Update – The work continues

So this blog is also about documenting the process in this struggle, so i decided to also post mails and such, used to raise awareness in this fight for the right to respect and equal participation.

This was sent out to various maling lists after the meeting dec 13.

Subject:

Helsinki Social Centre Project: Banning vs. Dialogue.

Solidarity Heart Beats
To all ReSisters &
Comrades
Friends
Lovers

of the world,

In the struggle to raise awareness of sexism and unhealthy social
dynamics within the Helsinki Social Centre project (a group of
dedicated people, fighting to realize their dreams of a different
society in which we can be free) an anarcha-radical feminist activist
has faced the hardships of severe sexual and gendered harassment /
bullying.

The Social Centre Project never had any open space for the real hands
on struggle against damaging patriarchal structures and male dominance
within the scene. And pointing at the problem, caused repression and
defensive reactions, which in turn led to the banning of a much needed
critical voice. In order to change, we must first identify and
recognize that there is a problem. After that, it’s possible to start
dealing with it. The system is maintained by Compliance and Silence.

After getting banned, and given no specific other reason apart from
“people feeling uncomfortable” and that she talked about the issues in
the “wrong way” and that she “behaved badly”. The feminist woman
worked hard on creating dialogue in a desperate situation of mental
illness declarations and general denial of the harms of sexism.

The story from the “inside” was that there was constant efforts being
made by the “inside” to create dialogue, and that these efforts were
constantly disrupted by the feminist activist. This story was repeated
for so long, and with no possibility of making her own story heard,
this turned into “common knowledge” and “truth”. The “outside”
struggle of the feminist woman, in trying to get heard, witnessed no
other efforts than blaming and shaming and lack of fair play from the
“inside” – a collective, with no structure, ruled by the dominant
mainstream culture – marginalizing voices of dissent.

After endless traumatizing and mentally and emotionally exhausting
efforts in creating the dialogue needed in order to get to the first
necessary step of recognizing that there is a big problem in banning a
person stating that there has been severe power abuse, and denial and
protection of blatant sexist attacks, against her. And no efforts of
hearing her out, or trying to address the clearly defined specific
issues she’s pointing out. Well,

The efforts towards a dialogue finally came to an end.

For the first time after eleven months of struggle, the feminist woman
was allowed to attend a meeting where her banning was going to be
discussed.
The “efforts for dialogue” made by the “inside” was scribbled down on
a piece of paper, after a small closed meeting, with people holding
fingers in the air. One or Two. Someone was showing Ten. The result
that was presented to the feminist, after she was allowed back in,
after the decision making was over: << 2 year ban. >>

Since two persons inside were against a ban, somehow there had been a
decision made (consensus?! I think not…) about voting instead.

Still no clear, specific reasons have been given for the ban,
Still the woman has not been heard,

So the struggle continues. Interested will have an opportunity to
follow it on a blog giving updates on the situation and process
towards open dialogue on sexism, giving recognition of  the repression
feminists face in our work of getting our reality known and recognized
in the autonomous left, d.i.y activist scene.
https://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/about/

Recent entries of interest:

Solidarity on The Outside
https://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/update-zagus-statement-for-dec13/

Solidarity on The Inside
https://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/update-written-statement-for-dec13/

I encourage you all to Behave Badly, Break the Norms,
Break the Silence
and let Love in.

Solidarity heart beats
to all Re-Sisters
and Brothers
and All The Rest Defined by the Mainstream Culture as “Others” <3<3

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