from People’s Voice
[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire article follow the above link.]
Character Assassination and Denial: Steven Powers and PSL Philly
In July of 2020, Dakota of PSL Philly reported fellow member Steven Powers for sexual misconduct at the behest of Powers’ then-girlfriend, who used the name Griselda online. In the weeks following his report, Dakota was charged with violating PSL’s constitution, removed from organizational chats, slandered by his so-called comrades and generally isolated by party leadership. Dakota highlighted this process in detail1 after attempting to struggle over the issue through the proper channels. PSL claims that Powers was throroughly investigated, but thus far the only people to see any consequences for his predatory and abusive actions are the people he harmed.
Griselda, who brought his behavior to the attention of other party cadre, has been systematically harassed and stalked by party leadership. In a formal party statement, PSL even disclosed Griselda’s legal name and location, and declared that their investigation committee concluded that Griselda had falsely accused Powers. It’s worth noting that PSL has taken down the statement down due to Griselda threatening suicide; some members now insist that she was not doxxed, repeating the lie that that the original statement had only her first name in it.
What is perhaps most concerning about PSL’s treatment of Griselda is the fact that the party’s investigation into the matter was entirely internal, though she was never a party member. An internal committee of PSL members reading through text messages is not only unqualified to rule out abuse, it is obviously a ploy to avoid transparancy and protect the org’s reputation at any cost. Let us be crystal clear:This is not an internal issue of party discipline. This is an issue of a party member abusing someone outside of the PSL.
The process was further compromised by Powers’ close friendship with members of the Steering Committee, which headed the investigation. Steering Committee member Timour K. was seen hanging out with Steven Powers with other PSL members during the investigation, despite contact with Powers being restricted by the Party.
A recently released statement by former PSL Philly members2, originally intended for internal struggle, details how PSL manipulated Griselda’s accounts to make her out to be a “hysterical woman” and distorted the context for Griselda’s “consent” in order to find Steven Powers innocent of abuse. The Steering Committee also concealed the fact that Powers had another accuser.
If revolutionary parties truly wish to earn the position of vanguard, they must be accountable to the masses, both inside and outside party membership. PSL’s attempts to resolve contradictions between themselves and the unorganized masses through secretive internal meetings reveals not only a disconnect from the broader masses, but a deep fear and distrust of them as well. This is far from the first time that PSL has sprung to the defense of over-degreed white chauvunists in its ranks.