A Change in the Sky

Report from cultural action and political intervention at City Hall on February 1st 2019

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

The Ultimate Class Enemy

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Regarding the case of violent, sexist cop Dusterhoft

Jason Duane Dusterhoft is the quintessential abusive, misogynist, coke-snorting cop. He started working for APD back in 1995 and eventually became head pig of the southeast Region 4 district. From the beginning, Dusterhoft was a walking embodiment of arrogance and corruption, characteristics that guarantee a promising career as a pig.

In 1996, Dusterhoft lost his job for a short time after he was caught covering for other APD officers who were shoving their pockets full of money they stole from the door at Austin Music Hall. Since he was rehired by APD in 1996, he has been seen on multiple occasions purchasing and ingesting cocaine and abusing women at the Yellow Rose strip club. In addition, he was reported for using his position in the department to keep friends from obtaining traffic tickets, fudging overtime sheets, and allowing inappropriate use of sick days, which are all acts of theft of taxpayer money.

On August 24, 2018, Dusterhoft’s ex-girlfriend made an official complaint to APD after he choked and slapped her at the Yellow Rose strip club. The investigation found that he assaulted her multiple times, including strangling her “with the intent and desire of her losing consciousness.” She said he left bruises and other marks on her body, as well as pulled out clumps of hair from her head. She also said he “could not achieve sexual gratification unless he was inflicting pain on her.” Even though the investigation results are alarmingly damning, Dusterhoft denies his crimes and uses the alibi that it was “consensual choking.” Originally, he claimed he was drinking during these incidents while she was completely sober. Later he said she was “depressed,” and an “alcoholic on probation,” attempting to discredit her, while incriminating himself by admitting she was under the influence during strangulations. To seal his guiltiness, Dusterhoft hid his phone from investigators to keep videos of him strangling and slapping his ex-girlfriend secret. APD then “indefinitely suspended” Dusterhoft.

According to an article by the American Journal of Public Health:

Consciousness is lost in 10 to 15 seconds, and death can occur within 3 to 5 minutes. Being strangled is extremely painful, and not being able to breathe is frightening even in controlled laboratory experiments. In addition to the psychological implications of such intimidation, a uniquely wide range of neurological and physical outcomes are associated with strangulation. Nonfatal intentional strangulation causes immediate symptoms (e.g., loss of consciousness, which recedes quickly; loss of sphincter control; a raspy voice, which sometimes becomes chronic), symptoms that appear a few hours later (e.g., petechiae on the face and eyes), symptoms that appear a few days afterward (e.g., ear bleeding; bruises, the immediate lack of which decreases acknowledgment of the injury event by police and others), and sometimes mental and physical health problems (e.g., stroke) that are manifested months later. In addition, strangulation with a loss of consciousness can result in mild brain injury. Multiple strangulations are reported among one third to as many as three fourths of women in domestic violence emergency shelters.

The National Hotline for Domestic Abuse, along with other similar organizations, state that choking of an intimate partner is a warning sign that the domestic partnership could become fatal. There is the obvious risk of physically choking the person until they are dead, but choking of a partner, especially when coupled with other physical violence, demonstrates a pathology of control, maliciousness, and a disregard for another person’s feelings, or even their life. This pathology is well-suited to someone who works as a goon for the state, as it is a microcosm of how the state views the masses—with callous contempt.

Despite the horrific implications of Dusterhoft’s actions, there is a rumor that APD is talking about rehiring him on paper so he can receive “benefits.” We know that Dusterhoft has been seen at the Yellow Rose with other APD officers doing drugs and being parasitic degenerates. We would not be surprised if the city is willing to keep him on payroll in order to conceal their own illegal and abusive behavior. Cop culture, of course, is one of extreme reaction, or backwardness. We believe that their refusal to carry out the most rudimentary criminal prosecution is, at least in part, due to the state’s total disregard for women who are employed at strip clubs like the Yellow Rose.

While PWM-MFP takes a revolutionary stance against the sex industry, we do not fault the women forced into it either by physical violence or economic coercion. We condemn the trade for perpetuating the commodification of women’s bodies and its alienation of women from socially productive labor, damning them to be in service of some of the worst elements of this society. These institutions foster a culture of violence and exploitation of women, a culture that Dusterhoft clearly participates in. These bastions of gendered exploitation are notorious for harboring and catering to disturbed megalomaniac pigs like Dusterhoft.

