About

Hello

This is a blog created in order to raise awareness around the issue of sexual / gendered harassment that occurred in the Helsinki (Finland) squatting scene autumn – winter 2007 – 2008. The main focus of it, was targeted against myself – a feminist activist woman – and brought on severe silencing attempts and shaming and blaming from within the movement. January 18th, 2008, I was kicked off a mailing list related to the project of creating a social centre in Helsinki. And after sending an international call for solidarity, as a response to this action, I was completely banned from all activity.

I’m still looking for a process, where I could be heard on this in a democratic fashion. There has been many requests made on my side, but still no action towards creating a space, where I could hear the specific reasons for why I was banned, have the opportunity to respond, and create the dialogue necessary before any balanced decision can be made on my inclusion / exclusion from the Social Centre project.

It has also proved very difficult to get heard on the original procedure of excluding me from the mailing list. The harassment (mental illness declarations, verbal aggressions and so on) that came both before and after this exclusion, has still not been possible to address in a house meeting.

The skull flag, banner stating "free space now", and a masked up person throwing a molotov.

Old School: The skull flag, banner stating "free space now", and a masked up person throwing a molotov.

This blog is also created to show what my goal and aims are within the Social Centre Project. Apart from bringing important issues like safe environments free from harassment on the agenda, I would also like to focus on creating positive inclusive structures in order to have a vibrant and creative community.

I’m not saying that this would have to be instead or on top of the current system. I only wish to show that I do have concrete goals, and that I would like to have an equal opportunity to make this happen. So the persons feeling strongly connected with skulls and molotovs – could easily live side by side with persons like myself, not feeling comfortable with or wanting to be represented by symbols that for me would mean death and violence. I’m into symbols like hearts and flowers (new school).

What I wish to show here, is that the Social Centre can be represented by many different blogs, home pages, expressions. This would in my mind not be a threat to the unity of the project, but instead open it up for more people, and in that way make it stronger. So persons like myself, who would feel highly uncomfortable with having links to projects with homophobic and pornographic references (like Megafoni) could have a safe space, free from the issues we constantly work against having around us, and Megafoni people wouldn’t have to feel scared by getting criticism from “within” the movement.

Since I’m tired and saddened of how my case has been dealt with so far, I would also express a clear wish to create an alternative house meeting. So people who can not relate to my politics or person would in no way have to feel that their activity would be threatened by having me around (since there’s been clear wishes of not working with me expressed). I’m willing and wanting to create the kind of community I would feel comfortable with from scratch. Just by the simple act of having a different time for it. Same space, many different ways of being. That’s what I’d like to see happen.

Personal reflections on Myself

Political reflections on Heteronormativity

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“We are powerful because we have survived.”

“I have come to believe over and over again, that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”

“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

“Your silence will not protect you.”

AUDRE LORDE

“…we have been taught either to ignore our differences, or to view them as causes for separation and suspicion rather than as forces for change. Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.”

Audre Lorde

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7 Responses

  1. Please: in a world where children are forced into prostitution on an industrial scale it makes me really angry that people such as yourself are calling on the WORLD against a group of squatters (who I’m sure are lovely people) because they feel you have already taken too much of there time an energy.

    Sexism, harasment & abuse is everywhere and happens to many of us. We should always try deal with it as quickly and effectively as possible but it’s not always so easy.

    Reflect on you’re own actions and think about what the helinski squatters have said, move on and please delete this website and stop you’re campaign against them. Stop abusing the international mailing lists and stop wasting time and energy in the scene.

    sincerely

    -Angry anarchist from the other side of the world…

  2. hello I am realy sorry to read about the fight in the helsinki scene. I know that i dont konow any thing about the background. But one thing I do know is that it is sad that you feel depresd ower it. I hope it solves but if it dont. dont let it get to you. itis not the end of the world if it dosent turn out good (ewen if it sometimes feels so I am down my selfe so I know). and just vant to say that you always have the posibility to leve and that there are allot of other scenes that are nice. there are allot of diffrent places. there are sexist basterds al ower the world and in ewery one of us. we are a part of the struckture and the structurs are in eweryone. Fight it whene you can. just don´t lett it get to you (easyer sad than done)!! I am also worid that it will be problem if you get what you want (you gett back in the grope). after some big fights sometimes it newer gets good. but maby it will. just thik that this scene is not ewerythig!! there is a world outside helsinki!!

