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