RE: Cunliffe.pdf /Sexual Harrassment Statement from AWOL ||| WARNING: May Contain Triggers

Since the release of the Cunliffe.pdf this morning concerning sexual harrassment by a man within the activist and anarchist community, which can be found here, (many thanks to Leila and Anna and everyone else who helped with this, also thanks to James who wrote a short blog on the statement), there has been wide support for the statement release which has 3 aims:

● To ensure that others, particularly women, are aware of his behaviour and thus can make an informed decision about whether they feel comfortable having any kind of relationship with him;

● To ensure the safety of women, within Merseyside in particular, and to allow those who own or take care of places with a ‘safe spaces’ policy to consider whether they should continue to grant him access;

● To encourage political organisations to consider their policy on the safety of their female members and how they can avoid compromising this.

However, there has also been opposition to the statement, a particular incident I noticed was by another male in the activist and anarchist community whose response was, quite frankly, disgusting:

“That’s not justice that’s vengeance” / “adam, how about I give you a bit of advice? Take that fucking tweet off my timeline” / “is this what you call justice?”.

I am a 17 year old, 16 at the time inappropriate messages were first sent, who Paul Cunliffe harrassed. I am being relatively open about my experience, both on this blog post and in my statement on the .pdf, for two reasons.

1) I will not hold back in taking action if any harrassment of any kind follows my releases, or if any attempts at harming me are made.

2) I have come to the understanding that some people are doubtful about the claims made. I am putting myself forward as a non-anonymous survivor in this blog so that I can respond to those against the statement as someone directly involved in the situation.

Dear @blacbloc. No, this is not what I call ‘justice’/ This is what I call making women aware of a 28 year old man with a history of sexual harrassment,  with those he has sexually harrassed including 16 and 17 year old’s. This is what I call prioritising the safety of females, an oppressed group in society. As someone who has been on the recieving end of Paul Cunliffe’s sexual harrassment, as someone who has felt uncomfortable with detailed, sexually explicit texts [not limited to 'how would you suck my cock?' or 'i'd like to fuck your young body'] at the age of 16 and 17 by a 28 year old after I told him to stop, as someone who felt compelled to reply for fear that malicious things would be said about me within the activist and anarchist community which would lead to my presence in certain areas being unwelcome and potentially being treated with hostility (a fear that came about after two women he told me malicious things about who had rejected his advances told me about their experiences, describing him as potentially dangerous and capable of violence), as someone who, after arguing with Paul on this matter until he actually stopped sending me such texts, tried numerous times to help him end this behaviour, as a female having to justify a statement to a male, a statement released in order to protect women from a sexual harrasser who could be dangerous, I’ve got to say, I’m disgusted. As for your question “is this what you call justice?” – no, blacbloc, I don’t. I do, however, call Castration of sexual harrassers/assaulters ‘Justice’, unfortunately that isn’t allowed. The statement is there in order to help create safe spaces for women and make women aware of what type of character they are dealing with.It’s aims are laid out very clearly, and the existence of such a document is justified, whether or not your privileged self agrees with that.

- @SmashKyriarchy (female, feminist, human, anarchist.)

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sam Ambreen
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 16:45:12

    Reblogged this on Left at the Lights and commented:
    A brave statement from @smashkyriarchy on why anyone would defend the actions of a misogynistic predator

    Reply

  2. distopiandream_
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 17:26:33

    I’m really looking forward to reading your addition tonight. It has been quite an eyeopener seeing some of the hostility that has been aimed towards the authors of the statement, and i just hope that as somebody making a none anonymous statement, you are not subjected to barrages of abuse! If there is any abuse, please do jot hold back, and also be aware that there are many of us who are fully supportive of you, and will back you all the way!

    Kudos on having the guts to speak up about this, when it could have been so easy to keep it all inside!

    Reply

  3. JonBonJovi
    Jun 13, 2012 @ 19:44:39

    Its probably a bit of an over reaction to call for harrassers to have their genitals mutilated but I’m gonna assume thats hyperbole.

    Reply

  4. Tsuki
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 08:56:31

    I’m amazed you had the courage to come forward with this. Its shit. I was sexually assaulted by a member in my political organization in 2010 and when we put out the statement in Aug that year. We got a lot of shit and had it removed from Indy Media and such for it “not being news”

    Go you.

