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Posts Tagged ‘Feminism

Statement by comrade Helen Steel on so-called ‘Anti-Fa’ Attacks on Feminists.

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Helen SteelI was horrified last night watching the footage of ‘Antifa’ attacking people who had attended an advertised protest outside Wi Spa in Los Angeles after women complained of a man exposing his penis in the women’s area of the facilities.

When Antifa and other anti fascist groups started, they were about defending communities from racist & fascist violence and attacks. It is sometimes necessary & reasonable to use violence to defend yourself or others from physical attack. In the 70’s-90’s fascists were graffitiing & firebombing the homes of black people, firebombing left-wing & anarchist bookshops, physically attacking black people in the street, attacking trade unionists & anti racists, gay bashing & so on. The police did nothing to stop those attacks and in fact regularly colluded with the racists / fascists. In those circumstances there was little alternative but for people to join together to fight back in order to stop fascists attacking people, so groups like antifa were created. At the end of the 90’s a fascist detonated bombs in Brixton, Brick Lane & and a gay pub in Soho, maiming and killing people.

By what measure are some on the left falsely comparing women fighting against sexism with racists and fascists? There are no feminist dictators, there is no campaign of violence and intimidation by women.Why the hell are antifa now using violence to defend the rights of males to sexually harass women – where the f*** is your analysis of who holds power in our society? Haven’t you heard of sexism and patriarchy? Do you not realise that males deliberately flashing their d*cks at females is something that most women & girls have endured from a young age, and that it creates fear in very many women & girls – especially those who have already been subjected to sexual violence (99% of sexual offences are carried out by males). The women complaining in the Wi Spa video that went viral didn’t even say that the male was trans, so why have antifa even assumed that the women’s actions were founded in ‘transphobia’ rather than opposing sexual harassment.There is no campaign of violence by women against males or people who identify as trans. There are just arguments about the impact on women of gender self-ID politics and how best to fight sexism. There is no justification whatsoever for violence or threats against women holding placards or wearing T-shirts just because you don’t like the message. When you use violence against people just because you don’t like their opinions, YOU become the fascist. You are trying to dictate and control what other people are allowed to say and think.The other thing that ‘antifa’ their allies and other gender identity proponents should consider is how they are actually helping the right-wing by perpetually trying to smear feminists as racist or rightwing. Most people still recognise that females and males are not the same. Most decent people would also think it is wrong for a man to be flashing his penis to women and children, particularly so in women only facilities. If you assert that only right wing people hold such objections you are making the right wing seem more sensible to those who think that sexual harassment is wrong.

The right wing are now trying to capitalise on this false framing of gender critical feminism as right wing and are now building their groups off the back of what actually was a struggle against sexism launched by left wing feminists. Those who spread lies and smears about women resisting GI are responsible for this growth. Take a long hard think about what you are trying to achieve because you are actually empowering the right. And you are simultaneously weakening the left by creating polarisation and division and intolerance of other opinions. You are also creating fear among younger trans identifying people who believe your lies that feminists hate them, rather than the reality that we want everyone to be free from sexist expectations about how people should behave.

When you threaten and intimidate women turning up for a protest, many will turn around and leave. It looks from some of the footage that some rightwing people did turn up. Many right wing activists thrive on violence and confrontation, so by intimidating women away from the protest, you are creating the space for the right wing to seize. You are also tarnishing previous good work that antifa and other anti fascist groups have done.And it’s not just the USA where this is happening. Antifa groups in the UK are harassing and threatening a feminist conference planned for the autumn in the UK. It’s so much easier to pick on women than to confront those who actually hold the power in our society. Antifa and allies need to cease harassing feminists and get back to tackling the very real and continuing oppression of racism & fascism.

Helen is one of the most respected people on the UK left. Her words weigh a lot,

Written by Andrew Coates

July 4, 2021 at 7:10 pm

Posted in Anti-Fascism

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Socialist Worker Calls for an End to Violence Against Women.

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Trotskyist councillor caught up in far left turmoil: rape allegations against comrade : Heritage and Destiny

SWP Protests Today Against Violence Towards Women.

 

 

Rage against the sexist system returned to the streets on Sunday as around 4,000 people protested in central London.

The protest was called by Sisters Uncut after the Metropolitan Police broke up a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common the previous night. Angry crowds gathered outside the Metropolitan Police’s headquarters, New Scotland Yard, to protest against the cops’ behaviour and the Tories’ draconian policing bill.

Socialist Workers Party leadership under fire over rape kangaroo court

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 A woman has claimed she was subjected to a series of offensive questions about her sexual past and drinking habits after bringing an allegation of rape against a senior member of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP).

The UK’s most prominent far left organisation is already facing a major showdown over previous handling of separate rape accusations against a senior party figure – identified by the party only as Comrade Delta. This weekend up to 500 members could quit the Marxist group over the alleged whitewash.

