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

Torrie Fischer tdfischer at hackerbots.net
Wed Jun 25 16:34:49 UTC 2014


Hi, Danny.

We would appreciate it if you would not use such dehumanizing language on 
noisebridge-discuss. If you have something positive to contribute to this 
discussion about anti-harassment, please do so. Otherwise feel free to 
directly contact me and I can help you rephrase your ideas using more 
constructive language. :)

On Wednesday, June 25, 2014 08:30:29 Danny Dismal wrote:
> The Anti-Harassment policy is quite simple at Noisebridge.
> 
> If you see a homeless person they are harassing you even if they hadn't
> said anything. Ask them to leave right away. They don't deserve to be in
> Noisebridge because they are scum and need to be beaten to death because
> they have ruined society by their laziness and they look ugly and tacky
> too.
> 
> However it's perfectly okay and right on to harass them as much as possible
> by giving them dirty looks and yelling at them about how much thy are foul
> losers who need to be hit on the head with broken circuit boards until
> their faces look like bloody Picasso circuit art.
> 
> It's pretty east to tell a homeless person and a hipster hack apart.
> 
> Even though they both have the same clothes on the hipster will be smug and
> stand round bragging about how he or she will change the world by inventing
> a new phone app that's slightly better than the thousands of other phone
> apps doing exactly the same thing.
> The homeless person will probably be standing around looking lost asking
> for help to better his or her life by learning something valuable and
> taking up cool peoples time,
> 
> Hope this helps.
> 
> On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 9:10 PM, Hannah Grimm <dharlette at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I know plenty about the Ada Initiative (having attended AdaCamp myself)
> > and have no issues recommending their work on anti-harassment policies to
> > people.
> > 
> > 
> > On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM, Bacon Zombie <baconzombie at gmail.com>
> > 
> > wrote:
> >> I'd recommended reading up on the Ada initiative
> >> <https://adainitiative.org/what-we-do/conference-policies/> before
> >> advising people to seek their help/advise.
> >> 
> >> Here is a good starting point:
> >> 
> >> http://exoticliability.libsyn.com/exotic-liability-87-trigger
> >> 
> >> On 20 Jun 2014 19:53, "Hannah Grimm" <dharlette at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> Jen,
> >>> First off, I am so sorry that you had to go through this.  I've been on
> >>> the receiving end of similar things at Noisebridge, but I was fortunate
> >>> enough to have a handful of friends within the community who were very
> >>> involved and high-status, which made it possible for us to pass an
> >>> anti-harassment policy at the space.  While I never sought justice
> >>> against
> >>> the people who groped and harassed me (one was a stranger, the other
> >>> already on his way to jail for unrelated reasons), I did manage to get a
> >>> policy in place, which has been used a handful of times.  I wrote about
> >>> my experiences with harassment and getting a policy in place
> >>> <https://plus.google.com/+HannahGrimm/posts/5517czLTefa> here.
> >>> 
> >>> Shortly after we added it, it came to light that one of the members of
> >>> our space had a criminal history of battering women and sexually
> >>> assaulting
> >>> minors.  One of the ladies at the space came forward with an
> >>> overwhelming
> >>> amount of evidence, and he was very quickly banned.  We very quickly
> >>> banned
> >>> one person who had been looking up the skirt of another woman in the
> >>> place,
> >>> and it's also been brought to bear (in non-sexual harassment) against an
> >>> individual who was engaging in a creepy campaign of harassment via email
> >>> and phone (this one is currently going through mediation).  I wouldn't
> >>> say
> >>> that it's solved all of our problems, but it's definitely made a
> >>> difference
> >>> for the better.  We used a variant of the Double Union anti-harassment
> >>> policy. <http://www.doubleunion.org/policies>
> >>> 
> >>> There are a couple of things I'd recommend moving forwards.  The first
> >>> is, do the women at your hackerspace have private backchannels set up
> >>> for
> >>> them to talk, share stories, warn eachother, etc?  A lot of the
> >>> organizing,
> >>> support, etc. that makes it possible to deal with harassment here has
> >>> been
> >>> done via the anarcho-feminist hackerhive mailing list (not to mention
> >>> networking, job opportunities, etc.).  Having other women around you
> >>> that
> >>> you can rally to your cause is so very, very important, and these
> >>> backchannels matter because when the system fails and you can't get
> >>> things
> >>> done officially, you can at least warn the others in your community. 
> >>> The
> >>> second is to get an anti-harassment policy in place.  I suspect that the
> >>> Ada initiative
> >>> <https://adainitiative.org/what-we-do/conference-policies/> can help
> >>> you there, they have carefully documented a ton of work on policies. 
> >>> It has to be part of the culture that these kinds of behaviors aren't
> >>> okay. A policy won't magically solve the issue, but it will at least
> >>> give the community a starting point moving forward.  Lastly, have you
> >>> considered joining (or founding) your own, explicitly feminist,
> >>> hackerspace? Model View Culture
> >>> <http://modelviewculture.com/pieces/the-rise-of-feminist-hackerspaces-an
> >>> d-how-to-make-your-own> has a great write-up on it, and San Francisco's
> >>> Double Union
> >>> <http://www.doubleunion.org/> is an excellent example of it done right.
> >>> Sometimes communities are broken and it's easier to build a new one than
> >>> to
> >>> fix it.
> >>> 
> >>> I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this, and I am so very, very
> >>> sorry that you went through it.
> >>> Hannah
> >>> 
> >>> 
> >>> On Fri, Jun 20, 2014 at 5:47 AM, Jen Kotila <jen.kotila01 at gmail.com>
> >>> 
> >>> wrote:
> >>>> 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.
> >>>> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-DPJhdE71IyXx_Du9TlV5b2UvVvwkLhgOn
> >>>> VO-06pBCY/edit>
> >>>> 
> >>>> 
> >>>> 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.
> >>>> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UBXIbR9BY9BTmaSe7dDenBkKCIyAuHySsg
> >>>> twKFMVQck/edit>
> >>>> 
> >>>> 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> which
> >>>> 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
> >>>> <http://www.b.dk/nationalt/vold-chikane-og-stalking-mod-kvinder-i-danma
> >>>> rk-overstiger-eu-gennemsnit> have been harassed compared to only 25% in
> >>>> the States
> >>>> <http://www.b.dk/nationalt/vold-chikane-og-stalking-mod-kvinder-i-danma
> >>>> rk-overstiger-eu-gennemsnit>. 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 
andhttps://github.com/hackron/hackron
> >>>> 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,
> >>>> 
> >>>> Jen
> >>>> 
> >>>> 
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> >>>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> >>>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >>> 
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> >>> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> >>> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> >> 
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> >> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> >> https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
> > https://www.noisebridge.net/mailman/listinfo/noisebridge-discuss
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