My ban is up on Facebook later today. However, it looks like Welfare Weekly has been banned from posting in groups. As you know I also write for WW and I am absolutely certain that this is a targeted and strategic attack on the left, especially directed at critics of the status quo. Facebook never provide a reason for the bans. They also ignore appeals. Not very democratic or accountable, then.
But let’s show this government that their snooping, oppression and censorship will only prompt more widely shared opposition. Censorship is one way to ensure that the suppressed article is widely read, I suspect.
I also expect that I will get another ban once I try to post in groups again later. That is what happened last time. I’ll have to change my VPN see if that helps. We will see . Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who has shared our posts, and please can you continue doing so, that way we can continue reaching people and making a difference even when there are such slyly placed obstacles in our way.
The last post that earned me the ban was the 10k word long one about Unum and the recent green paper. Now that reached an academic audience, it was republished via a social justice and social science site, where it will have an international audience, and additionally, I’ve been asked to co-author a paper on that topic in the new year. I’m hoping to work with the brilliant Mo Stewart on that.
My view is that it is important to reach out with as much influence as we can to every community, from grassroots activists to professionals and academics. We all need each other. We won’t get anywhere if we are busy bitching about the use of big words or little words. The answer to that is we use language appropriate to the particular audience we address, and we address more than one audience. Because we need to.
I co-work with anyone who shares my aims on an issue by issue basis. However, I’ve had some problems in the past with a couple of grassroots groups that have a lot of interpersonal politics going on. I shouldn’t have to say this, but establishing pecking orders, competitive individualism, group hierarchies, exclusions, targeted smear campaigns and general bitching about other activists should be left to the right, it should not be happening in groups who are fighting against the very things in a Tory shaped society that they are sometimes inflicting on others.
I have a lot of friends in the professional and academic communities and have had no problems there. I’m also a person who has managed to work independently, too, quite often in a hostile environment in the past, but I always prefer a context of collaboration and cooperation. Because that is where our strength lies, gathers and grows.
Until we learn to work together, we are doomed to fail. And to work together effectively, we must practice what we preach. We really do have to be the change we want to see. If you want a socialist society, you have to put into practice socialist values, if you want equality, you have to treat each person with a view of their equal worth, value and include them, if you don’t like competitive individualism, then ditch the quest for personal glory and work cooperatively, because no movement ever gained momentum and worked out well that was based on authoritarian ideals.
WE are greater than the sum of our individual parts. 🙂
Upwards and onwards