Monday, December 12, 2016

Fighting Fascism, ACT Uppers Silence a Queer Adversary

Oh, the irony and hypocrisy abound in this episode.

Anonymous members of the coordinating committee of the Bay Area Queer Anti Fascist Network, a body that has not disclosed its membership, without any advance notification or attempt at dialogue, recently silenced my voice and participation on the network's supposedly leaderless "we're all equal here" Facebook page.

I contacted the highest profile organizer of BAQAFN, Anne-christine D'Adesky, asking what was up and she informed me that I was banned by two committee members.

There were strong antagonisms over 15 years ago between myself and the folks I believe are behind the banning, so I wasn't banned for anything I've said or done now. My adversaries were in the ACT UP/Golden Gate chapter.

The network says its guiding model is ACT UP and its open brand of democratic participation. Banning me equals silencing me on the floor of Monday night general meetings and show hypocrisy at play.

Without any transparency, the committee met amongst themselves a few times, created and approved banning rules that the read of the network had no input in, according to Anne-christine in a phone chat on Sunday.

Turns out, she said, I'm the third person blocked from posting on the queer anti fascist FB page and not one word about the rules, who created and enforces them, info about who's been banned and why has been shared on the page.

Anne-christine and I go back to the AIDS plague years in New York and were involved together with ACT UP. We have a general mutual admiration for each other and we heard each other's concerns.

She's promised to follow up with transparency about the coordinating committee's membership, rules about posting and banning, and something getting posted to the network about my banning.

Yes, I understand the network needs rules but what troubles me, especially since the goal is fighting fascism, is the opaque way decisions were made for the group and the heavy-handed treatment I've received for absolutely nothing to do with the network.

This is the second anti-Trump/pro-democracy Bay Area group, the first being San Francisco Vision, to ban me from their Facebook page. Is this the best way for progressives and liberals to resist Trump and do organizing that is better and sustainable?

No comments: