A Summary Recap of Frida’s 112th Birthday Party in Austin
On July 6th, Popular Women’s Movement-Movimiento Femenino Popular (PWM-MFP) invited the public to a celebration of revolutionary artist Frida Khalo. Our event was aimed at highlighting Frida as the revolutionary woman who believed in the International Communist Movement. We honored her 112th birthday by paying tribute to women martyrs of international class struggle, and discussing how mainstream liberal representation of Kahlo as a feminist icon has excluded her red politics.
The event emphasized her revolutionary legacy, especially her move to denounce revisionist Leon Trotsky and her commitment to the International Communist Movement. The three-hour event began at 4PM with art projects and snacks. Children in attendance made paper flowers, colored pictures of Kahlo’s self-portraits, and decorated a large collage board which included a replica of Frida’s body cast fashioning a red hammer and sickle. Alongside the cast accompanied the heads of Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Vladimir Lenin, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Chairman Gonzalo.
Participants enjoyed snacks while checking out a literature table in the courtyard. This table included PWM-MFP published booklets “Misogyny on the Left: Abusers & Macktivists in Austin” and our recent health journal release “Fury of Women”. An alter could be found outside with pictures of Kahlo and other revolutionary women like Rosa Luxemburg, Jiang Qing, and Comrade Norah.
As participants got comfortable we presented a speech and biography of Frida’s political evolution alongside criticisms of liberals’ usage of her image as a revolutionary artist and constant ignoring of her role as an unconditional ally to the Communist Revolutionary Movement.
Although Frida lived a lifetime of chronic pain both physically and emotionally, her passion for class struggle and communism strengthened her revolutionary optimism to the very end of her days. As a teenager she became politically active, joining the Young Communist League and at death her coffin was draped in a red cloth bearing the hammer and sickle in homage to her communist beliefs.
Frida self-criticized her early contributions to the communist revolution as lacking. She knew her art was too personal and not useful beyond an expression of her internal/mental issues, which were fed by the unhealthy, manipulative, and abusive relationship she had with Diego (someone twice her senior), but also the pain she gained growing up with multiple medical issues.
Recovering from a surgery Frida wrote, “I feel uneasy about my painting. Above all I want to transform it into something useful for the Communist revolutionary movement, since up to now I have only painted the earnest portrayal of myself, but I’m very far from work that could serve the Party. I have to fight with all my strength to contribute the few positive things my health allows me to the revolution. The only true reason to live for.”
When an attendee questioned Frida’s relationship with Trotsky, we explained that later in life she declared her alliance with Trotsky and his revisionist supporters was an error and her real admiration was for Joseph Stalin.
Our second speech, presented by a Chicano tenant from East Riverside, spoke about getting organized against gentrification and capitalism as an alternative to the dead-end electoral politics of revisionists. (Waiting for quote from text to add here) The tenant spoke of the broader struggle against gentrification in East Riverside, along with the revolutionary optimism they carry in the mounting oppressions they experience from being a gay oppressed nation working class revolutionary.
We had an acoustic song written and performed by a supporter.
Ending our performances and speeches we brought our ofrenda to the front and center for a discussion on the women comrades accompanying Frida on the alter. Three separate members gave short speeches, the first was for Comrade Norah of Peru, founder of the Movimiento Feminino Popular, and a high-ranking leader of the Communist Party of Peru.
Rosa Luxemburg who became one of Germany’s strongest, most endeared communists. Rosa played a significant role in the German workers movement in the early 20th century as a staunch anti-war activist who correctly criticized WWI as an Imperialist war that would do nothing but harm the working class. This year marks 100 years since her murder, and to this day Rosa Luxemburg remains a brave martyr of the working class and a hero.
