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

Brendan Halliday wodann at gmail.com
Sat Feb 21 02:22:44 CET 2015


The tone you took combined with your cherrypicked examples of your
interpretation of 'good' behaviour set several red flags.

I've been helping out and organising at many community organisations over
the years and it's been a constant that the members that are the most toxic
and most dangerous to the community are the ones who:
1. Must always have the last word. Always.
2. Disagree with the stated (or sometimes poorly communicated) expected
conduct of the group
3. Generally agitate for their own goals (which usually do not match up
with the organisations') while attempting to remain buddies with the rest
of the membership.

So I spent less than a minute reading your links and came across this:
> /On Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 10:23:53 AM UTC, Peter Meadows wrote:/
>     /I don't have time to go around asking everyone which pronouns they
>     prefer!
>     I think it's funny to call people 'it'. If it upsets them, it can
>     and talk to me and I'll try to help it develop a sense of humour.
>     if it really can't do this, I'll stop calling it 'it' in public). /

To me, the links you have provided have indicated that the LHS executive
have acted very clearly and with considerable cohesion on this matter. It's
also clear that they are familiar with the Geek Social Fallacies and do not
wish them to rule their space.

>From all indications you have provided, I can't see any actions as bullying
or seeming to be motivated by hidden reasons.

If anything, you should move on and perhaps re-evaluate how you handle
social interactions - because if you're not the unconstructive member that
you're portraying, then you need to work on communicating it clearer.

On Sat, Feb 21, 2015 at 10:27 AM, Edward L Platt <ed at elplatt.com> wrote:

> 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.
> -Ed
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> --
> Edward L. Platt
> http://elplatt.com
> http://civic.mit.edu/users/elplatt
> http://i3detroit.com
> @elplatt <http://twitter.com/elplatt>
> This electronic mail message was sent from my desktop personal computer.
> Please forgive any long-winded, overly-prosaic ramblings.
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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