Revisionist Rapists are on the loose!

Women must rise up and organize against them

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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.

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A screenshot from a former ISO member’s investigation report findings

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.

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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.”

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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.

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Stonewall Militant Front protested a PSL event to demand they stop defending Mckinley Forbes

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!

International Working Women’s Day

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Please donate to support our comrades who were arrested and are facing charges! We are forever humbled by their bravery and sacrifice.

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

Misogny on the left

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Popular Women’s MovementMovimiento Femenino Popular (PWM-MFP) presents our newest project to better acquaint activist and working women with a few local sexist and abusive men. This is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly. We warn our friends, the activist and working women of Austin, about our the enemies within leftist political activism so our friends can be forearmed against these manipulative and predatory men.

Organized expressions of the Austin “left,” that is to say the legal-left, have accomplished so very little because they neglect to take stock of enemies and friends. Men are protected by organizational structures and friend groups when they are accused of abusive behaviors, when in reality they are enemies of the people. Likewise we have seen friends of the struggle treated like enemies by the very same people. Brave women who have come forward have been dismissed, discredited, bad-mouthed, and even silenced by well-connected men and their supporters.

PWM-MFP does not consider men generally, and particularly working class men, to be our enemies. We consider the sexism in our society to be an enemy, this is produced in our relationship to production, private property, and how it is reproduced culturally. Even when it has become clear that a person has transgressed against women, very little is ever done about it beyond minor formality. Abusive men persistently organize and a plethora of excuses are made for them to continue unscathed. This is the default standard of the revisionist and liberal legal-left.

The exception to this has been the emergent Marxist-Leninist-Maoist movement, which has time and time again showed a high level of commitment to the working women of Austin. This example has resulted in a high number of women taking up the ideology, guidance, and leadership from Maoists. We are inspired by and unified in these experiences. From the campaigns to oust abusers led by the former Red Guards Austin, to the struggle against abuser Richard Morrisset led by the former Revolutionary Student Front, these are the struggles which inspired and forged us.

They taught us an important lesson—everything that is reactionary is the same; it will not fall if you do not hit it. This holds true for the reactionary behavior of men (for the most part) who have too long gone unpunished.

Millions of women, survivors, and their supporters spoke up for the whole world to hear in the #MeToo movement. Sadly this movement had limitations. While a lot of awareness was raised, very little changed in terms of retaliation for abuse and prevention of abuse. The effects were limited to professional careers and entertainment. We all watched as high judges like Kavanaugh remained protected. #MeToo hardly had any reverberation at all in the activist movement and activist women went on being taken advantage of.

It is one thing to shut down streets and mess up traffic; this is a good expression of outrage, but it shouldn’t be the only outlet, there must be more. By forming our organization we hope to accomplish more and organize women in the interest of combating sexism and abuse in all its formations—this necessarily means clearing the trash in the leftist activist movement and smashing the headquarters of misogyny, including traitorous women collaborators.

By listing abusers and other sexists, we not only raise awareness, we make it known that action will be taken, and business as usual is now foreclosed.

We cannot rely on the sexist system. Capitalism is based on extracting profits, which means selfishness and sacrificing others for economic gain—it cannot contend with what is best for working women. Workers generally have no representation in this system. Rape, assault and abuse cannot be voted away. Women must grasp the necessity of self-defense. Self-defense is posturing unless it accepts and maintains an offensive component—women have to go on the attack.

The oppression of women did not fall from the sky. Women were not always oppressed. The oppression of women stems from and is reproduced by class society, specifically the emergence of private property and the need for inheritance to be passed down. What follows this is that the oppression of women can be once and for all ended with the end of class society. This means we cannot collaborate or work with the police whose main function is to protect private property with enforcing the class system. The same goes for the entire state and all its many apparatuses.

Capitalism produces ideology and determines the type of ideas which make up capitalist society. While the oppression of women far out-dates capitalism, the latter requires new forms of women’s oppression to keep itself going. Among these, we find not only patriarchal ideas as a vestige, we find new ideas which are perfectly suited to become weapons in the arsenal against women.

Chief among these currently is postmodernism, an ideology in which all power is considered diffused. The contradiction between a working man and working women is seen as the same as that between a capitalist man and a working woman. All problems are understood as interpersonal and intersectional problems. This takes the pressure off the system in a big way and keeps everyone treating enemies like friends and friends like enemies and so on.

Certain ideological outgrowths of postmodernism come in the form of identity politics, a certain type of opportunism which places identity above all else, including a person’s politics and political practice. This is used by abusers and sexists to play up their own identities to avoid accountability. Many male activists will use postmodernism to seem “woke” or progressive as a way to get women activists to let their guards down. The whole rancid ideology seeks to remove women from the struggle by dividing them into sub-groups which are constantly vying for their own agendas. We must be clear that working women all have a material basis to unite against class society and trends like postmodernism that oppose revolution.

Our purpose must be to unify working women under revolutionary leadership. Women are doubly exploited, first as workers in production, and then as unpaid homemakers. Add to this the endless degradation, sexualization, and constant threat of attack and sexual assault. We have the most to gain from accomplishing revolution and nothing to lose but bondage. If you are sick of abusers getting a pass and seeing women who muster the courage to come forward being denounced, ridiculed, or ignored, then you should get organized with us. We are taking the gloves off and refusing to tolerate further humiliation. Women become activists to change the world, yet face the same hardship, lack of leadership, and abuse that we face at the hands of capitalist society. No more!

Unleash the fury of women as a mighty force for revolution!

Continue reading “Misogny on the left”