Chinese communist Jiang Qing who made large contributions to revolutionary. She played a major part in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, the pinnacle of Socialist revolution, where she used her talent and knowledge of theater to serve the people. Jiang helped create theater and films which encouraged the masses to fight the reactionary thinking of the old world and immersed the masses of China in attacks on the people within the Communist party who attempted to send China on the capitalist road. After Qing’s suicide in prison she was held as hero to the people of China and especially the women who saw their place in society improve dramatically with the new mindset brought on by the cultural revolution.
A short discussion followed where the crowd was asked what revolutionary women they found inspiring. One attendee said Rosa’s strength and dedication helped her stay optimistic about the revolution and uplifted her revolutionary optimism. What does it mean to support the international revolution against capitalism? Some suggested spending money on companies who are ethical, however others in the crowd brought up that there are no ethical corporations under capitalism and that minor lifestyle changes are not revolutionary. To attack capitalism, we must push forward with revolution and organize collectively. Many in the room voiced why they support revolution and how one can organize today, “We have nothing to lose, if everything you vote for can be taken away, so why not fight back as hard as you can?”
After the discussion we moved outside where a birthday cake was served, and a piñata of Trotsky was hung from a tree to be bashed by attendees with a stick. Children lined up first, but eventually Trotsky was split by energetic attendees.
The birthday celebration culminated with attendees marching a couple blocks away to where a large mural had been made on an abandoned building. The mural depicted Kahlo holding hands with a PWM militant in the style of her 1939 painting The Two Fridas. A final speech was given on the creation of PWM Austin chapter as a revolutionary fighting women’s organization that upholds the international red banner of class struggle. We’re not a communist organization, and non-communist women are welcome to join our organization, but we follow communist ideals and methods of organizing. This means we are working towards a world without exploitation, without homeless, without imperialism – and we know the only way we achieve this, is to fight for it. We are inspired by our sisters in Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Brazil and Peru.
At the event we also released our most recent journal “Fury of Women: Healthcare Addition.” This journal focuses on the reactionary attack on Texas women’s healthcare. STD testing, birth control, and breast cancer treatment are all at risk of being defunded for working class women. Here in the south there is a growing right-winged reactionary wave to ban abortions and we absolutely need to fight for women and their rights! Revolutionary organizations in Austin that believe in our ability to take power from the ruling class, and truly liberate ourselves from capitalism must come together and defend women’s healthcare. Our journal included entries from personal experiences with healthcare in Austin in the form of diary entries, art, and poetry. This journal is currently available for donation on venmo at womens-mvt for $7 (please include your shipping information in a message).
This event was only made possible through the dedication of organized members, who set speech schedules, collectively brought snacks, and created the space where we could discuss Frida as the revolutionary artist she was! We’d like to thank Casa de Resistencia for letting us use their space. They are a neighborhood center for aspiring writers.
Women must rise up and organize against them
The International Socialist Organization (ISO) crumbled under the revelation that newly-elected steering member Joe Richard raped a woman in 2013 and ISO leadership covered it up even after the disciplinary committee found him guilty. Despite current leadership claiming to have expelled the offender, they only refer to Joe Richard as the “respondent” and have failed to expose him publicly. Even as the ISO officially dissolves in the wake of this scandal, they betray women with their last breaths. Weeks after the incident became public, Richard’s page on the ISO website was still intact, with no updates or warnings about the danger he poses to women.
Joe Richard is not even an isolated incident. The San Diego chapter of ISO also found Chuck Stemke guilty of attempted rape in 2013, only because he was slated to speak on a women’s rights panel and a non-ISO activist came forward against Stemke and ISO. Leadership merely expelled him, with no further consequences.
In Joe Richard’s case, he was found guilty of sexual misconduct by a vote of 6 to 1 and of rape 5 to 1 with 1 abstention. The vote in his favor comes from 2013 Steering Committee member Nicole Colson who blackmailed the investigators into declaring a mistrial. The “trial” itself constituted further abuse towards the victim. The witnesses used were clearly favorably biased towards the accused and repeatedly put down the victim’s complaints with misogynist statements and even went as far as to call her a “known false accuser.” At one point they even decided not to talk to a certain witness and said, “Whatever you do, don’t interview Comrade X. She’s a virulent feminist.” As a result of this blatant disregard for the safety of women in their organization, Joe Richard was left free to rise in the ranks for six years.
