Without Care and Justice, Victory is not Possible: Rethinking Sexual Violence, Accountability, and the State
This workshop brings together individuals and organisations that have experience in dealing with complaints, accusations and incidents of sexual violence that primarily occur within the radical left in the UK. It will develop new perspectives with regards to accountability processes and building support infrastructure for comrades who have been affected by sexual violence.
We are interested in exploring how a politics and orientation towards questions of care and transformative justice are connected to the way we do social reproduction and are central to how we build the commons and counter-power. Our safety is tied to a mutual need to reproduce ourselves as individuals in collective spaces and organisations. Restorative justice processes are an important part of our future way of reproducing ourselves and our communities – processes that enable us to have more control and accountability outside of the criminal justice system and law enforcement of the nation-state.
The desire to create healthy self-sustaining social movements and organisations is connected to our opposition and critique of current forms of punishment, the prison industrial complex and processes of criminalisation along with the politics of shame, revenge and social exclusion. It is well know that sexual violence is a widespread, structural and a worldwide problem. To think through the politics of sexual violence requires us to acknowledge the ways that gender, race and class intersect. In this workshop we will ask – what specific challenges and possibilities exist for – ostensibly anti-state, communistic organisations and peoples, to confront sexual violence? How can we provide answers, accountability and justice? How can we foster an environment that supports survivors and cares for them in ways that the state never could? How do we deal with people who do harm to others – what possibilities exist beyond exclusion? What can we do when our power to act is severely limited by our own capacities, the state and lack of engagement and support from our communities?
The format of the workshop will involve a round table discussion, facilitated by members of Plan C, and invited groups and individuals from organisations such as Sisters Uncut, and the West Midlands Sexual Violence Research Group. We invite comrades to discuss their experiences and think together through a multitude of varying approaches and backgrounds.