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All organizing is science fiction. What does a world without poverty look like? What does a world without prisons look like? What does a world with everyone having enough food and clothing look like? We don’t know. It’s science fiction, and it is as foreign to us as the Klingon homeworld (which is called Q’onos in case you were wondering). But being able to envision it and imagine it means we can begin seeing the steps it would take to move us there.
Walidah Imarisha, Growing Octavia’s Brood: The Science Fiction Social Justice Created (via nomadmanifesto)

Lierre Keith Responds to Quaker Cancellation


"Dear Friends,

My name is Lierre Keith. I am one of the organizers of RadFems Respond as well as one of the speakers. I am writing to express my dismay that Multnomah Meetinghouse has canceled our event.

I grew up in Philadelphia and have known Quakers my entire life. I have been to Meetings for Worship in some of the oldest meetinghouses in the United States. I also acknowledge the influence that the Society of Friends has had in the social movements that matter most to me, the feminist, anti-racist, and peace movements. If I was going to be a Christian, I would be a Quaker.

I have read the petition by Hollis Proffitt, asking Multnomah Meetinghouse to cancel RadFems Respond. I don’t know who in your community talked with you about their concerns, but judging from that petition, you have been lied to. None of the organizers or speakers—some of whom I have known for decades—have advocated for violence or abuse against anyone. If you ask Proffitt and her supporters for proof—and I urge you to ask—they will not be able to provide you with any. I can state categorically that none of the speakers at this event have ever threatened anyone.

The petition is a series of lies, ranging from the bizarre to the offensive. Proffitt says that Sheila Jeffreys (whose name she doesn’t even spell correctly) “convinced congress to cancel a plan to cover gender-related healthcare for those suffering from gender dysphoria.” Jeffreys is not a US citizen, doesn’t live in the US, and has never testified before congress. This is a complete fabrication.
Proffitt further asserts that my group, Deep Green Resistance, has “publicly posted naked pictures of local trans women from Eugene.” Before you believe something so wretched, you need to ask Proffitt for proof. You need to ask her to provide one example of me or any organization that I belong to doing this. She will not, of course, be able to provide an example. The core of my political work for thirty-four years has been fighting pornography as a form of violence against women. Amongst all of Proffitt’s lies, this one is particularly galling. It would be ridiculous if it wasn’t so repulsive. Yet Multnomah Meeting is willing to accept these baseless and frankly vile accusations against me. Why?

Are you going to ask her and her colleagues why they are lying? Why not? And most importantly, if they are lying so blatantly about this, how can you accept anything they say in good faith?
Let me give you some actual facts about the abuse and violence in this conflict. It is the transgender activists and their allies who have made threats—including some horrible sexual threats—against feminist activists. I personally have been targeted repeatedly. In 2012, I was a speaker at RadFem Reboot, which took place at the Multnomah Meetinghouse. Because of the threats against both me and the event, I had to have six members of Iraq Vets Against the War as a personal escort. Sam Berg has all the details about the threats and her experience with the police if you want more information.

In June 2013, a feminist event in London (UK), Radical Feminism 2013, lost its booking at the Irish Centre because of threats of violence made by transgender activists against the facility and the staff. Understand: these threats engendered enough fear in the centre’s professional staff that the venue backed out. The organizers were able to find another venue, the Camden Centre, but dozens of police were deployed around the building to keep the participants and speakers (including me) safe. Again, all of this is documented if you want further details.
In July 2013, Sam Berg and I were both organizers of an event in Toronto called RadFem Rise Up. We lost our venue, Beaver Hall, because once again the venue was flooded with threats from transgender activists. You have received a letter attesting to this incident from Trish Oliver, a resident of Beaver Hall. Despite the hostility, our event went on, meeting at a private location. But the transgender activists stalked and infiltrated our meeting and ultimately we had to involve the police. Let’s be clear about who we were and what our conference was about. We were a small group of women who talked about reproductive rights, prostitution, rape culture and sexual bullying, and political resistance. Participants included survivors of the sex industry as well as a woman with an infant currently living in a shelter. These are the terrible, abusive women that transgender activists are trying to silence.

This past February, I was slated to speak at the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference at the University of Oregon. The threats against me were so unrelenting that the university administration hired six police officers to keep me safe. You will not find a single example—not anywhere—of a transgender person needing a police escort to stay safe from feminists. And while I was not hurt, the head of my personal security crew was assaulted while escorting me to my car.

These are a few incidents among many. If you want more examples, I can provide them. The pattern is the same. Women try to meet to discuss the violence, dehumanization, and exploitation that we face as women and we are threatened into silence. Yet Multnomah Meeting is condemning feminists as the abusers. Again, feminists have never attempted to shut down a transgender event, violently or otherwise.

You have also characterized a one-way flow of threats as “bickering.” I need to say: when you require a police escort of six to keep you safe, then you can tell me that death threats are “bickering.” Until then, I would ask you, as Friends and as human beings, to recognize that what my colleagues and I have endured is serious intimidation, including actual violence.

I have abused no one, threatened no one. I have disagreed with transgender activists, and in a pluralistic democracy that is my right. But apparently that is now a sin. Yes, in patriarchy, women saying no to men is both high treason and apostasy. Feminists around the world will keep saying it because “no” is the exact boundary where male entitlement ends and female resistance begins.

I know you have already condemned me, but if you feel any loyalty to either truth or fairness on principle, I urge you to familiarize yourselves with my actual work, rather than the blatant and disgusting lies the transgender activists are spreading about me. The relevant links are below.

Lierre Keith

What I was going to say at RadFems Respond. Please note the word “transgender” appears nowhere.”

I don’t have cancer at the moment (although I have had 4 melanomas removed since I was 19), but I do have severe chronic pain and complex PTSD, and I am trapped living with an abusive man because I cannot afford to move out and go live with a female roommate. I was taking the recyclables out last night and he locked me out of the fucking house. I am looking for work and every person I interview with is a middle-aged white man who looks me up and down like a piece of meat. I cannot see a way out save death or about 15 thou. I have debts I cannot pay and am borrowing money from the very man who abuses me. I am fucked, and I need a miracle.

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