The Steering Committee of 2013 who covered up the results of the investigation included a longtime member known as Sharon Smith. Not only was she involved in this cover-up, she actively used the ISO’s illegitimate disciplinary committee to clear Joe Richard’s name.
Sharon Smith is the author of “Women and Socialism”, a Haymarket Books publication. She grotesquely went around different ISO chapters in 2018, including the Austin chapter, to speak about ‘The Power of “#Me Too”’. Smith exemplifies the two-faced, revisionist nature of the International Socialist Organization. While the ISO makes appeals to revolutionary thought, they had no dedication to the working class and silence the voices of survivors. They call themselves “revolutionary socialists” but the most action we’ve seen them take in Austin is selling newspapers or opportunistically joining ineffective coalitions.
One of our supporters, a former ISO Austin member, wrote to us:
“I don’t know how surprised I could really be with the downfall of the organization, while I was surprised with how quickly it all came down on them since my departure, it was a fate destined for them. Their inherent revisionism is their ultimate downfall because, for all their talk about women’s liberation, they would never take the militant action necessary to liberate women and oppressed nations. When I organized in the Austin chapter, it was only for a short amount of time because the environment was so toxic and dismissive to women, oppressed nations, and, most importantly, the working class. There were a number of discussions concerning predatory behavior from male membership and even serious cases that leadership was supposed to investigate but overlooked, as they were seemly more concerned with newspaper sales and declining numbers at meetings.”
The Austin ISO chapter has been inactive since October of last year and has relegated itself into an online resource called “Austin Socialism from Below Network.” Even when the ISO book has closed, revisionists still continue to leech and expend energy to stay relevant online.
As the ISO collapses, women have come forward from other “leftist” organizations such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), revealing misogyny and hushed-up abuse has long been rampant in these revisionist circles. Women are telling their stories of abuse at the hands of men who claimed to be “allies,” as well as the people who covered for the abusers.
One woman said on social media, “I left the ISO years ago after being cruelly sexually manipulated by a much older member so like color me not surprised that a full on rape cover up is what finally shot them in the foot but man, this is some shit.”
Another woman recounted on Twitter how, for years, the Los Angeles chapter of the DSA covered for a serial abuser and stalker, which led to many women leaving the organization in frustration and fear. In the meantime, the DSA chapter of Austin continues to mock militant organizing while doing no substantial work themselves. The best they can manage is a bowl-a-thon fundraiser for a non-profit.
One PSL member revealed in a medium article, “I have witnessed and been the recipient of blatant, aggressive misogyny from a few members of the PSL and, worse still, other party members have shamelessly attempted to hide this abuse, to “delete” it and sweep it under the rug, rather than to confront and put an end to it.” This declaration comes as no surprise, as the revisionist PSL’s Austin chapter notoriously harbored rapist and sexual predator McKinley Forbes despite multiple demands for banishment from local organizing spaces by revolutionary organizations.
The militant women of Popular Women’s Movement–Movimento Femenino Popular (PWM-MFP) know that it is no accident that revisionists can’t seem to hold abusers accountable. Their postmodern identity politics are poison and only serve to protect those who seek power and prestige even as they exploit vulnerable members of their organizations. Furthermore, we see a glaring trend with these revisionist organizations. They either reject the proper line of how to solve problems by discreetly cloaking these horrid acts of violence from the public with zero speculation or investigation, or they do investigate the accused but then succumb to individualism to protect the abuser. Finally, in ISO’s conclusion, they dissolve and irresponsibly allow rapists like Joe Richard to slink away unscathed. We reject their milquetoast version of “socialism” as a breeding ground for capitalist appeasers who have no problem with the abuse and sexism that comes hand-in-hand with bourgeois attitudes.
