Persecution and threats against student activist escalate

Bahar Mustafa - Golsmiths Student's Union Welfare & Diversity Officer

A London student union officer has received death threats in a month-long campaign of harassment, after she organised a meeting for minority students.

Bahar Mustafa, 27, is the Welfare & Diversity Officer of Goldsmiths Students’ Union. Ms Mustafa organised a meeting for black and minority ethnic (BME) women and non-binary people, and asked that white people and men did not attend.

A Goldsmiths student, who is understood to have recently been a member of the xenophobic right-wing UKIP party, claimed that this was racist against white men.

The story was spun as ‘white men banned from anti-racism rally’, and subsequently picked up by student paper the Tab, the Evening Standard and Daily Mail, amongst others. Supporters of Bahar refuted the claims in a statement:

This is not, as has been suggested in the press, anti-white bigotry. Nor is it discrimination, in any sense of the word. The event in question is not a job or scholarship from which white people are barred from applying. It is an organising meeting involving just over ten people, convening to feed back into wider organising meetings.

However, the campaign against her subsequently escalated, with attempts to have Ms Mustafa - who is an elected student union officer - ‘sacked’. She has also received death threats, and has been reported to the police.

Following the media coverage, an assortment of Men’s Rights Activists, British fascists, and participants in the misogynist hate campaign gamergate descended on the twitter hashtag #SupportBaharMustafa with a torrent of abuse.

This effort to ban minorities from meeting without white men present is the latest in a wider campaign portraying left-wing and liberation movements as a totalitarian threat to ‘free speech’ on campuses. Former genocide-denying Marxist turned right-wing contrarian Spiked magazine recently published a ‘free speech ranking’ for universities, with red, amber, and green categories.

Supposed ‘threats to free speech’ which landed universities in the red category include bans on on-campus fascist activity, “zero tolerance” policies on sexual harassment, and recognition of transgender people. Sacking of elected officers for speaking freely is not mentioned.

Posted By

Anonymous
May 22 2015 12:29

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  • This effort to ban minorities from meeting without white men present is the latest in a wider campaign portraying left-wing and liberation movements as a totalitarian threat to ‘free speech’ on campuses.

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Comments

Chilli Sauce
May 25 2015 14:57
snowflake wrote:
any white male student who didn't get her 'irony' is likely to be discouraged from seeking her help about welfare issues

Goldsmith's students not getting irony? You're being ironic, right?

Chilli Sauce
May 25 2015 15:03
Phil0old wrote:
So only communists should attend communist meetings? So why is it that Communists, Anarchist Communists and all sorts of supposedly superior groups feel free to attend and disrupt meetings of groups with whom they disagree? Shouldn't they also stay away?

They share the hypocrisy of those they oppose.

Phil

So, I shouldn't feed the troll, I know. But...

No, bosses shouldn't be allowed to attend the meeting of workers - and neither should snitches or scabs.

And, yes, within political groups, they have the right to decide who joins and who attends. Why should the Anarchist Federation allow non-anarchists to join their group or attend their meetings? Lots of anarchist groups do hold public, open meetings, but it seems dead obvious that only communists should attend the internal meetings of communist organisations.

Finally - and it's already been said - but the issue here isn't that the woman in question was barring men and whites from democratic decision-making or administrative meetings of the student union. It was a meeting for minority students to discuss and network as minority students - exactly the sort of work she was elected to do.

noclass
May 25 2015 15:36

@Chilli Sauce

Quote:
No, bosses shouldn't be allowed to attend the meeting of workers - and neither should snitches or scabs.

within political groups, they have the right to decide who joins and who attends.

Why should the Anarchist Federation allow non-anarchists to join their group or attend their meetings?

Of course any political group can ask the other not to attend. They can have close meeting, they can have secret meeting. It is nobody's business. It is all about how much open-minded you are and how convincing is your reasoning for your cause. I don't know about the woman, I think libertarian communists should be open minded.

Quote:
It was a meeting for minority students to discuss and network as minority students - exactly the sort of work she was elected to do.

I read:

Quote:
asked that white people and men did not attend.

Article says she asked. As a minority, I always wanted non minority who support my cause to participate. Imagine Luther King ask whites not participate in civil right movement. In fact, he didn't and whites helped him.

Joseph Kay
May 25 2015 15:41
noclass wrote:
Imagine Luther King ask whites not participate in civil right movement. In fact, he didn't and whites helped him.

