Dominic Clark dominic at sbbike.org
Wed Nov 13 07:34:23 PST 2019

👏🏾Wow. Well said.

On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 5:36 AM Heather Nugen <hnugen at gmail.com> wrote:

> Alright, y'all. Again. Getting a little bit out of control and hyperbolic
> in here. I'm going to try to keep my patience and my calm as I attempt to
> unpack this stuff and manage some folks' expectations.
> 1) We were very temporary guests of Enclave Caracol and Bicis Dicidentes.
> It behooves us to hold onto some humility as guests, in a foreign place,
> largely as foreigners, before we react and make allegations about policies
> that are ultimately not ours to make or enforce. It's fine if we disagree
> but we need to keep in mind that those were not, and are not, our spaces
> and it is not for us to apply pressure to change those spaces to better
> suit ourselves.
> 2) We don't need to speak for Eric. Eric's worth or merit is an individual
> is not under question here. Eric is an adult man who, if he wanted, is
> certainly empowered and able to speak on his own behalf if he so desires.
> As far as I can tell, after Eric disclosed his background in whatever
> context that became relevant and was asked to leave-- he agreed to leave
> and did so peacefully and respectfully. To my knowledge, and the knowledge
> shared by the people on this list, Eric was able to respect the values and
> practices of Enclave Caracol and Bicis Dicidentes-- even though they
> resulted in him not being able to participate at this years BikeBike.
> Yes, after he traveled all that way. It's a real shame, and I feel for
> Eric's hardship and hope that he was alright and able to enjoy what he
> could of his time off and return to his home safely. This is also a risk
> all of us take anytime we travel anywhere-- any set of circumstances could
> change or become known to us that requires us to leave a pre-planned event,
> injury, illness, a person disagreement or dispute, a mismatch of values--
> these things happen sometimes, and this isn't the first time someone has
> been asked to leave a BikeBike or that someone has been asked to leave a
> DIY/DIT bike space-- we all have different policies and expectations in our
> shops and we have all been placed in the undesirable and difficult position
> of asking someone to leave-- and sometimes we have had to weather backlash
> and various allegations for standing up for our principles.
> Lets try to remember our own personal experiences with how difficult
> standing up for our principles and practicing our values can be as we
> process our emotions about this event.
> 3) BikeBike is not an organization. BikeBike does not have a board, it
> doesn't have staff. It is best known as a kind of temporary autonomous
> zone <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_Autonomous_Zone>, which
> many people voluntarily work very hard to make happen, year after year, to
> the best of their abilities, navigating a non-homogeneous network of
> cultures, practices, expectations, values, and languages.
> It doesn't have codified policies or practices, and for practical reasons
> leaves a lot of the detail work up to the hosts. Is that an imperfect
> system? Does that result in undesirable experiences and outcomes sometimes?
> To me, at least, that is part of the practice-- part of the learning
> experience that is social justice work.
> BikeBike has current organizers/hosts, and it has past organizers and
> hosts. Boycotting BikeBike isn't an action you are taking against Bicis
> Dicidents or Enclave Caracol-- it's an action you are taking against next
> year's hosts who, as far as I can tell, had no role to play in what
> happened.
> It's everyone's personal choice to evaluate whether they desire or are
> able to make the trip in 2020-- but as we consider the hyperbole and (as
> much as I hate the word) hysterics in this thead, lets try to keep in mind
> what the desired outcome is. What does resolution for this issue look like?
> Who is that resolution for?
> 4) Most of the people participating in this pot-stirring are American
> citizens-- that comes with a lot of privilege, and a lot of blind spots--
> especially re: how we are viewed in other countries, and especially when it
> comes to the role of US military and/or Intelligence's impact in Central
> and South America. Before putting Enclave Caracol on blast for being too
> leftist or unreasonable or whatever it is you think about the decision they
> made-- do some reading on what the US Government *has done *in Central
> and South America. Is it possible that Eric is just an unwitting individual
> caught up in the middle? Sure. But as someone participating in the bike
> collectives network, I find it difficult to believe Eric had no knowledge
> of US foreign relations policy in Central & South America and that he
> entered that situation completely naive of how his professional identity
> would be perceived in that space and place.
> Our veterans and intelligence professionals are not venerated, trusted, or
> beloved in other countries, our citizenship is not venerated, trusted, or
> beloved in other countries. For some of us, this incident may be the first
> encounter with that realization-- it may have been Eric's first encounter
> too. Instead of demonizing the members of Enclave Caracol and Bicis
> Dicidentes, we'd be better served to observe this discomfort and try to
> learn from it-- in the process, we may identify a solution to help both
> guests and hosts navigate norms and expectations in the future-- many of
> which are unspoken and uncodified.
> Lets work to keep these things in mind and manage our own emotional
> reactions to this event so that we can get to a space where we are able to
> grow individually and collectively to make good-faith requests and
> improvements to BikeBike in the future-- requests and changes to practices
> that reduce harm and stress for guests and hosts.
> Heather
> BikeBike Detroit 2016
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> --
Dominic Clark
Bici Centro Program Manager
p: 805.845.8955  m: 805.797.2175
w: sbbike.org  e: dominic at sbbike.org
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