Last week some friends were out partying when they were transphobically/homophobically assaulted. No-one was badly hurt, and we managed to get together a team of people to chuck the aggy bigots out and then arrange an escort home for our friends. Appropriately enough this was after the Bash Back! themed Queer Dance Party, when we took to the streets with a mobile sound system and blockaded a police van for 15 minutes with shouts of “Transphobic coppers off our streets!”, in response to the cops’ violent mistreatment of a trans woman in soho (trigger warning: police violence, transphobia).
These acts, by civilians and cops alike, are attempts to police the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. They are attempts, by the use of violence and fear, to control how we present our genders. When we blockaded the police van it didn’t educate any of the cops on gender and sexuality, but coming together with our comrades, having fun and kicking off helped us take back control of ourselves.
Chucking out the aggy bigots and arranging the escort home were primarily about safety, but being able to come together to do these things helped us all feel stronger. There’s value in education, for sure, but there’s also value in organising to reclaim agency.
We want more of this, and better, and Bash Back! is a fantastic banner to do it under. The South London chapter will incorporate 3 main elements:
- A phone network to text out for support
- Monthly meetups to skillshare tactics and ways of dealing with violent and non-violent conflict as well as self-defence and fitness training.
- Patrols, direct action and street parties. A kind of queer, militant reclaim the night.
More militant, more queer, more community, more kicking off, more breaking shit, more organising, more loving ourselves, more feeling in control.