[TheThinkTank] BIKEBIKE BOYCOTT

Cyclista Nicholas cyclista at inventati.org
Fri Nov 15 03:09:38 PST 2019


I'm late to this part of the thread - but hey, well said.

~cyclista Nicholas


On 2019-11-13 13:36, Heather Nugen 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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