The board of the political party Bij1 has suspended activist and artist Quinsy Gario as a member because he behaved manipulatively, sowed divisions and adopted a male dominant position. That is what chairman Jursica Mills of the party said at the general meeting of members.
She called Gario’s attitude “toxic behavior”, and apologized to the victims for the party’s allowing the situation to continue for so long.
According to Mills, sixteen people within Bij1 have complained about the behavior of Gario, who was number two on the list in the elections, behind party leader Sylvana Simons.
The signals about Gario started coming in from the moment he became active for the party, in 2020. Communication with him would have been so difficult that many volunteers did not feel safe and avoided contact with him. Several attempts have been made to mediate to improve the situation, but to no avail, Mills said.
Members very shocked
The conflict about Quinsy Gario has heated up within Bij1 in recent days. The decision to suspend him as a member has been criticized from various quarters. About 200 members sent a letter to the board, in which they wrote that they were very shocked by the suspension.
By giving little openness about the considerations, the board would have provided the cliché of ‘the dangerous black man’, according to some. There was also criticism of the choice of the law firm that investigated the signals: according to a number of members, that would be too white.
Chairman Mills reacted emotionally to that criticism from her party members. “I am ashamed that people who are members of the same party as me have not once asked how the victims, the signallers, are doing. Guys, what are we doing? This is really not okay. This is not the party where I have chosen.”
The board focused on expertise in its search for an outside agency to investigate the matter, Mills said. “Unfortunately, we have not found an office with more people of color.”
Can still appeal
According to Mills, Gario has given his views to the office in writing. The report recommended that Gario revoke membership. He can still appeal.
Gario says he was never personally informed of the decision, but according to the board, he was. He says that he would have tried to tackle bullying and abuse of power within Bij1.
Bij1 suspended Quinsy Gario for ‘toxic behavior’ towards others tegen
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