Earlier this year PWM-MFP exposed a few of the local sexists and abusers of Austin and rightfully called for their public exile from leftist spheres where they could further harm women activists. As militant women organizers, we have the science and material basis for class revolution. We know that the only way to combat bourgeois misogyny is with disciplined, organized violence against the enemies of the working class. Revisionist organizations can only ever use a false guise of “socialism” to further their own opportunist lines and those will never include taking a hard stance against the misogynists in their midst.
Our organization is proof that militant working women around the world can organize and show their force. We have forcefully fought for power by pushing against the macktivists and abusers of Austin, taking whole streets on International Working Women’s Day, and pouring our anger and frustration into combat training. We know we must arm ourselves and working class women against the endless exploitation and degradation we face under the ruling class. Working class women must unite and organize as the revolutionary forces we are and struggle to take power. Join us as we put a stop to misogynists infiltrating our spaces and impeding revolution with their sexism. We refuse to tolerate any more humiliation at the hands of revisionists organizations whose fake notions of socialism include harboring rapists!
PUSH OUT REVISIONIST RAPISTS!
ORGANIZE WORKING CLASS WOMEN AGAINST ABUSERS!
A Call to Kick Out Organizations Against Working Women from East Austin!
Members of PWM-MFP successfully disrupted a revisionist study group on “socialist feminism” led by the Austin branch of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) last week. Not only was the DSA event weeks late in celebrating what they call International Women’s Day, they left working women entirely out of the title. This omission is a slap in the face to the militant working class women who started the Revolution of 1917 in Russia and inspired the first International Working Women’s Day. In addition to this insult, DSA included no Marxist texts or class analysis in this discussion on socialism.
The revisionists made confrontation even more necessary by holding the event at Cepeda Library on 7th and Pleasant Valley—right where the revolutionary women of PWM-MFP and their supporters took the streets in Austin’s first militant International Working Women’s Day march on March 8.
During the event, PWM-MFP members stood up and interrupted the revisionists’ lukewarm “endorsement” of a women’s strike to point out how they were insulting the working class women of Austin and question why a supposedly socialist, pro-working class organization recently endorsed bourgeois, imperialist politician Bernie Sanders. Considering the two-faced nature of DSA, this endorsement is no actual surprise.
When questioned on why they weren’t discussing texts by revolutionary Marxist women writers, the group participants could only resort to personal attacks. A facilitator shouted at one of our members, “Have you had an abortion?” An audience member tried to use the term “revolutionary communist” as an insult and claim that our member was in a “violent cult.”
Perhaps the most damning moment was when a PWM-MFP member recognized and pointed out a male member who had commented on the doxxing and online harassment of one of our woman comrades. It’s inexcusable and egregious that this man, who presumably sympathizes with socialist ideas, would permit any platform for a misogynist and anti-communist twitter account, one that even went so far to dox and harass her family. Instead of siding with the victim, the DSA members defended the man.
DSA’s refusal to struggle over politics, and instead issuing personal attacks and defending male chauvinism and harassment, exposes their inability to defend their political line with even a modicum of intellectual integrity. They claim to be for working women, but allow their members to continue anti-woman behavior. They do not encourage people to think and reason for themselves, leaving their members without a defensible political line.
DSA is a revisionist organization, using the word socialism while simply arguing for a different version of capitalism. While working women clamor for the end of their oppression and exploitation—which can only come through revolution against the ruling class—DSA is content only to perform risk-free activities such as a bowl-a-thon to raise funds for an abortion nonprofit. Nonprofits can only ever pave over the potholes on the road of capitalism.
DSA politics separates socialism from its end goal of communism—a stateless and classless society—ultimately upholding capitalism through their nonprofit shilling and endorsement of bourgeois politicians in the U.S. imperialist state. They do not recognize the necessity of revolution to end women’s exploitation, and thus their “socialist feminism” will never address the root of women’s oppression.
