[Noisebridge-discuss] Patrick being banned

Albert Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Thu Feb 24 02:48:05 UTC 2011

"The fact that you take offence that I would cast doubt on the
legitimacy of the course of do-ocratic action here only makes me all
the more convinced that I'm right to do so."

Because of our consensus process, a single person who is uninformed
about the extent of Patrick's behavior and the extent of his refusal
to apologize or even acknowledge that he's done anything wrong can
block Patrick's banning. This would effectively be a unilateral vote
to kick out the women who feel threatened by Patrick being in the
space. And it also sends a terrible message that Noisebridge is unable
to confront problems of this nature.

I can fully understand Vonguard's exasperation and tense feelings
about this, especially after more than one person on the mailing list
(none of whom were at the meeting to hear the many details) seems to
balk about immediately removing Patrick from the space because they
themselves were not among the twenty-plus people that were informed at
the meeting.

The fact that a serious problem like this would not be confronted due
to a technicality of our process is very frustrating. In this case,
his frustration should not be evidence to you that you are right.


On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 6:15 PM, Rikke Rasmussen
<rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com> wrote:
> It is painfully clear that I have failed in my stated mission to pour water
> rather than gasoline on this fire. I'm uncertain of whether or not it serves
> any purpose at this point to attempt a clarification of my standing in this
> matter, but here goes:
> First, I would like to make it clear that my initial reaction early this
> morning was based on my perception of events at the time (the sequence is
> pretty well documented by Christina
> on https://www.noisebridge.net/wiki/Y_U_BAN_PATRICK). As a female and
> (although new) very regular visitor at Noisebridge, I felt obliged to point
> out that my own experience of Patrick does not well match the "creep",
> "scum" and "stalker" who has been portrayed on this list, and that apart
> from two obviously misogynist comments and accusations of a case of
> harassment made in the course of a public flamewar, I had seen no evidence
> to back up the action being taken.
> Secondly, I find that reading the excerpt from the discussion and flamewar
> leading up to the Ban-ifesto again only re-affirms my conviction that I was
> right to cast doubt on the way this situation has been handled, although my
> paranoid horrorvisions of a raging lynch mob at Noisebridge have been laid
> to rest (sorry, Al, didn't mean to offend). I'm also much relieved to hear
> that some form of mediated dialogue has already been attempted. However,
> like Sean, I cannot help but feel that the discussion at next week's meeting
> will necessarily be post facto - the hole in the ceiling is there, and it is
> too late to build consense on whether or not it should have been made in the
> first place. Patrick is now effectively, if not officially, banned from
> Noisebridge, likely for good.
> That being said, I do not - repeat, not! - claim that the decision to ban
> Patrick is wrong. In fact, given the reported overwhelming agreement at
> yesterday's meeting, I will probably agree with it once I've had chance to
> peruse the evidence for myself. The fact that Patrick himself obviously
> feels that his conduct will not live up to public scrutiny only strengthens
> my belief in
> the wisdom of my fellow Noisebridgers on this. Nonetheless, I do very much
> question the way the sentence has been executed, though. As Rachel said,
> this is not about Patrick, but about what we can learn about our own 'legal'
> procedures for later reference, so I would like to suggest that if similar
> events occur in the future, the person in question be temporarily suspended
> (and announced as such) while everyone has a chance to formed a
> substantiated opinion and participate in the consensus process. The
> accompanying email might be entitled 'Urgent discussion: Should [insert name
> here] be banned from Noisebridge?' instead, leaving open the option that the
> accused might be innocent until found guilty by two consecutive meetings,
> thus including in the consensus process those unable (not unwilling!) to
> attend on any given night.
> Last, but not least: VonGuard, it is very difficult for me to keep a level
> tone with you, so forgive me if I come across as a little sharp. I find you
> extremely rude and condescending, and would like to make it absolutely clear
> that I do not appreciate being told to trust you, your friends, the
> membership, Santa Claus or anyone else for any of the following reasons:
> - other people agree with you (lots of people can be wrong)
> - you know what's best for me (and everyone else)
> - you had no other choice (or no other sound argument)
> - you have information that I don't (but you won't share)
> - you've told me to more than once
> The fact that you take offence that I would cast doubt on the legitimacy of
> the course of do-ocratic action here only makes me all the more convinced
> that I'm right to do so. Also, the description on public record of a fellow
> human being as completely broken begs professional qualification: please
> provide.
> I am on my way to Noisebridge, and will spend the evening familiarizing
> myself with whatever material is available. Look forward to continuing the
> constructive debate of how to handle this sort of thing in the future.
> /Rikke
> On Wed, Feb 23, 2011 at 6:49 AM, Rikke Rasmussen
> <rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I know that my being very new at Noisebridge may cause some of you to find
>> it inappropriate for me to interfere in this matter, but I hope you'll bear
>> with me and hear me out. I've met Patrick multiple times through
>> Tastebridge, and know him only as polite, if perhaps a little  formal, even
>> stiff, at times. However, I have never found his behavior untoward in any
>> way. I will of course read the material available tomorrow, but given the
>> very rapid development of the situation, I feel like I should add a comment
>> in his defense immediately - I've witnessed a lynching before and have no
>> desire to see another.
>> Exclusion is the worst punishment  Noisebridge has because of the no
>> policies-policy, our equivalent of capital punishment, and I do not feel
>> that the crime merits this measure. It is as big a deal as the offended
>> party chooses to make of it, but since this has only been brought out in
>> public by a flamewar, and not by the person herself, I can't help but feel
>> that Frantisek may have a point about attempting mediated dialogue first.
>> More than anything, though, I would like to hear from the female in question
>> - if you are following this discussion, I would like to know whether you
>> feel that this is reasonable?
>> I hope it's clear that I'm trying to pour water, not gasoline, on the fire
>> here.
>> /Rikke
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