I first met Bella Robinson in Autumn 2015. Ironically, the conduit that brought us together, a dysfunctional hard-left political cult with delusions of grandeur about labor union organizing, ultimately proved in short order to:
- Be loaded with a bunch of homophobic assholes;
- Have absolutely no grasp of the risks involved with labor organizing or sex work in general;
- Kick both of us for not being “politically correct” (in the true meaning of that phrase, which either Alexander Cockburn or Stuart Hall claimed as a New Left in-joke about the stodginess of the old Communist Party of Great Britain codgers who policed membership over sectarian minutiae no one actually gave a damn about);
- Promptly implode owing to their consistent and repeated facilitation of sexual malfeasance (while not trying to minimize this, such occurrences are by no means new in the world of lefty cults and just Google Gerry Healy, a despicable British Trot, to see what I mean).
In other words, I came out of that experience with Bella as a person I actually would call comrade in the true meaning of that word. She had my back at a key moment when she did not have to do so and did me a solid by not buying the cult’s bullshit. We left the rest of those losers in our wake wallowing in their own crater of banal stupidity. This shows that anyone on the side of Bella ends up a winner.
Over the next several years, Bella has brought me along for the ride as she has organized in the Greater Providence area for sex worker rights, keeping me abreast of developments and letting me tag along when I can. What impresses me so much is her no-bullshit attitude and willingness to give absolutely anybody a chance. Case and point: simultaneous with her engagement with aforementioned cult, she also tried to take advantage of the admirable elements of the Libertarian Party program and build an alliance with them. Having also personally tried to engage with the same Libertarian Party in Rhode Island in the name of proactive political alliances, I give her a ton of credit there.
Here is an episode of my totally irregularly-scheduled podcast Political Gingervitis that features a speech Bella gave to a Connecticut college audience some years ago. Enjoy!