Danny, a member from Liverpool, writes on his experience of getting involved with Red Fightback.
Content warning: sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape, rape-apology
- We outline the appalling way in which the RCG dealt with the recent sexual harassment scandal, pointing out both the events and responses of the RCG as well as their attempt to suppress the issue internally.
- We conclude that, as is typical within the British left, the sexism present in the RCG is a result of institutional chauvinism and a complete lack of both representation and solidarity with oppressed people groups, particularly in instances when it is beneficial for the RCG to ignore such oppression.
- The way forward is complete representation for oppressed people groups within the leadership of the socialist cadre, safe channels of communication over sensitive topics of debate in order to encourage democratic centralism, and putting oppressed people-groups first in every instance.
The Tired, Old Castle of the British Left
When the recent scandal regarding the SWP emerged, there was a groan throughout the British left like the sighing floor-boards of a tired, old castle; a groan that echoed through all the smaller chambers under the weight of decades of institutionalised abuse. From the victims at the heart of the scandal to the outraged bystanders upon the fringes of the left, each of us gritted our teeth with frustration at yet another act of abuse; committed, then covered up and denied by a leftist organisation in Britain.
Behind this groan, behind the outcry, a shadowing, less righteous muttering was audible; that of the predominantly old, white, cis male, leaders of the organisations whose infrastructure and leadership mirrored closely that which allowed the abuse of the SWP to take place. These men all clamoured in private to condemn the SWP as they sank back into their armchairs, self-gratified that such a scandal had not happened in their organisation.
One such organisation was the Revolutionary Communist Group. In private they all tutted and shook their heads at the scandal, many with genuine compassion and concern, unaware that their leadership structure bore the exact same male-centric flaws as that of the SWP, meaning that when an accusation of sexual assault was raised against one of their members, it was met with the same sexist, male-apologetic stance as the SWP. This article has been signed by a group of ex-members of the RCG and aims to show how the RCG’s own sexual scandal was handled from an internal perspective and, as a result, the wider structural problems facing democracy within the RCG.
The road to injustice
First, a summary of the events surrounding the original accusation against the RCG:
- On the 13th October 2017, the eve of the RCG’s annual 2 day national event at which all members would be in attendance, an email was sent out by the EC (the executive committee of the RCG) via the RCG email list: “A public accusation of sexual harassment has been made against AF (Manchester). The Manchester branch committee has discussed this but they should have both informed the EC immediately and sent in a written report without prompting. Such an allegation has the potential to cause serious political damage if it is not handled correctly. The EC therefore suspends AF from membership whilst an investigation takes place. This is a necessary step to protect the integrity of the organisation. AF should not attend the weekend’s events. The EC wishes to convene an emergency PC meeting over the weekend to discuss the allegation, the steps the EC has taken and how any consequent investigation should be handled and who should be involved. The place and time will be confirmed by the EC.”
- This complaint was made on twitter and the survivor pointed to a specific incident of sexual abuse committed by Andrew and demanded that the RCG be made accountable for their member. Andrew admitted guilt on twitter to the allegation (without any apology).
- The RCG convened their emergency PC (political committee) meeting over the weekend and reaffirmed Andrew’s temporary suspension while the organisation investigated the allegation. At this meeting an investigation team was assembled, which included a close friend and branch member of Andrew’s, to conduct the investigation. The membership was informed about this on the second day of the national event where the following statement, later posted on the group’s website, was read out by the RCG as well as all members being firmly told not to discuss the matter with non-members or online:
“The Revolutionary Communist Group is aware of a historic allegation of sexual harassment by a member of the organisation. The RCG views such allegations with utmost seriousness. The comrade involved has been suspended from membership and will remain suspended until an internal enquiry completes an investigation into the matter and reports with recommendations on further action”
- During the following months as well as liaising with the initial victim, a number of other victims shared their complaints with the RCG. Towards the end of this period, a member introduced a summary of the commission’s work, the process they have been through, and their proposals. The summary stated:
“AF’s behaviour as raised in the initial allegation constituted sexual harassment, as confirmed by HP and AF. Information gathered in the investigation showed further complaints about AF’s attitude towards women. AF recognised the incidence of sexual harassment as a single, historic, unacceptable incidence.”
