Donnerstag, 17. März 2011

Der rassistische East End Gay Pride in London ist erst mal gestoppt: Suspect dankt dem Safra Projekt

Suspect dankt dem Safra Projekt und den vielen queer und trans AktivistInnen of Color für ihren geballten und erfolgreichen Protest gegen den rassistischen East End Gay Pride! Gerade nun, da das Schlimmste abgewendet ist, halten wir es für äußerst wichtig den Fokus auf ebenjene POC - Netzwerke und Organisationen zu richten um sicherzustellen, dass ihnen die Anerkennung und das Gehör erteilt wird, welches ihnen zusteht. Denn wie so oft sind weiße Queers und Gayrightsaktivisten schnell dabei sich das Lob in die eigenen Taschen zu stecken obgleich sie von der eigentlichen Kritik nichts verstanden haben...
Doch auch durch die riesige transnationale Solidarität von QT-POCS die in ihren Communities ähnliches erleben, fühlen wir uns gestärkt für den weiteren Kampf gegen die Gentrifizierung unserer Wohngebiete und dem Rassismus von Gay Nationalisten.

QT-POC-POWER Rocks!!!

PS: Die weissen Medien und homonationalistischen Kräfte drohen bereits, den Sieg in weitere Energie für Homonationalisten - umzuwandeln, allen voran Peter Tatchell, der den EEGP zunächst unterstützte und seine Nachfolge-Veranstaltung jetzt mit einer ähnlich anti-muslimischen Message selbst organisieren will. QT-POCs in Britannien brauchen weiterhin eure Unterstützung! Bitte lest und leitet die folgenden tollen Blogs weiter:
http://www.safraproject.org/
http://www.decolonizequeer.org/
http://www.imaan.org.uk/
http://www.co-re.org/joomla/index.php/bent-bars-news (ein Blog von Verbündeten, der queere-und-trans-Gefangenen-Unterstützung leistet)

Dienstag, 15. März 2011

Safra Project statement on East End Gay Pride

13/03/2011

The Safra Project has been working on issues affecting Queer Muslims for over a decade. This work includes making the areas in which we live safer for all. Our approach in doing this work seeks to avoid adding to the alienation and further deprivation faced by many in our communities because of ethnic, cultural, class or other material factors.

As many of us are residents and members of East End communities we are also dismayed by the homophobic sticker campaign and what we view as the subversion of our Muslim beliefs to instil fear and mistrust amongst communities. This is echoed by further members of the local Muslim community such as the East London Mosque and the Association of British Muslims.

We are similarly opposed to the ‘East End Gay Pride’ march as a response to the sticker campaign which we believe only compounds the problem, particularly for us as Muslims that are Queer, as it fuels what has now become a virulently Islamophobic climate for us to live in. Unfortunately, the claim by the East End Gay Pride march organisers that they are not being anti-Muslim is insufficient to stop their effective complicity in fuelling the various stereotyped ideas about Muslims. It also undermines the important work that our organisation and others are involved in around issues of gender, sexuality and Islam (www.safraproject.org/sgi-intro.htm).

Moreover, we are particularly concerned that the march organisers’ have refused to disassociate themselves from the far-right organisation English Defence League (EDL) especially as it seems that anti-fascist supporters have been told they will not be welcome at the march. This not only disregards the history of embedded racism that our communities have suffered in the area and more generally but also, as Queer Muslims, we feel that there are more productive ways to address the concerns that the East End Gay Pride march organisers have raised. For example by getting involved with the important cross-community projects that are ongoing in East London (http://www.onesocietymanycultures.org).

Therefore, we, as Queer Muslims who are most likely to suffer the fall out of this march, ask:
•The organisers to cancel this march on all of our communities, neighbours and families in East London.
•The local Queer people in the East End of London to engage with the wider local community in collaboration to better understand and work productively on all forms of prejudice.
•For everyone to voice their opposition to overt and covert racism and Islamophobia especially in the name of gay rights. All forms of prejudice must be understood in their overlapping ways and to ignore this lived reality, particularly that of Queer Muslims, is to avoid engaging with underlying issues of social, economic and political injustice and disadvantage (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/02/gay-lesbian-islamophobia).

If the march continues it does so without the support of our organisation and with little regard for the complex work that we as Queer Muslims do in Britain.

Safra Project Board
--
Notes:
An open letter to East End Gay Pride by Onni
http://lattelabour.blogspot.com/2011/03/east-end-gay-pride-update.html
Mayor of Tower Hamlets and community leaders come together to condemn homophobia

http://www.safraproject.org/

Samstag, 5. Februar 2011

IT SHOULDN’T JUST BE ABOUT GAY POLITICS, BUT ALSO ABOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE

Interview by SUSPECT with a straight-identified activist of colour (translated from German)

When did you first notice that you’re straight? Heterosexual experiences came with socialization. But to say that I’m heterosexual took longer in my case, as I also had homosexual experiences, as early as the age of ten. Besides, looking at some of my friends who had similar experiences, I think many Turkish or Kurdish boys of our generation have had similar homosexual experiences, but it’s not talked about. In my youth I often hung out with gays and it’s always stayed like this, and people have often assumed that I’m gay or at least bisexual. I’d say, at this stage I’m heterosexual with homosexual experiences in my childhood, but I’ll explicitly leave open if that’s going to be the case for the rest of my life.

How would you define yourself anyway? I do think that it would be more appropriate to call myself a non-heteronormative man of colour. I have a very strong anti-racist, rather than an ethnic, identity. Which doesn’t mean that I won’t situationally position myself as a Muslim, or also as a Turkish or Kurdish person, when it’s important. In the past I’ve been called queer once or twice as well, but so far I haven’t been able to claim this identity for myself. I am read more as a heterosexual man after all and don’t know if it would be an appropriation or an inflationary use of queer identity if I called myself queer. That’s why I’m very careful with this.

Are there queer people in your family or friendship circle? There is a distant cousin from Holland. My brother told me that he’s had his coming out now. When I heard this I was so happy that at least one person in my family has come out. I have always wanted to look for him, to show him my solidarity. But then we haven’t seen each other in fifteen years, and he doesn’t know how I think and live, either. If he needs allies in the family, I would obviously stick my neck out for him.

When did you notice that there’s something wrong with power relations between queers and non-trans straight heterosexuals? I think it began when I started hanging out regularly with gay men. In our neighbourhood there was a market where every weekend I’d meet a few gay men. I was at ease with them and noticed how people would react to that, especially boys my age. For me this was a reality then already, and I think it was the same for my younger brother. He realized from a young age that I have a connection with gay men. The point where I really started noticing this was when I was in a position to defend people. To notice there’s oppression, mechanisms, etc. Later at uni there were the student unions, where some queer people were also active, where we worked together on specific issues.

Society is full of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia. When did you decide to start fighting against it? Different factors led me to understand that you can’t look at these phenomena and separate them out from each other. But my time as a student and my exposure to postcolonial theory especially, e.g. the book Spricht die Subalterne Deutsch Does the Subaltern Speak German? ed. Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez and Hito Steyerl, helped open my eyes. From this moment on materials from postcolonial feminism and Black feminism have continued to shape my life.

What kinds of political activities do you engage in, also as an ally? I think I can’t draw a line around my political activities and would like to include academic activism, but also the actual political work in the street. My every day, too, is very very politicized and I try, whenever possible, to take every opportunity to express criticism and stand up even for uncomfortable positions. Which nevertheless demands a lot of energy and strength from me, and in some cases upright courage.

How do you raise your kids with regard to power relations, discrimination and multiple discrimination as well? That’s a really essential question for me in my everyday life. My approach so far has been trying to create an environment where the absence of people of colour and any so-called ‘deviance’ from white, heterosexual, gender conforming man is seen as a normality. The children are raised bilingually, Turkish and German, and we try to teach them ‘free‘ from ethnicity. In other words, just because they speak Turkish they don’t have to define as Turkish. I try to make my identity clearly transparent to my children and explain where I’m involved and why I am politically active. Finally, I explain various identities to the children, again and again – often by using examples.

Do you share the observation that queers of colour sometimes find it easier to enter into alliances with non-trans heterosexuals of colour rather than white queer/trans organizations? I definitely share this observation (laughs). From a perspective critical of racism it would be interesting to ask: Why is this so? What is it about racism that is still so specific? It seems that experiencing racism in today’s context in Germany unites people much more than commonalities based on sexual identity. I can’t give you a conclusive analysis of the reasons for this. Maybe it’s also to do with picking up threads from a historical tradition of anti-racist movements, which by the way have always been more diverse than white feminism, gay organizing and most recently the queer movement. But of course I am really happy to see that straight/queer/trans people of colour ally themselves to do anti-racist work together.

Do you see any parallels between the majority white queer scene and the white mainstream gay scene? There are parallels but also differences. One tends to produce openly racist exclusions, while the other (which calls itself explicitly antifascist and antiracist) tends to do this in a hypocritical and coded form, often even as part of a so-called antiracist politics. This has become very clear with anti-Muslim racism, which in Berlin manifests itself in indirect and even direct connection with processes of gentrification. These days I would rather live in Charlottenburg or Dahlem (white middle-class suburbs) where power is out in the open. Where I know where I stand in relation to bourgeois whites as a man of colour. Without any pretense. Sometimes those people can handle this better than the ‘supercool‘ queers who come here, appropriate our neighbourhoods and then go to Prinzenbad (a popular outdoors swimming pool in Kreuzberg) and make fun of the teenagers there or get scared of them. Another factor is class (laughs). Most of them are probably middle class. Finally there’s another thing that’s struck me: Most queers are young and the mainstream gays are often older. This is my question: Why are queers – and this also goes for many antifascist activists – mostly young? Where do they go when they’re older? It’s strange, they disappear when they’re older (laughs).

The interview is translated from German and was first published in the special issue on intersectionality (SUSPECT and Migration Council Berlin, in December 2010).

NOTE FOR RESEARCHERS: Before you turn this autobiographical and political piece into pre-theoretical fodder and stick it on your own CV, consult our article in Bully Bloggers on labour, risks and gains and the relations of production and consumption of anti-racist critique http://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/where-now-from-pride-scandal-to-transnational-movement/

Dienstag, 3. August 2010

"In diesem Kampf gibt es keinen Platz fuer Rassismus" Butler Interview with Jungle World (in German)

Extract from the Interview:

In ihrer Rede auf dem Berliner CSD haben Sie verschiedene Gründe für die Ablehnung des »Preises für Zivilcourage« genannt. Einer war, der CSD distanziere sich nicht von Rassismus. Worauf haben Sie hier Bezug genommen?

Auf der einen Seite gibt es das Organisationskomitee des CSD und auf der anderen viele verschiedene Gruppen, die unter dem Banner des CSD auftreten. Außerdem gibt es Organisationen, die explizit Teil des CSD sind, der sich ja als Forum versteht, in dem verschiedene Gruppen zusammenkommen können. Zunächst wäre also zu fragen, welche Gruppen überhaupt unter dem Banner des CSD auftreten und welche nicht. Für mich wäre dann die zweite Frage: Was sind die Ansichten des Organisationskomitees und der anderen Gruppen und hat sich die CSD-Organisation auf deren Positionen positiv oder negativ bezogen?

Die Antwort auf die erste Frage ist, dass diejenigen Queer-Gruppen, die sich dem Kampf gegen Rassismus widmen oder aus Minderheiten heraus entstehen (inklusive migrantischer Gruppen), nicht Teil des CSD Berlin sind. Es gibt also einen Ausschluss. War das ihre Entscheidung, nicht unter dem CSD-Banner aufzutreten? Sind sie von den OrganisatorInnen explizit ausgeschlossen worden? Für das Problem der Diskriminierung ethnischer oder religiöser Minderheiten ist die Beantwortung der zweiten Frage allerdings noch wichtiger. Bei Gruppen wie dem schwulen Überfalltelefon Maneo oder in den öffentlichen Verlautbarungen von Jan Feddersen und Rudolf Hampel (beide gehören zum harten Kern der Berliner CSD-OrganisatorInnen) wird deutlich, dass sie den Kampf gegen Homophobie als Kampf gegen andere Minderheiten führen. Beide haben durch ihre Aussagen Minderheiten verärgert und ausgeschlossen. Und sie und ihre Gruppen, einschließlich Maneo, sind Teil des CSD.

Hampels Gruppe Maneo stellt Homophobie und homophobe Gewalt als etwas dar, das allein in Minderheitengruppen anzutreffen sei. Das bringen zumindest die politischen Aktionen, Stellungnahmen und Berichte der Gruppe zum Ausdruck. Das ist nicht nur falsch, sondern fördert auch das Ressentiment gegen MigrantInnen. Außerdem trennt es die Diskriminierung aufgrund von Sex und Gender von der Diskriminierung von ethnischen und religiösen Minderheiten. Das ist nicht nur eine falsche Position, sondern macht die Tatsache, dass es Queers innerhalb migrantischer Communities gibt, unsichtbar.

So setzt man neue EinwandererInnen mit Homophobie gleich und übernimmt quasi die Formen institutioneller, rechter oder auch kirchlicher Homophobie. Schwule, Lesben, Transsexuelle, Queers und Bisexuelle innerhalb migrantischer Minderheiten werden auf diese Art unkenntlich gemacht. Diejenigen Queer-Gruppen, die also vom CSD ausgeschlossen werden, sind genau dieselben, deren Existenz in einigen der öffentlichen Stellungnahmen von CSD-nahen Gruppen negiert wird. Wer wie ich davon ausgeht, dass der Kampf gegen Homophobie immer mit dem Kampf gegen Rassismus verbunden sein muss, muss nicht nur Gruppen wie GLADT, ­ReachOut und LesMigraS aktiv einbinden. Es bedeutet auch, sich genau an diesen Gruppen zu orientieren, wie ein Kampf gegen Homophobie aussehen kann, ohne rassistische Stereotype und Politik gegen MigrantInnen zu unterstützen. Wenn das der Bewegung nicht gelingt, dann fällt sie dem Nationalismus und dem europäischen Rassismus anheim und unterstützt letztlich sogar Begründungen, die Kriege legitimieren.

Read the whole interview

Donnerstag, 29. Juli 2010

STATEMENT BY LESBIENNES OF COLOR (LOCs, LESBIANS OF COLOR) IN FRANCE AGAINST RACISM IN LGBTQ COMMUNITIES IN GERMANY

We, LOCs residing in France, are deeply moved by the problems of racism within LGBTQ communities in Germany. Judith Butler recently highlighted racism, including anti-Muslim racism, within German LGBTQ communities as she refused the award for civil courage in Berlin during Gay Pride of June 2010.

With this statement we want to express our complete solidarity and support to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters of color in Germany. The light shed on their situation reinforces our analysis of how LGBTQ milieus in Europe are not exempt from reproducing all the forms of targeting, oppression and repression that exist in the rest of society.

In France we’ve created Espace LOCs (Lesbian of Color Space) out of a need to have our own political “safe” space where we can configure our own critical analyses, practices and actions in an atmosphere of tranquility. This space allows us to make ourselves visible to each other, but also to clearly take public positions together without waiting for others to accord us the privilege of speaking.

As feminist lesbians of color, we work to be attentive to all formations of relations of power, discrimination, oppression, and repression. And each time they appear in Europe we will fight at the sides of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters of color.

www.espace-locs.fr

contact : espace-locs@gmail.com
July 2010

Montag, 26. Juli 2010

Belatedly, and in German: The highlight from Transgenialer CSD, a speech awarding the most racist 'groups that partipate in the mainstream Pride'

Die veranstaltenden Organisationen weigern sich, parlamentarische Politik und Patriotismus als wesentlichen Teil ihrer Arbeit zu verstehen. In diesem Sinne muß ich mich von dieser Komplizenschaft mit gewaltbereiten Linksextremisten, einschließlich Splitterbomben und Glitzerattacken, distanzieren.

Wir haben alle bemerkt, dass Homo-, Bi-, Lesbisch-, Trans-, Queer-Leute benutzt werden können von jenen, die sozialle Kämpfe führen wollen, d. h. sozialle Kämpfe gegen Gewalt, Kapitalismus Rassismus und Militarismus. Durch solche "sozialle Bewegungen" werden wir rekrutiert für Solidarität und Gerechtigkeit und gegen Krieg und Profit.

Deswegen müssen wir nein sagen zu einem solchen Deal. Und wenn man nein sagen kann unter diesen Umständen, dann nenne ich das Courage. Aber wer sagt nein? Wer sind die Bonzen und Parteifunktionären die wirklich gegen eine queere linke und antirassistische Politik kämpfen? Wer sind die, die nach Kreuzberg und Neukoelln ziehen, und dann sagen 'Die Gewalt in UNSEREN Kiezen steigt an?' Wenn ich so könnte, würde ich den Preis weiterreichen an folgende Gruppen, die jetzt zu dieser Zeit und an diesem Ort Courage zeigen:


MANEO- Das Schwule Anti Gewalt Projekt in Berlin, dass durch seinen großartige verzerrte Statistikarbeit zeigt was ich schon längst gewusst habe. Auch an Homophobie sind Migrant_innen schuld.

LSVD - Das Lesben Schwulen Verband Deutschland, dass sich ständig darum bemüht, Euch, meine Damen und Herren besser zu repräsentieren als ihr je selbst machen könnt.

Verband lesbischer und schwuler Polizeibediensteter, die zeigen wie egal es ist heutzutage, schwul oder Lesbe zu sein solange du Demonstranten mit genug Gewalt angreifen kann und rassistische Kontrole durchführt.

Und natürlich bei allen schwulen Parteienverbände, von CDU bis die Grüne und die Linke die wunderbar zeigen wie eine sexuale Identität zu einem Karriere bringen lässt.

Ja, und das sind alles Gruppen, die bei dem kommerziellen CSD mitarbeiten und mitgestalten. Ich möchte diesen Gruppen gerne gratulieren für ihre Courage und es tut mir leid, dass – unter diesen Umständen kann ich den Preis nicht annehmen.


Ihr seid nicht die Mehrheit!!

One year after gay center attack, Tel Aviv studies Berlin model of tolerance

http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/one-year-after-gay-center-attack-tel-aviv-studies-berlin-model-of-tolerance-1.304022#article_comments

Haaretz, 26 July 2010

A march will be held Saturday night in Tel Aviv to mark the one-year anniversary of a shooting attack in a Tel Aviv gay youth center that left two dead and 13 injured.
By Noah Kosharek

A march will be held Saturday night in Tel Aviv to mark the one-year anniversary of a shooting attack in a Tel Aviv gay youth center that left two dead and 13 injured.

The march will start at the corner of Rothschild and Nahmani streets (near the youth center ) and end at Gan Meir, where a rally will be held with the families of the victims, Nir Katz 26, and Liz Trobishi, 16, the injured and members and counselors of the gay youth center.

Next month a delegation of youth injured in the shooting will join Tel Aviv municipality officials and possibly Israeli police officials in Berlin to meet with representatives of Maneo, a group that provides support for gay and bisexual men who have been victims of violence, members of the Berlin police, German members of parliament and officials in the Berlin municipality.

The visit is sponsored by Maneo and is taking place in cooperation with the Tel Aviv municipality's gay center.

Adir Steiner, Tel Aviv municipality's coordinator of activities for the gay community, says the purpose of the trip is to learn the Berlin model for preventing and dealing with anti-gay violence.

The Berlin model has been adopted by other European cities, like Barcelona, Steiner told Haaretz. It is based on cooperation between Maneo and the authorities, particularly the police, which has two liaison officers to the gay community to deal with homophobic crimes, he said.

Steiner said if the model is adopted in Israel, Hoshen, a group working to change stereotypes about homosexuality and bisexuality and that trains professionals in matters pertaining to the LGBT community, would take the role of Maneo.

"Perhaps if we had started the project a few years ago, we would have documented manifestations of homophobia by the killer, who has not yet been caught, in cooperation with the police, and we might have identified him before the murder. Homophobia, like all hatred, begins small," Steiner said.

The chief of the Berlin police has reportedly invited Israeli police officers to take part in the delegation, particularly the Tel Aviv district youth officer. The Israel Police said they have not yet received an official invitation.

Sonntag, 25. Juli 2010

we ARE the majority!


Queer and trans people of colour and allies crashing the alternative Pride event in Berlin, June 2010.

Donnerstag, 22. Juli 2010

Interview with Sokari Ekine on the silencing of LGBTIQ struggles in Africa and the effects of gay imperialism on the continent






African Perspectives on CHRY 105.1

Sunday July 11 2010


Interview with Sokari Ekine on the silencing of LGBTIQ struggles in Africa, the effects of gay imperialism on the continent, the pink-washing of neo-colonial aid agendas, trans erasure, the racism of modernity/tradition binary, and the violence of the single story.