In PWM-MFP, we know that Marxism is the analysis for the entire working class, including women. We don’t need to revise Marxism—we are studying and learning from revolutionaries throughout history to end women’s suffering once and for all! Understanding that women’s oppression is rooted in capitalist exploitation means understanding that we must combat it militantly. As the government of Texas takes increasingly reactionary stances toward women’s healthcare and reproductive rights, we will not be content with the small concessions that nonprofits offer—we are organizing, rebelling, and fighting back together against these ruling class attacks.
Working class women made it clear that we will not let DSA organize on the East Side or in working class areas in peace, and that the DSA should expect more of these interruptions in the future if they do.
Militant working class women of Austin, kick revisionists out of our neighborhoods! Uphold the revolutionary, anti-imperialist struggle! Defend against organizations that are against working women!
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made national headlines for what the media is calling “slamming moderates” and “railing against” capitalism. Ocasio-Cortez spoke at the technology, art, and film festival, South by Southwest, on Saturday where she was quoted saying that “capitalism is irredeemable.” As a red anti-capitalist women’s organization located in Austin, we could not ignore the splash this charlatan has made in the media here in our own front yard at a festival that is a major engine of gentrification.
Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic U.S. representative who, in the tradition of pseudo-left opportunism, calls herself a “democratic socialist.” She attempts to capture the hearts and minds of the working people who are truly fed up with the ruling class’ dirty dealings and abuse. Much like Trump, she touches upon the economic and social insecurities of the working people. While seeming to shoot straight from the hip, she proposes cryptic solutions that all lead back down the same old tired road we all have been traveling on for so long.
We would like to analyze the substance of her speech that has so much of the bourgeois media in a dither. At one point she states, “When we talk about ideas like democratic socialism, it means putting democracy and society first, instead of capital first; it doesn’t mean that the actual concept of capitalistic society should be abolished.”
Out of one side of her mouth, she argues for a socialist system that puts people before profit while out of the other side she tells the toiling and fed up masses that capitalism should not be abandoned. It is unconscionable that one can marry the “concept” or practice of capitalism and socialism with one another as they are irreconcilable with one another. Socialism is only achieved by smashing the capitalist state and building a thoroughly worker-run state with new institutions and a radically different form of government. This new state will suppress the exploiting classes in the interest of eventually doing away with class society and the state itself toward the goal of communism. It is thoroughly internationalist and anti-imperialist. Capitalism is the system of private ownership of the few with the social production of the many. It is fundamentally exploitative in order for private profit to be accumulated. At home and abroad it must deprive the working class of political power and autonomy by means of low-intensity ideological warfare and outright war on the workers, by enslaving, brutalizing, and terrorizing the working class into submission. This is the only way capitalism can exist. These two modes of production and rule can not peacefully coexist with one another. When you get past the populist buzzwords and posturing to take a deeper look at the “democractic-socialist” positions, it becomes acutely apparent that what they want it is not democratic nor socialist in essence.
The political position of Social-Democracy is to continue capitalism as a mode of production while seizing largest corporations from their private owners; using bureaucracy to corporatize the state. Therefore, rather than the ruling class using the state as an apparatus of their rule, the state itself becomes the dominant faction of the ruling class, and the workers remain oppressed and exploited. The corporate state is then free to unabashedly accrue victims for profit with no illusions of checks and balances, let alone democracy. With all of their talk about free healthcare, free education, etc. what they are asking the working class to do is trust that once they become our new CEOs, they will “share the profits” of their devious exploits. In reality, only a privileged sect of workers will benefit at the expense of the majority of the workers, creating a labor aristocracy. What Ocasio-Cortez and the Social Democrats argue for is not socialism at all, it is social-fascism.