“At both meetings with RF and CH, it has been clear that he recognises his behaviour as unacceptable, and has changed and continues to change his behaviour. There are no current further concerns about his attitude towards women.”
The proposals from the commission were as follows:
- AF should rejoin the organisation from 1 January 2018, if there are no further problems or concerns.
- AF should discuss with the commission and branch immediately prior to re-joining to confirm the plan.
- A short statement should be posted on the website and an internal reiteration to comrades not to comment on the issue online.
- A message should be sent to the victim informing them that AF was about to be reinstated.
- The commission will discuss the organisation’s relationship to social media with the website subcommittee in order to suggest concrete proposals prior to the next PC.
There are several things to note at this point; firstly, that whilst it was made clear that communication should be clear within the branches, it was agreed that there was no need to go into any details concerning the event, as they should have trust in the commission to have made the right decision based on the process. In practice this “clear communication” was nonexistent. In the Manchester branch there was never, in the two discussions that ex members are aware of, any discussion that explained what was going on further than the original statement of “we are assembling a team to investigate and they will make a decision”, and we believe this to be the case in other branches who when spoken to after the final decision said that they didn’t know what it was all about and believed that the case was investigating online impropriety from an RCG social media account.
Prejudicing the investigation
It is necessary to explains that within the RCG, before PC meetings the leadership of each branch submit a report to the PC detailing their ongoing political work, including any changes that have occurred since the PC last convened. These are sent out to all members of the PC in the days leading up to the meeting. It is our feeling that the PC report sent out by the Manchester Branch leadership further prejudiced the outcome of the vote on Andrew’s case. The report that the Manchester branch submitted which would be read by the PC members, who would later have to vote on Andrew’s re-admittance into the group, began by stating Andrew’s importance to the branch and its political work as well as disappointment that the investigation was taking so long. Here is the relevant part of this branch-PC report:
This, without the counterweight of examining the effects of Andrew’s abuse, would likely have won amounts of sympathy and thus contributed towards the outcome of the PC’s vote. That is without mentioning that the person that made this report sat on the PC, and would as such have a clear conflict of interests in their own voting on the matter. This nepotism, favouritism and undemocratic behaviour is outrageous amongst socialists, and propagates the feelings of the comrades of the abuser over the abused. We cannot say how much this individual email will have influenced the decision of the PC, however we can also not be sure how many more conversations like this took place between the Manchester branch leadership and other members of the PC. Whatever the influence of this email and subsequent conversations, however, it is but a symptom of deeper issues which shall be examined.
PC vote for Andrew’s return
Following the PC vote, it became clear that the time that Andrew was to spend “suspended whilst under investigation” would be the full punishment that he would serve. Shortly after this, the RCG released the following statement (only shortly before the statement would become effective)
“Following an investigation and a period of suspension, the comrade has been reinstated as of 1 January 2018. The comrade understands that his actions were unacceptable for a communist and a member of the RCG. Through the process we have undertaken, his consciousness and behaviour has changed, and continues to change to the extent that we have decided he can now be readmitted as a full member. The RCG takes seriously the sexism, discrimination and exploitation women face and is committed to building an organisation that opposes all such oppression.”
Further allegations, no new actions
- Following this statement, there were a number of members within the organisation and many people without who expressed shock, which increased as another allegation of sexual abuse was made over Andrew. Despite this, the commission found that “There are no current further concerns about his attitude towards women.” Despite claims made that there was a clear process to follow on allegations of sexual abuse, this second allegation was not investigated, and members who disagreed with this were forced into silence by the unsympathetic, old, male leadership. After the second allegation was made, the RCG responded with the following statement in an email to the survivor:
- Naturally, some discussion emerged over the willingness of the RCG to take such accusations seriously, and in fact the RCG were horrified that the above email had been shared at all, asking members to remove the email from being posted on leftist social media groups:
- Following such events, a number of members of the RCG opted to stand back from membership whilst they thought about what to do in the wake of these events. One such member was sent the following text:
- The PC member in question then started removing the member in question (who shall be known by the initials ZC) from select group email lists, in which, members internally discuss RCG matters, effectively isolating them from the discourse.
