These charges do not stand alone. In late August/early September 2021 conversations amongst NY-based individuals and organizations turned to the question of male violence in the movement, specifically centered on Carlito Rovira’s history of abuse. The CBMH supports the efforts of Latinx women, 60s veterans, and others to formulate a process for accountability and restorative justice around Rovira’s history of abuse. However, we take our own path to breaking the silence.
When the sexual abuse allegations surfaced in 2020, further investigation revealed that Carlito Rovira had patterns of violence against women spanning decades. His actions have been given cover because too many radical social movements have sidestepped violence against women. It is an open secret that Carlito Rovira attacked a former romantic partner, in Worker’s World. We also learned he pointed a gun at a woman’s head. These survivors have been unwilling to go public with their stories.
These facts are known in the numerous organizations he has disrupted, but they’ve remained concealed by victims and supporters alike who fear retaliation. Carlito Rovira has in the past threatened to harm anyone who has sought to challenge and expose him. We stand with survivors and believe that unequivocal and widespread public exposure of Carlito Rovira’s pattern of abuse against women can protect them and others.
Some believe that exposing internal abuse is a distraction from the left’s struggle against the predations of the state. That’s because COINTELPRO used everything from violence to rumors in attempts to destroy the Black liberation movement. We make these accusations transparently with ample proof and in alignment with Revolutionary ancestor Safiya Bukhari’s premise (quoting Mao) of “No investigation, no right to speak.” Having closely examined these unprincipled behaviors, violations of communal trust and acts of sexual violence against our comrade, we now invoke our right to speak—not only to further advance necessary healing and accountability processes personally and organizationally but also in solidarity with the countless individuals and collectives that have been victimized in a similar manner. We see this as part of the commitment to promoting a culture of resistance that stands at the core of our organizing efforts.
The CBMH is issuing this statement to shed light on the abuse that lurks in our movements and gives cover to abusers who move from organization to organization. The CBMH is dedicated to fighting for a better world, realizing abolition, and in particular, demanding the freedom of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
We will be helping organize an effect at the end of october 2021, to better understand MISOGYNIST VIOLENCE IN OUR MOVEMENTS, HEAR ACCOUNTS OF SURVIVORS OF MISOGYNIST VIOLENCE, AND LEARN TO BETTER SUPPORT SURVIVORS.