostracized over this type of shit, some of them in nyc in the past 2 years. where have you been? maybe 'mainstream society condones rape', which i think is even a stretch when you consider the way that protection of women and other disadvantaged persons is a main justification for state/biopolitical policing in this day and age, but in *this* section of society, leftist feminists who aren't even anarchists have destroyed influential male anarchists' lives with a couple of words. it's completely insane to pretend the scene we're talking about is somehow different than that, it's been all over this fucking site for crying out loud.

i wanted to bring this up actually in the last crimethinc thread about how they think 'consent culture' has been such a great success, or at least as someone put it, a 'big step forward' for anarchism. really? do you think anarchists in emma goldman's time would have condoned rape? because i don't think they were too obsessed with PC identity politics either. i have heard a lot of standard bearers of this type of ideology but forward such notions as that consent is retroactive, that is, if someone (ie a woman) consents in some situation but later decides she feels weird or didn't like it or regrets it for some reason, then at that point in time after the act, the other person (ie a man) becomes retroactively guilty of assault. that is just fucking crazy, but it is as sacred a principle to some people as the one that says any such accusation (ie, by a woman towards a man) cannot ever be even questioned. in other words, 'accountability' whatever that is, because it has devolved a long way from its erstwhile synonym responsibility, is only for some people. others, because of their identity, are not to be held responsible for anything they do, it's simply not 'radical'...

"that is, if someone (ie a woman) consents in some situation but later decides she feels weird or didn't like it or regrets it for some reason, then at that point in time after the act, the other person (ie a man) becomes retroactively guilty of assault."

I guess this mean that ugly guys who occasionally get laid after a night of drunkenness are serial rapists. What if your dick is too small or just weird looking and they always regret it afterwards? Guess that would make you a born rapist.

THE MEN! THOSE POOR MEN! WON'T SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK OF THE MEN!?

Suck my dick

does this person even claim to be anarchist, anywhere? they are talking about an anarchist event but here are the words i see included in their first person: communist, radical, radical left, my personal favorite "anarchists etc", twitter... etc... oh yeah before anyone points out they're talking about an anarchist bookfair, try going to one sometime, there will definitely be authoritarian leftists selling newspapers somewhere, or just trolling for drama ...etc...

I'm a hermit so don't have nothing to worry about, except maybe some other hermit!

get off my land!!!!

< o>_< o>
No one over there...
_
No one over there either...
_
I'm surrounded by excellent hiders!

TRIGGER WARNING - idiotic liberal pseudo-anarchist response to actually important/needed-to-be-talked-about topic

Totally idiotic. People who have endured trauma should not be warned before discussions that remind them of their trauma. They should be surprised by these discussions. That would be way more anarchist.

I don't think they were saying that 'trigger warnings' are an idiotic liberal pseudo-anarchist response to actually important/needed-to-be-talked-about topic. I think that was them bashing the article, but I could be wrong.

glad someone got it

Since this came from Libcom, Libcom has linked back to this thread. Pretty cool that Ramona who is in NY gets a much better reception for her powertrip among the Brits than she does here among her fellow Americans.

I love all the white suburban kids being all boo hoo someone might get excluded from the book fair, that would be just like how I get picked on for my hoodie and punk patches at high school, what a power trip, this is exactly the same as fascism.

youse got trolled, ace

After the Singularity only computers will be allowed to use the message boards and @s will be frantically trying to spam them with garbage. This shits real.

seconding the assertion that support new york is bullshit. fuck them. they aren't anarchists, stay the fuck away from us you gross liberal fucks.

As someone who has both been sexually assaulted (by both a man and a womyn at different points in my life), and someone who has had false allegations leveled against me, I take issue with much of this.

I know many womyn, transfolks, and some men who have been sexually assaulted by people in our community, and were not believed or taken seriously.

I know a couple men in our community, and at least one womyn who have sexually assaulted people in the activist/anarchist circles.

And I know of a few people who have made false allegations and got away with it. once someone has been painted as an abuser, that never totally goes away, they will live with it their entire life, it will follow them, and even if the person who made the allegations recants them, people will never trust that person totally again. same with people accused of being a snitch or snitch apologist.
In some of these cases I know the allegations are false because the person making them has a history of making allegations against people in the community usually directly following a argument or break up, or some other type of falling out. In other cases I know the allegations to be false cause I was an eye witness.

One problem is that if you defend someone who was accused of something, even if you eye witnessed it, you may have people label allegations against you. This often stops people from speaking up when they know the truth of a situation, because this community is pretty unforgiving.