MLK (and others) founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by inviting 60 black ministers and other leaders to a meeting. Its original name was the Negro Leaders Conference on Nonviolent Integration.

noclass
May 25 2015 16:10
Quote:
MLK (and others) founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference by inviting 60 black ministers and other leaders to a meeting. Its original name was the Negro Leaders Conference on Nonviolent Integration.

Sure, but he never said whites should not participate in his movement. Did he, or I am off? Besides, perhaps he could also include white people too because there have been many whites against racism.

fingers malone
May 25 2015 15:51

Yeah but it was one small meeting. There were other meetings on the issue that were open for everyone to attend if they wanted to.

Joseph Kay
May 25 2015 15:55
noclass wrote:
Sure, but he never say whites should not participate in his movement. Did he, or I am off?

And nor did Bahar, or anyone on this thread.

noclass
May 25 2015 16:07

@Joseph

This is in the article:

Quote:
Ms Mustafa organised a meeting for black and minority ethnic (BME) women and non-binary people, and asked that white people and men did not attend.
Joseph Kay
May 25 2015 16:12

Yes, Bahar organised a meeting for black (and minority ethnic) people, much like MLK organised a meeting for black people. Neither were organising a separatist movement.

noclass
May 25 2015 16:52

@Joseph,

Quote:
... and asked that white people and men did not attend.

Excluding people based on race or sex or class or nationality is a bad idea. Just ask for those who like the cause to participate. This is the way I think it should be. If people like to have their own exclusive group, it is their choice. I won't join them. What I would lose by not joining a group who don't like me? Nothing, because as they don't like me, they will harm me, thus, I will have actually benefit not to join them.

tigersiskillers
May 25 2015 16:47
noclass wrote:
@Joseph,
Quote:
... and asked that white people and men did not attend.

...one meeting. Which itself was a follow up to an open meeting.

noclass
May 25 2015 17:00

@Joseph
Does it say an open meeting?

article quoted:

Quote:
convening to feed back into wider organising meetings.

In future, she can again say in a wider organizing meeting, whites and male cannot participate.

noclass
May 25 2015 17:05

Take racists and sexists criticism as an opportunity to enhance the cause by removing obscurity.

Again, my judgment is not based on personality of the woman which is article about. I judge by the article. May be the article is bad.

Whatever it is, these discussion is helpful to learn how to approach bad. At least I can say excluding based on race, gender ... is not a good idea. If some believe that I am wrong, fine. I just said what I thought is good. Maybe I find I am wrong in future.

Joseph Kay
May 25 2015 17:37
noclass wrote:
Excluding people based on race or sex or class or nationality is a bad idea.

Well you can think that, but you can't cite Martin Luther King, because he (sometimes) organised anti-racist meetings by only inviting black people.

Chilli Sauce
May 25 2015 18:01

Been said, but...excluding people from one particular meeting is very different from excluding people from a movement. And, in fact, given that social hierarchies cut across class, it's fair enough that oppressed groups be allowed to have their own private spaces and their own private meetings.

jef costello
May 25 2015 18:18
noclass wrote:
I agree, but, in my experience, in my environment so far, they don't have been majority. I have seen a lot that who wanted to abuse single issues to climb the ladder of bourgeoisie ranks, were so many, including leftist parties who were essentially reformists and wanted to be in parliament rather than removing state.

Yes, I've seen a bit of this, in the same way I4ve seen people use any advantage they have to advance, in the same way I've benefited from being a tall, well-spoken Englishman. I think we all see the advantages others get easier than the ones we get. I have only been stopped and searched once (half-heartedly) because a friend of mine was asking for it (long, boring story) but every sinle black guy who grew up in my area has been stopped a shitload of times. But I don't see that so easily because it didn't happen to me, in the same way as when I get a job ahead of a BME/female candidate I don't think to myself "thank god for that pale penis of mine". But I have heard a lot of people bitching about reverse discrimination etc and the only 'evidence' they ever seem capable of pulling out is the fact that a woman BME has got a job they wanted, it's pathetic. People who trade on minority status tend to pick/gravitate to fields where that works and there aren't many and generaly those fields tend to let a bunch of people politick their way to jobs based on any number of criteria.

Phil0old
May 25 2015 20:02

I'm not a troll, but nice ad hominem starter for 10.

So you don't deny the right of anarchists and other leftist groups to infiltrate but you deny that right to those with whom you disagree?