The SWP’s leadership is under fire for setting up a “kangaroo court” to hear allegations of rape and sexual misconduct dating back to 2008 against the man. The allegations made at the party’s disputes committee were dismissed by a panel of seven and never passed on to the police.

One alleged victim claimed that during the hearing, she was asked if she “liked to have a drink”.

A transcript of the SWP’s annual conference in January, leaked to the Socialist Unity blog, revealed that senior officials pleaded with hundreds of activists to trust in the committee’s verdict and reminded lay members that the party had “no faith in the bourgeois court system to deliver justice”.

On Sunday, scores of party members will gather in London after the leadership was forced to call a special conference to deal with the growing “In Defence of Our Party” faction which wants to challenge the way the allegations were heard and the organisation’s democratic structures.

Another woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – has told the Guardian that she also faced a welter of inappropriate questions during her own disputes committee hearing after she reported being raped by another man in the party.

The young female member in the latest case says that the senior party member had physically abused her in front of other party members. Then, she claims, in early 2011 the male organiser pressured her into meeting and then raped her in her bedroom.

She felt that if she’d gone to the authorities, she would have be expelled from the party, because of the SWP’s hostility to the police. “If you go to the police you get kicked out automatically,” she said.

Following the incident she quit the party but a local organiser then persuaded her to take her allegations to party’s internal disputes committee.

The senior party member, who could not be contacted, has previously denied the allegations. However when she arrived at the hearing in late spring that year, she says the two judges in the case, Amy Leather and Pat Stack, were from the central committee.

She described the line of questioning during her hour long cross examination as offensive. “[They asked me] had you been drinking? 
 Are you sure that you said no, and are you sure you didn’t consent. Was he drunk? Because it would be different if he was drunk.”

She says she was also interrogated about her previous sexual history.

During the hearing two other women made allegations against the senior figure including attempted rape and sexual impropriety.

She says she was called back that afternoon and told the verdict. The committee did not rule on the truth of the rape allegation, she said.

She claims she was told the alleged rapist was going to be suspended and encouraged to read up on women’s liberation. She then says she was warned against speaking about the hearing.

“They said, if you go around calling him a rapist, you’ll be in trouble. If you tell anyone, you’ll be in trouble 
 They didn’t elaborate. They’re not the kind of people to get on the wrong side of.”

She added that she was coming forward two years later because she believes the SWP is a dangerous environment for women: “I want people to know it’s a systemic thing. They’ve done this a few times, covered things up in the interests of the party and it’s a dangerous environment to be in.”

The SWP has denied a cover-up and says they do not recognise this account of the hearing.

But participants in the disputes committee hearing described the line of questioning as “disgusting” and described the suspension as a travesty. “The fact that he got basically a slap on the wrist was just appalling.”

“They [the SWP leadership] are putting the interests of the party above the interests of the women 
 which I think gives a green light to people to behave in an appalling way to women because there’s now been two signals that you’ll get away with it.”

Responding to the allegations of mishandling an investigation, Charlie Kimber, the party’s national secretary said: “The SWP strongly contests major elements of this account of the disputes committee hearing. The woman concerned brought serious accusations to our attention, we investigated, found against the accused and took prompt action. Those are the facts of this case.”

Kimber said the SWP had taken effective action but said that he couldn’t go into further details as the matter was confidential.

He added: “I hope that after the party’s conference [on Sunday] we can move forward united.”

Here is ‘Comrade Delta’, Martin Smith, living the life of Riley:

 

 

Written by Andrew Coates

March 15, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Labour to Vote Against Policing Bill that Curbs Right to Protest.

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May be a Twitter screenshot of text that says "Keir Starmer @Keir_Starmer The scenes in Clapham this evening are deeply disturbing. Women came together to mourn Sarah Everard- they should have been able to do so peacefully. I share their anger and upset at how this has been handled. This was not the way to police this protest."

Fall out: Labour to Vote Against Policing Bill

May be a Twitter screenshot of 1 person and text that says "Nadia Whittome MP @NadiaWhittomeMP Tonight's haunting scenes at Clapham Common show why we must oppose the expansion of police powers and crackdown on the right to protest that Priti Patel is rushing through Parliament on Monday. #PoliceCrackdownBill"

 

David Lammy has announced Labour will vote against the government’s new policing bill, claiming it imposes “disproportionate controls” on the right to protest.

It comes as MPs prepare to debate the government’s police, crime, sentencing a courts bill, which contains contentious new powers for officers and the home secretary to impose conditions on public processions.

Labour’s shadow justice secretary David Lammy said the party would be whipping its MPs to vote against the Bill at second reading, claiming: “This is no time to be rushing through poorly thought-out measures to impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to protest”.

Everybody has been deeply affected by these events.

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than comment it would be better to let women speak for themselves.

 

Labours decision, b backing the right to protest ans speak,  is a step in the right direction.

 

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

March 14, 2021 at 1:04 pm