[Noisebridge-discuss] How is the anti-harassment policy holding up?

Jen Kotila jen.kotila01 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 20 12:47:36 UTC 2014

Hello fellow anarchistic, the-users-decide-policy, do'ocracy hackerspace
members! I am a member of Labitat.dk and biologigaragen.org who has been
severely sexually harassed for many months. You can read an account here.

Labitat and Biologigargen didn't have any structures in place to deal with
this so the proposed solution of dealing with this sensitive issue was
worse than the cure as I ended up getting mobbed and having a nervous
breakdown in a meeting on May 22.

After that I became somewhat desperate to seek justice within an
anarchistic, DIY framework and reached out to the DIYbio community. Some
were supportive some weren't.
<https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/diybio/oLgYmZ26Wco> Oh, also,
amusingly I did that in part because I was silenced on the Labitat and
Biologigargen.org mailing lists arond that time. In fact, I was stripped of
my moderator privileges on the Biologigaragen list by someone, probably one
of guys who harassed me. felt like that meant I would not be heard and felt
somewhat desperate. Also, I was moderated on that list and ONLY me. I was
not informed that I was unable to post, it just happened.

Late, I reached out to the local anarchist community in Copenhagen (which
is VERY active but to which I am not that connected as I am new in DK--
someone else should have handled this I think) and finally found a well
regarded mediator from within that milieu (the other side was suggesting
business mediators, lawyers who knew one of the guys involved in bullying
me, and a guy I had been in active conflict with).

On the day before mediation, June 16, they finally posted their response
<http://lists.labitat.dk/pipermail/discuss/2014-June/013794.html>to my
allegations <http://lists.labitat.dk/pipermail/discuss/2014-May/013537.html>
were publicly stated on May 17.

I was hoping that through mediation, I would be able to get the opposing
side to stop the Kopenlab Festival. You see, I was originally on the
organizing group for this Festival and a lot of the harassment took place
in that group. I'm also firmly of the position that unrepentant harassers
who, instead of listening to the person coming forward instead react with
increasing hostility that leads to very dangerous mobbing behavior and
baseless threats of libel and slander (see the most recent post on our
Discuss list here for that gem)
<http://lists.labitat.dk/pipermail/discuss/2014-June/013828.html> instead
do not deserve to be in charge of anything.

So I come to you now asking for a few things.

1, I have been posting about Noisebridge's case and talking about it
without knowing the details. Are they somewhere in narrative form?

2. Is anyone here willing to work with Labitat to help sort this out? If
so, you can try posting on our Space mailing list to offer help:
http://lists.labitat.dk/listinfo or write to the board
bestyrelse at lists.labitat.dk

3. I created a site called opendiscriminaiton.org to help deal with this
incredibly serious and systemic problem in hacking. If you guys want to add
to it (threre's a brand-spakin' new wikia with nothing on it because my
collaborators and I are too busy with Occupy Kopenlab
<http://opendiscrimination.org/?cat=3> to do any work on it), please knock
yourself out. Eventually I would like it to expand, become more general and
maybe grow to the point where it functions as a movement wide "staff
handbook" or "hr" of sorts so that every new anarchistically organized
male-dominated hackerspace doesn't have to reinvent the wheel every time
harassment happens.

4. Speaking of Occupy Kopenlab <http://opendiscrimination.org/?cat=3>, the
group behind opendiscrimination.org is organizing action against the
Kopenlab Festival. Basically, the idea is that since it's supposed to be a
non-hierarchical open knowledge festival they should welcome any and all
opposition, well, openly. Of course, you are all in the States but there's
ways to take action online if you want to.

You know, I really miss the States right now. This whole ordeal has made
damned homesick. DK has the highest rate of sexual harassment in the EU, 37%
of all women in DK
have been harassed compared to only 25% in the States
I was warned by others in Labitat that the general community would probably
believe me but would be PISSED at -me- for stirring up conflict as Danes
are conflict averse. Yep. That is by and large what has happened (although
I get a lot of doubt and misogynistic abuse as well).

Maybe you can help Labitat solve this. Or maybe Labitat is in its death
throes over this and it'll just be interesting for other spaces in the
movement to watch. Let's see what happens.

Thanks for your time,

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