[hackerspaces] Leadership abusing powers. Bullying. Extraordinary General Meetings.

Edward L Platt ed at elplatt.com
Sat Feb 21 01:27:47 CET 2015

>From the outside, this looks like a pretty good example of how leaders
*should* respond to a complaint. Members complained, and they responded by:

- taking the member complaint seriously
- issuing clear warnings
- giving specifics about what the problem was
- following agreed-upon procedures

Some questions to ask in cases like this:
- Why are people complaining about your behavior?
- Do you disagree with the code of conduct, or do you disagree with how
it's being applied?
- Is the leadership applying policies unevenly? If so, how?

It sounds like you have a disagreement with a majority of the leadership,
and at least some of the members about what types of behavior are
acceptable. If this is really an abuse of power, there are probably a lot
of bystanders who are just going along with things because they don't want
to make a fuss. I second the suggestion of finding them privately.
Otherwise, you have to decide what's more important to you: being a part of
that community, or not having to follow their norms.


On Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 3:56 PM, peter <phm at riseup.net> wrote:

> Does anyone have advice/experience with the leadership abusing their
> powers, doing unconstitutional/unethical things? (specifically: bullying
> members with mental 'abnormalities').
> What happened? Did anyone try to stop it? Has anyone ever called an EGM (
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_general_meeting) about it?
> I'm attempting to do this at London Hackspace.
> Grievance Procedure Update - Peter Meadows banned for one year:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/Io8vDQvaT84
> Notification of a second formal warning for Peter Meadows:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/7WE1zuRWKbk
> Fwd: Re: Your first formal warning:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/bDlpFC6Lg2o
> Fwd: Re: Your behaviour in IRC:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/uNFjdFI7tmY
> Thread about my food getting chucked in the bin:
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/E4Gom_ave4c
> (I suspect this was done by a 'trustee' as revenge for me suggesting
> 'doorbot' should
> not be blaring out loud music into the space every 5 minutes. (although
> nobody has owned up to doing it, (despite other members insisting that it
> was not a mistake, and it was done with the best interests of the space at
> heart)):
> Thread in which I'm accused of 'de-humanising' the cleaner by calling it
> 'it':
> https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/london-hack-space/gFJpT3zPj3c
> I think they invented the stuff about IRL harassment because they would
> look silly banning me just for supposed 'trolling'. (I was NOT 'trolling').
> There is CCTV in the space, so we can determine very easily if I was
> 'following' people around. They refuse to give any details about what the
> CCTV shows.
> They refuse to give any details about the nature of the real life
> harassment. I can provide many witnesses that spent time with me day to day
> in the space, and that will testify that I have not harassed anyone.
> David Potocnik writes:
> " Anyway, I've been linked to this discussion and I can't see a very
> descriptive account of what actually happened. "Harassment" can be a number
> of things and it is also perceived/felt (right?), so I suggest being more
> expressive."
> And:
> " This is the second example of somebody being banned for other people
> finding them "annoying". With anonymity, the trustees become an
> arbiter of good taste (TM) at their own discretion, possibly backed up
> by howling wolves. Fine. I'm sure the Trustees are aware of the
> problems in both historic examples of various annoyances to
> "civility", and on the other side a modern trend in false harassment
> accusations. (Even if this is not the case here).
> This was actually apparent in the linked "it" email on cleaning. Peter
> was accused of "dehumanizing" (morally bad!) a cleaner. But when I
> read into it, what I saw was him/it playing an (annoying) semantic
> game: idea of doing away with normal conception of "human person". As
> I read it, this is only "insulting" if you read it through your own
> moral lens, the proper one. He/it wasn't being selectively
> "dehumanizing" either.
> For me it was an example of this person's somewhat annoying and
> non-constructive behaviour, as much as general cultural hegemony."
> And:
>  "Guys, restating, I am not - or was not - agitating on anyone's behalf.
> Related, nothing is being put "up for debate", though things are
> freely debated. (Etc. A careful reader might have found more worrying
> cues in follow up responses to my last one.)"
> Then they accuse him of 'agitating' on my behalf.
> So clearly anyone that speaks up in my favour is going to get bullied like
> this.
> They are now censoring my list posts, so I have no way to respond to the
> false allegations.
> London Hackspace Ltd Articles of Association:
> https://london.hackspace.org.uk/organisation/docs/articles.pdf
> https://wiki.london.hackspace.org.uk/view/Organisation
> _______________________________________________
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Edward L. Platt
@elplatt <http://twitter.com/elplatt>

This electronic mail message was sent from my desktop personal computer.
Please forgive any long-winded, overly-prosaic ramblings.
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