will a compassionate petition now get no-platformed ?


(Good news about 38 Degrees first – it has dropped its former arrogant practice of forcing you to join it in the action of signing a petition.)

So – for anyone with a humanitarian conscience against all the barbarity of British border policies in recent time, it’s a no-brainer to have to support this petition, against a deportation to Iran of an autistic person.

At the same time I don’t like this page’s publicly patronising and insulting description of one of the person’s condition. I think it’s an example of the type of bad description of autism that its scene is struggling to discourage. Don’t you?




Are they going to back it or no-platform it?
16 Jul 2018

Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh

This post does not yet say this is a bad organisation. It says it needs to show the public that it is not a bad organisation.

Autistic Mutual Aid Society is the relatively recently formed group, who started the present no-platforming crisis in Edinburgh around a Ragged University event on autism that was going to feature some nonconsensual medical ideas – for discussion. But the momentum for hunting RU from venue to venue could be watched happening by personal hotheaded decisions prompted in reaction to messages, so it was not all organised, had a life of its own.

AMASE has its own event on Jul 10 (tomorrow at time of posting), one of its sessions of public education on autism, directly clashing in time with RU’s event after taking over the time slot at the first venue that under their lobbying cancelled on RU.


Folks who choose to attend the AMASE event, or otherwise to support AMASE, need to find out from it whether it is, or is not, going to be a damagingly purge-happy dictatorship, that instantly rejects or falls out with folks who its leaders have any difference of view with. That would be a corrupt character of control and forced sameness, not a character of mutual aid.

On Jul 4 to 6 both of AMASE’s leadership couple quickly accused me of hostility to them, just because I told that venue, Lighthouse bookshop, on its Facebook page, that on its own stated grounds for not wanting to host RU’s event it must also adopt a position of not hosting any autism events promoting Autistic Pride Day. Which, you remember, is a thing with directly hateful origins, invented by a high-control and purge-happy group that is gone but whose leadership couple are still seeking influence for other projects through which they could damage more spectrumites with rejection and control experiences.

The ethical line I drew at Lighthouse was against ANY autism events promoting APD, organised by ANYONE – see that’s quite impartial.  Of course an ethical curb that applies to everyone would apply to AMASE, but that is no more than equal imposition as their no-platforming of the medical ideas is an imposition on another organisations including any I’m attached to. So if they don’t like it, they don’t like sauce for the gander.

Because AMASE’s imminent event on is not promoting APD (and thanks to AMASE for saying so !), my action has nothing to do with its meeting. So it can’t possibly be an act of hostility to the meeting or to AMASE.

This reply was given promptly. Yet AMASE’s leaders have not yet acknowledged this common sense, not yet withdrawn the stance of accusing me of hostility to them by taking that action. To accuse hostility for a step that does not attack their meeting or them at all, and to leave a common sense reply unacknowledged and leave the hostility charge standing, WOULD BE AN ACT OF PERSONAL DISTANCING AND PUSHING AWAY, of intolerant hostility by them, therefore of quick-fire PURGING. It’s a corrupt tactical hostility for group control. Instant falling out with a person for a difference of view on one item. To lead any autistic group in that way is emotional danger to all and exploitation. AFF’s history and collapse illustrated so.

So THIS POST WILL BE DELETED IF AMASE itself posts or otherwise gets in touch to acknowledge the common sense, and to state consequently that we are not on hostile terms. If it does that, it will show it does not push folks away as soon as they have a difference with the leadership on one issue. It will show it is not purge-happy and not going to turn out the same harmful and disastrous way as Aspies For Freedom ! THIS IS IN THE BALANCE RIGHT NOW.

Maurice Frank
9 Jul 2018

PC no-platforming should not be done to grassroots discussions

There is a controversy happening at present around a discussion event billed to be held in Edinburgh by the Ragged University project. This is a project for grassroots community education by sharing of personal learning insights; “everyone is a ragged university.” It works democratically by having folks give talks with discussion. Personally built up knowledge can also be written about on its website.

Key point is that there is discussion. The talks are not speakers from on high coming and laying the law down. Nor does what they say have the authority of being the project’s view – it’s always just their own view, their own perceived coming from their own learning. SO IT IS NOTHING AT ALL LIKE the cases where a big name speaker comes touring in to give an offensive speech that a targetted population group have no access to answer.

An effort is happening, to do that dictatorial PC practice of no-platforming, to a proposed talk about a rather wacky medical theory about autism. To lobby every venue that gets gets booked to hold it, to cancel and disown it.

Certainly the speaker’s ideas, written as if all autism was non-verbal! don’t match at all the lived experience of verbal able autistics, and our history going back way before modern medicine and including Isaac Newton as one of us. A conspiracy theory attributing autism’s existence to aberrant medicine and appearing to believe it has only existed since the 1970s! – does not match at all the scene’s experience at all levels of ability: after all it was exactly the more severe levels of autism that were known from long before that. Folks affected and their families are entitled to find the theory insulting. But that reaction, itemising the idea’s demerits, can be given in reply to it, both in website posts and in discussion. When given at a grassroots level, not by some remote big speaker, it can be replied to and discussed and autistic experiences not matching it can be pointed out. The discussion process itself is educative. So, to try to gag the talk from ever being given at all, is not educative or democratic.

Ragged University has several writings by aspies on its site. It is very clearly visibly not anti-autistic. It has been treated with sinister undemocratic hooliganism, by the arrogance of a few folks, on hearing of the controversy from peers, acting spontaneously self-prompted to hunt RU from venue to venue! to prevent it from holding this discussion, which as a result will be held in a park – THAT ACTION DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ALL AUTISTICS.

84        eiru

It creates the democratic problem of who should have the power to inflict the gagging or draw the lines of offence against what can be discussed? Law against direct incitement to hate already sets a line against talks that would do that. That is the answer to anyone who argues, would we then have to allow talks on fascistic theories about race? Hate is socially excluding and hence anti-democratic. Short of hate, excluding ideas becomes anti-democratic, because works against the accountability and analysis of ideas.

One poster against allowing this talk suggested effectively that talks should be vetted for being scientific before they are allowed. The loudest voices against spiritual/paranormal types of idea often want scientific vetting of what is allowed to be heard: but exactly that is not scientific, it places establishment science cult-like beyond challenge and turns it into doctrine exactly like a religion.

Some of the folks trying to prevent this talk had no ethical problem with observing Autistic Pride Day, which is directly associated with hate. As all followers of this site will know well, Autistic Pride Day was invented by a movement that treated many autistics hatefully, and whose leaders started out with a line against harmful medicine but rapidly betrayed that line and proudly made connections themselves with medical voices in favour of drugging us. So what do you make of being okay with Autistic Pride Day with its hateful background, but trying to censor a grassroots discussion event where wacky ideas about autism can be answered and their demerits said in discussion?

4 Jul 2018