Tuesday, February 19, 2013

UAW Local 2865 "Academic Workers for a Democratic Union" caucus statement on PLP's support of rape

Reposted from Necessary Means Fight

Academic Workers for a Democratic Union, a reform caucus in UAW Local 2865, stands in solidarity with our fellow union and caucus member who was raped by Seth Miller, a member of the Progressive Labor Party. In response, the Progressive Labor party sought to undermine the account of the survivor, attacking her and her allies, offering only a privately circulated self- evaluation and a slap on the wrist to her assailant as their pretense of accountability. 

In their official response to the demand for accountability, the organization claims to fight “sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny in every aspect”, while virtually in the same breath slandering the survivor and her allies as “informant-provocateurs” acting in collusion with the fascist police state. The PLP has made clear that the oppression of women means nothing to them when it challenges the practices and the structure of their organization. They have gone to considerable lengths to make this go away, including slandering the survivor, rather than addressing the problem that they have a member who has committed sexual assault. The organization, in very practical terms, has made a decision here. The Progressive Labor Party are apologists for a rapist, and therefore have placed their commitment to male supremacy – and silencing anything that would get in the way of that – above other concerns. They could have lived up to their own rhetoric regarding opposition to all forms of sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny, or they could continue to privilege their cadre over the project of social justice. By continuing to take the latter course, the Progressive Labor Party has indicated that it is an impediment to the goal of the radical transformation of society. 

With this statement of solidarity, we call out Seth Miller as a rapist and PLP as an organization that harbors rapists and perpetuates rape culture. The PLP is no longer welcome in any organizing spaces we are a part of. We will not contribute to a political project that boils down to rape apologism and victim-blaming. We will work to stand in solidarity with all those who experience gender-based discrimination, assaults, and other forms of violence both in the various activist circles that we are a part of and in the broader society. Our stance is that the work of class struggle must be combined with struggles against all forms of oppression without the attempt to reduce or simplify them into a hierarchy. We pledge to redouble our efforts of addressing patriarchal behavior throughout our union and all of our other communities. We will also continue to create structures to challenge patriarchal practices in our organization, in our local, and in our international, directly addressing the way that our dynamics contribute to the oppression of our comrades and to women everywhere.

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