Three incidents occurred at the “Law and Disorder Conference” in Portland May 11 and 12 concerning DGR and transgender/queer activists. A lot of lies have been told about these incidents. We need to tell the facts of what physically happened.
Two women were tabling, handing out DGR literature and selling books. A group of five transgender/queer activists came up to the table. One of the male queer activists began shouting at the women, using aggressive language. This man made threatening gestures toward the women. He grabbed and defaced table materials. When one of the women went to protect the materials, he marked her arm and hand as well.
This conference states it has a policy of safe spaces, but “safe spaces” evidently doesn’t apply to women, because although most people in the room had no choice but to hear the shouting, no one, including the organizers, intervened to stop this man and his aggressive behavior.
A half an hour later, a male DGR member tried to engage in respectful conversation with these queer activists. They began chanting at him and insulting him, culminating in them throwing trash and food at his head.
The next day, Sunday, the DGR crew went back, for more tabling, and an angry mob of queer activists again approached the table, yelling and cursing at them, and demanded that they leave. Once again, for all their talk of “safe spaces,” the organizers did not intervene, nor provide a safe space.
You will see that throughout all of this, the DGR members were respectful and courteous. They tried to de-escalate. Nonetheless, they were the recipients of bullying, threats, and silencing.
One of the organizers, Brandon Speck, witnessed much of this, and at least pretended to express concern for the women. He originally said that the perpetrators would not be invited back next year. He also promised that he would write up a statement of solidarity with the victims condemning the attacks. He further promised to run this statement by the victims before publishing it. He was not telling the truth. He did not run the statement by the women, and the statement he did publish indeed blames the DGR members for their own victimization. Women from all over responded en masse to this by pointing out that this was the classic victim-blaming that characterizes patriarchy and misogyny. The thread was deleted, and the organizer falsely claimed this was because of “violently transphobic comments.” This was as much a lie as their original release blaming the victims. The only violence in the comments was directed at DGR members.
DGR has never threatened anyone, and has a code of conduct that disallows making threats against people. Any DGR person who behaved as violently as any of the queer activists did at this conference would be immediately banned from DGR. Instead, what has happened is a barrage of threats against DGR members, up to and including mass beheading. And yet these comments are allowed to remain.
We ask everyone to stand in solidarity with all victims of patriarchal, male-pattern violence, starting with the women who were subjected to this at the Law and Disorder conference.