On 2.28.13 we hosted an event “Patriarchy and the Mmovement: Current discussions & organizing against patriarchy in Portland, Seattle, and Oakland.” The event was amazing and the information that was discussed that night was incredibly moving and crucial to current movement building. As a space that holds true to feminist, anti-sexist, and anti-patriarchal values and behavior we were excited to host an event that focused on the challenges of confronting patriarchy within movement building, the analysis and praxis that is being formed, and the urgency of confronting these issues. At that event, a community member was called out by a panelist speaking form out of town, and then called out by name, by a survivor and her support team who were in the room.
After this occurred, a prepared statement, that is in contradiction to our safer space policy, was read by members of a collective attending the event, and those members attempted to support their comrade who had been called out for patriarchal behavior. This person has been involved with multiple accountability processes and was called out for minimizing the survivors needs and undermining the experiences they had. We find that any practice that further denies the voice of survivors of abuse/assault will further empower perpetrators of abuse within our community. This is unacceptable.
An overarching goal that we hold as a collective is to support people who are marginalized & oppressed by society. We also strive to provide a community space that is welcoming to and prioritizes the needs of those who are marginalized by structures of power and dominance which includes, but is not limited to, survivors of abuse/assault.
We would like to move forward in ending oppressive behaviors in our society and we are fully committed to survivor support to the fullest of our capacities as a community space. Some of the ways we will do this are as follows;
1.) providing a meeting place for the folks who are equipped to do survivor support to organize
2.) providing a space to hold trainings in such work and host fundraising events for those groups
3.) confronting patriarchal behaviors and other oppressive behavior and practice
4.) striving to support survivors of abuse/assault by believing them and doing what they ask
We are open for feedback and suggestions and are very proud to have hosted a feminist/post-feminist discussion within our space. We await a statement from the organizers of the event and constructive discussions to follow.
The Red & Black Collective