In the process of updating the community regarding the fact that Malthe, Søren and Emil had pulled out of Labitat requested mediation for no good reason, it was discovered that Labitat has a bylaw that allows for the board to exclude members who “obstruct the association’s interests”. This is news to us here at openinclusivity.org and feels like a way to quickly solve this problem which Malthe, Emil and Søren desperately want to sweep under the rug by avoiding any avenue that would hold them accountable.
Although there has been much clamor among the undereducated, emotion-driven body politic of Labitat to exclude everyone involved (and in a sickening twist, some call to exclude only Jen in a punitive measure for her speaking out), it’s clear to any reasonable person that the root of this problem is the interpersonal and organizational misconduct perpetrated by Malthe Borch, Søren Borch and Emil Polny. They should be expelled from Labiat as soon as possible.
Write to the Labitat board at firstname.lastname@example.org to request this action.
Citing totally spurious reasons that basically boil down to them being upset that I continue speaking out when we all agreed in mediation that I would not stop, they have pulled out of the mediation process demanded by the community. This, I feel, is an act of incredibly bad faith.
I will write more about this soon. Check back here later for updates.
Following me Occupying Kopenlab via a discussion that was mediated by Allen Alfred Hansted of collaborativesocieties.org on Monday June 23 on the specifics of the case and the solution that openinclusivity.org could help hackerspaces implement to prevent and deal with future cases such as this, I returned to Kopenlab on Tuesday June 24 to request a continuation of that original conversation.
As Kopenlab was supposedly an open knowledge festival, I should have been allowed to discuss the very important issue of the systemic problem of gender discrimination and harassment in hacking culture. This is not just a problem that has touched my life, it has affected many other women as well. I felt like it would be very wrong to only discuss the particular matter at hand without discussing the broader context.
Emil, however, had other ideas. You can hear the pertinent part of his and my conversation here. When I ask him why he’s calling security, he says that he doesn’t want my negativity around. You can hear that I am not pleased with him, but I am not shouting or ranting. There is nothing in my behavior that warrants a call to security. He is simply, I think, trying to remove me and silence me.
Also, it later turned out that he was highly motivated to do so as a friend of mine had accidentally happened into Kopenlab to meet another friend of hers who was there (and unaware of the situation). She and I talked later that night and it turns out that she was there right when Emil was calling security on me. He and she talked later and at no point did he tell her what he had done. He also later told her that he was interested in talking with me and her both to try to figure things out. Which seems an odd thing to do when you’ve just called security on one party and failed to inform the other of that.
Not knowing quite what to do, I allowed myself to be led outside by a woman who I had met previously at Kopenlab who was unaware of the situation before arriving at the Festival. She and I had a good talk as security pulled up. I could see Emil and the guards talking in the doorway. The guards stayed in the door watching me but never approached and I did not approach them. Eventually it started raining and I had another appointment (the press and media party) so I left.
This was just one of a very long line of tactics they’ve tried using to prevent my voice from being heard. It was one of the most extreme, however.
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.