Köpi Bleibt Nicht *TW Rape culture in Köpi
On the 6th of December there was a special assembly in Köpi collective where there was a discussion about how to deal with the future of Köpi. One of the inhabitants of the house called out the rape culture in Köpi. The definition was explained on the basis of concepts that constitute rape culture and it was tied to concrete events of sexualized violence that have taken place in Köpi and how inadequate people dealt with this in the past and present. The inhabitant gave the conditions that are bound to the future of Köpi because the patriarchal violence and rape culture is so evident and doesn’t change. It has no home within an anti-authorarian environment, it shouldn’t get support but be fought. The conditions for change were not negotiable because the lives of affected people are non- negotiable. It was disclosed that when the conditions are declined, it will be published. As this was the case, this text gets published.
The conditions were as followed:
- Köpi house and all collectives organizing spaces in the house are going to engage with workshops about rape culture and internalized patriarchy. All members will do the workshops and if they don’t, they can’t have positions that hold power nor be active within the collective.
- AGH, Keller, Koma F and other venues will have awareness that is organized externally. Because Köpi can’t prevent and support affected people if they protect perpetrators.
- Köpi house and all collectives will make clear agreements about consent and the consequences of violating it.
- The perpetrators who don’t take accountability are denied access so that the affected people can heal in a more healthy environment without getting triggered by perpetrators.
- The people who defend perpetrators will take accountability towards the affected people. If they don’t, they can’t be active members of the collective nor take the stage for concerts within Köpi because it’s unhealthy for the healing process of affected people.
- Köpi house and all the collectives will have a plenum every month to work on community sense. There will be investment in getting an assembly structure and how to make decisions so plenums can’t be sabotaged anymore with a majority voice that is discriminating the precarious conditions of minorities that are affected by their abusive behavior and choices.
- Minority groups in this collective have room for their own decisions within Köpi when the privileged majority doesn’t show solidarity on fighting patriarchy, racism, neo-colonialism, fascism and capitalism that is connected to gentrification.
Reaction collective members
The collective members reacted in a way that is reproducing all behavior that is patriarchal, fascist and misogynist. It was said that calling out rape culture isn’t showing solidarity towards Köpi and the struggle it faces. It was asked why to start a conflict about rape culture because the house has different choices to make that are more important and it can happen in another moment. Publishing the rape culture, by not agreeing on the conditions, is called blackmailing. The house member, that addressed the topic, was called a narcissist that is taking their stage for disruptive attention and calling out rape culture. It was said that if the house member doesn’t like Köpi they can move out and leave the place. Needless to say that these statements are regularly used against people raising their voices against injustices, FLINTA-people standing up for themselves in patriarchal structures and refugees fighting for their rights in a racist system ‘if you don’t like it here go back to your own countries’.
If the collective members have the same attitude after this publication or defend themselves with their own call out by making conspiracies and intimidate affected people, it will only show that they put their energy in the wrong direction. It just confirms the reason for being called out in the meeting and that they are fully aware of who is affected because those concepts within rape culture are called silencing and character assassination and is used to restore rape culture as can be read in the zine Betrayal. The collective member who called it out is being kicked out of Köpi because of the call out in the meeting. The member that is kicked out wished that Köpi was that adequate with perpetrators but that is not the case. It is more dangerous to say something about rape culture then to do an act of sexualized violence within Köpi.
The bar is low
Köpi doesn’t apply the simple 3 conditions that could make it a safer space. That’s investing in awareness, information on consent and on the consequences of violating consent. On the events that take place within Köpi, there is hardly awareness facilitated and most of the time it happens if people from outside organize a party. There is no information spread about the agreements of consent and what the consequences are when this is violated. There are no safe people to turn to when there has been an act of sexualized violence. When there’s been an act of sexualized violence, there is little reflection within the structure to analyze what happened and what could be done to prevent it for the future. Instead, the fight to get the sexualized violence taken serious takes up all the discussion. Statistically, the first experience of assault in Europe is around the age of 15 and it happens to 1 out of 3. In Köpi two teenagers of 14 already had their first experience and this had no follow up to prevent it in the future.