Introductory quotes from the interview:

I don’t see (the dominant discourse on African sexuality) as being particularly different than in other parts of the world. Yes, there are socio-economic, cultural and religious contexts, but essentially the dominant discourse around sexuality is similar to in other places, and it’s patriarchy, heteronormativity. Probably more specific to the continent is the assumption that there are no LGBTI people in Africa. And then again strong masculinities, which are played out through a kind of macho nationalism with notions of family and return to the traditional values. And.. I think one way in which the mainstream, largely white middle-class (LGBT community in the UK) have dealt with this call to a return to family and traditional values is through mainstreaming themselves through a process of homonormativity… So these things have played out in the West in slightly different ways, but at the same time they are not so different from what is actually taking place on the continent.



I would say that the factors are pretty much the same across the world. You have a growing right-wing reactionary media. You have an equally right-wing religious fundamentalism, that is very much present in the United States, but is also growing across the African continent, in fact it’s one of the largest growth industries, Christian religious fundamentalism. And this is especially in countries like Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa. So you have that. Then you have this scapegoating of vulnerable people, which is a way of deflecting from issues such as high unemployment, poverty etc. Here in the West, the scapegoats, particularly in the US, UK, Germany are immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants. In parts of Africa, it’s LGBTI people. They are un-African, it is un-African, we don’t want them. And it’s the same thing, in Europe it’s immigrants. Do you see the connecting points? So you have this focus of hate, which is played from different sectors, sections of the community, depending where you are and depending, you know, who is the most vulnerable in a particular location, at a particular time.

...

Mittwoch, 14. Juli 2010

Nach dem Rassismus-Outing: Queer of Colour Kritik kann nicht mehr ignoriert werden, doch bleiben wir mit der Arbeit allein?

Judith Butlers öffentliches Statement gegen Rassismus in der schwullesbischen Community in Deutschland hat ein breites Medienecho erzeugt. Das Problem von Rassismus und die Manipulierung rassistischer Debatten zu (Hass-)Gewalt, Kriminalität und Sicherheit durch schwullesbische wie auch Queer- und Transpolitiken erhält zum ersten Mal eine größere Öffentlichkeit. Dabei ist die Debatte um eine Sexualpolitik, die sich ihre Gelder und Öffentlichkeit durch rassistische Stimmungsmache verdient, keineswegs neu. Bislang wurde sie jedoch v.a. von denen geführt, die von Gewalt und Ausgrenzung am akutesten betroffen sind und in queeren, anti-rassistischen und intellektuellen Zusammenhängen am wenigsten vermisst werden. Angela Davis hat recht, dass Butlers Ablehnung zu einem Katalysator werden könnte, um sexuelle und geschlechtliche Bewegungen zu entkolonisieren, und dem Rassismus und der Orientalisierung von Debatten wie der über „homophobe und transphobe Hassgewalt“ ein Ende zu bereiten. Dennoch stellt sich die Frage, ob und wie dieser Moment, an dem sich das politische Terrain verändert, die Arbeitsteilung queerer anti-rassistischer Politik neu gestalten wird.

Zu bemerken ist, dass im sogenannten „Butler-Eklat“ sowohl Rassismus als auch die Existenz von Queer- und Transleuten of Colour sofort wieder ausradiert wurden. Dass es einer weißen Celebrity bedarf, um einer Kritik, die seit Jahren von ethnisierten Aktivist/innen und Theoretiker/innen artikuliert wird, öffentlichen Wert zu geben, ist an sich schon Ausdruck problematischer Repräsentationspolitiken. Leider blieben viele Diskussionen an der Person Butlers hängen, die entweder als manipulierte Diva, die sich selbst keine Meinung bilden kann, dargestellt oder aber als Ikone einer ebenso unschuldigen wie selbstgerechten queeren Antira-Identität zelebriert wird. Dabei scheinen sowohl etablierte Homo- als auch alternative Queer-Szenen weitaus mehr Energie in die Leugnung von Rassismus und die Marginalisierung seiner Kritiker/innen zu stecken als in anti-rassistische Arbeit selbst.

Bündnisse sind zentral für emanzipative Projekte, aber wie sähe eine wirkliche Bündnispolitik mit Queer- und Transleuten of Colour aus? Ausgangspunkt jeder Bündnisarbeit sollte die Transparenzmachung ungleicher Machtpositionen, Ressourcen und politischer Definitionsmacht sein, sowie die Verpflichtung, diese radikal umzuverteilen. Welche Anforderungen muss ein Bündnis erfüllen, um machtkritische, produktive und erträgliche Kommunikation und Arbeit zu ermöglichen? Bündnispolitik bedeutet nicht, dass dominante Menschen über oder für „die Anderen“ sprechen, sie unter Vorwänden wie „Solidarität“ oder „Wissenschaft“ retten, sammeln, erforschen oder bevormunden, sie in ungleiche „Dialoge“ zwingen, deren Rahmen und Erkenntnisgegenstand immer bereits vorgegeben sind – von der Kriminalität archaischer, religiöser, patriarchaler und homophober Communities bis hin zur unverschämten Undankbarkeit derer, die sich „dem Dialog verweigern“, wenn sie rassistische Geschichten über ihre Familien und ihre Communities nicht unterschreiben, oder den „DIY-Ethos“ einer Veranstaltung missverstehen, wenn ihnen ein 99% weißes Plenum zu viel ist. Ein Bündnis, das weiße Machtstrukturen abbauen will, muss sich öffentlich dazu verpflichten, die Machtverhältnisse innerhalb der eigenen Gruppe/Organisation/Plena zu ändern. Von zuhören bis sich weiterbilden bis endlich was tun – Verbündetenarbeit ist nicht leicht, aber man muss sie letztlich selbst machen, im eigenen Namen und auf eigenes Risiko. Die tolle Antira-Identität kann hierbei nicht das defensiv verteidigte A und O sein. Letzlich geht es darum, Machtpositionen zu verändern und auch abzugeben.

Wenn Queer- und Transleute of Colour bislang mit der Bürde anti-rassistischer Arbeit zumeist allein bleiben, ist es um die Verteilung der Risiken und Erträge nicht besser gestellt. Während sich weiße Leute um den Butler-Kuchen stritten, wurden die von Butler erwähnten Gruppen zu den Zielscheiben des Backlashes. Interessant ist, dass der CSD e.V. diese einerseits mit Butlers Flugkosten kaufen will und andererseits zu den „Schuldigen“ an ihrem Rassismusvorwurf, der scheinbar keiner Antwort bedarf, erklärt. Neben Teile-und-Herrsche-Versuchen (siehe Kommentar von Bodo Wiese) zwischen den Vereinen sowie zwischen Transleuten (scheinbar alle weiß) und Queers of Colour (scheinbar alle geschlechtskonform) fällt v.a. auf, wie der CSD e.V. Butlers klare Worte auf ein persönliches Problem, das einzelne Queers of Colour scheinbar mit einzelnen weißen Funktionären haben, reduzieren will, und hierdurch auch wieder seine homonationalistischen Loyalitäten bezeugt.

Unterdessen sind wir mit den eigentlichen Aufgaben konfrontiert. Wie kann die neue Sichtbarkeit von Rassismus als Problem, das schwullesbische, Queer- und Transgender-Szenen durchzieht, uns in progressivere Richtungen bewegen? Neben der manipulierten Moralpanik über „homophobe Migranten“ und einer Hassindustrie, in der einige auf Kosten vieler profitieren, dürfte der Ausspruch der CSD-Moderatoren „Ihr seid nicht die Mehrheit“, dessen Echos neben den immer unverhohleren Türpolitiken von Schöneberger Diskos wie dem Connection auch im ganz normalen Alltagsrassismus in Queer- und Trans-Szenen wiederhallen, hierfür gute Einstiegspunkte bilden. Weiterhin bedarf es eines Outings der globalisierenden Rolle von CSD-Paraden nicht nur als Kommerz-Maschinen sondern auch als Grenzmarkierer zwischen „modernen“ Ländern und solchen, die entweder aufholen oder mit militärischen Sanktionen, Entzug sogenannter „Entwicklungshilfe“ oder Visa- und Einwanderungskontrollen bedroht werden müssen. A propos CSD und Kommerzialisierung bleibt auch offen, ob sich die derzeitige Stonewall-Nostalgie in Anti-Gentrifizierungs und –Militarisierungsbewegungen verwandeln wird. Während in New York reiche weiße Schwule private Bullen einsetzen, um Queer und Trans of Colour Street Kids von den Christopher Street Piers zu räumen, werden Kreuzberg, Neukölln und Schöneberg zu den Tatorten einer Hassgewaltdebatte, welche die rasche Verdrängung und Kriminalisierung von Leuten of Colour aus diesen Bezirken normalisiert und beschönigt. Wie verhält man sich gegenüber Kiezen, nachdem man sie als „unsere Kieze“ vereinnahmt hat? Was trägt man neben steigenden Mieten, Ethno-Konsum und politisch korrigiertem Polizei-Einsatz zu ihnen bei? Es bleibt abzuwarten, wer diese Fragen zu den eigenen machen wird.

SUSPECT, 14. Juli 2010

Samstag, 10. Juli 2010

Extracts from the AVIVA-Interview with Judith Butler

AVIVA-Interview with Judith Butler
Zimmer, Heidingsfelder, Adler

"I must distance myself from this complicity with racism" - with these words, the famous philosopher and gender-theorist refused the "Civil Courage Prize" at the CSD in Berlin, June 2010.

The full interview can be found here.

CSD and Gender

AVIVA-Berlin: You refused the prize for civil courage at CSD in Berlin. Would you have accepted a prize for moral courage at the alternative CSD, that is taking place in Kreuzberg on June 26th?
Judith Butler: Yes, I suppose I would have! I am only sorry that I did not understand the political situation in Berlin earlier. I intended to take the prize when I arrived, and I was quite surprised by the number of groups and individuals throughout Europe who encouraged me not too.

AVIVA-Berlin: You criticised the hosts of Berlin CSD 2010 for losing sight of double discrimination, not distancing themselves from ´racist statements´ and making the whole event superficial. You have made these issues visible. Can you please tell us more about what exactly you are refering to?
Judith Butler: I never used the word "superficial." I believe that this was attributed to me by someone who helped organize the CSD. The problem was not that the event was superficial, but that the CSD is linked with several groups and individuals who engage in a very strong anti-immigrant discourse, referring to people from north Africa, Turkey, and various Arab countries as less modern or more primitive. Although we can find homophobia in many places, including those of religious and racial minorities, we would be making a very serious error if we tried to fight homophobia by propagating stereotypical and debasing constructions of other minorities. My view is that the struggle against homophobia must be linked with the struggle against racism, and that subjugated minorities have to find ways of working in coalition. It was brought to my attention that the various groups that struggle against racism and homophobia are not part of the CSD list of affiliates.