Dusterhoft is a reprehensible misogynist. It literally brings him joy to see women in pain. In one text to his ex-girlfriend, he writes “Let me choke you out all the way. I love seeing you come back two seconds later and waking up to fucking me.”

Dusterhoft has ties to many shady characters in Austin. It’s no surprise that a man like this can be tied to other enemies of the working class in Austin, particularly on the East/Southeast side where he was most recently in power. Dusterhoft is employed by the tech company Oracle as a consulting member of technical staff. Oracle itself is a major proponent of gentrification in Southeast Austin. The masses are engaged in ongoing militant anti-gentrification struggles, including fighting the displacement that Oracle has forced onto the community. The most intense of these struggles are against attempts to create a Domain-type shopping center of wealthy luxury stores and condos in the Riverside Pleasant Valley area. Dusterhoft is not only a violent misogynist, he is also an example of the way real estate developers, tech companies and the police all collude against the working class and poor of Austin. They get richer and richer while we get shoved violently out of our own hoods.

Dusterhoft also secured the legal representation of Jason Nassuer, the brother of Jimmy Nassuer, a notorious slum lord. Jimmy Nassuer owned Cactus Rose Mobile Home Park before selling it to real estate developer Oden Hughes, who then robbed and evicted the tenants on the basis of the horrid living conditions inflicted upon them by Nassuer. A construction site is now in its place, slotted for more luxury apartments in the southeast district. The Nassuer family was also instrumental in the total gentrification of the East 5th Street area, which is now a trendy district of bars, where it once housed black and Chicano working class families.

For a long time, the Austin Police Department has tried to present itself as a friendly and tolerant department. It spends a significant chunk of its budget on public relations campaigns. These spin jobs must be understood as a form of low-intensity warfare against the working class community of Austin, and of course, this includes women. Women everywhere in Austin experience the automatic, rational fear when being pulled over that the traffic cop may be another Dusterhoft. Feel-good human interest stories about the police only serve to hide the ugly truth and diffuse the people’s anger against the police. The ruling class-owned media institutions are fully complicit in this counterinsurgency measure.

And so, we end up with pigs like Dusterhoft posing with pit bulls in the animal shelter and doing “coffee with a cop” programs in southeast Austin’s Region 4. APD with its unions and PR advisers had no problem using Dusterhoft as a poster-boy for “sensitive” policing, all the while he and his ilk were out abusing and exploiting women physically, emotionally, and sexually. The media will tell their readers, reluctantly, that pigs like Dusterhoft are just a few “bad apples.” In reality, the whole barrel is rotten. The “bad apples” are just the ones who are so blatant in their crimes, their cohorts can no longer cover for them.

Capitalist law enforcement is inherently anti-people because it defends private property and the propertied class over the interests of the working class. This anti-people line of work breeds a culture of sociopathic behavior. According to the National Center for Women & Policing,

Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, in contrast to 10% of families in the general population… Domestic violence is always a terrible crime, but victims of a police officer are particularly vulnerable because the officer who is abusing them:

  • has a gun
  • knows the location of battered women’s shelters, and
  • knows how to manipulate the system to avoid penalty and/or shift blame to the victim.

Victims often fear calling the police, because they know the case will be handled by officers who are colleagues and/or friends of their abuser. Victims of police family violence typically fear that the responding officers will side with their abuser and fail to properly investigate or document the crime.

In this national scope of police violence, Dusterhoft is no anomaly; he is its personification. He is arrogant, hateful, without compassion, and blames his victim. He displays a god complex by playing out his anti-women abuse and rape fantasies in reality. Of the countless women who have suffered and even died at the hands of abusive cops like Dusterhoft, we only know of the few who have survived and been brave enough to come forward. Considering the courage it takes to go up against high-ranking and well-protected cops, all logic indicates that there are more who do not come forward.