- In response ZC sent the following email:
- ZC was subsequently removed from all lines of communication with the RCG and emails were distributed to the RCG membership, informing them that ZC was no longer a member. The RCG made no further effort to contact ZC, instead attacking his character, suggesting that he was most likely a police informant, as only such a malicious agent of the state could be so inflammatory. The following emails and correspondences were shared with ZC by some of those that remained (and some that still remain) within the organization. One of the responses from a member of the same branch as ZC (and the branch that Andrew Fairbairn was also a member of, Manchester) responded with this short email:
- Followed quickly by the following email from ZC’s old PC representative:
- In response, ZC responded with a number of public posts on social media answering the personal attacks and claims made against him by the RCG, in the only way which he believed remained available to him after his isolation from the formal RCG lines of communication. Remaining members were told at this point to break all contact with ZC and were forced to block him on social media. The RCG sent out emails to groups they work with calling ZC “politically dangerous.”
What does this mean?
Perhaps this is a strange insight for you into a world you have never known, but the main reason I do not stop my explanation of the events after RCG’s response to the second allegation, rather than to post drama for drama’s sake or to detract from the events (which are condemning in and of themselves), is because this is perhaps an incredibly rare snippet into the ‘comradery’ of the British left which may allow us to see why the sexual abuse was able to be so poorly dealt with in the first place, and indeed much of the other problems that the British left faces as a result of this type of politics.
Let us return to one of the last emails in this correspondence:
From personal experience I can say that this epitomises the attitude of the RCG towards public disagreement and shows an utter lack of comprehension on the part of the member that sent it, who for now we shall refer to by his initials, CC. CC shows no understanding of how difficult it could be for ZC – (the member who sent the initial, longer email) who, at the onset of the investigation, had no real knowledge of the nature of the abuse allegation, nor any knowledge of what would happen as a result of the investigation on the part of the RCG – to stand up in a branch full of Andrew Fairbairn’s friends and declare that he was upset about the way the investigation was being handled. There was no understanding on the part of CC over how difficult it would be for members to stand there and tell people who still supported Andrew as friends that Andrew should not have been let back into the group. Furthermore, there were only perhaps two occasions in which such conversation over Andrew was allowed, never with the intent that members should voice the sort of concerns that ZC raised, but rather over ‘what we thought’ about the initial statement, which several members did complain about, albeit lightly (for fear of attack and at the behest of the anger of pro-Andrew members). It should also be noted that many members (including ZC) were not always able to attend the branch meetings where such conversations took place as they had other work or family responsibilities.
Now, in the first instance, ZC should not have held responsibility for having to ensure the RCG did not make ridiculous decisions when it came to abuse, nor for covering up their mistakes, but neither should he be ridiculed for not raising them sooner, with no greater criticism by members such as CC than “you should have said this when you had a chance to say it.”
It should be noted, in fact, that the vast majority of branch conversation following the initial accusation was focused not upon the sexual harassment, but rather almost exclusively focused upon membership’s use of social media; the very few criticisms of Andrew that were aired involved his ‘stupid’ use of social media. There was a disturbing focus upon the channel in which Andrew was called out over the event itself; leading several in the EC to even suggest (without results) that members should not use twitter for private purposes. In other words, the leadership wished to remove the capacity for sexual harassment accusations to be heard, rather than to remove the one who committed the harassment; they sought to insulate themselves against being called out before they sought to help the oppressed.