Victim blaming and refusing to take sexualized violence serious
Affected people get intimidated by members from a collective. Affected persons get victim blamed and slut shamed to justify the acts of sexualised violence. Affected people are getting re-traumatized for facing their perpetrator or have to endure psychological violence from perpetrator protectors. When they scream for support or get angry because of the violence they endure within rape culture Köpi, it’s seen as aggressive behavior. Affected people are structurally neglected and their stories are disbelieved. They get a cop-like investigating treatment by getting asked for proof, detailed stories and reconstructions of events that are re-traumazing. The outcome is that it’s still providing more empathy or care for a perpetrator. It’s political betrayal to protect perpetrators but within rape culture it’s worse to talk with a cop than with abusers, perpetrators and accomplices. Their friends repeat violent abuse towards FLINTA-people and it shows that FLINTA’s are treated inferior and the revolution needs to start at home.
Perpetrator protection and scrutinizing the mental state of the affected person
The perpetrators can still walk around in Köpi with little to no consequences for not doing accountability. When perpetrators are being called out, they get support, space and protection by the surrounding. It’s either apologizing, justifying or staying silent by not engaging and looking away. One perpetrator that lives in the house and is member of different collectives even got so much care that their therapy got paid after being called out for abusive and violent behavior with no effect. A repetition of abusive and violent behavior even then has to be debated in a plenum to kick him out. It’s not wrong to support perpetrators with therapy but it’s only an option when the support for the affected people is louder. That loud support has never existed within Köpi and it’s a repetition of how the German state is dealing with sexualized violence that can be seen in how they deal with the Istanbul convention.
The Turkish state might have officially withdrawn back from the Istanbul convention, the German state is doing it in silence. Looking a bit closer, the blatant misogyny within the state of Germany is visible when one is doing a quick check up. The state lacks funding for the Istanbul convention and all the points that came out of the convention are neglected in parliament. There is a shortage of 14.000 spaces for flinta-people who need shelter for sexualized violence and in Berlin, life threatening situation are addressed by the Women’s Shelter Coordination (FHK). Meanwhile the German society finances the perpetrators with immediate legal protection, probationary assistance, therapy, education or a complete course of study. Köpi is a direct reflection of the German state by paying the therapy, the protection and care for the perpetrator and affected people hardly get attention, minimal support and they have to move mountains to get a house ban done. No one cares about mental healthcare for affected people nor is there anyone asking if they need financial support for trauma healing that is inflicted by a perpetrator within Köpi. People who have to process their trauma live in isolation or get ostracized within Köpi. If in any way the mental state of the affected person is mentioned, it’s done in a way by saying that they are crazy or addicted. There is no link made between affected people’s behavior and the trauma they had to suffer from intense violent abuse. They are diminished as a crazy women that had their share in the relationship. This is said to make up the balance and again to apologize the violent acts of the perpetrator.
House members and active members within AGH collective share the stage with their punkbands like Farsa and Zaraza. Farsa let’s a perpetrator in with a house ban. And when they are confronted with that, they protect perpetrators and victim blame affected people for getting the consequences of sexualized violence. They don’t take any accountability. On the contrary, in their perspective it’s the mistake of the affected people that perpetrator protectors weren’t rightly informed about their abusive friend. It’s said by Zaraza front member that people should refrain from calling AGH out as a rape culture hub because ’no one knows the whole story‘. But when a perpetrator is shown the door after violating the houseban, the front member says he’s a victim. It couldn’t possibly be the problem that bands like Farsa and Zaraza believe the wrong story, support the wrong people, have to little knowledge about patriarchy, sexualized violence and hold rape culture in it’s place with a rape myths mindset.
Refusing prevention and snitching to perpetrators
Publishing this piece of text was called blackmailing by a housemember of Köpi. In contrary, after the housemember wanted to inform other house projects about a perpetrator that is kicked out of Köpi, it was snitched by name and face to the perpetrator. The housemember was after ‘casually confronted’ with that information by the perpetrator. Not only is this snitching behavior dangerous for the person that wants to inform other house projects, it also can come back towards affected people. Housemembers within Köpi defend that other houseprojects should not get informed because of „privacy reasons“ for the perpetrator. They don’t care about the intentional abuse of the perpetrator and that this needs to be prevented in other projects. A perpetrator can simply abuse in all privacy with the knowledge of bystanders that keep silent.