The most dangerous characteristic of Casio-Cortez is her ability to parrot the very real needs of the desperate worker and redirect their righteous anger and revolutionary energy into an even more caustic incarnation of capitalism. Like a true bourgeois politician, she won her seat with a classic bait and switch. She campaigned on a platform of abolishing ICE, but when it was time to cast her vote, she, along with over 200 other Democrats, voted to continue the funding for the immigration enforcement agencies including ICE and Border Patrol.
Often invoking identity politics and charisma, she makes desperate attempts to appeal to the worker as a fresh new face of change. There is no doubt Ocasio-Cortez will be seen by some as a progressive, strong woman. We know that real revolutionary women face harsh repression and criminalization. While we working women were locked in battle with cops and organized fascists to march on International Working Women’s Day, Ocasio-Cortez was prancing around in high heels wining and dining with the bourgeoisie of Austin.
As a partisan organization which seeks to immerse itself in class struggle for the liberation and vindication of working women, we must always present an honest and sober analysis of the working class condition and the path to revolution. We do not blur the lines between capitalism, social fascism, and socialism. We firmly oppose the bastardization and perversion of the fundamental philosophy, history, and principles of socialism. Social democratic types and other varieties of opportunists charge us with idealism and naivete—as they simply refuse to speak of a world without capitalism. But it is they who suffer from delusions of grandeur as they make the foolhardy assertion that socialism can exist devoid of its most essential parts. It’s like a mechanic trying to convince you that your car can run without an engine. It’s utterly ridiculous.
The working class craves liberation from class society but we will not achieve it unless we make a clean break with opportunisms like Social Democracy. Ocasio-Cortez and those like her have no place in the worker’s struggle and they should be greeted with nothing but utter disgust and hostility by working people.
A Woman’s Place is in the Fight, Workers of the World Unite!
Yesterday, all around the US, International Women’s Day marches took place in many urban cities without any obstacles. Why? Because, they either paid for a permit or their organizing posed no threat to the current establishment.
Austin’s first militant International **WORKING** Women’s Day march, organized by Popular Women’s Movement, overcame police impediment and fascist harassment by the Texas Nomads SAR, a white nationalist organization that is anti-woman and anti-immigrant.
The Austin Police and the fascist Texas Nomads share the same interest on International Working Women’s Day:
They don’t want militant women to march and take the streets.
They don’t want us to have power!
On the start of SXSW, on a Friday evening during traffic hour, Popular Women’s Movement, took a segment of the bustling 7th street by a storm in honor of revolutionary women in history and all over the world – especially ones that serve the world proletarian revolution. For those that are not well-versed in Austin’s geography, 7th street is a highly gentrified street, sitting besides gentrified mansions and dilapidated homes on the brink of being torn down. It’s the main corridor from the airport to downtown, where thousands of tourists will travel through this upcoming week of SXSW mayhem.
We steadfastly held our red banner, which read “Unleash the Fury of Women!” We also held large portraits of revolutionary women Rosa Luxemburg, Jiang Qing, and Comrade Norah. Rosa Luxemburg who was a staunch fighter against the treacherous dead ends of reformism, Jiang Qing who provided revolutionary leadership in China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and Comrade Norah, a founder of Peru’s Movemiento Feminino Popular and second in command of the Communist Party of Peru – we will never forget these strong women! They will live forever in our hearts, as we follow their footsteps in the historical fight against capitalism, imperialism, and revisionism.
As we marched down 7th street towards Webberville, we weaved through aggressive police squad cars that took every attempt to block our march. Our courageous members and women supporters remained resilient and unwavering in their march. At the corner of 7th and Webberville, police targeted and isolated a lone photographer. Our marchers began yelling at the officers to release the photographer. More officers arrived abruptly to tackle the back of the march and grabbed two militants. As they were loading them into the squad cars, crowds of people came out of their homes and shops as we yelled “Abusive pigs deserve to die! Women hold up half the sky!” Our red-masked supporters passed out pamphlets which included details of the history of International Working Women’s Day and notable highlights of women’s struggles in Austin. One example is Morgan Rankin, a young black woman in a mental health crisis, was shot 6 times by an APD officer, Benjamin Rogers. Benjamin has received no consequence from murdering this woman to this day.
