First, I want to express how courageous this blog owner is for publishing her story, and to thank her for allowing me to republish it here in solidarity. Em, and her comrades including the survivor, have gone through hell. Em eloquently describes the incidents and broken process they had to follow to remain above board. They have had no closure except for what they have been able to build for themselves. The survivor of the sexual assault has had no ability to find closure, indeed the perpetrator has filed legal suit in the bourgeois courts against her. Their local IWW branch followed the process set forth and expelled the harasser, however he continued harassing everyone involved. He filed an appeal, where the committee upheld the branch decision. Yet, the harassment continued with little solidarity from their community and the IWW at large.
Thank you to Em, and I stand in solidarity with her, and the survivor, and all the women who have been and still are silenced by this community.
(I feel obliged to disclose that I am a member in bad standing in the IWW. I’ve fallen into bad standing for several reasons, not least of which is that it lacks a progressive organizational process toward sexual harassment and violence. This might be met with hostility from some segments of the org, however, I will respond here and continue to do so in person that the union is unsafe for women and trans* people. The process that exists attempts to include all forms of harassment within it – there is no policy toward sexual harassment or rape. There are individual branches instituting their own local policies, however sexual violence should not be left to the autonomy of local bodies. It is my hope that the reporting from their former branch be considered seriously by the headquarters and executive bodies. I am not alone in my hope to see a policy instituted at the coming Convention.)
I have decided to name some names of people involved in this post:
As an update the harasser was a member of the Australian IWW. He was expelled by the local branch and eventually this was upheld by an appeals committee in Portland, which had had no prior contact with anyone involved.
This however has not stopped people from siding with the harasser and continuing to discredit us. Nor has the fact that he has a long history of harassing other people.
Both I and the other woman involved were forced to leave the organisation because of this victim blaming. It has been made quite clear to us, not only by those directly involved, but also by people on the ROC who either did nothing or who participated in trying to discredit me when I made some of what happened public.
I do want to make it clear that…
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