The initial issue isn't my point. My point is the hypocrisy of both sides in their responses.

Exclusion on the basis of colour or religion or political pov from a discussion that is relevant to all, where those who are not well informed could become better informed and more enlightened seems prejudiced and divisive. By all means exclude persons who disrupt, although anarchists don't think it ok to exclude them for that reason, but to exclude all on the basis that they might be obstructive is foolish in my humble opinion.

Snitches or scabs eh? So now you go back to name calling in order to exclude. Do tell me what it is you have to fear from such people? Must everyone strike because the trade union says so? How does a trade union gain a democratic right to act on behalf of those who are not members of it? If you don't strike and I do does that me better? More working class? More of an activist for real change?

Anarchists are the kings of hijacking the marches, meetings and protests of others. They have no regard for the rights of others to live as they choose or protest as they choose. When peaceful groups protest who is it that brings the violence? Oh yes the "enlightened" anarchist communists. How proud they are of their temper tantrums.

Actually working towards a real change just doesn't occur to them, throwing a few stones and damaging a few windows is enough for them. Sounds like a bunch of middle class kids who enjoy misbehaving and dressing up in balaclavas to me.

I am an anarchist but not a socialist, nor a communist, I read Marx and found it to be generally stupid, short sighted and ignorant of human beings. Capitalism has brought itself down has it? Inevitable my ass!

My disgust and contempt for the right is far less because I never believed they were any better than they are. The so called left on the other hand fills me with disgust. I have noticed a great deal of them not standing up be counted over my fifty years, as soon as trouble begins to reach them they resort to being users of the system and empowerers of oppression.

Anyway don't let me interrupt your name calling and hypocrisy.

Phil0old
May 25 2015 20:11

My response showed that you were wrong. Is it my fault you cannot understand? I can join the dots for you if you wish?

I apologise if my off the cuff comments seem too well done to be off the cuff to you. I could swear a bit if that helps? Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks! Is that better?

Where do you imagine there was a tough guy challenge? I asked if you wished to say something else in response? You might have declined to do so or felt you merely wished to stand by what you had said. Do you often imagine that you are being challenged when people ask you a polite question? Have you had these paranoid thoughts for a long time or are they more recent?

I have no idea what you mean by a subreddit but I will assume it means something to other paranoid people.

plasmatelly
May 25 2015 20:30

Phil0old- admin: no flaming. Although Phil has been banned as clearly his views are diametrically opposed to the aims of this site

Phil0old
May 25 2015 20:40

ah good old ad hom

What I love most about the entrenched is their ability to swear, with all those swear words and all that aggression surely you must soon overthrow the capitalist world?

Oh no, wait, never going to happen.

Chilli Sauce
May 25 2015 21:00
Quote:
So you don't deny the right of anarchists and other leftist groups to infiltrate but you deny that right to those with whom you disagree?

Infiltrate and disrupt, wtf are you actually talking about? What? Anarchists getting rowdy on marches? Anarchists having demos as part of a dispute? Just what are you on about?

Also, "scab and snitches" being name-calling? Nope. That's just people who either cross picket lines or snitch to the boss. And, yes, those people - for their actions - should be banned from workers' meetings.

Khawaga
May 25 2015 21:02
Quote:
I am an anarchist but not a socialist, nor a communist, I read Marx and found it to be generally stupid, short sighted and ignorant of human beings. Capitalism has brought itself down has it? Inevitable my ass!

You've clearly not read Marx, considering he never once said that capitalism would bring itself down but rather precisely the opposite. If history was inevitable, why would Marx make repeated statements like: "Men make history, but not under conditions of their own choosing"?

Quote:
So you don't deny the right of anarchists and other leftist groups to infiltrate but you deny that right to those with whom you disagree?

And who here has argued that anarchist should "infiltrate"? That is all you, dear. Not saying that it doesn't happen, but the charge of hypocrisy falls flat.

But please stay here and argue. The boards can be pretty boring some times, so people like you, so certain in their own superiority and coming in with a keyboard with +10 against strawmen, is great entertainment. Sadly I think you'll leave in a huff pretty soon.

Phil0old
May 25 2015 21:38

Clearly you haven't read Marx much.

