Why I'm leaving Diem25
I was the target of disciplinary measures within DiEM25.
What I’m “guilty” of is to have written an article stating that discriminations were still existing in the European Left, and that DiEM25 was no exception. What I’m “guilty” of is that I answered the leadership which started this debate with this article that puts the blame for the failures of the Left on those who suffer from discriminations. I wrote my opinion piece and forwarded it to the copywriting team of our movement as the right to answer publicly to such a key discussion should be a sacred right in any democratic movement. When the majority in the coordination refused to publish my article, with one stating that the simple fact that I wrote it should already be grounds for a disciplinary measure, I was faced with a choice: Swallow my principles and some hard learned lessons, and pretend all is fine in our movement and in the EU Left on this topic, or publish the article without their support and risk ruining the campaigns I started, the collectives I founded in the past 3 years as a DIEM25 member and a tool to stop my country from falling into the hands of the far right.
I was supposed to send my defence by february 16 2021.
I did not.
First of all,because the last two times the DIEM25 Coordination launched disciplinary measures it was in a position of judge and party. It was collecting the complaints, collecting the testimonies of the prosecution and the defence, and sending them to the Validating Council (our Constitutional court if you will) for a final decision. The only catch is the last two times this happened, the Coordination only sent the side of the prosecution and never the side of the defence to the jury. I refuse this masquerade of internal justice that we are supposed to accept as fair.
But more important than this, accepting this internal trial would be accepting that this is a matter of internal discipline and not the suppression of a legitimate debate. Saying that there is still a problem of discrimination in DiEM25 is not defamation. During our last General Assembly the total speaking time of women was between 25 to 50% shorter than that of men. When this violent debate on identity politics started, members of the leadership who backed this position could enjoy the full power of the DiEM25 website, as well as a live streamed CC debate on our main Youtube channel (twice) whereas members of the current Feminism,Diversity, and Disabilities Task Force were given the chance to publish one article, before being effectively shut down and forbidden to publish as a Task Force. This will be the second time in less than a year that a head of a feminist group in the movement will resign because of the same people in the leadership, and for the same reason: their obsessive tendency to blame the people struggling against discriminations for the failures of the left. I would go for a trial if I had been accused of something antagonistic to the manifesto that made me join this movement. But I will not apologize for standing up with those who were pushing for better internal and external justice on the topic of discrimination.
The leadership is making a big mistake. The Task Force on feminism and diversity was the result of an All Members Vote that clearly gave them a mandate to work on intersectional justice. Rather than respecting the wishes of the movement, members of the leadership decided to cancel the debate that would question their political position on a Left blind to horizontal oppression. This is not the first time either. The Task Force on the Constitutional Assembly campaign was also killed in its cradle even though it was the result of an All Members Vote, and the same happened to the Educational Task Force.
Even though it was never the result of an All Members Vote, and that was not for lack of trying, the Rentvolution campaign is bound to suffer the same fate. Again, I know this because last week, the same day that I received the news that I was targeted with an internal disciplinary procedure, the leadership released a statement informing that they would appoint a new coordinator to “lead” the campaign. After a violent backlash on the same day, the CC reviewed its statement and erased the word “lead” ensuring that this was a misunderstanding and that this person was just supposed to help me.
However, this is no misunderstanding. The same group of people that was targeting me with disciplinary measures was indeed pushing to replace me, deeming that I was too dangerous as a member to be left at the head of a campaign that I myself had started.
It’s for these reasons that I have decided to quit DiEM25. The European working class urgently needs a powerful social movement. This is where I thought a transnational movement could have been determinant in connecting and reinforcing mobilisations beyond borders. It is now clear that the leadership of DiEM25 will not help me in this effort and is in fact ready to sabotage it as long as I remain an "internal danger". Worse than this, at the time where the french government doubles down on its attacks on collectives fighting discriminations we needed support. There also it is now clear we will not get any. Time is a precious resource. I don't intend to waste another day of mine in internal quarrels.
Instead I will fully invest them in growing the coalition for change that our continent needs. The emergencies are too pressing. This is why if you’re reading this, this is why if you’re sharing this, I call on you to join me on what is urgent right now. We need massive demonstrations for the right to housing in Europe on march 27, we need to see an equivalent to Black Lives Matters on our continental scale, and we need to reach a general strike. I fought for this, I will keep fighting for this. Whatever the banner I wore the goal was and remains uniting the working people beyond borders.
I know many of you are still in shock with the year we just lived. I was too. But we can change this, with action, love and determination. Let's rebuild our strength and our confidence by acting on something that matters. Let’s put our skills to the test and actually help people self organise. I trust our collective strength, I saw it in action.
There will be time to talk about the future after.
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