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

Al Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Mon Dec 2 15:54:33 UTC 2013

Hannah and Ronald are completely correct. I wake up and tell people to
leave, but I have the benefit of my stature. If you don't feel comfortable
waking someone up to tell them to leave, simply call the police and have
them remove the sleeper. No one should be sleeping at the space. If anyone
gives you flack for bringing the police to the space, direct them to me and
I can talk to them. You should never put yourself in a position where you
could be intimidated or assaulted.

The SF Police emergency number is 415-553-8090 (dialing 911 from a cell
near a highway might route you to CHP dispatch instead of SF dispatch).
Store this number on your phone.


On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM, Ronald Cotoni <setient at gmail.com> wrote:

> Honestly I think word has gotten out that sleeping is NOT allowed at
> noisebridge.  I do not think the community is uh, around enough other than
> a few like Al.  Most of the people who used to wake people up have moved
> on.   Perhaps it would be easier to just call the cops on them and have
> them deal with it.  That way no one gets hurt.
> On Sun, Dec 1, 2013 at 3:00 PM, Hannah Grimm <dharlette at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 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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> --
> Ronald Cotoni
> Systems Engineer
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