There are hundreds of other flaws I could point out with the whole situation surrounding this allegation, not least the language used in statements by the RCG (referring to Andrew as comrade, telling socialist activists to go to the police) or indeed any of the issues that ZC raised, or even a number of other awful correspondences received by people across and outside of the RCG relating to the allegations. I could talk about members of Manchester branch scoffing and declaring “I personally think it is ridiculous that anyone could see Andrew as dangerous,” at other Manchester branch members saying of members that left over the incident that “they don’t understand democratic centralism,” or that “they are probably working for the police.” I could talk endlessly about the appalling treatment of this specific incident but it is that comment by CC which, for me, highlights everything the British left gets wrong; a complete lack of understanding and sympathy, a completely insular, chauvinist, stance that the compliant people within the group are inherently of a higher stature (and as such, are held to lesser standards) than those without.
Where ZC is attacked for being incompliant, Andrew Fairbairn is defended for being seen as compliant, not to the ethos of communism, nor even with democratic centralism (Andrew went against the conditions that were placed on him during the investigation both by posting on social media and by coming to the Christmas Manchester RCG social event, defying democratic centralism). No, Andrew was seen as compliant by being ‘mates’ with certain members or rather ‘comrade material,’ I.E. by not disagreeing with ‘the lads,’ and so was not banned for multiple sexual assaults, whereas ZC was banned, had his character attacked and blacklisted for saying that he was unhappy with it.
Democratic centralism (Or putting the EC before the wider membership)
Democratic centralism was what was used to justify the above. ZC was banned because he did not adhere to the decision, and yet, is that what democratic centralism looks like? Where was the democratic process in removing ZC from the organization? He was never given any chance to discuss his grievances with the leadership of the group and his ex-branch members, who have been consulted for this document, are aware of no branch meeting or vote on his removal from the group. They, along with the rest of the RCG, were informed that ZC was removed from the group by email soon after ZC listed his grievances. The email informing the wider membership of ZC’s exile from RCG was sent out by his own branch PC representative, whom ZC believed was attempting to protect (and even cover-up) for Andrew.
There was no discussion with the membership over the decision by the PC to demand all their membership must censor ZC by removing him from Facebook; the following message was sent without the group or branch reaching a decision, despite several members agreeing with ZC (and in fact, likely as a result of the agreement amongst several members with ZC):
It is not democratic centralism if there is a purposeful attempt to keep members uninformed so that questionable decisions can be made without interference (specifically, without the interference of their own members). What is the purpose of PC representatives if not to discuss such issues with the larger membership, take note of their feelings and represent them in debate and decision making? Is this what democratic centralism means to the RCG? That no safe channel should be provided for members to voice their concerns, that their complaints (which were still only sent internally) were disregarded and evidently, punishable? That is not democratic centralism and can only be compared to the self-righteous bully on the playground that beats a crony into silence and tells the rest that it was justified, to the sounds of thunderous applause. It is an issue of a masculine ego of chauvinism that refuses to believe that they could be wrong and refuses to have sympathy for the abused.
Aside from the case discussed here, it is the experience of the ex members involved in this document that the RCG only had the illusion of democracy. These members found that the PC (the Political Committee that meet roughly once every month, made up of representatives from each branch) and the EC (which is made up of three senior members, who meet in-between PC meetings to make executive decisions in the meantime) made important but poor decisions at their meetings which were only afterwards discussed in branches to give the pretence of the larger membership being involved in such decisions. Whilst members such as CC claim that the EC is not the leadership of the branch, as it does formally have less power than the PC, in practice the EC made decisions at their meeting, including the decision that Andrew should not be suspended or that no other investigation should take place (following new claims against him). The EC (who are all cis, white, late middle aged men) made these decisions for the group; the decisions were later ratified by the PC, before the results were ever paraded before the (intentionally ill-informed) membership.
