On Standards of Feminist Conduct-CMLMS

Great post on dealing with gendered violence in organisations. Looking at things from an ML perspective, but relevant to all left groups.

revolution, then roses

Reposted from Signalfire: On Standards of Feminist Conduct-CMLMS

“Violence against women is a permanent feature of all capitalist societies, including US capitalist society. It is one of the most abhorrent aspects of patriarchy, the evil institution of women’s oppression. Patriarchy in the US has its own specific characteristics that are particular to capitalism, such as the widespread commodification of women. The term “commodification” refers to the transformation of women by the capitalists into objects for sale, a process in which ordinary men also participate.

Violence against women also shows up within self-proclaimed revolutionary organizations and revolutionary movements in the US. This includes rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual pressure, other forms of physical and verbal abuse, and other forms of violation of consent. Recently, two major Trotskyist organizations, one in Britain [1] and one in the US [2], were rightly subjected to public exposure and condemnation for the liberalism…

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Shit just got real

So… It seems I’m being sued for defamation….


And so is everyone else…


… cause that’s what Anarchists do….




Repost: ‘grunching’ on the left

Grunching‘ is a term I came across on the Geek Feminism blog,
The term grunch means the sensation a woman has when she was for a time free of conscious awareness of the male gaze and did not feel othered, but is then reminded in some way that she is a woman first and a geek (or colleague, or writer, etc) a distant second. That is, being grunched is the sensation of being firmly and unexpectedly othered.

For me, this is usually the experience of shifting rapidly and uncomfortably from feeling more or less like I belong and am valued as a person, to feeling utterly out of place and, sometimes, uncomfortable.

While I’m no longer based in Perth, I’m heartened to see some of the developments currently happening in the Perth anarchist community, including the commitment to dealing with sexual assault and other forms of misogyny in Australian activist spaces. I’ve never experienced assault in an activist community, but I have experienced painful moments of grunching that have set off warning flares………


NOTE: I’m adding Sarah Hathway (now Geelong Socialist Alliance) back to this list. She apologised and asked me to please remove her and her partner from this post at the time this happened. I believed her and removed her name. But it seems she’s continuing with her support of predators. So I want it on the public record that this is a pattern with her.

I have decided to name some names of people involved in this post:

As an update the harasser was a member of the Australian IWW. He was expelled by the local branch and eventually this was upheld by an appeals committee in Portland, which had had no prior contact with anyone involved.

This however has not stopped people from siding with the harasser and continuing to discredit us. Nor has the fact that he has a long history of harassing other people.

Both I and the other woman involved were forced to leave the organisation because of this victim blaming. It has been made quite clear to us, not only by those directly involved, but also by people on the ROC who either did nothing or who participated in trying to discredit me when I made some of what happened public.

I do want to make it clear that there are some people in the IWW, both here and in the US that have gone to great lengths to support us, and in several cases incurred a lot of harassment and bullying themselves because of this. I am very grateful to those people and to the committee in Portland which handled the appeal.

I have decided to name names now because I feel that the only way to fight rape culture is to bring it out into the open. This means not only abusers, but any groups or individuals that support them.

Also, on a personal level I need closure, and I feel like this is the only way to get it.

The harasser is Ben Debney (Melbourne/Bacchus Marsh). He runs the facebook page Anarchist Memes. He also is the person behind the group “Common Struggle” (which he may be the only member of). He has been expelled/banned from several groups and has a history of harassment and sexual harassment. He continues to harass a number of people to this day.

Unfortunately I can’t name the rapist for legal reasons. He also has a history of threats and violence towards others on the left. I am not sure if he is still an IWW member.

Here is a list of people in the Australian IWW involved in victim blaming:
-Liz turner (From Geelong/Melbourne. Also a member of Renegade Activists Action Force (RAAF). In an effort to help the harasser and rapist team up, actually rang up the rapist and told him that his victim owed him an apology for “crying wolf”)
-James Brennan (Melbourne/Geelong. Also a member of Renegade Activists Action Force (RAAF).)
-Moo Kau (If I find out this person’s real name I will post it here, what I know is he lives in Geelong and uses this pseudonym for activism, his first name may be John)
-Jake Scholes (Perth. Also the IWW national Communications Officer. He knows that Ben is a serial harasser but decided to side with him for personal reasons)
-Ushter Abassi (Sydney)
-Jacob Gretch (Melbourne Trades Hall janitor) [Updated]

There were others involved but I have left out there names either because they apologised or because I have doubts about how involved they were. But they all know who they are.

Below is a link to the complaints committee findings:

Naming names

A thug and bully

Below is a link to a blog post which I think anyone involved with Dan Hanford (of the ACT IWW and the plumbers union) should read. This is not a one off. I know several other people he has threatened or abused:

“More incredibly I also discovered that Dan H attempted to garner support amongst other bus drivers and the TWU (Transport Workers Union) in late 2010 in order to mount a campaign against me as a ‘scab.’ This attempt failed. He has also resorted to threats of violence, both against me and other comrades. Such behaviour is unacceptable, as is supporting such behaviour or remaining silent in response to it.”