[Noisebridge-discuss] getting sleepers to leave without calling police

Hannah Grimm dharlette at gmail.com
Sun Dec 1 23:00:36 UTC 2013

I agree with Al; I personally feel incredibly unsafe participating in the
"three or more people stand shoulder-to-shoulder" thing.  I feel like given
the varied mental states/states of inebriation of many people squatting at
Noisebridge, it's a genuine threat to the safety of many individuals to
participate in this kind of thing.  Creating a culture of "we handle this
sort of thing internally" creates a system that privileges certain types of
people (those who are physically tall/imposing/strong, or are assumed to be
such by strangers because they are male) over others (those who are
physically short/weak/nonimposing, or are assumed/viewed as such because
they aren't men).  Personally, I'm uncomfortable with that.

On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 9:01 PM, Al Sweigart <asweigart at gmail.com> wrote:

> I disagree. Calling the police and having them handle the situation is the
> most responsible thing to do, and prevents folks from escalating the
> situation into one they cannot handle. Also, people come to Noisebridge to
> hack, not to be drafted into bouncers.
> -Al
> On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>> Hi Al and everyone else,
>> I appreciate the effort you're putting in to help noisebridge avoid
>> becoming a squat and being used inappropriately.
>> I know that there have been situations in the past when calling the
>> police was necessary, but I think that in many situations it can be
>> avoided, and I think that we should call the police only as a last resort.
>> Unfortunately, if someone like you or I is at noisebridge and finds a
>> sleeper who won't leave, it can be hard to find alternatives if there are
>> not other noisebridgers who are willing to back us up.  In that situation,
>> I would want the 311 system (it used to work if you would dial it from the
>> payphone) to be able to summon noisebridgers who live nearby and are
>> willing to come down to the space on little notice.
>> If there are already other noisebridgers present (or after they arrive
>> because of a 311 call) I recommend discussing the problem with them before
>> confronting the sleeper again.  Remind them that three or more people
>> presenting a unified stance that they have to leave now is much more
>> effective than a single person saying so.  Hopefully they will overcome any
>> fear of this unpleasant situation enough to at least stand silently beside
>> you while you confront the person refusing to leave.
>> When three or more people stand shoulder to shoulder insisting that a
>> person leaves, they usually give in pretty quickly.  If you take out a
>> camera and prepare to take a picture of them, that is another thing that
>> usually helps (they forfeit their right to not be photographed by refusing
>> to leave when asked).  Sometimes they will really stand their ground even
>> with several people standing around, and if that happens usually it is
>> enough to tell them that you are going to call the police.
>> If it gets to this point, I would tell them that this is their last
>> chance to leave without being taken in by the police, and that if they
>> refuse this request to leave, you will call the police and the person will
>> not be allowed to leave before the police arrive (this is a citizens
>> arrest). Hopefully this is enough to get them to give in and leave already.
>>  You should have actually taken a picture of them by now by the way.
>> If you have done the above things and they still won't leave, it is
>> likely that you and the other noisebridgers with you agree that calling the
>> police is necessary.  Whether you want to actually prevent the person from
>> leaving before the police arrives (if they try to) is up to your group, but
>> i can see advantages to having a person like that recorded in a police
>> report if they are going to cause that much trouble and waste that much of
>> peoples time.
>> This is all in context with us doing our best not to prejudge or exclude
>> people from our process, which is (in theory) that anyone can show up to a
>> tuesday meeting to discuss their exclusion (in case it was erroneous).
>> Since we have a policy of people (members included) leaving voluntarily
>> when a conflict arises, nobody should refuse to leave when there is a
>> problem, but i feel strongly that for many reasons, we should only call the
>> police as a last resort after our other available methods fail.
>> -jake
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