The AUWU, Solidarity and Sarah Alice


This article is a living piece as I piece together what happened to me over March and April, and may change, it’s recommended to refer to the Internet Archive for old versions if you need them.

The Australian Unemployed Workers Union is the premier unemployed advocacy organisation on an individual level. They’ve regularly made the case for a higher unemployment rate, the removal of punitive mutual obligations, and championed marginalised people while highlighting certain cases showing the abuses of Job Service Providers and Disability Employment Service Providers. Until a few months ago, I was a proud volunteer, my duties personally restricted while I was under the cloud of vindictive legal action, that is neither here nor there.

The AUWU has several branches around Australia, the most prominent one in Canberra, which comes in handy for protests at Parliament House. We tried to get one off the ground here in Western Australia, but with my attention divided and my co-conspirator stretching herself thin between causes, we were unable to do so successfully. Meetings were distracted, did not have regular participation, all the things you can expect from grassroots advocacy without any real support or ability to organise our own email lists. No one’s saying activism with the unemployed is easy, there’s too many holes in the cheese to ensure a smooth running machine at all times, on top of the troubles the systems made to police us drives us further into the hole.

In comes Sarah Alice.

Sarah Alice is someone I know virtually nothing about. A trans woman who first showed up on my radar defending Pascal Grosvenor’s abuse around refugees detained offshore in Australia’s gulags on Manus Island (now closed, though those refugees are in immigration limbo) and on Nauru. Obviously, I had no time for this nonsense apologetics for inhumane Labor policy and gave her the heave-ho she deserved. Some time later, probably years, she apologised for this behaviour, and I accepted as any reasonable person might. However, defending dogshit inhumane policy leaves a mark, and I was right to keep my distance, eventually blocking her again for some reason I’ve long forgotton, only to be undone needing to make a new account and not caring to pre-block. Following that, she did some counter-drip liberal Housewives of Auspol, basically just mocking people in auspol for her and her friends amusement. I have never known her to join any advocacy organisation or champion any particular cause beyond public mockery.

Legitimately, I do not know any more about her than that. Short of being told by someone or another that she used to be in a Vanessa Badham group chat, and that she seems to regularly attack trans women now that this is all behind us, it would have been good information to have.

Sarah Alice on Twitter

TERFS (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists): TRAs (trans rights activists) constantly talk about killing us, look!

Trans people: Literally no trans people want you dead!

Meanwhile, there's this thread.

Smash kneecaps, sure. Stop fantasising about killing people. It's fucking gross and helps nobody.
Sarah Alice’s previous attack on Isabelle, for some reason justifying transphobia against trans people in general? I guess violence is okay if it doesn’t kill anyone. 🤔

1) I think it was pretty obvious to any good faith reader that that thread was an expression of outrage rather than serious advocacy for a political program

2) Literally nothing I say will have any impact on whether TERFs call us violent fantasists please be for fucking real

Isabelle, on Twitter

In any case, the events surrounding this scandal start with two friends, one a cis woman, one trans, they both have kids, one is married, the other I have no idea about and it’s legitimately not my business. The cis one decided to cut the trans one off, unceremoniously abandoned her. Sarah decided to get involved and sunk her claws in, attacking the spurned friend with all kinds of accusations about her mental health, about her supposed actions, and settled on calling the trans woman an abuser. This trans woman was already beside herself with grief, her friend gone, pining to the void, not even naming names, and some vicious woman was just diagnosing her and laying into her, in public, on twitter dot com. No dignity whatsoever.

You know you’re doing the therapeutic thing by evading blocks and breaching boundaries.

I stepped in to defend my friend. As one does. Sarah, on being blocked, jumped to an alt to evade it and continue her assault, bemoaning that I came as the cavalry to defend against her abuse. That’s what it was. It was abuse. There was no therapeutic outcome in chiding and degrading another trans woman publicly online, no matter how much therapy speak you throw in there.

In any case, Sarah immediately jumped into defensive position and started posting the most bad faith garbage she could from Phoebe’s Greatest Hits – that is, taking the right wing position on every blow up that has encouraged the social murder of a disabled trans woman. Funny that.

That’s right, Sarah supports and endorses the actions of the PAWG Patrol. Yes, I am saying that just to be inflammatory, though I did confront Sarah with the actions of the harasser she tagged, and she had nothing to say but that she endorsed the harassment of me, because I was upset that Jai had a hashtag, #JusticeForEden, in her display name, after harassing Eden in life, and her survivors in death. Weird position to take, but it was taken.

And Jai pretending to be a paedophile? Well documented, actually. Also, a common theme in Jai’s harassment. Much like her lack of creativity in managing the two accounts blackbarbie and plasticpamela, the latter of which she used to screenshot me, previously having only known about blackbarbie and sexxy as alts.

Following this, Sarah decided to attempt to cut me off from my ability to advocate for the unemployed and drive a wedge between myself and the Australian Unemployed Workers Union. All she had to do was suggest that as a trans woman that I am not sufficiently suicidal enough to be commenting on such sensitive topics, ironically something I was actually in regular contact with AUWU higher ups about, just not stupid enough to put them on a social media site that bans you for being suicidal. Oh, and she had to bring up comments I made after I was falsely called a paedophile by Emma Dawson, executive director at Per Capita, run through the mud in the national conservative media after calling a bad situation of a welfare recipient attacking a Centrelink worker Albo’s fault for perpetuating the policies that contribute to poor mental health by Dee Madigan, Nareen Young and Tim Lyons, also then of Per Capita.

And it worked. Suddenly thoughts I had expressed, in pain and jest and all seriousness, for my entire Twitter existence were something the union thought it had to protect itself from. Suddenly what rabble Sarah Alice can raise to cause trouble, as opposed to the trouble that a single faux independent thinktank can conjure up, were worth responding to. Truly unreal stuff. But then, dividing people from their supports is a classic abuser tactic.

I’ve reflected, and I still think after rebuffing every from-above campaign, you still fell for a bad faith grassroots effort on behalf of a wrecker. You, personally, signed me up as a volunteer knowing what I post, you don’t get to be upset with me when I keep doing that.

Anyway, I have said that I will have nothing to do with the AUWU until the leadership is replaced, and understands that solidarity is not something to be given based on Good Boy Points. The government is killing people in poverty, we have spent years being treated like shit, losing valuable time we will never get back, and having our very ability to consent undermined. Class war was not started by us, and I steadfastly refuse not to be angry about that, couching every thought and feeling in soft words only gets us ignored, and our political enemies have had it too easy for too long, they are fat and ignorant and too easy to lead into rhetorical traps.

I will continue to advocate for people who need help, I will continue to defend my friends from abusers and charlatans. My world is smaller, but it’s mine.

Oh, btw.