Karl Marx. Capital Volume One
Chapter Thirty-Two: Historical Tendency of Capitalist Accumulation
Para 2

As soon as this process of transformation has sufficiently decomposed the old society from top to bottom, as soon as the labourers are turned into proletarians, their means of labour into capital, as soon as the capitalist mode of production stands on its own feet, then the further socialization of labour and further transformation of the land and other means of production into socially exploited and, therefore, common means of production, as well as the further expropriation of private proprietors, takes a new form. That which is now to be expropriated is no longer the labourer working for himself, but the capitalist exploiting many labourers. This expropriation is accomplished by the action of the immanent laws of capitalistic production itself, by the centralization of capital. One capitalist always kills many. Hand in hand with this centralization, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develop, on an ever-extending scale, the cooperative form of the labour process, the conscious technical application of science, the methodical cultivation of the soil, the transformation of the instruments of labour into instruments of labour only usable in common, the economizing of all means of production by their use as means of production of combined, socialized labour, the entanglement of all peoples in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalistic regime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with, and under it. Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labour at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument is burst asunder. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.

Please don't leave in a huff just because you just got totally owned by an ex Marxist. Your ad hominem attacks and denials of reality are fun.

Phil0old
May 25 2015 21:45

They don't "get rowdy", they generate violence in which they bear almost none of the risk but they place others in danger. Those of us not hiding our faces and not creating confrontation are the ones who reap the rewards of anarchist action.

"What a catalyst you turned out to be, loaded the guns then ran off home for your tea, left me standing like a naughty school boy" to quote a well known pop song of my era.

Calling people who cross picket lines the name "scab" is name calling. Is there some part of that you cannot grasp?

Why should anyone not cross a picket line? If they don't agree with the strike then they should act as they see fit. The violence in your system appears inherent.

Juan Conatz
May 25 2015 21:55

I can't imagine there's a reason to cross a picket line outside of the strike being reactionary. For example, during the 1940s, the KKK organized 'hate strikes' against integration at the auto plants in Detroit. Picket lines like that should not be honored. But if a group of your coworkers go on strike over normal workplace issues, you shouldn't cross. By crossing, you are undermining them and deserve to be called lots of names, if not outright physically contested, which has been the traditional response to scabs in the workers movement.

boomerang
May 25 2015 22:22

I can't keep up with this crazy thread. But in skimming it I saw more than once people saying things like, "Hey if workers held a meeting to fight to make things better at work would you tell them they had to invite the boss?"

This is very much the wrong argument to make here. I can't think of any reason why workers would ever invite the boss to a meeting if they're planning a struggle around workplace issues.

But with organizing around race or gender issues, while there are valid reasons to organize without whites or without men sometimes, it also makes sense to include them at other times (I'd say most of the time).

Making this parallel doesn't hold up, it's implying there are inherently opposing interests between whites and everyone else or cis men and everyone else.

Khawaga
May 25 2015 22:21
Quote:
Plase don't leave in a huff just because you just got totally owned by an ex Marxist. Your ad hominem attacks and denials of reality are fun.

Clearly that ex Marxist can't interpret texts. Where in that quote does Marx argue any automatism in moving towards communism? Nowhere. He is arguing for the potential of communism, that needs to be actualized. It's straight up Hegelian argumentation. As an ex Marxist you should really be aware of this.

Edgy-Anarkink
May 25 2015 22:31

d

boozemonarchy
May 25 2015 22:53

I'm pretty sure by ex-Marxist, Phil0old means he used to vote Labour..

Chilli Sauce
May 26 2015 01:14

Well, I don't actually see any inherent problem with using force ("violence") against scabs, to be honest.

Obviously, it's a tactical choice: I've had lots of my immediate co-workers cross picket lines I've been on and I've never responded in violence. But that was because I don't think that level of physical confrontation would have been tactically smart at the time - but there are plenty of times where it undoubtedly is.

Anyway,

Quote:
They don't "get rowdy", they generate violence in which they bear almost none of the risk but they place others in danger. Those of us not hiding our faces and not creating confrontation are the ones who reap the rewards of anarchist action.

Do you have any evidence for this or are you just talking bollocks?

I also like the use of the word "generate" because - as you must be aware - it's the forces of the state who actually use violence against protesters. Blaming anarchists for the response of the police is just, well, pretty stupid.

I'm also not sure what point you're trying to make with that ridiculously long Marx quote. (Enjoying all the Marx-baiting, btw.) You really don't understand the politics of the site, but I will note that Marx said that capitalism will ultimately leave humanity with the choice of socialism or barbarism. There's no inevitablism there, comrade.

Finally, let me tell you, pop lyrics make a great argument....