[Noisebridge-discuss] Broken Elevator Incident and Ideas for Improvement

Zach R organicunity at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 24 22:04:57 UTC 2017

I am very concerned about the incident that happened at Noisebridge recently regarding the police coming and breaking the elevator and arresting a homeless transgender person.  Completely aside from the fact that this broken elevator keeps me from entering the space now (I use a wheelchair) and will probably keep me out of the space for weeks, there are some thoughts I would like to share:

As a longtime member of the community I believe NB has struggled over the years with de-escalation and people have been far too quick to include law enforcement.  The police in San Francsico are infamous for their unnecessary use of force and I do not want Noisebridge to be associated with violence of this or any kind.  I was told by someone present at the arrest that the police had come in with weapons, including an assault rifle.  This is /completely unacceptable/ and presents a far greater threat to safety and people visiting the space than just some person yelling in an elevator.

The fact that a person got trapped in our notoriously unsafe and confusing elevator and was then confronted with police brandishing fatal weapons and what sounds like homophobic responses is really problematic on all fronts.  Even if the elevator hadn't been broken, this would not be cool.

I propose the following:

1.  Let us educate ourselves as a community on de-escalation techniques.  Keeping incidents like this from escalating will also keep up in better favor with landlords and police and everyone else.  I have worked with the homeless population over the years and have been close with people living on the streets and people in the LGBTQ an POC communities.  Let's create better dialogue by:

            a)  Hosting a de-escalation event at Noisebridge.  I am happy to help with this.  I am sure there are others with knowledge to share and many simple techniques can prevent problematic incidents.

            b)  Host a "get to know your neighbors" type event where we could learn more about those that have lost their homes in this economic recession and create a more humanizing image and dialog.  I bet organizations like the Coalition on Homelessness and others would be willing to speak or help out.

            c)  Host an LGBTQ awareness event at NB  (it's Pride week after all!)  There are a lot of people at NB who have recently moved to SF and might not know the dos and don'ts of respectful communication with people in the LGBTQ community.  Let's learn from each other.  Conversations have been happening on a one-on-one basis but I think NB would greatly benefit from a larger discussion.

2. Let's make a /clear typed posting/ in the elevator of what to do in emergencies or if you feel trapped.  An emergency contact number and basic safety procedures would go a long way.

I have friends who identify as female and friends that identify as transgender who no longer come to Noisebridge because they feel unsafe and discriminated against in the space.  They are very talented people that have a lot to contribute and there are others as well.  Let's step up our game our educate one another and keep the space safe and as drama-free as possible with less police and broken elevators.


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