I wrote a blog post: Micke Brunila – A sight for sore eyes (COP15)
And Micke wrote a reply: “Please stay true”
This blog post is my response.
This is an open request for you to reach into your warm human pumping heart and open up a public space to have a sincere and honest talk on your own role in the exclusion I faced after speaking openly of hierarchies and sexism within the same social center project (or scene) you yourself invited me to, in spring 2007.
I find the lack of transparency as well as the total lack of democracy in the process of having the internal conflicts discussed and dealt with, alarmingly in tune with a totalitarian system where basic human rights are disrespected and out the window for the sake of “friendship” and “unity” within a “struggling” movement. Dissent is dealt with in the same way as within any cult or sect that glorify its members [“us”] and paint the outside world [“them”] as a Demon Threat towards the common principles and morals, and any questioning of the Truth about the Inside (Non-sexist, Non-racist, Non-homophobic – Fair & Equal), is treated as blasphemy and the Non-Believer can soon look elsewhere for Family and Friends. People brave enough to complain, and low enough in the hierarchy soon find they are cut away from all social relations*. And in my case: Even openly declared delusional and mentally ill. A danger for the Common Well.
[*That’s the way power is made. Social networks where you’re in or you’re out. People on the outside notice more clearly where the boundaries go, and the lack of connection, than the people bullying one another on the inside.]
Micke, you are asking me to leave you alone (private sphere: Phone, Phax, Inbox). To stay true to a promise I made a year ago to your friend Anna. I in return, am asking you to stay true to the principles of the project you welcomed me to.
In your words to me, you speak of consent. There was no consent in the decision you took in December 13, 2008. [Only one of the many disgraces and wrongs in this conflict.] You walked out from a room, after I was handed a torn piece of paper, where Inka had scribbled a couple of sentences stating that I would be banned for 2 years, with no possibility to discuss the matter during this time (!) I ended up catatonic after this bullying meeting. one week in bed, just staring at the ceiling. Markus had clearly set the standard for the encounter by stating “I only came here to get you banned.” And you were no better, saying that Janne’s written statement on the lack of democracy within the project and unjust treatment of myself, didn’t mean anything cause you didn’t see Janne as a part of the in-group (!) Pähkinä and Sami, being there in person, disagreeing with what was going on didn’t matter either. This time it was Inka’s turn to label them as “Out”.
I am asking you to look to the principles of the social center – stating that we as a collective are committed to dealing with oppressive behaviors and that we dare speak openly and frankly about these things.
I am asking you to stay true to the values stated about this project. I am asking you to have a go at talking through the hellish in-fighting and severe bullying that was going on within the making of Satama. To have a go at resolving or at least – understanding – the problems that are still there.
I am asking you to have a go at playing fair.
What’s your response?
Click here to read Janne’s statement, declared “outsider” point of view and unimportant by Micke:
Click here [and sign in to the Forum] to read the talk I had with Inka, who later changed her mind about the ban:
http://sosiaalikeskus.forumotion.com/ [And then: Conflicts > Share conflicts within your scene (or social environment) > Helsinki social centre project [Sosiaalikeskus Satama]]
Click here to read a chat that I had with Ronja, talking about power positions and peer pressure [I recommend reading the comments]:
Click here to read an analysis of Micke’s public (and openly sexist) unsupportive response to my call for solidarity in the beginning of the conflict:
25 – 26.9.2008
i called many times on Micke’s phone.
she replied with an sms.
Micke: What do you want?
Me: Solve the conflict with you.
Me: You? What do you want?
Me: I want to understand, I want to learn,
I want to be able to move on. I want to be
able to say I love without having the feeling
of something being taken from me. Simple
things that most often feel complicated.
I want to be met with an open and non-
Me: I want to live freely. With respect,
and self-reflecting kindred human beings.
And I want to know why you are asking
me what I want? And I want to say that
I get freaky-nuts when people don’t answer,
and I want to know why you don’t do that.
Next day: I called twice. No answer.
Micke: Sorry for the delay with my
answer but it’s been difficult writing this.
I don’t know if I have anything to say to you.
I don’t approve of your actions against Råholmen
[the place of the current social centre] and Aleksi.
I can’t deal with and I don’t feel like seeing
you or speaking with you after all that’s
Nothing constructive would come out of
it on my part.
Hopefully we could meet under better
circumstances some day. I wish for you
to respect my boundaries for now.
Me: What did I do that you reacted on
as an action against Råholmen / Aleksi?
Micke: Latest the things you did during
Me: What actions?
Micke: I don’t know exactly who you were
aiming your protests against. You were naked
with a sign during x’s and y’s presentation and
your friend tried to block Aleksi from Utkanten.
And I don’t feel comfortable with you arranging
a workshop against sexism in the Helsinki scene.
I think this conflict hasn’t been about sexism for
a long time. And you and I can hardly reach a
consensus on that.
Me: Well in that case it would be good to have
a discussion on what sexism is? Instead of
actively blocking / avoiding this discussion. Or
what do you think?
Me: That a discussion would be important in
order to avoid power abuse. Considering you have
the power to define what sexism is and isn’t within
the scene, and I don’t have that power. If not sexism:
Then what is this conflict about according to you?
Me: The boundaries of the city are an obstacle
and act oppressively on the ones who want something
different in this society. In this case, your boundaries
mean the same to me. I want something different.
You are the one with power to refuse and ignore
a dialogue on sexism and my expression and way
of being in the world. In the same way as the
boundaries set by the city can’t be followed by the
ones who feel mistreated by them, I can’t
follow your stated boundary, if I truly wish for
a change. With love / milla
Micke: Leave. Me. Alone.
Me: Do. Something. About sexism. Stop talking. Shit.