Author Archives: Jen Kotila

What can I do to help protest the Kopenlab Festival?

The protest organized by is organized in what was originally the way the Kopenlab festival was supposed to be organized– in a non-hierarchical manner in which everyone is welcome to be inspired to add their own contributions as they see fit.

That said, here are some examples of actions you can take. Some of them are very simple and require next to no effort:

Join us for our un-protest as we peacefully “Occupy Kopenlab”. This is a non-traditional style of protest where there’s no head organizer and everyone is welcome to organize their own action or to link up in any way they see fit.

This protest is in the same vein of the Occupy protests– we the people want to stand up against corporatism and the abusive bully tactics it all too often features as they have no place in open knowledge as far as we’re concerned. As sees it, the intent is to instigate open and honest dialog about the specific problems in Kopenlab and investigate how they reflect those that the movement as a whole faces and to raise awareness on how to spot them early on before they become cancerous as they did here in Copenhagen.

Also, in the spirit of ESOF, hopes to build bridges and educate those who have erred. After all, no one is really a monster at the end of the day– almost everyone is convinced they are doing the right thing, even when they’re not. We might end up learning a lot from each other and spreading and deepening public awareness of open knowledge  and building bridges in this process.

Occupy the Festival. Do this by creating an event at the Kopenlab Festival grounds that demonstrates why you think what the organizers have done to both a human being and to the open knowledge movement is wrong. As far as we understand, The Kopenlab festival was supposed to be an open festival meaning that anyone was welcome to participate so long as the theme was surrounding open knowledge, citizen science, or hacker/maker culture. Therefore, if you want to schedule a talk about how those movements shouldn’t be co-opted and abused, by all rights you should be able to. …Unless the whole thing is indeed a top-down, non-transparent sham. But that couldn’t possibly  be the case, right

Print out this flyer or this flyer and distribute it where and how you see fit. You could make it handout size and pass it around or poster size and plaster it all over town.

Post the anti-Kopenlab poster online somewhere. On your Facebook wall, your Twitter feed (please use the hashtags #Kopenlab and #scicity), on your site, your blog or on their Facebook page. 

Write letters and make phone calls to those supporting the Kopenlab Festival. Here is the contact info for its sponsor, Industriens Fond.  We suggest writing to Lars Møller Holmegaard , Cecilie Alsted and Adm. dir. Mads Lebech

Simply show up at the Kopenlab Festival, talk to those involved and tell them why you think it’s wrong to continue with a Festival that goes against the values of open knowledge and basic human decency. Open dialog is the way of the future. After all, no one is really a monster at the end of the day– almost everyone is convinced they are doing the right thing, even when they’re not. We might end up learning a lot from each other in the process of talking.

You can also write to participants  and partners of the festival by visiting its website and finding contact information for them there to share your ideas.

Dream up your own action! We’re sure there’s a whole universe of possibilities not listed here. Get creative, get inspired, figure out an action that calls to you. It can be totally small and easy to do. If you strike on an idea you want to share feel free to make a wikia page or write to us at

Why Protest the Kopenlab Festival?

For the past few months, our friend and political comrade Jen has been sexually harassed and exposed to racist and sexist bullying by the anarchist collectives Labitat and Biologigaragen. This is an experience that has been echoed by several other female ex-members of the collectives, many of whom left because of the culture of harassment and bullying.

As they claim to be anarchist and open, one would expect the collectives to listen when called out on their discriminatory behaviour. This is sadly not the case. Instead, the members have continued and intensified their grossly oppressive behavior. In fact, the main perpetrators are currently preparing the Kopenlab Festival which is a supposedly open and collaborative space– except the team behind is notoriously sexist and have a hidden agenda in using the festival to further their own financial interests and CVs. This is not what we know as anarchist or open knowledge integrity.

The sexual harassment, sexism, and racism faced by Jen has had a severe impact on her physical, mental, and social health. The hacking community has been incredibly damaged as well by this incident, due to the behaviors of the perpetrators. Due to this, the international hacking community at large has expressed their horror at the behavior of the organizers of the Kopenlab Festival. Almost all international backers have pulled out. Please join us in protesting the festival– let’s show the Kopenlab Festival, the community and the perpetrators that sexism or racism has no place in open source hacking spaces, anarchist collectives or anywhere on this earth, period.