The rape culture is not only facilitated by men but also projected back towards FLINTA-people by cis-women with internalized patriarchal behavior. The call outs get denied by them, they give affected people a silent treatment, being a man is used as an argument to reason that something is truthful or better, they laugh to each other in meetings when someone is insecure or vulnerable. Thus it’s no surprise that people who are affected by sexualized violence, defend the collective and deny rape culture. But it’s not to blame on affected people that they have no experience with healthier places within society or collective spaces. If AGH is for them a healthy place, it says something about the terrible places they came from and it displays what they had to survive. Not having a healthier experience or surrounding is also taking the autonomy from the affected people away to call out and get support because it will be a struggle over the power of definition. When an affected person is going back to her abusive partner, she will be called the toxic one. It’s easier to just crush a harmed person until there is nothing left to crush than to understand codependency or gaslighting in abusive relationships. An affected person is often still tied to a perpetrator if a relationship is broken up because the harassment, abuse and violence doesn’t stop overnight.
But we are Anarchists Punks and Antifascists!
There is no difference with a local bar and a „political space“ if there is no radical support for affected people, community accountability or transformative justice and feminism. Doing anti-fascist work like raising money and awareness about the war in Ukraine while facilitating rape culture goes hand in hand when there is more privilege in the oppression. These soli-events are sincere because the personal is political for some and the war hits literally home but it’s bizarre to realize because Putin uses rape as a weapon towards FLINTA-people in his attack towards Ukraine for his Russification. Only the worst case scenario abroad that is done by the totalitarian enemy is seen as evil. Punks with anarchist badges that organize antifa soliparties have the idea that they are dismissed from reflecting on any patriarchal violence in their own spaces. They think they hold a position of universality with the right set of morals but it’s nothing then showing that they gathered an alternative set of morals to use in a patriarchal way. Patriarchy wanted to spread it’s universal morals as well and that’s reflected back our colonial past and neo-colonial present.
Self-organized practices like accountability originated in Black communities where the consequence for perpetrators is death or life imprisonment that is deeply rooted in racism. Although community accountability and transformative justice are well known words, most people don’t know how to practice it, which leads to perpetrator care. It often doesn’t even come to taking accountability because West European punks, anarchist and antifascists are simply privileged and the consequences aren’t the same like f.e. in the U.S. Being in Western Europe as a perpetrator gives the option to make a switch in life or go to another city. With perpetrator protectors caring for privacy, the cycle of sexualized violence can start again. Sometimes a perpetrator changes city and starts to act healthier. That doesn’t say that the affected person was part of the problem, it often says that the perpetrator has little alternatives left or wants to prevent that rumors reach a new city. He can put an act up to be known as dr. Jackyll in his new environment but he left the old one as mr. Hyde and it shows that this behavior is intentional, that there is a reflection point and that what he’s doing is thought out.
Be aware and pull up
Sexualized violence exists for centuries within society and it extends to our spaces. More then 80% of FLINTA-people in Europe are affected by sexualized violence, 99% of the perpetrators is men and 10% of the FLINTA people asks for support. The reaction of Köpi shows why this 10% asks for support and why the majority of affected people is afraid to call out. Germany is number 2 on the list of feminicide and it’s called the silent epidemic. Every other day there is a femme-person murdered within a situation of domestic violence in Germany. It’s not that this never could have happened in Köpi, they’re just lucky that it didn’t happen. The majority of members in Köpi doesn’t take any care for not letting it happen and reacts dismissive when this topic is put on the table.
There is no need to think about the future of Köpi collective if it doesn’t take care of the concrete needs in the present that is connected to feminism. There is no solidarity for FLINTA-people and their struggle. Instead the collective expects solidarity from feminists within the existence of rape culture. But we will not stroke your cocks! Feminists couldn’t care less that this space gets evicted because it’s at least one place less to think of that is unsafe and where fascists in anarchist clothes flaunt with being good by association.
