[Noisebridge-discuss] Response to Tom's personal statement

Anthony LeTigre anthonyletigre at gmail.com
Fri Mar 2 17:09:32 PST 2012

*On 3/3/2012 1:03 AM, t l wrote:

Intolerance against the less fortunate, pushing Occupiers around, 
bullying on our forums, and increased denial of access, all make for a 
crummy social and work environment for your average NBer. Indeed, if 
someone wanted to help NB rip itself apart, these are just the kind of 
tactics they'd employ: spreading fear and denying access. anti-Occupy 
crusaders turn people off at least as much as the homeless do, if not 
more. It isn't easy to tolerate diversity, or those whose understanding 
doesn't seem to match our own. But we must tolerate it and projects like 
Occupy. The real Occupiers aren't lazy or just out for a handout. 
They're working to make things better for themselves and everyone else 
by demanding change from the system that keeps so many down. They want 
to stop the hate and increase access for the people - exactly what NB 
believes in. Some people want to hate on Occupy, others are hating on 
gays, and that's "doing their thing." Tom *

Sorry for the text-compacting there.

I have a mixed reaction to your post, Tom7879 (there sure are a lot of 
Toms, I guess!) On the one hand I'm in sympathy with some of what you've 
said. The recent discussions about closing the space at 11pm from now 
on, and hints that the kitchen's current AWOL status could become 
permanent, have put a bad taste in my mouth. As a lifelong night owl and 
supporter of "Tastebridge" despite its occasional shortcomings (I want 
it to be more than a glorified soup kitchen), I feel some of the 
measures currently in place or being considered are not the answers to 
our problems. Also I just gotta say - sorry, I know lots of people put 
time & thought into this - but the constant door buzzing drives me nuts. 
I'm almost always focused on something I'm working on when at NB, and my 
concentration is so easily shattered by a persistent door buzzer that I 
have to get up and answer if no one else does. Then again I realize what 
an insufferable hypocrite this makes me, since I'm always grateful when 
someone buzzes me in lately, and I can't necessarily suggest a better 
solution to the door policy at the moment. So that is what it is.

Bellyaching aside, I want to add that for the most part I think there's 
been a great deal of positive change in the space lately and it seems to 
me NB is on the road to recovery after dealing with what might be called 
the Occupy Problem. (Now hold on - I'm an Occupy supporter and consider 
myself part of the movement - keep reading.) When I've come to NB over 
the past couple weeks or so it has more of the feeling of 
industriousness and happy hackers at work and less oogles, trolls, orcs, 
kling-ons, opportunists, what-have-you. It's encouraging enough that 
I've made a decision that after the second issue of our zine (ZiP) comes 
out at the beginning of April, barring an unforeseen onslaught of 
suckitude at Noisebridge, I'm going to pony up my $40/month, jump 
through the necessary hoops, file the necessary papers, kiss the 
appropriate asses, to become a genuine, card-carrying Noisebridge Member 
(unless I am denied...) At last, commitment! And not to an insane asylum 

You, Tom, have drawn a correlation between the homophobic outburst of 
someone in the space - someone who may well not be a legit part of the 
NB community - and the recent crackdown on parasitism and abuse of the 
space by people whose primary objective is not hacking. I don't think 
this comparison stands up very well. Your suggestion that hate-mongers 
have been drawn here because rumor has it NB is now a hive of hatred and 
bigotry is kinda silly, dude. I'll wager the majority of NB members 
responsible for the recent crackdown would also have opposed the 
behavior of the Unidentified Gaybashing Guy (UGG) you describe. I 
certainly would. Taking steps to safeguard a hackerspace in order to 
ensure its resources are used for the intended purpose is not equivalent 
to hate speech or prejudice! That is straight up disinfo.

I'm gonna be a pain in the ass for all the malcontents, because you're 
going to have a hard time accusing me of being an Occupy hater, or 
anti-homeless, or proponent of a strict closed-door, Members-only 
policy. I was an active participant in OccupySF last year (before I ever 
came to Noisebridge), recently spent 6 months living more or less on the 
street, I'm currently a squatter (as I continue to say, to the annoyance 
of many), Homes Not Jails member, homeless advocate, and outspoken 
critic of the Sit/Lie i.e. Harass the Homeless ordinance and other 
discriminatory legislation. I'm going to trial in September to contest a 
bullshit infraction that a Police Inspector Guy (PIG) gave me for 
napping on the Civic Center lawn at 4pm (They're hoping I'll chicken out 
or just give up & pay the fine - they don't know what a royal pain in 
the ass this tiger can be!) But I'm also a responsible adult (part of 
the time....I'm working at it), which is why I've never slept at 
Noisebridge, and why I support the efforts of members to clean up the 
space, which had gotten a bit out of control - let's face it.

In short: thanks for your post, your heart seems to be in the right 
place, but I would question some of your thinking. Btw, I'm going to be 
@ NB this afternoon to partake in a new homebrewing project 
(shit...wait....is the kitchen back in operation yet?) and also tomorrow 
to catch part of the fascinating Ayahuasca forum before I have to cut 
out for the Agency Salon at Langton Labs (which I am also very much 
looking forward to). See you around I hope.


PS We want ongoing coverage of Occupy and related protest movements for 
our Zine in Progress (ZiP <http://zine.noisebridge.net>) and need 
someone to write it! I did a shitty job of it last time. Contact 
*zipzine at riseup.net*

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