AVIVA-Berlin: In their defense the hosts argued that you were on a tight schedule and might not have noticed all the activities against disrimination that took place during and before the parade. Where do you think the hosts might have officially shown more moral courage?
Judith Butler: I do not doubt that some people and some events at the CSD were designed to show an opposition to discrimination of various kinds. But many of the people in leadership roles, including Jan Feddersen and Rudolph Hampel, have been very strong in demonizing new immigrant communities, allying gay politics with anti-immigration politics, and refusing the racial and religious diversity of contemporary Europe. Some of these tactics are very problematic, including that of the group, Maneo. The CSD needs very much to refuse affiliation with groups that promote racism. It makes no sense to struggle to overcome the subjugation of one minority by increasing the subjugation of another. This is especially true when one realizes the importance of queer, trans, gay, lesbian, and bi people within minority migrant communities.

AVIVA-Berlin: Before you arrived in Berlin did you know that you would reject the prize?
Judith Butler: No, I was excited about coming, and very eager for the event. It came as a surprise to me that so many people in Berlin, in other cities in Germany, but also in Belgium, the UK, the Netherlands, France, and the US, contacted me to ask me not to accept the prize. I realized that there were political divisions in the Berlin community that need to be addressed more directly and productively by the CSD and other major gay and lesbian organizations.

AVIVA-Berlin: How could the CSD become more politcal? And what do you think about the fact that the CSD in Berlin is split up into two different events: the parade and the alternative CSD in Kreuzberg.
Judith Butler: I suppose I had assumed that some of the same people go to CSD Berlin and to CSD Kreuzberg. But what I had not considered was how many people refuse to go to CSD Berlin precisely because it has not taken a strong stand against racism and the targetting of new migrant communities. Perhaps the problem is not that CSD should become "more political" but rather which politics the CSD should pursue. If the mainstream gay movement continues to ally itself with European cultural norms of purity or if it does not openly affirm the equal rights of minorities, then it will remain in conflict with various activists who either emerge from minority communities or who are committed to anti-racism as part of their politics.

AVIVA-Berlin: What does Christopher Street Day mean to you personally?
Judith Butler: You know, Christopher Street is the place in New York where the famous Stonewall resistance happened a few decades ago. It is, for me, the name of a place where resistance to police violence and harassment takes place. I think it is important to enter the streets, to lay claim to public space, to overcome fear, to assert pride, and to exercise the right to take pleasure in ways that harm no one. All of these are key ideals. I like the pageantry and the joy. But if we ask about how to oppose violence during these times, we have to consider the way that new immigrant communities are subject to right-wing street violence, how they are subject to racial profiling and harassment by police, and we have to object to harassment and violence against all minorities. Indeed, the opposition to illegitimate state violence and various forms of cultural pathologization are crucial to the queer movement more generally. So if we fight for the rights of gay people to walk the street freely, we have to realize first that some significant number of those people are also in jeopardy because of anti-immigrant violence - this is what we call "double jeopardy" in English. Secondly, we have to consider that if we object to the illegitimate and subjugating use of violence against one community, we cannot condone it in relation to another! In this way, the queer movement has to be committed to social equality, and to pursuing freedom under conditions of social equality. This is very different from the new libertarianism that cares only for personal liberty, is dedicated to defending individualism, and often allies with police and state power, including new forms of nationalism, European purity, and militarism.

AVIVA-Berlin: Your philosophy is often classified as part of pop-culture. Actually, especially in Germany many people refer to your book "Gender Trouble" and link your name to the idea of freely "choosing" and "creating" gender although your theory is not euphoric and includes melancholy and political engagement against any form of discrimination. How do you feel being considered as a pop-icon?
Judith Butler: I am not sure I am a pop-icon. I don´t read those kinds of commentaries. But if the arguments of Gender Trouble have made their way into popular culture, then I am pleased. It seems to me that academic work only becomes part of a larger social movement by assuming a popular form. The misreadings are interesting to me, and perhaps say more about the social needs of one´s readers than the text itself. In any case, my effort has been to show that even though we are in some ways formed by social norms, we are not determined by them. We can struggle with them, through them, and against them. I presume that some people are drawn to the work because it tries to understand agency in the midst of social power.

[…]

Samstag, 3. Juli 2010

Judith Butler Interview in tageszeitung (in German): Racial profiling by gay homophobia helplines is a 'racist act'

Interview vom 01.07.2010, taz

Judith Butler über soziale Gerechtigkeit
"Ich bin für Spaß und Genuss"

Die Geschlechterforscherin Judith Butler über Rassismus, Homophobie und das Problem, etwas Falsches durch etwas anderes Falsches korrigieren zu wollen.


Judith Butler: "Ich denke, dass das Recht auf Vergnügen nicht wichtiger ist als das Bekenntnis zu sozialer Gerechtigkeit." Foto: jerry bauer/suhrkamp verlag


taz: Frau Butler, in welcher Weise sehen Sie den Berliner CSD in Komplizenschaft mit Rassismus?


Judith Butler: Mehrere der Organisatoren und Sponsoren haben öffentlich Meinungen vertreten, die Communitys türkischer, nordafrikanischer und arabischer Herkunft herabwürdigen.

Wen meinen Sie damit?

Ich spreche von Inhalten, die zum Beispiel auf Webseiten vertreten werden. Ich betrachte diese Beiträge als Formen von Rassismus, denen man entgegentreten muss. Ich war auch darüber alarmiert, was für ziemlich schreckliche Stereotype unter einigen der prominentesten Figuren beim Berliner CSD zirkulierten. Natürlich haben nicht alle Organisatoren des CSD solche Äußerungen gemacht, aber die Tatsche, dass solche Äußerungen von den jetzigen Organisatoren nicht verurteilt worden sind, war genug, um mich zu überzeugen, dass die Annahme des Preises eine Komplizenschaft mit Rassismus bedeuten würde.
Anzeige

Haben Sie sich mit mehreren Gruppen getroffen, bevor Sie den Preis verweigert haben?

Ja, ich habe mich mit mehreren Gruppen getroffen und wurde auch von mehreren anderen Gruppen in Europa und den Vereinigten Staaten gebeten, unter diesen Bedingungen den Preis nicht anzunehmen.

Wann haben Sie sich entschlossen, den Preis nicht anzunehmen?

Endgültig habe ich mich am Abend vor der Preisübergabe dazu entschlossen.

Einer der kontrovers diskutierten Punkte in letzter Zeit in Berlin betrifft das Vorgehen des schwulen Überfalltelefons "Maneo". Auf Fragebögen zur Erfassung homophober Gewalt wird die Möglichkeit angeboten, den ethnischen Hintergrund des Angreifers anzugeben …

Ich denke, dass das eine rassistische Vorgehensweise ist. Beschuldigen wir alle Juden, wenn eine jüdische Person etwas Falsches getan hat? Beschuldigen wir alle Frauen, wenn eine Frau etwas Falsches getan hat? Wenn jemand etwas Kriminelles getan hat, ist die Handlung kriminell, nicht die Person, und nicht der ethnische oder religiöse Hintergrund einer Person. Eine solche Taktik ist bestrebt, Minderheiten für Handlungen verantwortlich zu machen, die sicherlich genauso häufig von rechtsextremen Deutschen begangen werden, deren nationale Zugehörigkeit nicht erwähnenswert ist. Sicherlich muss jede Kampagne gegen Homophobie dafür sorgen, dass der absolut falsche Charakter jedes Angriffs von sexuellen Minderheiten oder Gender-Minderheiten, und dazu gehören auch Transsexuelle, Aufmerksamkeit bekommt. Aber sie muss auch die Bürgerrechte aller Menschen schützen, und dazu gehören alle Minderheiten. Als jemand mit einem jüdischen Hintergrund bin ich sehr alarmiert, wenn man den ethnischen oder religiösen Hintergrund auf einem solchen Fragebogen angeben soll. Es läuft darauf hinaus, Minderheiten zur Zielscheibe zu machen, und es kann nicht richtig sein, etwas Falsches zu korrigieren, indem man erneut etwas Falsches macht.

Eine Studie des Soziologen Bernd Simon von der Universität Kiel besagt, dass eine homophobe Einstellung bei Jugendlichen, die aus der ehemaligen Sowjetunion, der Türkei oder arabischen Ländern stammen, stärker ist als bei Jugendlichen ohne Migrationshintergrund.

Eine interessante Studie, keine Frage. Aber wirft sie auch einen Blick auf homophobe Attacken von jugendlichen und erwachsenen Neonazis? Und was ist der Zusammenhang zwischen Homophobie und rechtsextremen Bewegungen? Wir müssen mit diesen Studien vorsichtig sein, weil wir nicht wissen, wie sie ihre Untersuchungsgesamtheit finden und wie die Interviews geführt werden.

Eine wirksame Präventionsstrategie kommt Ihrer Meinung nach also ohne die Information ethnischer Zugehörigkeit aus. Sollte man auf diese Angabe verzichten?

Es ist eine Art und Weise, ein rassisches Profil zu erstellen, was eine Beschneidung der Menschenrechte bedeutet. Hochinteressant und dringend wäre es erstens, alle Formen homophober Gewalt zu berücksichtigen, inklusive derer, die von Rechtsextremen begangen werden - und zu gucken, wie die "Fakten" aussehen würden, wenn wir diese Frage stellen. Und zweitens mit Gruppen farbiger Queers, die aus Migrantencommunitys kommen, zusammenzuarbeiten, die immer mit der Frage von Rassismus innerhalb der "queer community" umgehen müssen sowie mit der Frage von Homophobie innerhalb und außerhalb der Minderheitencommunitys. Nur dann können wir ein echtes Bild sich überschneidender Unterdrückungen bekommen und eine weitreichende und wirksame Koalition gegen Gewalt ermöglichen.


Wenn Sie denken, die ethnische Zugehörigkeit von Gay-Bashern sollte nicht diskutiert werden, wie kann eine solche Strategie von einer Haltung unterschieden werden, die Homophobie nicht ernst nimmt?

Homophobie ernst zu nehmen, heißt zu akzeptieren, dass sie auf unterschiedlichen Ebenen existiert und in verschiedenen Schichten der Gesellschaft. Wir sollten uns für die Homophobie innerhalb der CDU oder innerhalb der katholischen Kirche interessieren, aber auch unter Liberalen der Mittelklasse und neuen rechtspopulären Organisationen. Wenn wir dann vielleicht Homophobie innerhalb von Migrantencommunitys in Betracht ziehen, würden wir eine Art und Weise des Nachdenkens über Homophobie haben, die Rassismus nicht wiederholt. Aber untersuchen wir das Problem? Oder versuchen wir, diese Homophobie zu bekämpfen? Wenn wir das versuchen, müssen wir es in einem Zusammenhang einer Allianz machen, für die der Kampf gegen Rassismus genauso wichtig ist wie der Kampf gegen Homophobie.