    Reply

    • Iain Hilton
      Jun 15, 2012 @ 14:28:02

      I can’t believe that Indy media decided that exposing ‘activists’ who sexual assault or harass people “isn’t news”. If we are unable or unwilling to adequately protect our communities, we are failing right into the hands of the police state. Though that’s not the point – the point is that you are right to speak out, and you shouldn’t be harassed or belittled for it, you should be supported and encouraged.

      My support goes out to you and your community.

      Reply

  5. Marmite
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 10:01:31

    Please, let’s have no talk of genital mutilation. That’s precisely the kind of thing we get from the far right, and it’s one of the reasons why I loathe and despise them.

    Reply

  6. goatgirlandthebean
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 11:05:22

    I’m really impressed how you are dealing with this. Misogyny in leftist movements is notorious and finally someone has said ‘enough’. I really hope you are okay and the others involved will be okay too.

    Reply

  7. Adam
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 11:15:45

    ♥♥♥

    Reply

  8. Pippa Georgeson (@PippaGeorgeson)
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:19:06

    Well done for coming forward and being brave enough to state the truth. However much I admire your bravery, this situation shouldn’t have happened. The harasser should have been ousted from the community and male activists shouldn’t question, but support the statement. If you’re reading this and you believe in equality then you should take an active part in ensuring the safety of your female comrades.

    Reply

  9. Anne-Marie
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:49:48

    It’s no surprise blackbloc defends that kind of behaviour. He’s quoted as justifying his attempted rape of me by the phrase “sometimes no means yes”. If you get any shit for speaking out I will stand by you. The movement has been fucking APAULING at dealing with this stuff. I admire your courage because not only are you standing up against several nasty men, you are defying the status quo in some parts of the anarchist movement that ignors that these things are happening because its either ‘too hard’ or ‘to close to home’. You are freaking aces mate.

    Reply

  10. Anne-Marie
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 14:56:39

    also might I add that blackbloc deleted his twitter account. He’s a coward.

    Reply

  11. anna x
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 20:45:39

    Please feel free to add my name to the statement. Solidarity!

    Reply

  12. Matt Moran (@sciamachy)
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 10:37:01

    Yeesh… it’s getting quite disillusioning, finding out that activists I followed on Twitter are perverts & misogynists. Nonetheless, I applaud what you’re doing – it’s a good & useful thing to know who’s done what & what people’s reactions are. It’s been something of an eye-opener. Well done to those brave women who’ve stood up & said what needed saying. Thank you.

    Reply

  13. hesmackeditbro
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 12:34:49

    Reply

  14. Iain Hilton
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 14:01:30

    You’re an extremely brave and inspirational person.

    My full support and solidarity are with you in your dealing with this horrific experience, and in going public to speak about it, and dealing with hideous misogynists questioning/attacking you (and I also fully support those who do not wish to go public with their experiences).

    This behaviour has no place within civilised communities, and you should not be made to feel afraid by standing up to it.

    Reply

  15. Anne-Marie
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 14:12:23

    I would like to point out that the comment about him “still being alive” refers to an ‘in-joke’ phrase, meaning, that basically, when someone is really nasty, you would assume they would have got themselves in trouble with someone bigger and scarier by now. I have been advised that it could be misconstrewed to mean I intend to enact some sort of violence upon him. I can confirm this is not the case, as I have better things to do. For example, this redbush tea needs drinking and this pot of noodles need eating. . . .nom nom nom nom nom nom :D

    I have also listed Shamus O colgans blog post about me in this post, as it is hilarious reading. Certainly cheered me. I almost pissed all over my computer chair laughing.

    http://hesmackeditbro.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/ann-marie-francisevans/

    If he’s removed it already then it’s a pity, he’s certainly not as funny as Marbles, Thomas or Steel, but he certanly can weave an exciting surealism.

    The inner world of Mr Colgan seems horrifically exciting, the stuff of screen plays. It must be really stressful to live in such a high octane paranoid reality. LOL.

    I would like to recomend that Mr. Colgan get himself down to a creative writing class, as people will always buy books and it takes a talented person to create such a fiction. Im not sure talented is the correct word but I suppose it will do for now.

    Love, Peace and clarity in reality.

    A

    Reply

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