received on 2/4/18
Amid a deafening silence from almost all cis-anarchists in London, the persecution of our comrade the ‘She-Wolf’ continues, with a trial date set for alleged assault on 12-13th April, at Hendon Magistrates court. Meanwhile the actively transphobic elements of leftism and ‘feminism’ – recipients of remarkable empathy from certain corners of the anarchist scene – continue to show their true faces, brandishing more and more interesting new friends: journalists, screws, politicians (including Conservative austerity-merchants), bosses, and of course cops and judges.
At a hearing on a cold morning in February, over 40 supporters attended including comrades from as far away as Bristol, accompanying our friend as she pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge of assault (slightly less serious than the aggravated charge of battery which had been threatened). TERFs had promised to demonstrate at the court, but in the end some prominent TERFs advised against attending, and only the shameless and apparently near-friendless Venice Allan showed up, accompanied by two others and a ten year-old child. Crowd-control barriers and a van-load of cops stood idly by. The child looked confused.
In the context of months of persecution and harassment, the blossoming of old and new friendships under grey London skies anticipated the arrival of spring. The occasion reminded us of the connections and capacities we will need to develop to survive the conditions that are hardening around us.
Gatherings in solidarity with comrades are meaningless if this solidarity cannot be developed and used, ultimately, for attack. We are not talking about ‘opposing’ or even physically attacking TERFs. Clearly we do need to think strategically about their presence and influence in ‘radical’ and autonomous contexts, their willingness to mobilise liberalism and its institutions to serve their ends, and the continuum between these two areas of their activity. But our desires far exceed the politics of opposition, and of defending or demanding ‘rights’, representation, visibility etc… There is nothing for us in this world, that destroyed universes outside of cis-hetero statism, and now tries to sell us pacified bubbles of queer or trans life, a glittery version of the same corpse-existence, buttressed by work, destitution, borders and exclusions of all kinds.
The fight against TERFs is the fight for a life, single and collective, that is unintelligible to this bunch of obsessives, or anyone else who seeks to impose a unity on existence. Clearly we are already unintelligible to many who espouse Anarchist views, and are more interested in fortifying their place on the moral high-ground than meeting us at the point where we encounter most intensely the classist, statist and sexist violence on which the whole system is built. No, we don’t want to run another bookfair, we barely have time to read. We’ll grab whatever opportunities there are, in whatever depressing circumstances, for a shared moment, a stupid banner, a made-up song, in which we can try to snatch a sideways look of complicity, a muttered aspiration of something other than all this shit.
Some practical thoughts about the trial:
– TERFs are very likely to attend, at least in individual capacity, to do whatever grandstanding and provocation they can get away with.
– Cis accomplices are particularly invited to attend in numbers on 12th April, at 9am, to help make this impossible.
– Anyone familiar with TERF tactics won’t need to be told that a face-covering is essential.
TERF activity in London recently has focussed on a speaking tour, offering aspiring TERFs the opportunity to hobnob with Helen Steele, admired comrade of ‘Some Anarchists’, who distinguished herself at one event in February by pushing a protester down a set of stairs. Another such event was hosted by Tory MP David Davis in the Houses of Parliament, with contributors including a former prison officer, presumably sought-after for the specialist grounding in transphobia afforded her by her professional experience. TERF hate-pieces have appeared in the Morning Star, among other rags.
We wish to acknowledge the efforts of those who, confronted by the activity of TERFs in their gym, pub, or neighbourhood, have moved beyond silence and prevarication to forge space for feminist organising and culture that, ridding itself of dead ends, simultaneously opens up new intensities, new directions for action, new complicities and relationships.
This occasion of localised oppression has also shown us that closeness in struggle and desire is not geographically determined. Shortly before the plea hearing we received this message from criminal queers in Marseille:
“After reading about the situation of the comrade in London; we decided
to make this small gesture in Marseille to send our love and support for
her in this moment and to all trans fighters struggling against state
and terf repression.
Towards the end of civilization.
Some queer insurgents.”
Actions such as these help to make the situation bearable. We welcome communications such as this, and above all we welcome anyone who wishes to share these two spring days with us in rage and conspiracy ‘against the gendered existent’.
To those who seek to imprison us in ‘identity’, and in actuality with provocation and accusations… To those who prefer talking behind our back, over mutual support and critique on the terrain of shared struggle… To those who extend solidarity to abstract concepts, and remarkable sympathy with our tormentors… we can only say what we say to the state itself:
See you on the 12th and 13th,
Some Angry Tranarchists