Berlin anti- authorians are turning their back and have created their own safe spaces. Its important that safe spaces are there but it doesn’t mean the problem is gone. The problem is more concentrated and less in your face because nobody engages while it’s part of a feminist fight. Those who want to fight rape culture from within face violence, intimidation and character assassination. It made those who opposed rape culture in Köpi a long time ago burned out and a lot of them are affected themselves with minimal support. And there is no support from the outside for them because official support groups have waiting lists which shows that the problem in our environment is very present.
Köpi is a paradise for toxic people that glorify in rape culture. This has no place within any anarchist mindset but it has a place in a folk fascist mindset to oppose authority or government, border a culture within the physical gates of the community, point people out as others and tell them to fuck off when there is criticism. If Köpi doesn’t want to change, don’t support it because this place has not only attacked one of us, it attacked all of us and it costs years of the affected peoples lives to recover. Everyone knew and looked away but know that it’s not only the sexualized violence that is killing us, it’s also your loud silence!
Support affected people
- Believe the story of affected people, meet them face to face, encourage them, don’t take their power of definition and autonomy away.
- Don’t blame affected people for living in rape culture. Support them actively in this struggle and pressure the environment to change. Some don’t have easy access to other places within a gentrifying city and it’s reproducing the racist narrative within nations and fascist speech.
- If an affected person is in danger, support them by making the space safer or to get out of that situation by looking for an alternative space.
- The most dangerous moment in a violent relationship for those affected is the time of separation. It is therefore important to keep that in mind and talk separation through with safe alternatives and support.
- Accompany affected people with support to medical care or healthcare
- Set up a support group, give telephone availability in crisis
- Collect solidarity money for those affected that can be used for medical care or moving etc.
- In all this, supporters should respect their own capacities and limitations
- Appreciate support work and in turn, offer and provide support for supporters
For those who ask themselves what to do
- Deal with the fact that we all grew up with a patriarchal idea of sexuality and start deconstructing it
- Deal with the situations in which you have been sexually violent
- Deal with how and in what form, you’ve been perpetrator protector
- Deal with the power of definition, your definition of consent and sexuality
- Deal with how violent the binary gender system is
- Deal with the toxic part of your masculinity
- Learn how to prevent those unhealthy trades
- Don’t think you will be done dealing with patriarchy because that is called privilege
How to deal with Köpi
- Parents talk with your rebellious spirited teenagers who are curious to go to Köpi
- Don’t spend any money for solidarity in Köpi to save the place because it’s funding rape culture on the long run. Instead spent money on Lila hilfe to support affected people: https://lilahilfe.org/
- Don’t organize solidarity parties in Köpi. It is unsafe for FLINTA-people. No space is guaranteed safe but there are spaces that take preventive measures against sexualized violence.
- Think twice before hanging banners and posters. Positive political association will also give Köpi platform as an anarchist space while it’s toxic to the bone.
- Political spaces should consider if they platform a band like Farsa and Zaraza as perpetrator protectors
- Don’t ask for Köpi’s solidarity because it’s a facade that is build on echo’s of the past and it has no fundament in today’s political values
- If bands or DJ’s feel the need to take the stage in Köpi, demand external awareness from the collective so the visitors attending to venues are more safe
- Don’t go alone to Köpi and go with friends who trust your truth
- Never leave your drinks and be aware that people take advantage of you when you get wasted. Consent is not something that is understood within Köpi Collective
- Other projects and spaces that organize politically should consider how to deal with a place that is historically connected to a shared past within a squatting movement and houseprojects that don’t do accountability to change
Zines and Info
Sprout Distro: https://www.sproutdistro.com/catalog/zines/accountability-consent/
Accountabillity for ourselves: https://archive.org/details/AccountingForOurselves/accounting-for-ourselves_screen/page/n19/mode/1up?view=theater
The broken teapot: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/anonymous-the-broken-teapot
**If you read yourself back in the stories as an affected person without ever sharing or given consent, it’s because a lot of stories are the same! The behavior within rape culture is the same but happens in a different context because it’s systematically. If you are a person that is affected by Köpi or in Köpi, please seek support. There is an email available (see below). There are many people that are affected with you, who are afraid to come out. You are not alone, we stand with you.