[Imc-uk-features] Racist posting on Indymedia UK
war at womenagainstrape.net
Fri May 4 09:23:41 PDT 2007
To Indymedia editorial team urgent, from Women Against Rape (WAR)
RE Reclaim the night - women rise up and fight posted by WL | 19.12.2006
This is not a genuine posting but a piece of racist propaganda and a
Most of the article is verbatim plagiarism from a Women Against Rape (WAR)
press release issued on 18 December (below). But the author WL leaves out
any mention of WAR and of what we are organising as grassroots women to
tackle the appalling 5.3% conviction rate for reported rape and the
criminalisation of women reporting rape in the UK. It also leaves out the
English Collective of Prostitutes whose work in defence of women in Ipswich
(disrespectfully referred to as Surrey rather than Suffolk by WL!) informed
our press release.
Plagiarism is inexcusable, but blatant racism is a political crime. The
rest of the article includes the following paragraph which regurgitates the
racist views of the Norwegian police:
A Norwegian police study reveals that 65% of the rapes are committed by
immigrants even though they comprise less than 15% of the population. The
study is the first where the crime statistics have been analyzed according
to ethnic origin. Of the 111 charged with rape in Oslo last year, 72 were of
non-western ethnic origin, 25 are classified as Norwegian or western and 14
are listed as unknown. White women were the victims in 80 percent of the
cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background. Rape charges are
spiralling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so
far this year.
How dare WL use our formulations on the assault on all women by the criminal
justice system to cover for false and inflammatory statistics about the rape
of mostly white women by immigrants in Norway? Since when is a police
study taken as fact? And since when are all women who are not white of
foreign background? Rape victims fury at the denial of justice and
protection is being hijacked to disguise a very dodgy agenda.
There is a long and filthy history of this kind of racist defence of what
used to be called white womanhood with the connivance of some feminists.
Allegations that a Black man had raped or looked at a white woman were
for decades grounds for lynching in the South of the USA, and judicial
lynchings continue on the same racist lines.
In 1955 Emmett Till, age 14, was murdered and dumped in a river for the
crime of wolf-whistling at a white woman. His mother insisted that his
coffin not be closed so his tortured body could be viewed by the world and
we would know what the racist south had done to her son. It was a turning
point for the civil rights movement. Yet, in 1975, Susan Brownmiller in
Against our Will, regarded as a basic feminist text on rape, said that
Emmett Tills wolf-whistling should not be misconstrued as an innocent
flirtation . . . it was a deliberate insult just short of physical assault,
a last reminder to Carolyn Bryant that this black boy, Till, had in mind to
possess her. This staggering apology for the murder of a Black child was
rarely if ever noticed by those who commented on the book or recommended it
in Womens Studies courses.
Allegations that Black, or Muslim, or immigrant, or asylum seeking men are
more likely to rape than white men are commonly used to whip up racism
against people of colour, against mixed couples or families, against white
anti-racists... Recent examples include anti-Muslim statements made by
British National Party (BNP) leader Nick Griffin (eg in a recruiting speech
in Keighley, These 18, 19 and 25-year-old Asian Muslims are seducing and
raping white girls in this town right now") and the racist murder of
18-year-old Anthony Walker while out with his white girlfriend.
Given that racist attacks are on the increase and only 7% of reported
attacks result in conviction (an even tinier % if we consider that, as with
rape, the overwhelming majority of racist attacks are never reported,
particularly those against women of colour), we would expect Indymedias
moderators to be on the lookout to weed out racist views.
We have often had to confront racism in the corporate media and the criminal
justice system, but we did not expect it here, on a website we all count on
to counter the lies told elsewhere. Indymedias homepage says: 'We work out
of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better
world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the
efforts to free humanity.' Allowing this sinister posting by WL contravenes
Can you explain how this happened? Who is WL? Is s/he known to Indymedia?
Who is responsible at Indymedia for moderating news postings? Did they ok
it? Would they allow the BNP to post research that claimed most rapists
are Muslims or Black men? Why allow it when its the police claiming it,
who in the UK have been found to be institutionally racist? Where does
that leave Black women and other women of colour?
