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freethepeeps | 24.05.2015 12:09 | Education | Gender | Social Struggles | London

I didn't invent the hashtag, although I did think of it on the bus (and I don't have a smartphone). As it goes, I'm most certainly not in favour of killing Bahar, and I don't even think that she should be sacked.

This is not the first time that she has been the subject of media attention at Goldsmiths, the university where my eyes were forced wide open on a Social Anthropology course a couple of decades ago.

I can't say that I am entirely comfortable with her style of politics, whether it is the burning of Socialist Worker, or telling white people that they are not welcome at a union screening of Dear White People, a movie which I ended up watching alone in my front room, but might have got more from if I had watched it with others and there had been a discussion about it afterwards.

Burning Books Bahar stylee
Burning Books Bahar stylee

Along with being interested in the developments at my old Uni, I have also followed the stories because I have been trying to get my head around the antics of the Intersectionalists, who have on at least one occassion chanted the Kill All Men slogan while a man was actually being attacked, and who have gone on to cheerlead other attacks, including in Liverpool and, more recently at a Football match.

It is unsurprising that there are those on social media who don't get the 'in-joke' contained in #KillAllWhiteMen, nor that some of them react with anger, bearing in mind that the seemingly hateful #tag seemingly mirrors the hateful behaviour that its user so passionately opposes.

It is tedious to come back from trying to build up campaigns and solidarity in my local area, only to find more activists attacking yet another individual on Twitter. Or hearing another story of an individual who has been fucked over by yet another unaccountable accountability process that could not possibly be further removed from the transformative and restorative justice ideas which spawned them in the first place.

I look forward to the day when students stop burning texts and develop cogent arguments against them, and a movement which focuses on dismantling the systemic injustices and inequality in which we are all trapped, and which affects all our behaviour to some extent.

Let's remember that most White Men haven't killed anybody, nor raped them, and that many are desperate to find ways to ditch the last vestiges of privilege that they have left, and to live as genuine equals in a world which doesn't revolve around violence, exploitation and dumb notions of supremacy.

And that when they ask for help in understanding how best they go about this they probably aren't asking to be infantilised or abused. Nor asking to be told to "shut the fuck up".

We are all fighting a political, social and economic system based on exploitation, violence, marginalisation and exclusion. Surely we should be working towards alternatives that contain none of these features as its central planks?

If I ever stopped believing in the capacity of individuals to change for the better, I would most certainly not be bothering to try and build a better world in amongst, and in spite of this fucked up movement.