The 2 problems I had with this article were; that the author seems to make statements like that false allegations never happen, or are rare, which is an unsupportable statement. Secondly that they examples they used of people defending rapists and denying the victims stories are all based off mainstream culture which although it has parallels to how things function in the activist/left/anarchist circles, in other ways it is very different in some very important ways.
In activist circles these types of allegations carry a weight they don't in other circles. There is also the party line that if you don't agree with the person making the accusation you are a patriarch and as bad as the rapist themselves, because it is the norm in rape culture to not believe the victim. This is further perpetuated when the person accusing is a female, or especially if they fit multiple categories of oppressed, and the person being accused is a male, especially a white one. It can be even more so if the person being accused is already disliked or the person making accusations is more popular or has been around longer. In many cases I have seen the people who like the accused side with them over the accuser, and vise versa. The real problem is none of these things actually determine what happened or who is right.

A discourse that suggests that womyn are never lying about abuse is steeped in patriarchy as much as one that suggests womyn always lie. The first assumes that womyn are all victims, all men are rapists until proven otherwise, and it is completely heterosexist in it's framing. From what I have seen, these types of discourse often seek to shut down any real dialog and to discredit anyone who disagrees, or at least that is often how they play out.

These are complex issues. Stating absolutes like that false accusations rarely or never happen doesn't help, and for those of us who have seen them or been targeted by abusive individuals who use false accusations against those who stand up to them, it can be hard to swallow. I remember when I was a street kid having a womyn from the edmonton sexual assault center do a presentation at the youth drop in, where she stated that only 2% of allegations turn out to be false. I immediately called her on it asking how you could verify that, and she claimed that in 2% of court cases the accuser is found to be lying. There is about a billion holes in that, and anyone at all critical should be able to see through it. So while I agree with the majority of the article, I have to say those types of statements only discredit the argument.

I have a real concern about people using false allegations against people they are trying to victimize as a further way of abusing them. I don't know how we could or should deal with that. I wish we could get to a place of having a real discourse on this. I also feel that making false accusations undermines everyone who has actually survived abuse or sexual assault. I would even go as far as to state that a false accusation enables others to get away with abuse. One case comes clearly to mind where a womyn who survived a 3.5 yr abusive relationship was later accused by her absuer of abusing him.He claimed she abused him and stated that he was going to block her from rejoining any collectives if she ever returned to town. It was grotesque to watch, especially for those of us whop had been close enough to the situation to be aware of his history, false threats of suicide or self harm as a control mechanism, stalking behavior after they broke up, and other such stuff.

At the same time, as earlier stated I have seen many abusers who have had allegations made by multiple different people, who continue to walk around in the community. And I know far too many people who have survived sexual assault or domestic abuse at the hands or radicals, often who people don't believe.

I support having a safer space policy, but I am often suspicious of 'calling people out' when those 'calling outs' are not accompanied by a way for the person to be accountable, or a process for them to deal with what they have been accused of, and even more so when the person has no history of those types of behaviors.

I will close by saying I have fucked up at times like everyone else, and I have been called out for my oppressive behaviors. When this has happened it is like that Oscar Wilde line about a true friend will stab you in the front. Or like it was put in an issue of Cuddle Puddles and Hot Pants where they talked about calling out as your nose running, someone tells you that you have a buger hanging out so you can wipe it off and say thank you. When I have been called out for things I have done, it may not be comfortable or easy, but the person making the accusations usually seems to have my best interests in mind as well, and it is never about alienating someone. When I was called out falsely, the person did so after I had an argument with their boyfriend, and it seemed to be more about making me feel like shit and not stand up to him any more. That action felt like she was trying to push me out of the community or undermine me as an activist so I would not be trusted anymore, again, so i would quit getting in her boyfriends way. It was also accompanied by hints threatening that if I didn't back off she would make it more public. Both her and her partner made false accusations against many others in the community as well, usually young womyn, or people who stood up to them, until they were finally called out and ended up kicked out themselves.

False accusations do happen, often by abusive people as a further method of control and manipulation. Meanwhile many people who are abused don't come forward out of a fear they will be not believed. How do we deal with this, simply believing all allegations made without question is not the answer, but there is a very real danger in not taking allegations seriously or making a survivor feel like they are being put on trial.

From LibCom:

>People on anarchistnews calling this "left-wing fascism" and saying "COINTELPRO subtext is written all over it" make me cringe at some of the people in the world who call themselves anarchists.

Part of the reason for that is anonymous posting. There are a million and one assholes who post there (and not just there!) who are obviously not anarchists. There are about three or four actual content-filled comments worth reading and possibly responding to, but, as is the case with every comment section after an article, you have to plod your way through a load of dross to find them. I usually just bypass anything with fewer than three sentences.

trollol

a load of dross, a goad to floss, the slang of these Brits leaves me at a loss.

If you want safer spaces go back to the suburbs.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
6
w
K
e
V
3
5
Enter the code without spaces.
Subscribe to Comments for "Safer spaces, false allegations, and the NYC Anarchist Bookfair"
society