[Noisebridge-discuss] Patrick being banned

Rikke Rasmussen rikke.c.rasmussen at gmail.com
Thu Feb 24 02:15:59 UTC 2011

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

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.


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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