Transphobia at the London Anarchist Bookfair 2017

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freemind
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Oct 14 2017 10:48

I'm attending for what it's worth as I went last year for the first time in years and had a few with some old DAM/AFA comrades

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Noah Fence
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Oct 14 2017 10:52
Serge Forward wrote:
Aye, I'll have a shandy.

Great! Hope to be going, work permitting.

Spikymike
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Oct 26 2017 16:13

I see that the AF are holding a meeting 12-1pm about Corbyn and the leftward shift in the Labour Party in which they hoped to include a debate with a supporter of Momentum. Perhaps titling it 'The cult of Corbyn' though wasn't the best way to encourage that. There have been a few anarchist supporters of Momentum in the past, at least before everyone had to be LP members as well, but maybe someone from the confused enthusiasm over Momentum and the LP from Plan C might be up for the debate? Mind one hour isn't very long to get to grips with the whole issue.

Battlescarred
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Oct 26 2017 21:21

No, Plan C say they're not coming. Scaredy cats.

satawal
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Oct 27 2017 09:35

AT THE BOOKFAIR: DONATE MATERIAL TO THE PERMANANT ANARCHIST LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE IN THE COWLEY CLUB (BRIGHTON, UK).

The Cowley Club Library is a permanent anarchist archive and library in a purpose built building on a high street in Brighton, UK. If you have pamphlets, books, and magazines - new or old - you personally rate and want archived in a non-digital IRL permanent project (we were set up in 2001 and own our building) you can donate them to The Cowley Club stall at the Bookfair. Donated material is ideally libertarian, ecological, or feminist non-fiction, and we do have a non-English language section.

We have a live on-line database if you want to check if we already have particular items
(see: http://www.cowleyclub.org.uk/%3fLibrary/ ).

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Craftwork
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Oct 27 2017 09:55

Well, I'll be there

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rat
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Oct 27 2017 20:16
Battlescarred wrote:
No, Plan C say they're not coming. Scaredy cats.

So ... now it's, Plan Cowards?

wojtek
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Oct 27 2017 20:50

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Craftwork
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Oct 28 2017 21:01

wojtek wrote:

There was actually a fight at today's Bookfair, although I don't know what it was all about.

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Craftwork
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Oct 28 2017 21:00

dp.

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rat
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Oct 28 2017 21:13

Are you referring to the group of about 20 plus people, that attacked and cornered a woman shouting "She's a fascist!" "Get her out!"?
I found the actions of those people to be very disturbing and upsetting. The woman they attacked is a veteran of many campaigns including fighting the undercover Special Branch SDS unit for their abuse of women. Yet these complete idiots had the utter arrogance to shout "fascist" at her whilst she was surrounded and trapped.

I very much doubt that any of them had ever come into direct contact with any fascists in their time.

Those people are not anarchists by any measure, they are just low life bullies.

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Craftwork
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Oct 28 2017 21:28
rat wrote:
Are you referring to the group of about 20 plus people, that attacked and cornered a woman shouting "She's a fascist!" "Get her out!"?
I found the actions of those people to be very disturbing and upsetting. The woman they attacked is a veteran of many campaigns including fighting the undercover Special Branch SDS unit for their abuse of women. Yet these complete idiots had the utter arrogance to shout "fascist" at her whilst she was surrounded and trapped.

I very much doubt that any of them had ever come into direct contact with any fascists in their time.

Those people are not anarchists by any measure, they are just low life bullies.

I don't know the details, but could hear the ruckus from upstairs, at the CWO meeting (which was, unfortunately, cut-short by the fire alarms going off).

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 21:46

Wasn't there. Not even on the same continent. But if you mean Helen Steel, anyone who thinks that terfs should be welcome in anarchism are a shit anarchist, irrespective of whatever good works on other things they've done before. A bigot is a bigot is a bigot is a bigot. Given that Helen Steel has admin - paraphrase of 'supported transphobes at the Hyde Park incident' that was later clarified edited out here since it implied more than was meant, it is unsurprising that people would object to her being in what is described as a safe space.

I am sick to death of bigots and abusers being given a pass in what passes for the movement because they're apparently good and useful comrades in other ways. It's a big enough problem to make me want nothing to do with any of the movement, such as it is.

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Oct 28 2017 22:09
Fleur wrote:
welcome in anarchism

What do you mean?

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Oct 28 2017 22:14
Fleur wrote:
It's a big enough problem to make me want nothing to do with any of the movement, such as it is.

Go for it!

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 22:19

You think transphobic bigots should be allowed to spout their bullshit in anarchist spaces? What about someone who's a bit racist? Maybe they're good at other kinds of organizing, so we could overlook that too. We know that people sexually assault people or engage in a spot of gendered violence usually get let off with a nothing more than a half assed bit of shunning. Anybody else wanna be an anarchist? Pretty much anyone can join the anarchy club as long as you hate cops and have a deep rooted belief in personal freedom (to fuck other people over.)

