On Monday, June 11, the day after a week of repression targeting the anti-G7 mobilizations, an anonymous article appeared on the Facebook page of the feminist collective Les Gamines, known for having previously published denunciations of instances of sexual violence within Montréal’s militant left. At first glance, the article published by what would prove to be a fake account (“Zora Xeno”) seemed like other anonymous denunciations that have appeared in recent years. In the text a woman militant denounces a male militant for groping her breasts during an anti-G7 demo. The text is accompanied by a photo of two masked participants at one of the demos. “Zora Xeno” requests any information that will help her to identify her aggressor.
It has now become apparent that the “denunciation,” which has been shared on the Facebook pages of a number of cultural organizations and militant left groups in Québec and Ontario, is in fact entirely the creation of far-right trolls hoping both to sow dissent in left milieus and to gather militants’ personal information. Presumably, it is also meant to “prove” that the left goes too far, qualifying “almost anything” as sexual aggression: an example being the attempt by the duo known as DMS to share the “denunciation” in the form of a mocking meme that made an ironic reference to the #MeToo hashtag. Nonetheless, whatever these misogynist crypto-fascists may think, sexual touching (including touching a woman’s breasts without her consent) actually is a form of sexual violence.
A Story Debunked
Even if the formulation seemed a bit off (sort of like a Google translation) and the concepts used a bit mangled (« parce que l’ACAB »), our first reflex was to believe the denunciation, while a handful of right-wingers did their best to ridicule, minimize, and trivialize it on their Facebook pages.
However, the people in the photo found out what was going on pretty quickly and confirmed that there was absolutely no basis to the story. The woman presented as the victim in the “Zora Xeno” text clearly stated that she had not written it. This made it obvious that this was of a “phony denunciation,” which left us asking: Who could be behind such completely base behaviour?
It was the DMS duo sharing the “denunciation” that set off alarm bells for us. As mentioned above, they presented a screen capture of the “denunciation” and ridiculed it. As we can see above, their screen capture came a mere fifteen minutes after the text from the fake “Zora Xeno” account was published on the Les Gamines page. There was clearly something off about the idea of anti-feminist misogynists so assiduously following a feminist Facebook page that had, in fact, been inactive for a number of months—let alone finding themselves on a feminist group’s page, where they just happen to click on “Publications des visiteurs,” only to stumble upon a denunciation published just fifteen minutes earlier from a Facebook account with absolutely no friends (i.e., with no chance of popping up on absolutely anyone’s newsfeed). So, really, it seems pretty unlikely that all of this is a coïncidence…
It seems possible that the false denunciation didn’t have the desired effect, given that DMS took the meme down an hour later.
What Is DMS?
DMS is a duo of ultranationalist video makers made up of Maxime “DaMcLuv” Morin and Guillaume “Caporal Chef” Beauchamp. Morin is a notorious homophobe, antisemite, and anti-feminist, who, among other things, is notable for his participation on the Montréal neo-Nazi forum “Montréal Storm” under his pseudonym “DaMcLuv” (and whose propaganda has received positive reviews for the [self-proclaimed] fascist Shawn Beauvais-Macdonald). As to Beauchamp, he is also anti-feminist and antisemitic, as well as exhibiting some sociopathic tendencies. This duo of pinheads can be broadly categorized as alt-right (for more on this subject, consult the glossary). They are known for their efforts at doxing (divulging personal information) left-wing militants.
This crass instrumentalization of an anonymous denunciation of sexual violence will not prevent us from believing survivors and victims who opt for this tactic in the future. It is a tactic that makes complete sense in a society where a rape culture persists and the official channels (legal, at the workplace, in schools, etc.) demean and retraumatize plainants. The wave of denunciations, like those of #MeToo or, in Québec, #AgressionNonDénoncée,provide testimony to this year in and year out.
This episode once again highlights the hypocrisy and mendacity of the far right.They are the first to shit all over the survivors and victims of sexual violence because they believe that all women are “liars” who make “false accusations” of rape, and then they turn around and fabricate a false denunciation from scratch. They nevermiss an opportunity to accuse the mass media of spreading disinformation, and then they spin up this entirely false story. And to prove what exactly? That they believe unwanted sexual touching is a trivial issue? That they’re misogynists? That rampant sexual violence and the related domination also exist in left-wing milieus?
In the final analysis, it seems perfectly clear that this false denunciation is the work of the far right. We wholeheartedly denounce this instrumentalization of a tactic for denouncing sexual aggression. We will continue to combat rape culture and to support and believe the survivors.