Burying their heads in the sand
The other issue that is at the heart of this situation and speaks in clear testimony to the latter is the party-line that was put out not to engage with anyone over social media about the allegation, as they were afraid of further ‘political attacks’. This highlights perfectly that they saw the allegations in terms of a political attack against them rather than an attack on the survivor. As Lenin said of the economists in his 1902 work What Is to Be Done?, “like the ostrich, they bury their heads in the sand and imagine everything around them has disappeared.” The first thought for the RCG was not with the victim, nor with preventing this from happening again, or providing support for the victim or even ‘protecting’ Andrew (though they erred in favour of this in the end). Instead, their first thought was to think only of themselves and how this allegation would look, and how badly the loss of Andrew as a member would affect their political workload. This is only possible because many cis men, when first confronted with sexual abuse, care only about how to take the flame out of the outrage, and have no sympathy for the abused, for they can never imagine being in the shoes of a victim. It was the leadership enforcing the decision and the ethos of their group that a comrade was worth more than an abuse victim that created this environment, not their (still questionable) all-female investigation committee (of whom, as ZC pointed out in the email, one was a close friend of Andrew, and all of whom were undoubtedly influenced by the male-centric leadership, with whom they had several conversations before the investigation began).
Before concluding I would like to submit this addition; I myself felt grossly excluded from numerous discussions within the RCG, of which I was a member. I refer not only to the situation regarding allegations of abuse but indeed in numerous discussions where I was laughed at or demeaned for asking questions or for being a certain way. This happened to others too; for example, I recall a non-binary supporter was coming to an event and a senior member of Manchester branch (that we have already called ‘CC’), when told that the person in question preferred they/them pronouns, laughed audibly with malicious intent. This is just one example of the prevalent chauvinism and typecasting that I have seen countless times. The reason I say this is to say that this is an issue not localised to the allegations of sexual abuse, but is rather a worldview of the RCG upon almost all issues, that they will sneer snobbishly from their armchairs at the proletariat, whether the proletariat are right (as in the non-binary comrade’s case) or wrong (as often, in my honest questioning during educational discussions, I was). Their theory may be good, their political work may be excellent, but if in practice the RCG do not defend those who have been abused first and foremost, why should we presume that if they grew they would be any better than the SWP? How could we trust them to run our country? To further highlight this point, I wish to mention that, on the way to the two day aggregate for the RCG (during which the allegation was first mentioned to the membership), one member of Manchester branch angrily ranted about how “stupid” it was that an investigation was taking place, and another shrugged it off as a “drunken mistake.” The members that did call out the abuse and investigation have been blacklisted, had messages sent to Facebook groups about them potentially working for the police and experienced all the hallmarks of people leaving a ‘cult.’
This is not an organisation that cares for the abused, or cares even for its own membership.
In conclusion then, the problems facing the RCG are threefold:
- A complete lack of any possible democratic representation within democratic centralism because of abusive power structures.
- The belief that those that adhere to the true form of comradeship, that those who can offer the most time or agree the most with the party-line, are of a higher quality than those who cannot.
- Thinking first of themselves, and second of the oppressed.
To avoid such systematic problems (which face most other parties on the left in Britain) we should first recognise ourselves as we should be, a cadre of socialist values, (to list several examples of such values, we should be feminist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, anti-ableist and anti-abusive) within the working class. If this is the chief goal, it will not matter who can give the most time, nor who can throw out the most condescending quote, nor if they have to punish a member for sexual abuse, as their first response will be (by virtue of being sympathetic to the downtrodden) to care for the victims and remove the atrociously abusive members from the cadre. They should do this not for fear of backlash, but for a desire both to help the victim and, as a result, to show the proletariat that the organisation is both trustworthy in their upholding of oppressed people, and that it is worth being a part of.
To achieve this end, there should be channels for disagreement that are not tainted by people who would try to block disagreement (for such a thing will surely lead to corruption, of opinion if nothing else, as in the RCG), which should be enforced with self-evaluation.
Furthermore, there should be a precedent set by the leadership of any group, not to think first of themselves, but to think first of the oppressed. This means firstly, that the leadership of a socialist group should intentionally represent oppressed people, that events should not be confined to paper sales, where one is left judging an event’s success over how much money was taken off the people they interacted with rather than anything that could quantify compassionate interactions with the oppressed.
