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(en) France, Union Communiste Libertaire AL #300 - Freedom of Expression: Fighting Hate Promoters (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 1 Jan 2020 09:12:18 +0200

The " politically correct " would operate such a hold on minds that any public expression " outside the norm " would be immediately prohibited. Censorship would be on the side of those who promote real equality for all ! So hard to be reactionary in 2019 ? Rather, the facts prove the opposite. ---- Supposed to be held on October 24, a " conference-debate " by the philosopher Sylviane Agacinski was wrongly canceled by the University of Bordeaux Montaigne following " violent threats ". The event aroused the almost general anger of all the supporters of the established order under cover of the right to debate. ---- The organizers of the event denouncing the fact: "that preventing discussion within a community is part of a liberticide drift ". The associations, unions and collectives at the origin of the mobilization, which led to the cancellation of the event, for their part would have: " decided to prevent the holding of a legitimate and obviously contradictory exchange[bringing]a serious and violent attack on the confrontation of ideas ".

If the event was finally canceled, we can emphasize that its maintenance mobilized more widely than within the university community of Bordeaux, because even Jean-Michel Blanquer, Minister of National Education and Frédérique Vidal, Minister of the 'Higher education, have positioned themselves so that Sylviane Agacinski, yet well known for her homophobic and transphobic positions, can express herself.

Their freedoms are our daily violence
Recently read, at a national level, the mobilization of several feminist collectives against the promotion of the last film by the filmmaker Polanski, condemned on several occasions for rape and sexual assault, especially on minors, has also led to accusations of " censorship " of the from the usual reactionary polemicists, always quick to defend the oppressors, but also from a part of the " left " in the name of freedom of expression.

On this occasion, The " philosopher " Alain Finkielkraut - again - distinguished himself by an explicit call for rape in a prime-time broadcast. In the face of such violent words, it is more than urgent to answer the question: " Should we debate everything with anyone ?" ".

No return to moral order
The controversy reactions are linked regularly in the public and media space. In fact since the early 2000s, they have become the norm with the appearance, especially on television, of essayist-polemists invited for the sole purpose of gaining ratings at all costs. In the camp of the progressive or revolutionary left, the appearance of these essentially reactionary comments has often been accepted, in the name of debate and the famous freedom of expression.

However, these polemicists have patiently put in place a strategy whose objective is not to debate, but rather to be able to use the debate to spread speech sowing confusion at best, at worst violence and hatred.

Well established today, this tactic has made it possible to durably reinstall reactionary discourse as dominant, a time that was undermined by feminist struggles. This scheme made the success of an Alain Soral or an Eric Zemmour, or if we go back further, of Jean-Marie Le Pen. This strategy has nothing to do with debating, which activists of the social movement are now beginning to understand, by organizing themselves to let them no longer speak.

Through the attacks on Yann Barthès, Current Values is in fact targeting pro-migrant or pro-LGBT speeches.
These individuals, often from dominant groups (petty bourgeoisie, masculine, white, heterosexual, cis, etc.) are in reality on a mission for the order which oppresses the dominated of all kinds. Behind their pseudo-will to debate, these characters defend violence against women, racialized people, LGBTI people and the poor.

Allowing these individuals to express themselves is ultimately less a pledge to freedom of expression - from which these ideas benefit greatly in all of our workplaces and lives, where the mechanisms of domination are fully expressed - than to condone violence against those targeted by their speech, often at the risk of their health and their lives. It is therefore no longer a question of knowing whether or not it is necessary to mobilize when these speeches are likely to be held, but how to reverse their media hegemony.

Faced with their hatred, let's mobilize !
Today, we can see that a number of public speaking events are fought by the first and first concerned. It is therefore necessary to be by their side and to defend their real legitimacy in the face of reactionary speeches which threaten their achievements and their physical security while being aware of our role as allies when we are not directly concerned. It is not a question of replacing people who are struggling but of supporting them unambiguously and unconditionally.

The best way when possible is to organize mobilization through public events and direct actions. It is by making it possible to build up local or national fronts on these questions, through the organization of events, participation in demonstrations, and vigilance against all reactionary remarks, that the retreat of this propaganda will be possible.

The question of the representation of minority groups must also be asked in our organizations, political or trade union, too often the struggles and the sexist and racist violence are too often overlooked. We must organize as much as possible where the voices of the main and principal concerned can be expressed, legitimize this word and allow it to exist publicly. More neighborhoods for reactors !

UCL Antifascist Commission

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