And why was this piece of racism and plagiarism allowed to stay on for
months when most movement postings get quickly removed?
Using the work of an anti-racist organisation to promote a racist agenda is
infuriating. We ask you to counter the damage done by removing the posting,
stating who was responsible for it, why it has been removed and posting this
letter. Can you say what you will do to stop this happening in future.
Against rape, racism and pimping
Lisa Longstaff & Ruth Hall
Women Against Rape
18 December 2006 press release from WAR that this posting plagiarises:
WOMEN AGAINST RAPE, other victims organisations, doctors, solicitors and
barristers* write to the Attorney General to demand the protection of women
who report rape and the prosecution of the Daily Mail for breaching their
The public everywhere are horrified at the shocking murders of five young
women in Ipswich, and are demanding that women´s safety is prioritised. Yet
women who report rape have been under unprecedented attack from the legal
establishment, some have even been imprisoned and our protective legal right
to anonymity has been breached by the Daily Mail, which has so far gone
WAR and over 50 victims´ organisations, doctors, solicitors, barristers and
other concerned individuals have written to the Attorney General to demand
that nothing be put in the way of women who have been raped or sexually
assaulted reporting their attacker so he can be stopped before he goes on to
rape again, or even as in Soham and maybe in Ipswich, to murder.
The open letter to Lord Goldsmith demands that:
· The Daily Mail be prosecuted for breaching the anonymity of a woman
at the centre of a high-profile wrongful conviction for sexual assault.
· Lord Campbell-Savours, who used his parliamentary privilege to
announce her name, be reprimanded.
· The growing practice of prosecuting women reporting sexual assaults
They are requesting that the Attorney General meet a delegation of rape
survivors early in the New Year.
For decades increasing numbers of women have fought for the law to protect
rape survivors, including from media exposure and sensationalised,
pornographic reporting of sexual violence. The outing of Ms A by the Mail
is an attempt to change the law on anonymity by breaking it, and create a
climate in which women who report rape are increasingly discredited and can
even be prosecuted and imprisoned.
There is no evidence that false allegations are widespread. But there is
massive evidence that most reported sex attacks are unproven because of
sexism in the criminal justice system from negligent investigations to
incompetent and uncommitted prosecutions to hostile judges.
· Over 240 women are murdered a year four to five women each week
half by partners or ex-partners. Many of these men have a record of
violence for which they have not been prosecuted. Many of these murders are
· The national conviction rate for reported rape is 5.3% and falling.
· The conviction rate for reported rape in Suffolk is 1.6% the
second lowest in the country. We have been given many reports of violent
attacks against women in Ipswich in recent months which were not dealt with.
· Violent men know who they can attack with impunity. They take
advantage of those of us who have been made vulnerable when we are less
likely to be believed: because we have a relationship with them, or because
our social status is lower than theirs sex workers, women with a history
of mental health problems, who are too drunk to object, under the age of
consent, are Black or immigrant.
· The discrimination that survivors face in the investigation and
prosecution of sexual violence is widely documented including in Home Office
This witch-hunt of those who report rape has implications for all rape
survivors and all women; the threat of being criminalised and exposed is
already putting women off from reporting violence.
The same alarming trend can be seen among the prosecuting authorities: two
18-year-olds were recently imprisoned a deeply retrograde move. Other
women, when they report rape, are being threatened with prosecution for
wasting police time or perverting the course of justice unless they
withdraw their allegations. The mother of a 13-year-old girl who had
reported being raped at school has been barred from employment as a social
worker after police dropped the case. One woman was arrested in a dawn
raid by the police after she had reported a sexual assault.
Several are in touch with WAR, and want to put their experiences directly to
the Attorney General.
In response to the shocking murders of five sex workers in Ipswich, women
are asking why, whatever our profession or behaviour, any of us remain so
unprotected from violent men. While prostitute women are not safe, no woman
Serial killers usually have a history of escalating violence which has never
been treated seriously. The lives of the victims of Peter Sutcliffe, Anthony
Hardy, Ian Huntley and others could have been saved if previous attacks,
including against wives and girlfriends, had been prosecuted.
We are available for comment on 020 7482 2496
18 December 2006
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