This is without mentioning that groups, such as the RCG’s, requirements for their members to attend events and sell papers is inherently ableist. To require of a member the ability to get to a minimum number (in Manchester) of two events every week, and to be able to sell papers without support over the physical and mental stress that this may cause, has clearly evident ableist overtones, which are reflected in the membership. The RCG’s focus on public paper-selling as a key membership criterion can be both difficult and outright damaging to their members, especially people who are inexperienced or have some combination of neurodivergence, depression, anxiety or PTSD. In fact, every ex-RCG member that was contacted in the writing of this polemic stated that their first real-life experience with the RCG (after being told to meet a member at a given location) consisted of being handed papers and being told to sell them, before any political, educational or supportive conversations were had.
There should be just as many events of solidarity with the oppressed within the socialist groups as there are fundraising for the organisation (which currently, within the RCG at least, is very much not the case).
I personally believe at this stage that the RCG is irredeemable, and that another group must take its place. What began as an honest complaint has now, only because it was forced to be so (and was prematurely named so), become a political attack. With the RCG’s continued unbelievably stubborn defense of Andrew Fairbarin, they have now attacked the ACORN group for refusing Andrew entrance to an ACORN event in Manchester (The RCG attacked ACORN in a public statement that did not mention Andrew’s name, nor that the reason he was banned was because of sexual abuse, instead calling him a “local tenant” and themselves directly making a political attack on others over their own scandal of sexual abuse (http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/branches/north-west/5116-rcg-public-statement-regarding-acorn)). With this in mind, I do not see how one can say that they uphold women’s rights, stand against chauvinism, or stand for liberation of the oppressed, and still support the RCG.
For a group whose leadership so often attack figures such as Stalin, they often act very much like a (liberal) caricature of Stalin, as a cult of personality surrounding the party line of the (all old, white, cis male) EC, which constitutes their main leaders; a cult that does not allow for proper channels of disagreement, does not make the right decisions because of their failure to put the oppressed before the party (a dichotomy which should exist in the first place), and the reverence for the true-form able comrade.
This statement is signed with the complete approval of five ex-members of the RCG’s Manchester and Yorkshire branch, AW, AJ, AP, JC, ZC, as well as with the approval of several ex-supporters. The RCG is condemned by their own membership, and we mutually agree that we do not trust the RCG to be in a position where they are responsible for vulnerable, oppressed and abused people. They are no better than the SWP; they have succumbed completely to the same sexist, abusive insularism, they are out of touch with the working class, outdated in their praxis and anti-socialist in both their undemocratic structure and chauvinist leadership.
We will continue in our fight for socialism, outside the RCG, although there are not many of us, we call on all the mistreated, socialist members of the RCG to join a group that values solidarity with the oppressed and stands against abuse; we will not stop fighting back against capitalism, we will not stop being socialists just because your EC label us in such a way. The true comrade is the one that seeks liberation for the oppressed, and you will know when you have found us. Let them label us ridiculous as they will one day ridicule you, and come and find a socialist organization that knows how much you are worth.
Written by the fighters against racism, imperialism, sexism, ableism and abuse.
Appendix – additional correspondence
A. The following is an Email sent from a member of the Manchester-Yorkshire Branch, expressing concerns over Andrew Fairbairn’s readmission into the RCG (initialed as AF), the email was heavily brushed off, and she with half a dozen members of the two heavily linked branches, left shortly thereafter:
“To whom it may concern,
As I have previously stated I’m not happy with the reinstatement of AF, I appreciate the efforts to resolve the situation. However I have come to realise that the only way it can be resolved is if I come to agree, which I will not.
I’ve previously expressed a number of issues which I will recap now:
-The investigation was not as impartial as possible, if this was a workplace investigation for example friends would not be involved. I’m not trying to suggest that the investigation was sabotaged in any way, just that this is significant as I see it as a conflict of interest.
-AF rejoining threatens the feelings of safety and security for existing members.
-AF has been allowed to join on the basis that he claims to have been reformed, I do not trust a sexual predator to make these claims. I would need to see evidence; of which there is none aside from his word.
-The reinstatement reflects badly on the organisation and does not encourage victims to come forward, I know that I would be discouraged.
-There are many situations in which AF could be invited to stay overnight, this threatens the safety of members. I personally would not stay anywhere where AF was and would have to recommend others do the same.