Geht Ihre Argumentation nicht davon aus, dass der Kampf gegen Rassismus wichtiger ist als der Kampf gegen Homophobie?

Nein, sie sind beide gleichermaßen inakzeptabel.

Sie haben Hamas und Hisbollah als einen Teil der Linken bezeichnet. Gibt es für diese beiden palästinensischen Organisationen einen Platz innerhalb einer queeren Koalition gegen Rassismus und Homophobie?

Mir ist klar, dass einige Leute mich in der Weise zitiert haben, dass ich Hamas und Hisbollah als links verstehen würde. Bei dem Statement in seiner Gänze betrachtet, als Antwort auf eine Frage, die aus dem Publikum kam, ging es allerdings darum, dass diese Bewegungen zwar als links beschreibbar sind, aber dass man, wie mit jeder Bewegung auf Seiten der Linken, entscheiden muss, ob es eine Bewegung ist, die man unterstützt oder nicht. Ich habe niemals eine dieser Bewegungen unterstützt, und da ich mich selber zur Gewaltlosigkeit verpflichtet fühle, wäre es für mich auch unmöglich, eine von ihnen zu unterstützen. Es ließe sich viel dazu sagen, wie sie sich gebildet haben und was ihre Ziele sind und in welcher Weise sie einen Kampf gegen Kolonialismus und Imperialismus darstellen. Aber dabei geht es für mich um analytische und beschreibende Arbeit - nicht um Anhänglichkeit oder Unterstützung.

In welcher Weise ist die Situation in Ländern wie den Vereinigten Staaten und Deutschland in Bezug auf Rassismus, Homophobie und ihre Überschneidungen vergleichbar?

Ich bin nicht in der Lage, Verallgemeinerungen dieser Art vorzunehmen. Aber ich habe bemerkt, dass in Deutschland unter Rassismus oftmals nur Antisemitismus verstanden wird, und es ist weit verbreitet, den Verweis auf "Rasse" zurückzuweisen unter Berufung darauf, dass diese Kategorie selbst Rassismus vorantreibt. Aber wir müssen in der Lage sein, die verschiedenen ineinander verzahnten Geschichten von Rassismus zu verstehen, Antisemitismus und Anti-Schwarzen-Rassismus zum Beispiel. Es gibt historisch neue Formen des Rassismus, die wir untersuchen und gegen die wir uns stellen müssen, also hoffe ich, dass der Diskurs über Rasse und Rassismus in den kommenden Jahren präziser und gründlicher wird.

Haben wir tatsächlich zwei verschiedenen Welten, die kommerzielle weiße schwule Welt auf der einen Seite und die multikulturelle, queere, politische auf der anderen?

Ich glaube nicht, dass das Problem darin liegt, dass die eine Gruppe zu dem einen und die andere zum anderen Event geht. In der Tat habe ich angenommen, dass es Überlappungen gibt, deshalb habe ich auch überhaupt erst zugesagt. Es ist mir relativ egal, ob diese Veranstaltungen kommerziell sind. Aber es ist mir nicht egal, wenn Organisatoren und Sponsoren der Veranstaltungen an rassistischen Praktiken teilhaben oder offene Verachtung für Minderheiten äußern. Für mich ist "queer" eine aktive Bewegung unter Minderheiten, die zu Koalitionen führen sollte, und wenn eine Minderheit im Namen einer anderen geopfert wird, hat die Bewegung ihren politischen Anspruch auf Gerechtigkeit und Gleichheit verloren. Ich bin für Spaß und Genuss, und ohne Frage genieße ich auch kommerzielle Vergnügen, aber ich denke nicht, dass das Recht auf Vergnügen wichtiger ist als das Bekenntnis zu sozialer Gerechtigkeit. Ich habe sozusagen deutlich gemacht, wozu ich mich verpflichtet fühle.

INTERVIEW: PETER REHBERG

***********
Das Problem

Judith Butler hat den Zivilcourage-Preis des Berliner CSD abgelehnt. Ihre Begründung war, dass der CSD sich gegenüber Rassismus nicht ausreichend distanzieren würde - und zu kommerziell wäre, im Unterschied zum transgenialen CSD, den Butler als politisch versteht. Ihre Ablehnung stützt Butler vor allem auf Versuche, Schwulenfeindlichkeit besonders bei ethnischen Minderheiten zu thematisieren. Eine solche Haltung wird von Judith Butler als rassistisch abgelehnt. Stattdessen fordert sie ein "Nachdenken über Homophobie, das Rassismus nicht wiederholt".

Article in Junge Welt exposes racist Pride oligarchy (in German)

Artikel erschienen am 25. Juni 2010, junge Welt


Krasse Form
Linke, Transen, Lesben, Schwule, Queers in Berlin – heraus zum Transgenialen CSD!
Von Dirk Hein


Morgen findet in Berlin-Neukölln der Transgeniale Christopher Street Day (CSD) statt. Die linke Opposition zum Mainstream-CSD, der voriges Wochenende über die kommerzielle Bühne ging. Bei dieser Massenveranstaltung sollte die international bekannte Philosophin und Gender-Theoretikerin Judith Butler einen »Preis für Zivilcourage« bekommen, was diese aber öffentlichkeitswirksam ablehnte und genau das aussprach, was linke Lesben, Schwule und Transgender am CSD schon seit Jahren kritisieren: Er ist karnevalesk, konsumorientiert und unpolitisch. Außerdem beteiligen sich Funktionäre der stets unbedeutender werdenden und biederen Mainstream-Homobewegung an antimuslimischer und rassistischer Stimmungsmache. Neben den Werbepartnern und Zehntausenden heterosexuellen Zaun- und Partygästen nimmt am normalen CSD kaum mehr ein Homo teil, der noch halbwegs mit Herz und Hirn ausgestattet ist.

Butler hatte den Organisatoren dieses bestenfalls nervigen Homo-Events vorgeworfen, daß ihnen »an der Auseinandersetzung mit dem eigenen Rassismus nicht gelegen« sei und damit in ein Wespennest gestochen. Die Funktionsträger des Berliner Homoklüngels gaben sich pikiert und wiesen den Vorwurf, gemeinsame Sache mit Rassisten zu machen, empört von sich.

Ausgerechnet Jan Feddersen, taz-Redakteur für besondere Aufgaben und von 2005 bis 2009 »politischer Koordinator« des Berliner CSD, warf Butler in seiner Hauspostille »eine krasse Form der Taktlosigkeit den Veranstaltern gegenüber« und »eine Täuschung in eigener Sache und die ihrer Gastgeber« vor. »In welcher Hinsicht der Berliner CSD im Gegensatz zum ›Transgenialen CSD‹ rassistisch sein soll, bleibt bis heute im dunkeln«, so Feddersen weiter. Dabei war es der taz-Redakteur selbst, der in der Vergangenheit pauschal Jugendliche islamischer Prägung als »öffentliche Gefahr« ausmachte und außerdem im offiziellen CSD-Programmheft von 2003 über einen »arabischen Mob« herzog.

Thomas Birk, schwulenpolitischer Sprecher der Grünen im Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus, bezeichnete die Kritik Butlers im Tagesspiegel als »Affront«, der fatal sei für das Image der Stadt. Tatsächlich fatal ist die Politik des selbsternannten Antigewaltprojekts »Maneo«, in dessen Vorstand Birks Partner Rudolf Hampel sitzt, das aufgrund seiner rassistischen Ausfälle gegen Migranten über die Grenzen Berlins hinaus bekannt wurde.

Judith Butler forderte auf dem CSD dazu auf, den transgenialen CSD zu besuchen, der auch von schwul-lesbischen Migrantengruppen wie den »Gays & Lesbians aus der Türkei« (GLADT) mitorganisiert wird. Unter dem Motto »Gewaltige Zeiten – Gewaltiger queerer Widerstand!« versteht sich die Veranstaltung als politische Demonstration. So besteht zumindest die Hoffnung, daß die linken Aktivisten ihren »gewaltigen Widerstand« nicht nur wie vorgesehen gegen Krieg, Rassismus, soziale Verdrängung und Ausgrenzung in Stellung bringen, sondern auch gegen Vetternwirtschaft und rassistische Stimmungsmache in der eigenen Community.

Mittwoch, 30. Juni 2010

Message from Queer NL (Netherlands)

Queer NL, an autonomous, non-funded activist collective in the Netherlands, applauds Judith Butler’s recent refusal of the Zivilcourage Prize at Berlin’s 2010 Pride celebrations and re-dedication of the award to SUSPECT, ReachOut, GLADT – local queer and trans activist groups of colour in Germany. We congratulate the intelligent activism of these groups who lobbied to make Butler more aware of the politics of the CSD Pride and who found a representative voice of authority and partner in solidarity in her.



Butler’s sharp and timely criticism addresses mainstream gay politics in the West in a very direct manner, pointing out how their seemingly progressive gay agenda is becoming increasingly homonormative and commercially oriented on the one side, as well as accompanied by a covert Islamophobia and racialised prejudices about migrant communities on the other.



The issues that Butler spoke out for at the Pride celebrations in Berlin are also a matter of deep concern in the Netherlands. Within the current national political scenario, where migrants are by default assumed to be homophobic and have to prove their liberal credentials in naturalisation tests, where gay rights are being misappropriated by right-wing neoliberal parties to promote anti-immigrant and anti-poor national policies, Queer NL believes that debates around sexuality rights must be seen in the specific context of race and class inequalities and depart from an intersectional analysis of oppression that recognizes race, gender, class and sexual oppression as interlocking systems. We denounce fear mongering and all forms of minority bashing, stereotyping and intolerance. Queer NL wishes to emphasise that queer politics should not create its own peripheries. Nuance and sensitivity to the very fragile life situations of queer people of colour is required more than promoting a universalised “With-us-or-against-us”-formula of Western homosexuality. A constructive, collective and creative opposition to sexism, transphobia, racism, cultural exclusion and neoliberalism are all of great importance to our struggle. Instead of commercially celebrating an illusion of tolerance and diversity, pride events should address these important issues until they are solved and a dignified existence is ensured for all members of the queer community.

www.queer-nl.org

queernl@gmail.com

Sex Inter/National Introduction Talk, June 28, 2010 - by Andil Gosine

Good evening and welcome to all of you.