The hypocrisy of the police was undeniable. While they claim their duty is to protect and serve citizens and maintain public safety, their attempts to roadblock and repress our march caused more chaos during traffic hour than we ever could have. It is clear that their main goal is to protect the rich and terminate any form of resistance against capitalist interests.
After the arrests of our comrades, we dodged around the squad cars and sprinted back onto the streets. Members of masses joined our block and we continued up Webberville, through residential streets, down Pleasant Valley Road, and back to H.E.B where we squared off with the fascist Texas Nomads, which comprised of Christopher Ritchie, Colin Whites, and Jon Colgin.
Christopher Ritchie is a violent white nationalist livestreamer, known for his participation in the violence of Charlottesville. He is an islamophobic supporter of ACT for America and Soldiers of Odin. Christopher Ritchie, during the march, yelled multiple misogynistic slurs, demanding that women in the march make him a sandwich.
Collin Whites has been arrested for assaulting an anti-Trump protestor. He is a math tutor for Austin Community College. He openly supports Trump with paranoid ideas, claimed at an ACC citizen Communications Board, that Antifa frequently drives by his car and harasses him.
Lastly, Jon Colgin, a Trump supporter, punched a protestor at an Anti-Trump Rally at City Hall, right before the 2018 Women’s March and Rally in downtown.
These misogynistic men unsuccessfully tried to capture our red flags. They depend on the cops to protect them and eventually were detained for their own protection.
Transcript of Richie’s livestream of the march:
Off camera Texas Nomad: We could use a few more numbers… Listen, we can’t take em’ brother. They were good with those sticks, man.
Ritchie: Fuck em’!
Off camera Texas Nomad: I’m just saying tactically, we can’t take em. I’m telling you.
Militant women of Austin, let’s drive these violent men out of our neighborhoods and the pigs who leap to protect them before they lift a finger for any of us. The necessity to organize and fight for our movement is more important than ever.
Long live revolutionary women of the past, present and future!
Unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for the proletarian world revolution!
Report from cultural action and political intervention at City Hall on February 1st 2019
The liberal group ATX Resistance Action was due to host a protest they called “No Benefit for Rapists” on Thursday, January 31. The protest was meant to respond to the recent decision by the city to continue to pay the former APD commander Jason Dusterhoft after multiple allegations of sexual assault and drug use.The details of the Dusterhoft case can be located in our previous post Titled: The Ultimate Class Enemy.
A lot of discussion happens among the left on exactly how to deal with sexual abusers. PWM-MFP opted to pass on loitering outside of City Hall or following the usual routine of liberal chants and self-gratifying speeches by people who wince at the sight of conflict. Instead, we aimed to break the mold by displaying what the correct handling of this type of abuser should be whenever possible—ideological and physical struggle.
Street theater is both a form of protest and propaganda. It requires, organization, discipline and planning. For these reasons, PWM – MFP chose to do a performance demonstrating what our people’s justice for women against pigs like Dusterhoft would look like.
Our supporters inside notified us that ATX Resistance Action’s protest was, in fact, not going to be a protest at all. ATX Resistance folded when when Mayor Adler asked them not to speak “out of respect” for an NGO called “Survivor Justice Project.” This is an obviously ridiculous notion and a huge act of cowardice on the part of ATX Resistance Action. The NGO Survivor Justice Project could be seen taking photos inside of City Hall with an officer in uniform in blatant disregard of the fact that the protest was supposed to be in opposition to the police. NGOs are the buffer between the people and the bourgeoisie, in essence, they operate as the ruling class’ PR campaigns. They function as representatives and enforcers of ruling class laws and ideology, while feigning sympathy for the workers and oppressed. It is almost unthinkable that any organization that has assembled people to protest a gross instance of injustice could be so easily persuaded to do nothing by none other than an NGO in the friendly graces of APD and the mayor.