    but as i sad I dont know anything of what you shuld do or dont.
    hope ewerything gets good in helsinki/ in the scene /outside or somewhere else! good luck!! best activist greetings from ower the sea

  3. Milla,

    this isn’t a common space youre being excluded from. We are an autonomous group, and as such must define our boundaries in order to function. At it’s simplest, we do it by defining our squat as (for example) non-bigoted, thus excluding nazis, homophobes, sexists, etc. But we also exclude people by common decision if necessary. At this moment so many members of the Helsinki squatting scene have a personal enmity with you that if you would enter the squat, all activity would cease as people would storm off. It is a personal issue, and calling it a feminist issue is striking a blow against feminism.

    The point is that this isn’t a library or parliament or any ideal of togetherness youre trying to enter, but a social group. There is no “the squat” being led by sinister anarcho-leaders, but a group of individuals who got so pissed off by your disrespectful attitude that we sat down together, talked it over (several times) and decided, by consensus, that you’re banned. Initially it was a small, temporary ban from the list, but you reacted so fiercly everytime anyone dared oppose you, that it quickly accelerated through several steps (including a long process of defining our approach to bans, essentially building a structure for banning from scratch) to a full ban.

    I was in a squat in helsinki called Omega that was opened as a social centre and a homeless shelter. One old guy pissed in a corner. We told him not to, and the next day he shat in the corner. So we banned him. If he had been as eloquent as you are, he might have argued about the ayurvedic purity of human excrement and demanded trial after trial (as you have) to produce an consensus that wouldnt be blocked by his drinking buddies. He might have also set up a page smearing us with accusations and called for international solidarity abroad. Instead, he just went away. I think he was more civil than you.

    There is no “the squatting scene”. This is “a helsinki scene”. Another scene is certainly possible, it is in fact welcomed and encouraged by our scene. I suggest you start that scene in a more contructive way than by attacking us. I suggest you find a group of people who share your views, and go squat a house. A safe space isn’t something you should beg for, but something you claim for yourself. Go and d.i.y., you parasite!

    We dont want you.

  4. Let me just add one thing. You are not the one responsible for this inventing from scratch a procedure (including behavioural criteria) of banning. I know, I have been in this situation myself and I made myself banned, despite me being fluent in swedish, english and despite me knowing even a few words of finnish. Yes, that is right. I tried to convince them. But it proved pointless because they knew already I was an outsider, the type of spook one would find in corners of strangers blogs, etc. At work I always sat in the corner (but I ate my lunch in the middle of the lunch room). I was not a complete excrement until I joined the middle class. I stayed up late at nights trying to figure out how to find that stable ground in life, the golden middle way. Then, suddenly the shit hit the fan: It does not mean anything to search for that golden middle way because it is there already. For everyone. Just decide to drop out and you will. And that is the procedure. DIY, for anyone at once. Is that not cool?
    Just go and flush yourself down the toilet. You could save a lot of air on this planet for the rest of us that does not want it polluted.
    An consensus.. it is not needed, just take it. Just do it. Do not try to convince anybody. All is wrong. Do not even try it. Do not think, do not move, do not even count the seconds in your miserable, dark part of the world. Just give it up. Leave us!

  5. Turn off the light. That’s all you need to do, then all pain will be gone.

  6. Milla,
    head up. Maybe there’s no sense in speaking to people who don’t want to listen, in joining people who don’t want you. You’ve got full of energy. Don’t waste it on them. D.I.Y. as they advise, but I advise it without negative emotions, with a wish that you can find your safe space. There’s a lot of other than Helsinki scenes, and you are welcome, but you can also start your own scene, you can do it. I believe you can.
    Hugs

  7. […] 5:03:13 PM milla: giving a link to that specific comment about me being a parasite: https://sosiaalikeskus.wordpress.com/read-this/about/#comment-22 […]

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