As many of our friends and neighbors continue to be detained or face charges related to this weekend’s demonstration of State-mandated violence, it must feel odd to turn our attention, now, this evening, to something—to anything else.

There are many links, of course, between this weekend’s events and tonight’s intended discussion of politics and nationalism.

I want to draw your attention to just one, captured in that wonderful protest chant of an upbeat and peaceful crowd cheering on those lovely boys offering lap dances to the police at the barricades: you’re sexy, you’re cute, take off your riot suit!

This beautiful queer moment showcased the kind of clever, ethical and meaningful creative political response that I think our conversation here tonight similarly aspires toward.

By that I don’t mean you’ll get to see any lapdances tonight – well none are planned – but you will hear from people trying to figure out creative ways to form ethical, informed and meaningful political responses to the policing of and punishments given to certain kinds of sex.

Over the last few weeks, Toronto’s queer community has witnessed a lot of creative political organizing. When four members of Pride Toronto’s Board voted to censor the words “Israeli Apartheid,” queer men and women rose in protest against the poor judgment of a small group.

A doctor and a writer, a DJ/lawyer and a social worker, a filmmaker and a Volunteer Coordinator, a newspaper publisher and a playwright, a Liberal Zionist and a bike mechanic, and of course those phenomenal Lesbian Revengers —one by one people from all walks of life—though shamefully not a single elected official!—came together to say no, we will not be silenced.

The Pride Coalition for Free Speech, whose overflowing meetings looked more like the City of Toronto than any other queer space I have ever encountered - has won this round. The ban is gone. Queers Against Israeli Apartheid will march down Yonge Street next Sunday.

The reversal is an important step, but a first step, for the ban has worked to unleash anger and frustration about much more than censorship;

We have now heard from Blockorama and Asian Xpress, from Nik Red and Kenji Kenjiro about how they feel Pride has marginalized Black, Asian and trans communities;

We have heard from those who are fed up with the vapid and unfettered commercialization of what was once primarily a fight for sexual freedom, a fight for love;

We have heard from Dykes who will take the March back and from environmentalists opposed to the overconsumption that has come to characterize mainstream gay culture;

We have heard from some people invested in returning Pride to its political roots, and from others (myself included) who have said, this parade, these names, this rainbow flag is perhaps not for everyone everywhere, is perhaps not for me.

Tonight we will enter into a set of conversations that cut across many of the questions that have been raised over the last few weeks and that are also at the heart of QUAIA’s work.

Not just in Toronto but across the world, queer communities and LGBT organizations are being asked to account for some of their failures including: an often arrogant and dangerous tendency to impose one model of organizing and one understanding of sexual politics and culture for everyone, and without due attention to their sometimes violent implications; their reluctance to acknowledge or challenge racism, and their complicity with nationalist projects that punish and vilify the most marginalized and the most demonized peoples: immigrants and refugees, people living under occupation, people living in postcolonial states in the Global South, persecuted ethnic and religious minorities, trans people, economically dispossessed people.

Last week, a group of queer people of colour and trans activists, including the organization SUSPECT, helped convince the iconic queer scholar Judith Butler to refuse the ZivilCourage Award offered to her by the local Pride committee.

In refusing the award, Butler called attention to the ways in which Berlin LGBT organizations were inciting racism, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment in their declarations of gay pride. Not just in Berlin, but in Stockholm and London, in New York and San Francisco, in Paris and Amsterdam—invocations of hate against Muslims and Arabs, against people of colour, against immigrants, against people of the Global South—are being cloaked in cheers of gay pride.

Sometimes, this homonationalism is pursued explicitly, as in B’nai Brith President Frank Diamant’s recent reaction to Pride Toronto’s reversal of the ban on the phrase “Israeli apartheid.” Mr. Diamant commented,

“It is an irony that the same Islamists who propagate the lies about the Jewish State that the members of QuAIA are regurgitating, are also unequivocally homophobic.
It is a shame that the only Middle Eastern state that QuAIA wish to target, Israel, is also the only state in that region where a Pride parade could take place.”

Mr. Diamant recently shared a panel at a G20 conference on faith with such stalwarts of gay liberation as Karl Rove, and the Presidents of the Canadian Family Action and Canada Christian College – organizations that have poured enormous energy and a great deal of money into fighting gay marriage abortion rights and sex education here and the world over. But in the battle against QUAIA, Mr. Diamant recasts himself as Queer Hero, and pinkwashes the Israeli State as refuge for gay and lesbian Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians, despite its institutionalization of an apartheid system and maintenance of a blockade and violent militarism that punishes all Palestinians, including queer Palestinians.

Sometimes gay pride and racism-nationalism are strewn together with more subtlety.

Last fall I watched in horror as mostly queer Toronto audiences enthusiastically cheered on performances of “To Be Straight With You,” by my otherwise favourite dance company DV8. The centerpiece of the show was a literal splitting of the world into the “good” global North and “bad” global South, with characters taking African, Asian and, of course, Caribbean accents to tell stories of how brown and black and yellow queers have to be saved from the barbarism of their own people, and rescued by enlightened gays and lesbians like Peter Tatchell, and by extension, their nations like Israel, Canada, the UK and Sweden.

It’s what we hear from many organizations working at an international level.

It’s what we see in films like the one originally scheduled for screening tonight, which in its trailer trots out one body of colour after another to declare how homophobic his or her people are, and how much solace is to be found in the arms of liberal Canada.

As was put forward in Frank Diamant’s statement against QUAIA, events like Pride which typify a certain kind of gay liberalism, have come to be viewed as new markers of progress, allowing places like Canada and Sweden, and also Israel, to be tagged as “civilized and Open” and others like Jamaica, Uganda and Iran to be reviled as the most backward, homophobic places on Earth.

If a country has a big loud Pride parade with a lot of rainbow flags, that’s seen as a sign of progressive sexual liberation, and if it doesn’t that absence must mean oppression.

This view of freedom makes no room for an understanding that sexual cultures might not be universal, and might operate differently in different places—and does not recognize that the demand to experience and express love and desire in certain ways can have horrific consequences for the people whose lives are claimed to be help (I’m thinking here especially of the suicide of the Indian Professor Dr Sreenivas Siras after he was forced to take up the mantle of gay liberation in his retiring years).

One of the most commonly mentioned pieces of evidence of a people’s savagery is anti-sodomy law.

The irony of using existence of laws criminalizing anal sex to name who is civilized and who is not is that they were put in place by Britain and other colonial powers in Jamaica, in India, in Uganda, to do the very same thing: mark civilized peoples from uncivilized ones—only now the conditions have been reversed.

Now, if you’re a country with anti-sodomy laws, you’re marked as a barbaric state, but not so long ago, having the laws meant were what made you civilized, having been concocted by Europeans anxious about open and freer forms of sexuality, including homosexuality, they encountered in colonies.

It’s as ridiculous for Zimbabwe’s Mugabe and Uganda’s Musevni to claim those laws as defenses against “imperialist” pressures to legalize homosexuality as it is for LGBT rights activists to use their existence to condemn whole cultures of people.

Anti-sodomy laws are of course a problem, and ought to be opposed everywhere. Homophobia and heterosexism are certainly urgent problems requiring redress in Uganda and Jamaica and Palestine as they are also, in different ways and with different strengths of punishment and protections, in Canada and Israel.

To take a State law or a form of music or a religious code as a clear indicator of a whole society’s complex views of sexuality is extraordinarily arrogant.

Take my birth country of Trinidad and Tobago, which has some of the worst laws in the world. There, both male and female same-sex sexual activity are illegal with punishments of up to 25 years imprisonment, and an immigration act forbids gay men and women from entry to the country. And yet: Trinidad is by many other measures a very queer place, and I am certain that you are more likely to end up flirting with an Immigration officer than being kicked out by him or her, because no has ever been stopped from entry to Trinidad for being gay.

It is one thing to voice opposition to a law and quite another to make grand declarations that overlook the particular histories and contexts of how sexual regulation laws and anxieties developed in certain places, and to demand the same strategies and forms of politics for everyone everywhere.

As Angela Davis recently commented,

“The assumption that somehow people from the Global South, people of colour are more homophobic, is a racist assumption.

If you consider the extent to which the ideological structures of homophobia, of transphobia, or heteropatriarchy are embedded in all our institutions, the assumption that one group of people is going to be more homophobic than another group of people misses the mark.”



Perhaps no one quite appreciates the complexity of the task of simultaneously challenging homophobic ethno-nationalism and homonationalist racism, in these inescapably transnational times, as the people whose lives operate in spaces in these multiple pressures are strongly felt.

Tonight, we have the honour and the pleasure of hearing from two people who have taken a leading role in struggles for sexual rights in such places, who will share with us their insights on how to negotiate some very difficult tensions. Please join me in welcoming to the stage the Director of al-Qaws, a nonprofit organization working for sexual and gender diversity in Palestinian society, Haneen Maikey, and the Co-Founder of Caribbean Pride and the Coalition Advocating for Inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Colin Robinson.

VIDEOS OF SEX/INTERNATIONAL

Dienstag, 29. Juni 2010

Statement of Solidarity with BAB, GLADT, LesMigraS, ReachOut and SUSPECT

NextGenderation Homonationalism Working Group
June 30, 2010

The NextGenderation Homonationalism Working Group joyfully supports the subversion of the Civil Courage Award ceremony at the Christopher Street Day 2010 in Berlin. We applaud the way in which Judith Butler refused to accept the award in her own name, took a stance against racism and homonationalism within the LGBT movement, and offered the award to GLADT (www.gladt.de), LesMigraS (www.lesmigras.de), SUSPECT (http://nohomonationalism.blogspot.com), and ReachOut (www.reachoutberlin.de). We wholeheartedly recognize the powerful critical intersectional politics and organizing of queers racialized as non-white, who have incessantly and insistingly put critiques of racism and homonationalism – a term coined by Jasbir Puar – on the gay agenda, at the expense of marginalization and accusations. It is the consorted work of local and transnational organizing, including at least three decades of women-of-color feminism and migrant feminism that made this subversion of the Civil Courage Award possible. We would also like to acknowledge the work of Berlin Academic Boycott, as they side with Butler’s criticism of the Israeli regime and its attempts to use the LGBTI community to whitewash Israeli occupation and oppression, as well as with her support for the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) campaign. We stand in solidarity with GLADT, LesMigraS, SUSPECT, ReachOut and Berlin Academic Boycott in the struggle against racism, homonationalism and occupation.

