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.