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 22:20

Pretty much anyone willing to defend a terf is good enough for me to drive a mile out of my way to avoid. Oddly enough I don't trust people who cape for bigots.

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Red Marriott
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Oct 28 2017 22:33
Fleur wrote:
Given that Helen Steel has endorsed the physical assault of trans women

Can you show some proof for this?

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Serge Forward
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Oct 28 2017 22:48

Yes, I'd also be interested in seeing evidence for Helen endorsing the "physical assault of trans women", because having known her for 30 years, I find this astonishing.

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 23:00

No because I'm on my phone & not at home. She's a terf, that alone should be enough to exclude her from anarchist spaces. Jfc, don't the organizers have any standards? Not that they haven't done this sort of thing before....

Last month a trans woman was assaulted by terfs at Speakers Corner. After filming and harassing the trans demo, one of the terfs assaulted a trans woman, grabbing her by the throats and holding her in a headlock. The woman fought back and was assisted by a couple of friends to prise this bloody terf off her. This has all been recorded on film. Helen Steel has supported the terf who initiated the violence, other terfs have been trying to identify (and possibly by extrapolation out her.) Supporting these women who assaulted this trans woman is endorsing the physical assault of trans women.

Pretty sure a short googling session could confirm this. I'm not near free wifi right now.

Mike Harman
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Oct 28 2017 23:08

edit: crosspost with fleur

This is one of the leaflets that was handed out at the bookfair: https://twitter.com/JacobElliman/status/924394952431464448

Helen Steel also tweeted in support of the TERF side of the speakers corner incident recently, https://twitter.com/helensteel12/status/908823443717554176 - that article refers to the trans women who were there as men.

I absolutely don't think TERFs should be welcome at the anarchist bookfair, regardless of what else they've done in the past - this isn't just someone attending, it's anti-trans activism being passed off as 'anarchism', given a stall (?or at least supported by the organisers handing out literature).

Wasn't there though so this is pieced together from twitter.

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 23:09

I'm very sorry what happened to Helen Steel during the spycops operation but nothing gives you a pass to be a bigot, no matter what may have happened to you in the past. Where do you draw the line? There are activists out there who have done really great things but are they expected to be able to be abusive and bigoted on the strength of that? What does that say about how little value we give to the people at the receiving end of that bigotry when this happens? Who exactly is marginal and less important enough to throw under the bus?

Not expecting an answer. Very low expectations all together.

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Serge Forward
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Oct 28 2017 23:09

When you do get WiFi access, I'd really appreciate some evidence from you that Helen has advocated or endorsed the violence you mention. It's all very strange.

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 23:12

See Mile Harmans post.

Mike Harman
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Oct 28 2017 23:15

There's a long post (which I'm still reading), which covers the Hyde Park incident in some depth (that's not just the New Statesman or Metro trying to smear trans women as violent men, which is the majority of the coverage) https://thequeerness.com/2017/09/29/trial-by-media-over-speakers-corner-fracas/

Mike Harman
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Oct 28 2017 23:28

Also this tweet from one of the other people confronted: https://twitter.com/Olivia4Hersham/status/924291184553537536

Just got attacked physically by a load of transactavists at the ‘anarchist’ book fair.
Mayday4women

Please share widely

From their twitter bio:

Green Party parliamentary candidate for Esher and Walton 2015 & 2017

As a green party candidate, looks like they only went to bookfair to hand out TERF literature?

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Red Marriott
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Oct 28 2017 23:36
Quote:
See Mile Harmans post.

The interpretation of Steel's twitter post was that the trans activists were the attackers. True or not, that is what she apparently believes and how she titled the post. I don't see any proof "that Helen Steel has endorsed the physical assault of trans women" which is a much more general claim than that she took sides in a demo scuffle in which she believes trans activists were the aggressors. Whatever the facts of that incident - to denounce her as "a fascist" at the bookfair is ridiculous.

ajjohnstone
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Oct 28 2017 23:55

Shows how out of touch i am

What is a terf?....something something something feminist?

Fleur
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Oct 28 2017 23:58

True, fascist is a poor choice of words but it's basic Terf 101 and I refuse to believe that someone who has been politically active as long as Helen Steel has would be so ignorant of the issues around trans politics within feminism to innocently be duped by the radfems demonisation of trans people. It's so fucking typical of radfems to paint themselves as victims of oppressive "male" violence from trans women, when they almost pathologically, obsessively abuse trans women and when they as much as answer back, the radfems turn into a bunch of wilting violets, a giant sad puddle of victimhood.

Terfs have no place at an anarchist bookfair. I haven't been to a bookfair for years, the possibilty of maybe a decent workshop is far outweighed by all the fuckery that usually happens at these things but if I was at one and terfs were handing out literature, I'd be one of the awful bullies chucking these nasty fuckers out. Then they can whine about being silenced, like they always do.

Mike Harman
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Oct 28 2017 23:59

There's only Rat's post mentioning the word 'fascist', but there's a whole TERF leaflet photographed that is very fucking bad and should not be anywhere let alone the bookfair.