Upon hearing the news of ATX Resistance’s plan to not protest, we decided to go forward with our own protest. We marched up to the City Hall Plaza in step chanting “Without a People’s Army, women have nothing.” With us, we brought a person in a police uniform with a pig’s head mask. He was boxed in on all sides by PWM-MFP militants. Once we reached the City Hall, the pig was thrown to the ground and took a theatrical beating by our group. In the final act, the pig was stabbed. He cried out in pain and when our group circled back up, he was left in a puddle of blood. We chanted “Abusive Pigs deserve to die! Women hold up half the sky!” as a few of our members and supporters handed out booklets exposing some sexist and abusive men who are active in Austin. One of the men in our zine was none other than Kit O’Connell, an opportunist who was involved in organizing the protest that never happened.
One of the goals of Popular Women’s Movement–Movimiento Feminino Popular is to turn the tide away from reactionary feminism and towards a working class women’s movement. To accomplish this goal, we must rid the left of abusers, macktivists, and the ideologies that give these sexual opportunists a façade of legitimacy. In our booklet titled “Misogyny on the Left: Abusers and Macktivists in Austin” which can be found HERE on our blog, which can be found on our blog, we detailed Kit’s pattern of political opportunism and sexualizing his activism, specifically in regard to women. In response, Kit claimed that our article was homophobic which we find to be a very strange statement as we are attacking his sexual pursuit of women on the left.
What we criticize is a common tendency of both straight and bisexual men to target women for manipulation. This criticism has nothing to do with same-sex relationships. Kit also accused PWM-MFP of being a “front group” for the concluded project that was Red Guards Austin. Not only do we find his paranoia disturbing, it also exposes a contradiction in his own long-standing line against Red Guards. Kit and his liberal cohorts have called Red Guards Austin a group of all white men. This has been one of their main “criticisms” against the group. They have also accused the former organization of being a fringe group of lunatics with no support. This means that Kit believes one of two things: either Red Guards Austin did have women and he was only engaging in unprincipled gossip and knowingly spreading lies and rumors against of the former organization OR PWM-MFP is a group of women that are completely acting on behalf of a group of men, not in our own interest, because we are so inept that we cannot think for ourselves and must rely on men to tell us what to do. This latter being an extremely sexist line, which isn’t be all that surprising given his political track record. So, either Kit is a liar or a sexist, but in the end we believe he is both.
We responded to Kit’s half-baked twitter response with a clarification on what the booklet was actually about. And in an act of desperation, he reported our post. It has been speculated and, to some degree, substantiated by many Facebook users that the algorithm used to the review and take down posts deemed as ‘bullying’ on Facebook have been extremely biased and reactionary. Posts reported containing the words “men are..” are far quicker to come down than posts that include “women are…”—if those get taken down at all. Facebook has notoriously allowed the continued posts of fascists and civic nationalists types while speedily removing posts from leftist organizations. This is the type of sexist and backward censorship that Kit has weaponized against us in order to hide his misdeeds. We find him to be utterly pathetic and morally bankrupt.
We received some positive responses from some of the people outside of City Hall. We know that working women can be a courageous torrent of revolutionary energy and that our message has a place in the hearts and minds of many women who seek vindication and are ready to do away with reactionary men and their treatment of women. We aren’t in the least bit deterred by Kit’s attempts to misrepresent us. We understand that as we continue to expose men on the left like Kit O’Connell we will come under a fury of attacks by men who are attempting to cover up their behavior. We are happy to be the impetus for such change and controversy. Like a mighty rain storm, in our path of destruction we water the seeds for new life and wash away the dying plants of liberalism, post-modernism, and radical feminism.
Abusive Pigs Deserve to Die, Women Hold Up Half the Sky!
PWM – MFP