-The decision to let AF rejoin affects the Manc branch as individuals, therefore I suggested a vote of which was scoffed at by LB. They went on to say that even if we voted for AF to not join they’d still not go against the PC decision.
Furthermore when I brought these up at branch I felt like they were treated as a topic of debate and not taken seriously at all, rather than a woman coming forward to express legitimate concerns. None of which I feel are in any way unreasonable.
At times I felt attacked and like LB was trying to catch me out, CC was also bringing up straw man arguments which was not at all necessary. Afterwards I was very overwhelmed and had a horrible meltdown, I should not be made to feel like this.
I now have further concerns:
-At branch it seemed like there was a large effort to minimise what AF did for one example a comment from LB was “Yeah he got into someones bed a year ago... when he was drunk”, time since or drunk or not does not excuse these actions. Comments like this (although the situation was not rape) contribute to rape culture and I found it to be unacceptable, as well as other comments.
-My opinions were not taken seriously. If I am to be a member of an organisation I expect my views to be respected and taken on board, if this doesn’t happen I see no point in being a member.
-The pc claim to represent branch members, though how can I be represented if I am not consulted or if my opinions are not respected.
-The PC are just people, they can be wrong and I’m not prepared to just go with what they say.
-I was told the victim was very involved in the investigation and agreed with the decision, it turns out this was not the case at all according to her twitter account activity.
-I can now not recommend anyone join the group as I’d be concerned about their safety, which is in direct conflict with me being a member and wanting the group to grow.
Due to these concerns I feel I can no longer be a member, not as some kind of statement (as people may know I have made many statements relating to the matter) but as I now feel unsafe and the situation has negatively affected my mental health, as well as bringing up past trauma. The pc decision to AF being allowed to rejoin has taken priority over the thoughts and feelings of other members, and I cannot respect that. Additionally it doesn’t seem as if I’m the only member with concerns about the investigation or the leadership of the group, according to comments on twitter.
I would not have made this decision if I thought we could come to some sort of agreement on the matter or if my thoughts and feelings were taken into account at branch. I hope my email will encourage members to reflect, and hopefully change their attitude.
I’m comfortable with this being shared with anyone it may concern.
B. The following is an email explaining a conversation with a member of the investigative committee, showing the brushing-off of much and Andrew’s behavior:
“-The EC had a slightly different story to the victim (as I saw on twitter) the victim said she had to convince Andy to leave the bed which eventually he did, however the EC said he got out on his own accord as the victim couldn’t speak.
-I understand they spoke with the victim once before AF to get the “full story”, then after that they only spoke to and met with AF and seemed to just take his word as truth. Further claims of harassment besides the initial event that spiked the investigation weren’t looked into because Andy “honestly didn’t remember” the allegations taking place. Cass brushed off other allegations and criticisms as people band wagoning and suggesting other groups are behind this e.g. RADS
-Cass also spoke of the timing of the allegation suggesting this could have been to sabotage Andy’s new relationship
-The reasoning they had behind him being allowed to rejoin is that since the event in question he hasn’t harassed anyone, has been reading feminist literature, and has a female housemate who has been helping him with his unacceptable attitudes and behaviour towards women.
Louis said the PC trusted the EC to do a proper investigation therefore went with their recommendation that they believe Andy can rejoin because he is of no further threat to women. Cass didn’t agree he poses no threat, just that she didn’t think he would do anything again.
Attached you’ll find the PC report for Manc & Yorkshire for December, I think I remember this being discussed so may be of use. I’ll have a look through and see if the rest of the report mentions the investigation but the stuff relating to Andy couldn’t be sent to me because it contains confidential info.
Let me know if you need clarification on anything or have any questions.”
C. The following was in response to ZC’s resignation from membership as a display of pettiness on the part of the RCG, showing a complete lack of understanding that ZC was complaining from a position of genuine outrage:
“The Political Committee of the RCG on its meeting on 14 January unanimously rejected your resignation. The Political Committee then unanimously agreed that you be expelled from the organisation for a) refusing to abide by organisational discipline, b) using internal material to attack the organisation.
The Political Committee of the RCG”