In the aftermath of the subversion of the award ceremony, we were delighted to witness an outburst of transnational anti-racist and anti-colonial queer solidarity. We see this moment of solidarity as an opportunity to learn more about the insidious similarities and differences of homonationalist politics in different historical places. As a group that critically investigates, and strategizes against, homonationalist tendencies rising across many different national contexts, we know that the LGBT movement in Germany is far from the only one that is implicated in a rise in racism and nationalism. We have seen in many different countries how the signs of “gay rights” and “gay acceptance” have become yet more ammunition in an arsenal of weapons used to draw the symbolic and material borders of who belongs to ‘the nation’, ‘the civilized’, ‘the west,’ a ‘Europe’ – and who does not, i.e. specifically those racialized as migrants and Muslims. This occurs through a partial incorporation of sexual minorities and rights into the national imaginary, which goes hand in hand with the exclusion of a whole range of queer lives which are racialized as ‘other’. Many times it also goes hand in hand with the violent promotion by the state of heteropatriarchal norms in poor communities, communities of color and immigrant communities—for example through marriage incentives for welfare recipients, the prison industrial complex or immigration law.



Single-issue politics can only ignore these contradictions or see them as a limiting factor, and so many white and mainstream LGBT movements are lured into national incorporation and effectively become agents of racism and homonationalism, and at times apologists for heteropatriarchy. We know thanks to the work of women-of-color feminists like Kimberlé Crenshaw that the turn to the contradictions between seemingly different struggles enables movements to grow stronger. We too seek to strengthen those queer and anti-racist politics that are capable of connecting the struggles against the racisms, nationalisms and wars of our times with the struggles against heteropatriarchy, homophobia and transphobia, and we certainly refuse the instrumentalization of gay rights for racist, nationalist, Islamophobic, and civilizational agendas.

Montag, 28. Juni 2010

Where Now? From Pride Scandal to Transnational Movement

June 26, 2010
http://bullybloggers.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/where-now-from-pride-scandal-to-transnational-movement/

What in Germany has become ‘The Butler Scandal’ – Butler’s refusal of the Zivilcourage Award from Pride Berlin (egs.edu/faculty/judith-butler/articles/i-must-distance-myself/, youtube.com/watch?v=BV9dd6r361k&feature=player_embedded), which spread like wildfire through daily newspapers, facebook, queer blogs and e-lists, and even German TV (youtube.com/watch?v=QHztUv95osU&feature=player_embedded) – has shaken up and reconstituted the local and transnational terrain of anti-racist queer politics and critique in exciting but also challenging ways. The topic of gay racism, maybe for the first time, has found a sizeable public. In the past, the terms “racism” and “anti-Muslim racism” have made only rare entries into a mediascape which normally prefers to talk of prejudice against Ausländer – ‘foreigners.’ For a week, people of colour in Berlin – both queer and straight – have had the rare privilege of being ecstatic.

Nevertheless, the public and counter-public production of this event entails certain problems and dangers which need to be critically addressed and carefully managed. We have already discussed the whitewashing of Butler’s refusal by the mainstream media, which has largely erased not only gay racism, but also the basic fact of queer/trans of colour existence (nohomonationalism.blogspot.com/2010/06/judith-butler-refuses-berlin-pride.html). On a smaller yet more immediate scale, this was repeated by some of our alternative white friends who, having missed the whole problem with Pride, let alone with the nomination of a public intellectual who has opposed the incorporation of gay rights into racism, border control and militarism, began to wonder out loud whether the prize money should now rightfully be theirs. (The ‘awarded’ groups, meanwhile, were almost bemused when Pride belatedly announced they should come to pick up Butler’s leftovers.) The event has certainly ushered in a feel-good moment which may have de-politicizing effects. On the upside, some queer left spaces have begun to address racist complicities (transgenialercsd.wordpress.com/presse/), raising hopes that the homonationalist (dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=14425) establishment will be isolated in its obsession with ‘homophobic Muslims’, and its queering of racist and neoliberal agendas of safety, security, crime (including hate crime), gentrification, disentitlement, and border control.

As the event enfolds, and is produced as both newsworthy and worthy of scholarly attention, discussions have tended to focus on Butler as a person rather than the issues at hand, or at stake. This again threatens to sideline queer and trans people of colour in Germany, whose struggle may seem a little too far away for some to attend to in its own right. Besides the fight over the celebrity pie, there is now also the very real danger of backlash, as the offended ‘majority,’ to return to the Pride stage moderators’ remarkable assertion (nohomonationalism.blogspot.com/2010/06/judith-butler-refuses-berlin-pride.html), is rushing to find the culprits: For why on earth would a famous white person do such a thing – thus alienating hosts, fans and readers? To whom did Butler talk in advance of her refusal? If the dialogue over Butler’s response was just as transnational as the homonationalism and homocolonialism she responded to, the conspiracy theorists are already working hard to scapegoat and isolate individual queers of colour and queer migrant organizations. As Angela Davis put it in her commentary on the situation (youtube.com/watch?v=T0BzKCRgnj8), the terrain of struggle has changed, yet the division of labour, risk, and gains is lagging far behind.

How, then, may we channel the possibilities created by this moment into more helpful directions? How can we sustain the current interest, commitment and visibility without reproducing dominant frames of politics and knowledge production that prolong or even intensify the status quo?


Labour, Risks and Gains


As queer and trans people of colour and allies, we are painfully aware of dominant hierarchies of political and intellectual labour, pervasive both in the academic, media and non-profit industrial complexes (lipmagazine.org/articles/featdelmoral_nonprofit.htm, muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/journal_of_feminist_studies_in_religion/v023/23.2smith.html) and in less institutionalized and professionalized spaces. These are parasitic upon the bodies, experiences, and labour of those who are kept in the place of the deviant, developmental or exotic object of study, and who all too often are structurally excluded from formal education and employment. The claiming of a queer or trans of colour position is a complicated one, both demonized and desired, and often immediately dismissed for lack or excess of intelligence or authenticity. While these injustices need to be named and redressed, especially by those who currently benefit from them, we believe that the politicization and democratization of knowledge production must go far beyond this. How can we begin to understand knowledge and skills as something that must end in radical struggle and transformation, rather than on a CV? How do we redistribute not only the credit, but also the risks of labour? Take the question at hand: how has Butler’s refusal already been turned into an event from which some will gain while others may lose? Can it serve as a catalyst for white people and those with privileges (e.g. around racism or job precarity) to start confronting racist Pride oligarchies or addressing the violence in the spaces – from Pride stage to activist group to university to nation – which are more likely to invite them, and less likely to kick them out? On one of our blog pages (nohomonationalism.blogspot.com/2010/06/activist-writings-for-organic.html), we put it this way:

Radical movements and individual acts of bravery or brilliance in speaking out against injustice do not come from nowhere but are the result of collective labour and local and transnational histories of organizing. SUSPECT was initially formed in order to monitor the arrival of the racist hate crimes debates in Germany. Recognizing the importance of emancipatory peer education outside the academic industrial complex, we started off as a reading group in the rooms of a local queer of colour NGO in Berlin. In this bibliography, we would like to share some of the resources which we managed to get hold of here. We felt we needed to learn from our siblings and allies in places where the punitive turn of LGBT organizing had already happened. The work of Incite!, the women/trans of colour anti-violence organization in the US, was a particular inspiration to us. We focused on German-speaking texts and texts dealing with the consequences of relying on a criminal ‘justice’ system which disproportionately incarcerates poor people, people of colour, people with mental health problems, and gender non-conforming people – but we know there is lots more out there. Please help us annotate this bibliography and list of resources, and send us further links and references including short descriptions!

Different Futures: Where Now?

If Butler’s refusal was neither the work of an isolated individual, nor an event that can be either credited or blamed on individual queers of colour, neither was Pride Berlin 2010 an isolated event. The success in Berlin had forerunners in the struggle of queer and trans people of colour and their allies in Toronto against the displacement of Blockorama, the Black stage (nohomonationalism.blogspot.com/2010/06/letter-of-support-from-blockorama.html), and the banning of Queers Against Israeli Apartheid, which culminated in the collective return of Pride awards by all twenty-three nominees (youtube.com/watch?v=bIDeTsMZFYg) and QuAIA’s re-admission, at least for now, into the march (queersagainstapartheid.org/). The globalizing significance of Pride parades in not only corporatizing LGBT politics worldwide, but also drawing the line between those countries that are modern and those that need to either catch up or be punished, invaded, targeted through visa and other anti-immigration campaigns, or deprived of aid, echoed in our ears when the Pride stage moderator lectured at us that Pride will ‘just continue in its programme… No matter what… Worldwide and here in Berlin.’ Outside Pride, and overlapping with it, we have witnessed a worrying racialization of gender and sexuality, and a willingness to accept membership privileges in national communities which now like to represent themselves as friendly towards women, gays, and less frequently, trans people. If Butler’s refusal has become a scandal, much work remains to be done to expose how these new sexual contracts are brokered on the backs of those who are forced to carry the residues of homophobia, and are not incidentally marked as disposable through their race, class and inability to pass as a productive citizens and consumers. Neither are punitive approaches to sexual/criminal justice unique to Berlin. On the contrary, hate crimes legislation is rapidly exported as part of a ‘holy trinity’ (bilerico.com/2009/10/why_i_wont_come_out_on_national_coming_out_day) of hate crimes legislation, marriage, and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, through an increasingly globalized LGBT politics whose travels across the Atlantic, Europe, the Middle East and Africa often follow in the older footsteps of global feminisms. How do we turn this moment of celebrity scandal, and celebration, which has hit at the heart of the gay establishment, into one that outs and scandalizes homonormativity, homonationalism and gendered and sexual neo-colonialisms everywhere? How do we do this, again, in a way that spreads the risks, redistributes the gains, and tears the doors wide open?

For queer and trans people of colour in Berlin, the massive support we have received (including messages of solidarity from qtpoc activists, intellectuals, groups and allies in Canada, Turkey, France, UK, Russia, the US and South Africa, and countless unsolicited and often anonymous acts of labour, such as translations of our statement into Russian, French, Turkish, Spanish and Italian) promises immense opportunities for local and transnational community building. Alliances between queer and straight migrants, too, have been strengthened: one example is the opportunity of doing a special issue on racist and homophobic violence with a big migrant newsletter, whose editors reached out to us to in order to offer practical allied support. We ask for your help in sustaining the radical possibilities of the moment, and channelling it into practical solidarity and movement building. Visit our blog, endorse, leave messages of support (nohomonationalism.blogspot.com/2010/06/judith-butler-refuses-berlin-pride.html), include us in your networks, let us know about your struggles. Put us in touch with other anti-racist feminist, queer, trans, prison abolitionist groups that do related work, or have experience fighting criminalization and violence without taking recourse to state racism and neo-colonialism. Add our blog to your website, and spread the news. We love to hear from our allies everywhere, and we know that it gives others hope, too, to see us connect with and grow into a transnational movement for justice, of a kind that deserves this name.

