The radical left needs to be a safe space for women

The Hand Mirror, Anarchia and Capitalism Bad Tree Pretty have all published a statement about Omar Hamed and his repeated sexually predatory behaviour.

I know that lots of people are going to complain that making this information public is unfair to Omar, and that it damages the radical left. So first of all I want to respond to those criticisms. Making it public knowledge that Omar has a habit of ignoring (lack of) sexual consent and preying on women who are drunk is not about persecuting Omar, it’s about keeping other people safe. It’s about making sure that people can make their own decisions about what their boundaries are around Omar, whether or not they want to work with him, socialise with him, get drunk with him.

Making it public knowledge that a man who plays a prominent role in the radical left movement has a habit of ignoring (lack of) sexual consent and preying on women who are drunk doesn’t damage that movement. What damages the radical left is when sexual assault isn’t taken seriously, when survivors of abuse are blamed or discredited, and when people keep quiet about sexual assault because they think it will damage the ‘movement’ to talk about it.

So I want to say thank you to Maia and Asher for publishing the statement, I think it was a really brave thing to do.

And I want to reccommend some reading material too:

Asher has written a lot about people’s responses to the statement.

Grumblings and gravity writes about her own experience dealing with a close friend who was abusive to his partner, and about Omar as well.

Kim has also written about Omar, and about community based justice in He Hōaka, and her article on supporting survivors of abuse in imminent rebellion 9 should be compulsory reading for leftists.

Bamboo writes about the way the left has failed to deal with gendered abuse in both mellow yellow and imminent rebellion 11.

Finally, what I wrote about abusive relationships earlier this year is equally relevant to Omar’s behaviour and the way various left activists have responded.

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