[TheThinkTank] Bike!Bike! BOYCOTT

Colin Leath colinleath at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 09:10:40 PST 2019


As a tall fairly fit white guy who shaves his head I've often gotten the
suspicion of being the fuzz when attending radical events. Most memorably
at a green anarchist gathering in the national Forest South of lake Tahoe
in 2013 or so which eventually got shut down by usfs rangers.

Not sure what my point is but I didn't really begrudge them the suspicion.
They didn't kick me out, a lot of people wore masks and would avoid IDing
themselves.

Extreme radicals have a lot of "dont's" which when encountering certain
Americans can set up  a culture clash.

Another (slight) edge experience for me was participating with european
velokarawane and ecotopia bike tour communities as the only US citizen
where the main ethos is very strongly vegan and anti corporate, anti big
tech.

But they were generally not militant vegans and were tolerant of my
generally-out-of-the-norm-there experiences and ideas about obtaining food
from animals.

It would definitely have sucked to be turned away from participating after
having traveled so far (just having used a plane as part of my journey was
something I didn't really want to mention). . . But I was on a larger
personal trip and as part of that had managed to stay out of the US for
more than a year.

You go into a space with enough differences and the people not used to the
difference will often bark and not relax around you.

Unless the guy was being disruptive anti feminist this definitely seems to
be a mistake on their part.

If they're practicing good security culture they should be able tolerate
and function with the inevitable eventual informer in their space, who
probably would not be openly announcing his differences and imperialist
capitalist car and forex based lifestyle and big game hunting trips or what
have you.

It's really tough though. There is a lot of violence in the white North
American privilege, so to be excluded from a space like this until that
space feels comfortable accepting a prime example of the white super man
however friendly or different or clueless seems ok too.

A recent play about the Tennessee Highlander center could be informative.

https://news.utk.edu/2019/10/02/play-about-highlander-center-comes-to-clarence-brown-theatre/


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highlander_Research_and_Education_Center?wprov=sfla1

It is a center for labor and civil rights organizing.

In the play one of the characters represents the Man and even the KKK.

But all of them end up being attacked by the local rednecks and this white
guy in a suit due partly to his cluelessness ends up getting the worst of
it--he hadn't learned to hide from that kind of power. While the play was
being written about 60s era events the Highlander center was again attacked
by some probably local redneck maga types!

I don't know about this story and wasn't there, but I hope North American
groups can keep learning from and benefiting others.

While we've got some of the most power and privilege here our personal
lives are very impacted by the domination of car culture and military
culture, authoritarian cop culture, and so on and in at least some ways
others have things better. Visit la zad in France, for one example.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZAD_de_Notre-Dame-des-Landes

Activists took over and expelled authorities from a proposed airport site
near Nantes. If you need a place to hide from immigration or whoever, you
can stay here they told me. The cops will not come; they will be attacked.
(Looks like the fight got a lot worse after I left) And activists in France
had done this before as well with a huge proposed military base

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight_for_the_Larzac

On the other hand cross the border into Spain into former Franco stronghold
La Rioja, and the populace fears La Guarda Civil and will not jaywalk in
the cities. Car drivers are more horrible to deal with in France but/and
people fear the cops less. Maybe that's more white privilege though.

On a lighter note, has any body else here gotten into unicycles?

I've just started learning after being inspired by an article in that evil
paper the WSJ about the unigeezer: https://unigeezer.com

And then finding Ed Pratt
https://www.worldunicycletour.com

Very engaging YouTube videos.

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 7:22 AM Milwaukee Bicycle Advocates <
mcbp.inc at gmail.com> wrote:

> Did anyone else know that being a FORMER (or current) member of the
> military would exclude you from Bike!Bike!? I sure didn't. Was anyone else
> criticized for their past or present work experience? Gosh, I'm glad I
> wasn't! If answers to these few questions can excommunicate someone from a
> seemingly inclusive group, let's foreshadow other barriers to attending
> next year's Bike!Bike!.
>
> Has anyone in the US paid their taxes lately? Your answer might prove you
> guilty of financing a military "defense" program, jails, prisons, and
> possible torture facilities, and other horrendous acts of government like
> the auto-only interstate road system that rips through and destroys
> communities. Do you own stocks in companies or government bonds or even
> have a bank account? They're all investing your money in places that Bicis
> Disidentes and Enclave Caracol (or future Bike!Bike! organizers) might
> not deem appropriate. Here's a big one: Do you regularly drive a car? This
> is the very antithesis of cycling, choosing to use a machine that kills
> indiscriminately, consumes petroleum, and farts pollution into the air we
> breath.
>
> Maybe Eric was targeted by members of Bicis Disidentes and Enclave Caracol
> because he was a tall white male in a radical feminist space. Either way, it
> was wrong to kick Eric out of Bike!Bike!. He was a very helpful and kind
> person who was there to learn and take part in a community dedicated to
> getting people on bikes.
>
> Bike!Bike! focuses on making sure that certain types of people are treated
> with respect. Gender, race, language barriers, children on board, and
> financial assistance are a few examples. And understandably so; they are
> too often marginalized. Now why can't we treat ALL humanoids as humanoids,
> and not through judgmental filters. Ultimately, I'm drawn back to this
> question: what's the purpose of Bike!Bike!? (The website doesn't
> specify). Are we meeting to motivate and inspire each other to get more
> people on bikes? If so, political, radical, and anarchistic ideals
> shouldn't be used to shame. These ideas should be shared as to inform
> others who might not be aware of them.
>
> Eric came a long way to help out and learn from a tribe of humanoids who
> come together with bicycling as their bond. I can't help but put myself in
> his place and feel ousted from this community due to unrelated matters.
> Because of this incident, I'm not planning to attend next year's
> conference, and I suggest that others do the same if they feel this to be
> an injustice. At the very least, I hope people will voice any unsettled
> feelings about the exclusive actions made by members of Bicis Disidentes
> and Enclave Caracol.
>
> -Mama Vulture
>
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> (BACKSTORY BELOW)....
>
> (Posted on the 11th of November)
>
> To the participants of Bike Bike 2019 Tijuana,
>
>
>
> We write to inform you all that a person attending the event has been
> asked to leave and excluded from the space/festival.
>
>
>
> It has come to our attention that Eric, who is a volunteer with Working
> Bikes Chicago, has a history of working in the military and in
> intelligence/secret services of the United States. He/they currently work
> buying and selling gold, petroleum, gas, silver and other natural
> ´resources,’ and have said that they have no moral or ethical problem in
> this line of work.
>
> Enclave Caracol has a strict ¨no police¨ policy which exists for the
> safety of people who use the building. We are actively involved in not only
> resisting the existing system, but in building alternatives for the future
> – both of which are things that bring us into regular conflict with state
> authorities and corporations. Furthermore, Enclave is a feminist,
> anti’capitalist and anti’authoritarian space. Due to this person’s
> proximity to violent state authority and the destruction of land,
> communities, cultures and livelihoods via resource extraction, they have
> been excluded. This is not only about the people attending Bike Bike 2019,
> but is also an act of solidarity with people resisting environmental
> destruction, colonization and dispossession all over the world.
>
> The decision to exclude this person from the event was not made via
> consensus, meaning some people within the collectives do not agree with the
> decision, or were not present when the decision was being made. However
> they support the decision. We are aware that the decision is not easy,
> that we are not going to satisfy everyone, but we are open to dialogue and
> constantly learning.
>
>
>
> With love and solidarity,
>
>
>
> Members of
>
> Bicis Disidentes and Enclave Caracol
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> (Posted on the 14th of Oct)
>
>
> Eric, a 6’5” bright eyed volunteer from Working Bikes, flew from Chicago
> to attend his first Bike!Bike! We met Wednesday night while helping to
> bring bikes across the border (two at a time). On Thursday, he was helping
> in the basement to fix up the bikes.
>
>
> By Thursday night, he was kicked out of Bike!Bike! I found out the next
> day only because the executive director of Working Bikes was worried and
> contacted me.
>
>
> From the information I received from Eric and a Bike!Bike! organizer,
> someone involved with Enclave Caracol took Eric’s bike away and insisted he
> leave because of his former military experience and current employment as a
> commodities trader. WTF?
>
>
> I‘ve always found Bike!Bike! to be an inclusive group of humanoids doing
> rad things with bikes. Now I question if my lifestyle or others might not
> fit the ideals imposed by a few.
>
>
> Only a small group was informed about this decision, and it wasn’t shared
> with the entire group. Furthermore, what happened to the inclusive nature
> of Bike!Bike!?
>
>
> Something about this doesn’t sit right with me, so I don’t think I will be
> returning to another Bike!Bike! without better understanding this
> situation. Then again, maybe I’m not even wanted..
>
>
> --
>
>
> THE MILWAUKEE COMMUNITY BICYCLE PROJECT,
>
> representing the following initiatives:
>
>
> VULTURE SPACE <http://vulturespace.org> Hands-on Bicycle Workshop &
> Recyclery
>
> BICYCLE BENEFITS <http://bicyclebenefits.org> Incentive Program
>
> BIKE 100 DAYS <http://bike100days.com> Calendar of Events
>
>
> ____________________________________
>
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>
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>
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