[TheThinkTank] Bike!Bike! BOYCOTT

Cyclista Nicholas cyclista at inventati.org
Mon Nov 11 16:49:59 PST 2019

Folks, I'd just like to reiterate here that the claim Bicis Disidentes 
and Enclave Caracol made was that Eric had worked with U.S. 
intelligence, not that he was ex-military. There's a significant 
difference. Anyone able to cite the U.S. military being forbidden in 
policing matters should know that much. And nowhere was it mentioned 
that Eric had anything to do with the police.

I understand that as contributors to a wonderful movement (community 
bike spaces), it can feel crappy and threatening when collaborators 
single you out as a white male and get prickly or even angry around you 
- or at you - when you've devoted so much to helping create these 
worthwhile spaces. It feels like the work you've done should entitle you 
to be assumed and appreciated as an ally.

But this is part of being an ally - to realize that, as the process of 
succeeding in changing dominant cultures to be better proceeds, a lot of 
clashes will happen with those far-too-long disempowered. It can't be 
denied that however difficult a white person's personal journey, or how 
much work such a person has done to make the world a better place, they 
are still the recipient of unceasing favor and the carrier of a 
significant amount of questionable programming.

I'm not sure I would have agreed with their decision, even if I knew the 
full particulars. And it certainly sucks to go all that way and be 
turned away. But it's also a significant blunder to expect a clearly 
radicalized space - in central america, no less - to welcome you when 
you openly and without regret espouse association with a foreign 
nation's intelligence services that are known for an unending stream of 
shady and extrajudicial military actions.

In central and south america, the C.I.A. are, among other things, 
terrorists and assassins. I wouldn't want one of them or a friend of 
them at my meetings, either.

~cyclista Nicholas

On 2019-11-11 17:10, Colin Leath wrote:
> 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
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------
>> (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..
>> --
>> 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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