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(en) France, UCL - Right of reply, How UCL deals with accusations of sexual assault within it (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation

Date Tue, 2 Mar 2021 10:28:18 +0200

A response from the Libertarian Communist Union to the Autrefutur.net website, which challenged the exclusion of a UCL member accused of rape. Autrefutur.net refused to publish this right of reply. ---- On November 9, 2020, the Autrefutur.net website published an article entitled "De la plague identitaire... en milieu libertaire" which seriously questions the Libertarian Communist Union, and in particular its decision to exclude a member accused of rape. ---- We will pass over the many comments on the subject of the "genrist and racialist drifts" that you attribute to UCL, and we will content ourselves with saying that in this matter, not only are you wrong in your analysis and in the fight, but that all these considerations are unrelated to the exclusion of the one you call "Nestor".

We will answer it, on the one hand by explaining the meaning of the internal procedure of the UCL concerning the accusations of sexual assault, and on the other hand by giving you an image of "Nestor" rather distant from the character you portray.

How UCL deals with accusations of sexual assault within it
When the rape charge against Nestor was brought, he was suspended from UCL, in accordance with our statutes, while a hearing committee put together a file, consisting of oral testimony and written depositions.

Why an internal procedure at UCL ? Because a feminist and revolutionary organization cannot hide behind the police decision in the matter: in 2016, 73% of men targeted by a complaint for rape benefited from a classification without follow-up, while the rape is notoriously under -declared[1]. There is therefore a need for a procedure independent of the police and the judiciary.

Why is the hearing committee made up of women ? This is an essential condition for receiving the word of the victim, or even of witnesses whom the presence of men could intimidate. Single sex helps to free speech.

On what criteria does the non-mixed commission judge the facts ? The UCL being a militant organization - deprived of extensive investigative means - it cannot establish the exact truth of the facts. It is impossible for him, as it is also impossible for the police, who prefers to classify without follow-up when there are no traces of beatings and coercion... Our criterion for judging is therefore not the truth, too often unattainable, but veracity.We start from the principle that we have to believe the victim - for us, there is a presumption of sincerity. The reason is this: a woman who has no personal dispute with a man has no interest in inventing that he raped or sexually assaulted her. The hearing committee hears the accused man, who must have the opportunity to exonerate himself or, at the very least, to give his version of the facts.

Why is it a federal coordination which decides, in fine ? Because the fight against sexual violence, which is a structural evil of patriarchal society, must concern everyone, men and women. The moral responsibility for exclusion cannot rest on the shoulders of women alone, or of the single-sex commission. It is the organization which assumes the choice of exclusion.

What philosophical principle guides UCL in this procedure ? In matters of sexual violence, a feminist organization must go beyond bourgeois justice in terms of believing the victims and making their word prevail ; but it cannot fall short of bourgeois justice in terms of guaranteeing the right to defense. Being a militant organization, where all the activity is voluntary, clumsiness or hesitation may exist. But the final decision is always in the hands of a federal coordination - which judges in full transparency, on the basis of the elements at its disposal - and not of a discretionary committee.

In this case, you stress in your article that the file collected by the hearing committee was considered insufficient by several activists of the federation. After additional information, the federal coordination judged that the elements collected were sufficient and pronounced the exclusion, to more than two thirds of the mandates.

Four additional testimonials
Your disparaging article on Autrefutur.net shocked, and provoked the communication of four additional testimonies, which go in the direction of the decision of the CF of the UCL. It emerges that "Nestor" was quite capable of presenting the face of a chic type, profeminist, when he was in his region, and of transforming into a predator when he made a trip to Paris ...

Two testimonies shed light on the atmosphere of the evening when the rape was committed.

The first evokes a Nestor who used to "let go" during his trips to the Paris region, and this evening was no exception: "he was as often in this type of hyperspeed event, overexcited".

The second attests that there was no game of seduction, at any time, between "Nestor" and "Capucine", who did not know each other before the fateful evening. She was only supposed to house him. She was surprised in her sleep.

The two witnesses attest that, since that evening, the life of "Capucine" has been turned upside down, and that she has begun a difficult reconstruction.

Two other testimonies shed light on "Nestor's" attitude towards young women.

The first attests that they are numerous to have found him "really very heavy, very insistent ... He was convinced that he would achieve his ends. I know at least five girls who don't want to hear about it anymore, not least because he texts them every time he comes back to Paris, hoping to sleep at their place one evening. When we (friends and I) learned about the rape complaint[...], no one was surprised ... We have been around him so much and seen him do it for years ...[...]And I 've seen having daughters "to wear". He sometimes told us that it was out of the question for him to end the evening "alone"."

The second reports that the "process" used with "Capucine", "Nestor" had already boasted of having used it: "according to his statements, he had been lodged by a young woman, and had left the living room sofa for join her in her bed in the dead of night, naked". He had woken her up by performing a sexual act.

To conclude, we will add that before this affair, Nestor was a well-known and appreciated activist at UCL. There was no "political settling of accounts" behind it all. But our federation refuses the omerta on sexual violence which too often prevails, in all circles - political, union, associative, sporting, artistic... The UCL, as it explains it here , resolutely wants to be "welcoming for women. , and closed to violent men".

UCL, External Relations, February 11, 2021


[1] Infostat justice n° 160 (March 2018).

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