Title: You want anarchy? Credit: Craig Young Comment Monday 13th August 2007 - 10:19pm1187000340 Article: 4798 Rights
Anarchy: A state of lawlessness or political disorder. A Society without Government. So what attraction might anarchism have to members of our communities? Part of it is a political, lifestyle or aesthetic options. LGBT anarchists aren't homogenous, either. Take Nikki Craft, for example, who is an anarchist feminist who opposes the Iraqi War and has a long record of resolute civil disobedience against male-dominated state tolerance for violence against women. Or lesbian and gay animal liberationists, who break animals out of experimental facilities. Or 'queercore' neopunks, evoking the aesthetics, musical and subcultural styles of the late seventies. Why? LGBT anarchism is a youthful/working-class reaction to the perceived current middle class professional domination of LGBT politics. Granted, they don't disapprove of decriminalisation of male homosexuality, anti-discrimination laws and spousal and parenting equality for people in real need. However, they do object to perceived 'assimilationist' activities like same sex marriage, lesbian and gay participation in the armed services and employment within multinational corporate management. LGBT anarchists argue that they're drawing the line when other LGBTs flock to join the repressive state and security apparatus that marginalises others- including other LGBTs? They do have a point. How long will it be before we find that a lesbian or gay cop is caught up in something like Louise Nicholas' police rape ordeal? And do we really feel happy that UK lesbian and gay service personnel are just as likely to get blown to bits and sent home in body bags to their grieving partners and families as straight soldiers serving in the Iraqi War quagmire? I know, it was their choice to join the armed forces, and they probably see it as equal responsibilities to their counterparts. Still, I reserve the right not to approve of that choice. Then there's the question of security and intelligence services. As Canadian gay sociologist Gary Kinsman reminds us, LGBT groups were kept under surveillance from government security agencies in Canada, Britain and the United States from the fifties to the seventies. Oddly enough, no-one has raised any questions about LGBT participation in security and intelligence activities. Understandably, Nicky Hager and other civil libertarians often question whether New Zealanders are participating in constriction of others human rights and civil liberties under the guise of the Bush administration's anti-terrorist operations. But what if surveillance activities apprehend neofascist white supremacist terrorists, or fundamentalist Christian anti-abortion terrorists? For that matter, while there is legitimate debate over the scope and necessity of animal experimentation, are paramilitary animal liberationist activities in the United Kingdom and elsewhere actually contributing to the end of such experimentation? At the same time, though, I'd have no objection at all if those same surveillance networks were used to nab paedophile rings or importers and distributors of P/crystal meth. At the same time, though, security agencies need to require that their evidence is based on firm, verifiable and incontrovertible evidence, and that was not the case with Ahmed Zaoui. Police and security service accountability are issues for debate within healthy democratic societies. Sometimes, surveillance can be justified- but within strictly regulated limits, and we need independent watchdogs to monitor its operations. As we were once objects of unjustified surveillance ourselves, we should appreciate that. Recommended: David Ciminelli: Homocore: Loud and Raucous Rise of Queer Rock: Boston: Alyson Press: 2005. David Johnson: The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in Federal Government: Chicago: University of Chicago: 2004. Gary Kinsman et al (ed) Whose National Security? Canadian State Surveillance and the Creation of Enemies: Toronto: Between the Lines: 2000. Maria Roha: Cinderella's Big Score: Women of the Punk and Indie Underground: Emeryville: Seal Press: 2005. Craig Young - 13th August 2007    
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