[TheThinkTank] Bike!Bike! BOYCOTT

Jesse Cooper jessecooper0 at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 23:08:09 PST 2019

white middle aged North American cis male here. Been working with community
bikes shops for more than 16 years now in the city of Vancouver, Canada.


If you present and identify as such as I do, the best thing you can do if a
radical (any) group feels threatened by you, is understand. Period.
Generations of oppression, violence and worse by presentations and
identities such as what I'm born with and have are to be respected when the
traditionally oppressed say " get the fuck out " . ..

Inclusive spaces are inclusive. Even is such that someone presenting as an
oppressor's image doesn't believe or engage in the same harmful activities.
You should still respect the decision of the host and their needs and just
GTFO! Reset somewhere else, and take a breath. Be empathetic to their needs
to ask us to leave, reflect on their trauma, learn from it and move on.

The take away here for anyone told to leave the host city Bike!Bike! is
that just leave. Deliberate another day, with your own peers, and seek
reconciliation within your peer's groups. Reflection and acceptance come
with time and work on your part, not on theirs. But mostly the host's need
to create safe and inclusionary space is theirs to hold.

Those contesting this should only be that as to believe and support the
decision of Bicis Disidentes and Enclave Caracol. They know best what their
needs are and how their oppression has been. Not us. Not men. Not white
men. Not cis white men. Seriously. They have legitimate experience that
should be upheld as valid and respected.

Us presenting and identifying cis white dudes need to back off and give
space when called on.

And simply challenging them on this is an act of further oppression,
colonialist, and ultimately traumatic and violent in it's own end. Because
really , white guy volunteer gets kicked out of a conference, goes back to
volunteering, no real repercussion, but some hurt feelings, and maybe,
hopefully some perspective on representation and privileged at the least.
Meanwhile the group that is ousting said volunteer are dealing with a
mountain of history of trauma, forever, the rest of their lives, everyday.

What's to question here? It's obvious to me that the needs of the oppressed
are greater than the needs of the privileged. No questions.

If any Bike! Bike! would have me, I would love to attend. And I don't doubt
that I would be accepted. If I'm not, then I'm empathetic, and would do
best to reflect graciously on why and respectfully leave.

Jesse Cooper
Our Community Bikes!

On Mon, Nov 11, 2019 at 9:12 PM Caleb Evenson <caevenson at gmail.com> wrote:

> The USA is the only global hegemon and the largest empire to have ever
> existed, with 800+ bases around the world, many of them denied and labeled
> in cryptic ways by official channels. As a privileged white male in the
> middle of the US, I'm disappointed in how many in this discussion have
> trivialized the intelligence aspect of Eric's ousting. We can assume as
> some have that he wasn't actually intelligence due to his sharing as much,
> but that is naive in the face of endlessly evolving strategy on the part of
> those with much control over the world, as in...if you don't know he
> wasn't/isn't intelligence, please make no assumption. Until eric can
> directly dispel myths, apprehension and caution toward the whole US
> military and security apparatus is, in my opinion, prudent.
> But let me emphasize that's just my drunken opinion. Fuck the world. :)
> On Mon, Nov 11, 2019, 9:22 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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