the answer of xb-liebig to the letter of the supporters-group ask-gerd_a from the 8`th of october 2014

----------we want to give a trigger warning,
the text contains thoughts about sexual violence and rape--------

07.11.14

with this paper we want to explain the different oppinions of members of the xb-collective regarding the request for a bann of the perpetrator from scherer8.

End of last year we received an e-mail from ask-gerd_a with the demand to exclude the perpetrator from scherer8 from the xb-liebig. Some people from the collective had the need to get more information about the situation, so we decided to meet with members of the support-group ask gerd_a. It`s true that we also meet with people from scherer8, but we informed the affected person and ask gerd_a about this decision and made clear that we wish to meet ask gerd_a first. We are surprised that ask gerd_a is saying now that this meeting happened without the person affected or them knowing about it.

The meeting with people from scherer8 was never about getting information to then judge if something violent happened or not. All of us respect the power of definition of the affected person. We decided to meet them because we wanted to know why the scherer8 decided to don`t exclude the perpetrator from the house and in which way he is working on his boundary crossing behavior with people from his surrounding. Not all of us agreed to this step and as ask gerd_a mentioned we don`t have a consensus about how to deal with such situations.
Because of this, below the different statements of collective-members:

„Within the next few sentences, I want to make my personal point of view regarding to the situation with the perpetrator, who lives in Scherer8 and the request from the support-group of the affected person for xb-liebig as a safe(r) space in a generell way clear. For me personally, there is no doubt about how to react as a person, with an anarchist pro-feminist self-understanding. I accept the power of definition of the person affected by sexualized violence in the sense of defining the boundary crossing/violation itself as well as the request for safe(r) spaces. I think this can`t be separated. Showing solidarity in this practical way (also from my „shitty“ privileged male position in this patriarchal society) is very important for me. I see the xb-liebig as an (pro-)feminist place. So, if I am involved in the organization of events in the xb-liebig, there won`t be a place for the perpetrator. This concerns the küfa at the first, third and fifth tuesday every month organized by RiceUp, concerts organized by Sleaze-Shows and events from Krachtigall. The perpetrator is excluded there, to try to make the xb-liebig in this case a safe(r) space for the affected person. I don`t want the affected person to limit spaces, she can visit without meeting the perpetrator. Also for me doesn‘t matter how I got informed about the incident (e.g. by accident, from the supporters-group or the affected person or however) or what the perpetrator or his supporters say. Thus I don`t have to hear the perpetrator’s or his supporters version of the incident or how to deal with the request for a safe(r) space, too. I think the statements from the xb-collectiv members should have been communicated more clearly, but we somehow messed it up and should improve it.“

„All the argumentation below is only about border crossing situations in which the perpetrators admit they crossed a boundary and want to work on it , as in this particular case, – not rape or sexual assault which is characterized by the use of threat or force -.
First of all, we do not agree with the common practice in anti-sexist spaces to not hear the side of the perpetrator. We do respect the power of definition, if someone calls something boundary crossing that means the action mentioned was indeed boundary crossing. What we do not agree on is that the persons accused are going to be expelled from our spaces and scenes generally and without being heard. Even some of the states in power today realised that it is unfair to judge someone without hearing them first. Again, this does not mean that we are against the principle of Safer Spaces. We do agree that the person affected should not have to spend time in the same space as the person crossing their boundaries and we will throw him out, if she comes here and requests us to do so. Plus we would have agreed on a permanent ban if the person affected would have been living here and could potentially have been confronted with the person crossing their boundaries every day whenever entering or leaving the house. When she is not here we will not throw him out because he admitted that he commited a boundary crossing and has shown intents to work on his behavior. This does make a significant difference to us, because we agree that someone who would react in an unregenerate way should definitely be permanently excluded from a space like XB-Liebig. Otherwise, though: where, if not in feminist, anti-sexist spaces will he be exposed to the information necessary? Moreover, we do not agree on that the power of definition includes the right do demand anything you want thereafter. For us, it does include the right to demand that the person perpetrating not be in the same spaces or carry out the same inconsensual action again. It does not include banning that person forever and in all the spaces in order to kill their social live, if they admit that they have crossed a boundary. We have not been able to come to a consent within XB-Collective though, so on some days this person will be permanently banned from XB whereas on other days he will be welcome unless the person affected or people she asked to do so will have him thrown out for the night. Furthermore, we do not agree on the way the support group AskGerd_a deals with other groups because we perceive them as dominant and incooperative.“

„i agree to the houseban, because the affected person made clear that she will not come to the xb if there is the risk to meet the perpetrator here. Also when i think that a general exclusion will not change the behavior of a person, i want that the xb is a place where people who experienced violence feel welcome and supported.
Still i don`t agree to a certain practice, where it seems to be forbidden to for example speak with the surrounding of a perpetrator. For me it depends if it`s about listening to the perpetrators version of the incident, or if it`s about asking if he respects the power of definition of the affected person and shows that he wants to work on it (i use „he“ because of the structure behind this kind of violence, not because i think only cismen are crossing boundaries). I think that it will not help us to create something like a law which says how to deal with such situations, and i want to be free to make up my mind when i receive a request for a houseban. In many situations i would probably agree without discussion, in some situations it might be that i don`t agree on a certain demand of an affected person or supporters group. What doesn`t mean that i question in the fact that something boundary crossing happened itself.“

When we were asked by ask gerd_a end of last year to give the ban for the perpetrator we had a long process of discussions in xb collective and we missed to answer in time, with details, and concrete proposal to the affected person. We are aware that with this we messed up the situation and we know that it`s a general problem in our collective and we want to improve it.

We realized that after being confronted with the open ask gerd_a’s letter, so we had another discussion and now we can offer some days where the affected person can be sure to don‘t meet the perpetrator. we have a general consensus, like we wrote above, also the people who don‘t agree with a permanent ban, will be willing to ask him to leave if it happens that they are both in xb. This is something we all share and see as basic for the collective: if there is a person in xb who experiences discriminating/violent behavior and asks us for support we are in solidarity and if needed we will kick another person out for the night without discussion. We also want to make clear, that we already decided to exclude people for longer time from the space, no one from us is in generell against giving a ban. As you see above in the statements…

In general, most of us share enough political basics that we can respect the different opinions and go on as a collective.
The women-lesbian-trans monday want to point out, that they don`t agree to certain points of this text and will clearify this in an own text.

XB-Liebig Collective.