____________________________________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,
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..
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