A recent emergency, and subsequent offer for aid from an ex-friend and ally, really made me ask myself some difficult questions about solidarity and struggle. This person has a history of intentionally hurting people and destabilizing interpersonal relationships between people in the radical community. Their behavior is consistently manipulative, deceitful and emotionally abusive, and it has, time and again completely dissolved functional radical projects and groups in this city. I haven’t spoken to them in over six months because of their destructive behavioral patterns, but when my partner and I were in trouble and needed to be picked up, this person called and offered us a ride. We ended up finding someone else to pick us up, but the offer itself still forced me to confront some uncomfortable ethical dilemmas.
On a personal level, I don’t like this person, but larger than that is the fact that I don’t trust this person; I never intend to work with them again in any capacity because I think they are fundamentally damaging to radical anti-oppression organizing. Despite all that, this person is, when the chips are down, essentially on the same team as I am, (as much as it may grate on me to admit it) so what does it say about me if I would refuse them aid because of interpersonal beef in the face of a greater common enemy? What that says about me is that I’m gross and that I’m not really true to what I believe in.
Being true to my principles and actually expressing solidarity means helping someone out when the real enemies come at us with their teeth bared even if I don’t like them, agree with them or trust them or even if we have beef. We’re fucked as activists, as anarchists and as revolutionaries if we’ll throw each other to the wolves (the state) over interpersonal drama in the face of real danger. So yes, if they were ever in real trouble I would do what I could to help, because solidarity is a duty to my principles and our common struggles, its not about the love I bear anyone, because sometimes the people who need acts of solidarity are not the people you love.