Sonntag, 27. Juni 2010

How to contact us

usualsuspects@hotmail.de

Freitag, 25. Juni 2010

Cool Logo, Donated from Overseas!


Thank you to the generous artist, Andil Gosine, who is happy for this to be used everywhere, for postcards, flyers, T-shirts, etc! No credit needed, he says. www.andilgosine.com/

Donnerstag, 24. Juni 2010

Guidelines for Using this Blog

This blog is meant to fill a gaping hole in the political landscape: to enable queers and trans people who struggle against gay racism, homonationalism and gay imperialism, and our allies, to form local and transnational coalitions. It is thus meant as a networking tool to express solidarity and share about each other’s work in various places and connect multiple struggles against violence, in all its forms – from the intimate and interpersonal to the everyday, normalized violence of the market and the systematic targeting of racialized people inside Europe and in the countries of occupation and war by the prison and military industrial complex. Some of the comments which we received were openly racist or anti-Semitic, or simply abusive (along lines such as 'all Muslims are fundamentalists', or spouting conspiracy theories about Butler or SUSPECT as Hamas). Others were very supportive but consisted in short exclamations. Thank you for these, but please bear in mind that this blog is dedicated to queer/trans of colour networking and coalition building. If you simply wish to repeat what we hear every day, that people of colour are dangerous homophobes who should be locked up, deported, demonized or stripped off their rights, we will not publish your comment. Please write to the local daily newspapers instead – they will be glad to have you.

Thank you for supporting us,

SUSPECT

Solidarity Message from the Bent Bars Collective, London UK

The Bent Bars Project would like to publicly support and celebrate the ongoing work of SUSPECT and other queer and trans groups of colour in Berlin who are actively challenging racism within gay organisations and Pride activities. We also applaud Judith Butler’s decision to refuse the Zivilcourage Prize at Berlin’s 2010 Pride celebrations in order to highlight racism, particularly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant racism within white gay movements in Europe.

As an organisation that works to build solidarity and connect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer communities across prison walls, the Bent Bars Project is painfully aware of how racism and criminalisation work to expand imprisonment and increase violence, not only against LGBTQ people, but against all those who are disproportionately targeted by the criminal justice system.

Despite a long history in which LGBTQ people have been, and continue to be, targeted by the state violence, imprisonment, border controls and criminalization, many gay groups are taking up political strategies that allow such harms to be imposed on others. Whether allowing the language of “gay rights” to justify war and military occupation abroad, supporting hate crime laws which strengthen racist criminal justice systems or repeatedly suggesting that particular groups (e.g. Arabs, Muslims and immigrants) are inherently homophobic, backwards and ‘uncivilized’, many LGBTQ groups in Europe and North America are feeding harmful patterns of racism and violence.

Given the globally devastating effects of imprisonment, militarism and border controls, it is now more important than ever for queer and trans groups to refuse complicity with such trends. Judith Butler’s decision to turn down the Zivilcourage Prize and instead dedicate it to the organisations GLADT(www.gladt.de), LesMigraS (www.lesmigras.de), SUSPECT and ReachOut (www.reachoutberlin.de) marks an important example of such refusal and highlights the vital work of anti-racist queer groups in Berlin and elsewhere.

Bent Bars Project Organising Collective, London UK

Mittwoch, 23. Juni 2010

Siz Azınlıksınız, Biz Çoğunluğuz!

kaosgl.org/icerik/siz_azinliksiniz_biz_cogunluguz


Pazartesi, 21 Haziran, 2010
Haber: Ulaş Yılmaz

Judith Butler, 19 Haziran Cumartesi günü Berlin’de yapılan Eşcinsel Onur Günü Yürüyüşünde kendisine verilen Medeni Cesaret Ödülünü geri çevirdi.

Butlar, konuşmasında, ödülü almanın cesaretini kıracağını söyledi. Berlin’de gerçekten medeni cesaret gösteren GLADT, LesMigraS, LesbenBeratung, ReachOut ve Suspect gibi derneklerin bu yürüyüşte bulunmadıklarının altını çizen Butler, onu bu ödüle layık görenlerin, ırkçı, Yahudi düşmanı ve savaş yandaşı politikalar yapanlarla işbirliği halinde olduklarını vurguladı. Butler, yürüyüşe katılanları bir hafta sonra yapılacak olan Alternatif Eşcinsel Onur Günü Yürüyüşüne davet etmeyi de ihmal etmedi.
Judith Butler’in düzenleyicilerde soğuk duş etkisi yapan bu tavrı, katılımcılardan büyük alkış aldı. Daha sonra sahneye çıkan düzenleme komitesi üyesinin Butler'i alkışlayanlara “Siz, çoğunluk değilsiniz!” demesi ise kalabalıktan büyük tepki aldı.

Butler’a ödülünü vermek için onu sahneye çağıran Yeşiller Partisinin meclis grubu başkanı Renate Künast ve Sol Parti meclis grubu başkanı Gregor Gysi ise Butler’in konuşmasından sonra sahnede görülmediler. Berlin Belediye başkanı Klaus Wovereit’in da sahne arkasında hazır bulunduğu skandal, Berlin Eyalet televizyonuna yansıtılmadı. Hatta Wovereit’in aynı akşam yapılan röportajında Butler’in ödülü aldığı iddia edildi.

Butler, Ankara'da, Homofobi ve Transfobiye Karşı Yürüyüşe katılmıştı. (Fotoğraf: Ali Özbaş)

Ana sloganı “Normal olmak farklıdır!” olan bu yılki Berlin Eşcinsel Onur Günü Yürüyüşünün bu farklı normallik karşısındaki şaşkınlığının Berlin, Almanya ve dünya çapındaki etkileri pek çok çevreyi şaşırtacağa benziyor.

Kaos GL

On behalf of the Kent Centre for Law, Gender, and Sexuality (UK)

The Kent Center for Law, Gender, and Sexuality celebrates and supports Judith Butler’s refusal of the Zivilcourage Prize at Berlin’s 2010 Pride celebrations. Butler's refusal was intended to draw critical attention to the deeply troubling ways in which racism, islamophobia, and anti-immigrant sentiment have been used by some Berlin-based LGBT organizations in their efforts to contest homophobia. Butler’s decision to highlight racist and imperialist complicity in European white gay movements is part of a larger project of challenging “homonationalist” agendas (Puar 2007) which intimately weave together state-propagated agendas of securitization with hyper-individualized, corporate gay pride events and organising. Significantly, Butler points out in her speech delivered on 20 June 2010 that gay, bi, trans and queer people can be used by those who want to wage war. Indeed, in the current political climate of a long-standing anti-islamic and anti-arab global “war on terror”, these interlaced discourses strengthen the power of state-based and international laws that legitimize the use of violent detainment, deportation, and the tightening of borders as well as imperialist invasion and occupation. These strategies are disproportionally targeted at Muslim, Arab, and other racialised individuals and communities. As a feminist organization, we applaud Butler’s high profile refusal, which lends support to other antiracist feminist legal-oriented organizations such as LesMigraS (www.lesmigras.de), ReachOut (www.reachoutberlin.de), and SUSPECT (Berlin) that continue to struggle daily against homonationalist agendas the world over.

Solidarity from Communities of Resistance UK

On behalf of Communities of Resistance (UK),

As an organization committed to fighting the prison industrial complex (PIC), we celebrate and support Judith Butler’s refusal of the Zivilcourage Prize at Berlin’s 2010 Pride celebrations. Butler’s decision to highlight racist and imperialist complicity in European white gay movements is part of a larger project of challenging islamophobic and anti-immigrant sentiments which maintain and perpetuate the prison industrial complex.

The prison industrial complex is the network of governmental and private interests that uses prisons as a response to social, political and economic problems. The PIC includes all institutions, government branches, agencies, NGOs and businesses that have a financial, organisational or political interest in maintaining the prison system, such as border agencies and detention units, security corporations, prison construction companies, surveillance technology vendors, etc. This also includes the public discourses that circulate to legitimize the use of violent detainment, deportation, and tightened borders. In Western Europe this includes popular racist depictions of Arab, Muslim, and other immigrant individuals and communities of colour as homophobic, barbaric, and uncivilized – a discourse explicitly drawn upon by Berlin Pride in their media and organizing.

Of course, tactics that work in tandem with imperialist, war-mongering, and neo-liberal state-propagated agendas of securitization, are not isolated to Berlin Pride. These strategies are part of a trend of what Jasbir Puar has termed “homonationalism” (Puar 2007), and are resisted by anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-imperialist queer organizing such as Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (Toronto, Canada), and SUSPECT (Berlin, Germany). Unfortunately however, it is often queers of colour, who, after calling out complicity in hyper-individualized, racist white gay agendas, personally bear the brunt of the backlash from well-organized and well-funded (thanks to the growing corporatism of apolitical, identity-based pride events) white gay movements.

Judith Butler’s refusal of the Zivilcourage award was a high profile example of the resistance that anti-racist queers of colour do everyday in their challenging of homonationalist agendas the world over. This resistance also fights against the dominant discourses of racist, anti-immigrant sentiments that are so intimately tied to the prison industrial complex. It is with great respect and admiration that we celebrate not only Butler’s refusal, but the ongoing work of anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, and anti-racist queers of colour in Berlin, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Communities of Resistance (CoRe)

co-re.org.uk

X:Talk Migrant Sex Worker Rights Project in London Endorses the Struggle of Queers of Colour Against Homonationalism

Against homo-nationalism

Judith Butler turns down civil courage award from Berlin pride: ‘I must distance myself from this racist complicity’

x:talk fully endorses the struggle of queers of colour against homo-nationalism, racist and Islamophobic campaigns against homophobia. In our work and our activism for the rights of migrant sex workers we strongly argue against the use of emancipatory discourses (e.g. LGBT rights or women’s rights) for the legitimisation of war, of the criminalisation of migrants and of deportations. Also, we recognise that in many instances mainstream, majority white western LGBT and feminist groups engage in reproducing practices and discourses that are racist, Islamophobic or awakening moral panic around migration and sex work, contributing to the criminalisation of both. We believe it is crucial to raise awareness over the effects of ‘well meaning’ political moves that in order to fight one oppression, reproduce or reinforce others. In this respect, we welcome the decision by Judith Butler to turn down the civil courage award from Berlin Pride on June 19th 2010.