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(en) Italy, FDCA, Cantier #24: Anti-capitalism is necessary for trans struggles - Alice Vaude (OST)* (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 6 Apr 2024 08:29:13 +0300

Organistica de solidarité trans (OST) is a national trans associative organization that combines self-help and protest struggles. One of their two national secretaries, Alice Vaude, gave an interview to Alternative Libertaire. ---- Alternative Libertaire: ---- where does the OST come from? How and why did you organize on a national basis? ---- Alice Vaude: ---- At the beginning it was precisely to fill a void that existed in Tours. Even then we were an association not only of self-support, but also of struggle, and it is this duality that represented us and still represents us.

We are at a point where anti-trans attacks are increasing: conservatives and reactionaries, as in the Ypomoni associations or the Little Mermaid Observatory, carry out incessant lobbying and political attacks. France is following the lead of the UK where reactions are leading to legislative attacks against trans people in Parliament: this is happening in France, where today there are no trans voices brought to a national scale.

We think this voice should exist and, for this, we need a national association. Another necessity is having a tool to set up self-support, because starting a local organization costs much more than joining a national organization. It also allows us to be able to dialogue and come into contact with other social movement organizations (feminists, trade unions, anti-racists, anti-ableism, (1) etc.).

We did not immediately launch into national expansion, we laid the democratic and stable operational bases in Tours before creating other local sections, such as in Nîmes. Today, with five sections, there is a good functioning between the routine of the sections and national politics.

What relationship does the OST have with the transassociative world?

Since the death of the Fédération Trans Inter, the trans association has been very dispersed and with very few contacts. It mainly focuses on self-sufficiency. The work provided by the entire movement is necessary, the presence of older activists is also important. In fact, we work and build together, like at ExisTransInter.

In the future, as a trans movement, we must be able to build a balance of power and, for this, it would be interesting to have a space to join forces. We are all united by the desire to provide support to trans people, especially given the conditions that transition entails.

What oppressions do trans people experience in the workplace, and how do you think we can combat it?

The vast majority of trans people are precarious workers because transition paths lead to pressure in companies, closure and harassment. This often leads to exit from paid work and isolation, a vicious cycle closed by hiring discrimination. This phenomenon is even more true for immigrant women, who, excluded from paid work, are pushed into prostitution.

This is not a model dependent on a few transphobic leaders, but rather on the consequences of the capitalist and patriarchal system. Consequently, one of our roles is to ensure that trans workers gain class consciousness because we will not be able to improve our living conditions as trans people if we do not improve those of all workers.

In this sense we invite all trans people to unionize and join revolutionary political organizations. Beyond this, we have been able to start working with some unions, departmental and regional to arm them in the face of transphobia in the world of work. This work has borne fruit especially with healthcare unions.

We have every interest in a rapprochement between the trade union movement and the trans movement, in opening spaces for discussion and training.

Anti-capitalism is necessary for trans struggles, self-help is essential but it is a palliative cure and we must fight at the roots of the capitalist, patriarchal, imperialist and racist system. But the opposite is also true: political struggle is not enough.

From what you say we can understand that the OST has a revolutionary perspective, is that right?

The OST is a mass organization, it aims to bring together all trans people regardless of their ideological currents.

This does not prevent us from having revolutionary, Marxist, anti-imperialist, radical feminist political lines.

We recruit largely on the basis of mutual aid and train to have political perspectives for and by trans people.

And indeed we are critical of the bourgeois and reformist policies that have been implemented towards trans people.

Promises are not kept and when pro-trans legislation exists, associations are not consulted and their recommendations are ignored.

Even if it is interesting to occupy certain councils such as that of healthcare, representation in the places of power of bourgeois democracy is not an objective.

What are your activities in the field?

The OST sections have hotlines to welcome trans people, to support them but also to create connections between them because they are often isolated. The sections also invest in social struggles and participate in their construction. During the pension reform we were present in Tours as OST, and today we are present at all the demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people.

Once this work is finished, let's try to build local trans struggles. For example, around Lille, we are working to create a broad anti-fascist front (also with the UCL) to react to the far right distributing anti-trans leaflets.

There is a date to react to the ongoing massive transphobic offensive, it is October 12, 2024, the date on which we invite a strong political and trade union presence at the ExisTransInter march to impose a balance of power against the rise of anti-trans media and institutional front in France.

*Interview collected by Lou and Lou (Union Communiste Libertaire Grenoble)


1) Anti-abilityism is characterized as a practice of equity. In fact, it aims to build a world accessible to everyone, a world where bodies are not categorized, a world organized in such a way as to respond to everyone's needs.

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