APD has long had a casual attitude towards rape and abuse, from the two cops, Lyttle and Castillo, who were recorded joking about rape, to the more recent revelation the department has been “clearing” rape cases that were, in fact, unsolved. It is common knowledge among the women of Austin that reporting rape and abuse to the police will probably just result in being dismissed or further traumatized. We can only imagine how the cops might treat women who accuse one of the department’s own of rape and abuse.

APD then faces a contradiction. On one hand it seeks to protect all of its reactionary goons, while on the other hand it seeks to preserve its tidy image as a wholesome department, in the interest of disarming and thus further abusing the masses. Due to the utter recklessness of Dusterhoft, the department was forced to prioritize sanitizing their image and so they have removed him from the streets. Otherwise, in all probability, he would still be in charge of Region 4.

Dusterhoft, in many of his crimes summarized here, did not act alone. It stands to reason that during this time he accumulated a fair amount of dirt on his partners in crime, information which he could and would certainly use to protect himself and secure his benefits. APD can then simultaneously try and avoid scrutiny publicly while covering their asses by keeping Dusterhoft appeased. One hand washes the other, even if both hands find themselves around the neck of women.

It is up to the women of Austin to fully and relentlessly combat the police department. Dusterhoft is not the cause of police crimes; he is a symptom of police reality. We call on the women of Austin to be done with activism that works inside this sexist, abusive system and to join our organization in fighting it. This fight requires doing away with capitalism and the police forces that serve it, it means class struggle and continuing to struggle against all backward culture in the interests of equality. Capitalism can never secure the equality of women, let alone defend our scant but hard-earned gains. Only socialist revolution and the establishment of a worker-controlled state can preserve the gains women make when we mobilize as a mighty torrent. Our organization exists for this purpose. We must organize ourselves and mobilize all of our class sisters for the purpose of not only breaking out of our cage, but freeing our whole class from the shackles of abuse, exploitation and servitude.

Combat and destroy the sexist police!
Unleash women as a mighty torrent for revolution!
Get involved and get organized with the Popular Women’s Movement–Movimiento Femenino Popular!

Lift high the red banner of the women’s struggle!

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Yesterday PWM- MFP attended the annual Women’s March which actually turned out to be a misnomer because the organizers were too afraid to march without a permit and escort. We have no delusions about the ineffectiveness of events like this. A march or rally should be a moralizing show of force, but due to the reactionary politics of these types of liberal feminists, events such as this one often have the opposite effect.

PWM – MFP seeks to break the hegemonic hold that liberal, bourgeois feminism has over activism and do away with it’s rotten ideology for good. Women deserve to have a movement that will fight for them. We aim to redirect the energy of the fed up and angry masses of working class women into a movement that is willing and capable to be a liberating force. This is why we attended the women’s rally. We engaged with women who are sick of the same toothless NGOs and bought-up activist peddling their defeatist nonsense from their podiums.

It is no surprise that our presence bares a stark difference from the going trend of feminism. No pussy hats, no watered down chants. Our signs displayed revolutionary slogans, and we do not shy away from our politics. It is for this reason that proto-fascist goons such as Infowars and their fan boys showed up to harass us. They crowded around attempting to entice us into a shouting match so as to break our discipline. But their efforts were futile. At one point, one of these pathetic hecklers asked a woman apart of the march “Do you support these communists?” referring to us, and she defiantly said “Yes!” We can only assume that won’t make it in the final edit of their reactionary, fear-mongering video.

Unlike the women who put together such marches, we aren’t interested in gaining electoral seats, running our own business, becoming NGO sell-outs, or being awarded tenure at a college. We have one focus, and that is to fight for our class and to carve out a place for ourselves in the revolution. We understand our only hope for true liberation lay within the defeat of the ruling class. Our concessions awarded to us through the second-wave feminist strategy of electoral politicking are being stripped away from us one by one, proving once again the uselessness of bargaining with the enemy. We firmly believe that you can only negotiate what has been confirmed on the battlefield.

Each action, is an opportunity to steel ourselves in the struggle. We remain resolved to our politics and every demo and encounter we have, we learn what the masses of women need and what they are willing to do to get it. What we need is revolution and we are ready to fight tooth and nail for it.

Lift high the red banner of the women’s struggle!