B-Fest is an autonomous festival that takes place in Athens, Greece, from 26 to 30 May 2010. As a support group for a survivor of sexual violence and in accordance with her wishes, we address this statement to the organizers and visitors of the fest as well as the wider movement:
We would like to draw attention to the fact that Harry H, who is scheduled to be on a panel on Saturday alongside Michael Hardt and others, is a sexist scumbag and perpetrator of sexual violence. Not only has he been abusive and disrespectful towards women in general, he has also overtly transgressed their boundaries and engaged in sexual acts without the women’s consent.
Consent does not (only) mean the absence of a “no” but the explicit presence of a “yes”, in a situation where a person is physically and mentally able to make an informed choice about what sexual activity they want to engage in. And to be very clear about this: the absence of consent constitutes rape. H. has consciously ignored these standards for his own gratification and actively refused to deal with the consequences.
To allow this person to not only move freely in activist spaces, but to give him time and space to flaunt his self-righteous male chauvinist attitude on stage, is a slap in the face of the survivor and of all survivors of sexual violence. We therefore call upon the organizers of B-Fest to distance themselves from H, to withdraw him from the panel and exclude him from the event.
We call upon all attending the festival to voice protest against this person speaking publicly, to boycott the talk or take action in any other way they deem appropriate. We call upon all who read this to contact the organizers, express their solidarity with the survivor and demand for the perpetrator to be removed from the speaker’s list and from the festival space.