[Noisebridge-discuss] getting sleepers to leave without calling police

Al Sweigart asweigart at gmail.com
Sat Nov 30 05:01:42 UTC 2013

I disagree. Calling the police and having them handle the situation is the
most responsible thing to do, and prevents folks from escalating the
situation into one they cannot handle. Also, people come to Noisebridge to
hack, not to be drafted into bouncers.


On Fri, Nov 29, 2013 at 2:40 PM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:

> Hi Al and everyone else,
> I appreciate the effort you're putting in to help noisebridge avoid
> becoming a squat and being used inappropriately.
> I know that there have been situations in the past when calling the police
> was necessary, but I think that in many situations it can be avoided, and I
> think that we should call the police only as a last resort.
> Unfortunately, if someone like you or I is at noisebridge and finds a
> sleeper who won't leave, it can be hard to find alternatives if there are
> not other noisebridgers who are willing to back us up.  In that situation,
> I would want the 311 system (it used to work if you would dial it from the
> payphone) to be able to summon noisebridgers who live nearby and are
> willing to come down to the space on little notice.
> If there are already other noisebridgers present (or after they arrive
> because of a 311 call) I recommend discussing the problem with them before
> confronting the sleeper again.  Remind them that three or more people
> presenting a unified stance that they have to leave now is much more
> effective than a single person saying so.  Hopefully they will overcome any
> fear of this unpleasant situation enough to at least stand silently beside
> you while you confront the person refusing to leave.
> When three or more people stand shoulder to shoulder insisting that a
> person leaves, they usually give in pretty quickly.  If you take out a
> camera and prepare to take a picture of them, that is another thing that
> usually helps (they forfeit their right to not be photographed by refusing
> to leave when asked).  Sometimes they will really stand their ground even
> with several people standing around, and if that happens usually it is
> enough to tell them that you are going to call the police.
> If it gets to this point, I would tell them that this is their last chance
> to leave without being taken in by the police, and that if they refuse this
> request to leave, you will call the police and the person will not be
> allowed to leave before the police arrive (this is a citizens arrest).
> Hopefully this is enough to get them to give in and leave already.  You
> should have actually taken a picture of them by now by the way.
> If you have done the above things and they still won't leave, it is likely
> that you and the other noisebridgers with you agree that calling the police
> is necessary.  Whether you want to actually prevent the person from leaving
> before the police arrives (if they try to) is up to your group, but i can
> see advantages to having a person like that recorded in a police report if
> they are going to cause that much trouble and waste that much of peoples
> time.
> This is all in context with us doing our best not to prejudge or exclude
> people from our process, which is (in theory) that anyone can show up to a
> tuesday meeting to discuss their exclusion (in case it was erroneous).
> Since we have a policy of people (members included) leaving voluntarily
> when a conflict arises, nobody should refuse to leave when there is a
> problem, but i feel strongly that for many reasons, we should only call the
> police as a last resort after our other available methods fail.
> -jake
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