Victorian Socialists Stephen Jolly accused of “decades” of sexual harassment (and dick pics).

Activism, Australian Politics, Feminism, Regressive Left, Rundown, Sexual harassment

Fresh from his humiliating defeat in the Victorian state election allegations have come to light that veteran Marxist activist and City of Yarra Councillor Stephen Jolly has a twenty year history of sexually harassing female left wing activists.

Stephen Jolly. Marxist. Alleged sexual harasser.

In news that has been deliberately kept from the vast majority of Vic Socialist members and supporters it has been alleged by former members that before launching the ill-fated electoral front the Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative groups who were its main backers held an investigation into the apparently decades long history of sexual impropriety by Cllr Jolly.

Stephen Jolly, Trotskyist, Councillor and alleged sex pest. Also pictured Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance. Photo: Joe Armao. Source: Fairfax

The investigation examined claims that Jolly sent a series of sexually explicit and harassing messages including unsolicited pictures of his genitals to multiple nonconsenting young women and girls involved both in Marxist movements and related campaigns.

The investigation in question also dismissed more serious allegations against Jolly that were apparently swept under the rug by the Socialist Alternative dominated investigators who were allegedly “secretive and biased” as well as dismissive of any allegations considered outside the narrow scope of the incidents in question and quick to blame and undermine the credibility of the alleged female victims.

When Jolly was called to account for his behaviour by the investigators he allegedly admitted that he had harassed women both by text and in person and described it as an addiction. His alleged victims were reportedly unhappy with this admission of guilt and contacted the Socialist Alliance leadership asking them to withdraw from the Victorian Socialists project, a request which the Socialist Alliance leadership refused.

One of the only reasons we know about this is due to the fact that this refusal caused such revulsion amongst sections of the Socialist Alliance leadership that some have resigned in disgust. One of those who resigned is Sydney activist Mia Sanders who aired both the allegations of sexual harassment and the allegations of cover up on social media.

Mia Sanders, Former Socialist Alliance youth leader and NSW upper house candidate who quit over the allegations against Cllr Jolly.

Ms Sanders was certainly no peripheral figure in the Socialist Alliance; she was chosen as third on their ticket of sixteen candidates for the NSW Legislative Council at the last state election and was the National Co-Convener of the Socialist Alliance’s youth branch “Resistance”. Other Socialist Alliance members such as long-time organiser Mark Hyde have also left over the alleged cover up.

Two screenshots showing some of the dozens of posts online detailing the alleged sexual misconduct and cover up.

This is of course not the first sexual scandal in Australian Trotskyism. Ms Sanders’ own Sydney central Socialist Alliance branch only three years ago forced the resignation of activist and Legislative Council candidate Jemma Notts for being too noisy about her complaints of constant unwanted sexual approaches from a more senior male activist.

Jemma Nott. Former Sydney Socialist Alliance activist and upper house candidate who was forced out after making sexual harassment allegations.

Stephen Jolly himself had his Socialist Party split apart only 3 years ago due to multiple allegations of harassment and abuse against one of his protégés. It is amusing in the light of these current allegations to note that in that case Jolly was the one standing on his soapbox piously proclaiming the need to “believe all women”.

It is worth noting that even after the electoral failure for the VicSocs that was the Victorian election Socialist Alternative activists are privately (and not so privately) gloating at the discomfort these ructions and moral compromises have caused in their rivals. Socialist Alternative of course has no current sexual harassment allegations to deal with themselves, perhaps because the generally younger and far more cult-like SAlt activists haven’t been given permission by their leaders to have feelings of lust yet.

It is of course worth pointing out that all these allegations are unproven at this time and given the extremely secretive nature of Trotskyist groups are likely to remain so. But considering the huge amount of union members’ money that was poured into the unsuccessful Vic Socialist electoral campaign to give Jolly even more power and influence perhaps Stephen should set the record straight.

Stephen Jolly at the S11 riots he helped organise in September 2000.

Did this man, this activist against oppression, this supreme feminist, this champion of the underdog send unsolicited pictures of his dick to multiple young women?

I suspect all of us reading this know the answer but regardless we really would like to hear from you Stephen.

Please, please, PLEASE try and explain this one.