[dc-critmass-list] Re: being principled.
mykeru at starpower.net
Fri Jul 8 17:27:10 GMT 2005
This claim of people being "aggressive" seems so damn
overblown, more a matter of tone than real actions. It seems
more of a way for certain people to enforce their orthodoxy
than addressing a real problem.
When you write "I've been sexually harassed by a fellow rider,
experienced sexism from a fellow rider...hear people make
racist comments" I find that pretty hard to believe. I suspect
it's a matter of definitions, particularly what you regard as
racist, sexist, etc., which I shouldn't have to note is
probably pretty subjective.
"we will try to avoid conflict when possible."
I think it's unfortunate that merely standing up for oneself
is considered "aggressive". When you heard racist, sexist
comments and were harassed, did you say anything, or did you
avoid all possible conflict? If so, exactly what purpose did
that conflict avoidance serve?
Have you really thought this through? If so then you should be
able to provide some definitions. What counts as "conflict"?
You don't say conflict is to be avoid when it serves no
purpose, just "when possible". What do you mean "when
possible"? Does that include running away and curling up in a
fetal position? If someone pulled up to you in a van and tried
to drag you inside, would you still be trying to "avoid
conflict"? When does the ordinary right enjoyed by even
single celled organisms to defend oneself kick in?
Some may find these questions gratuitous, but as I recall it
was DC Rider who dismissed people's comments on how they would
defend themselves against a gang of attackers to be "macho"
posturing, so I'm confused as to the degree to which conflict
is to be avoided.
It's an unfortunate thing, but this inability of some people
to stand their ground is why the left continues to be
marginalized: Some people don't recognize a distinction
between "conflict avoidance" and simple cowardice.
---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2005 11:10:23 -0400
>From: "julie eisenhardt" <jkeisenh at hotmail.com>
>Subject: being principled.
>To: mykeru at mykeru.com, sachsd at SEIU.ORG,
dc-critmass-list at lists.mutualaid.org
>I was thinking about dealing with the "macho"/hothead
problem, and I
>realized that we have no principles. Sure, we don't want to
>"organization," but I think it's worth just setting some
>broadly, about what we believe in, so that people know what
>- we are nonviolent.
>- we will try to avoid conflict when possible.
>- we will be respectful of our fellow riders.
>- we will be careful to respect pedestrians.
>- we will not do anything to physically endanger anyone.
>- we will not damage property.
>- we are riding because we believe in the power of bicycles
>communities, improve the quality of life, and get people
around the city
>without the use of fossil fuels.
>I know some folks here will be very against this. These
>they're principles. But this will give us a chance to
discuss problems with
>In the years I've been riding CM, I've been sexually harassed
by a fellow
>rider, experienced sexism from a fellow rider, seen people
>pedestrians, hear people make racist comments, and seen
someone pepper spray
>a driver. In fact, after the pepper spray incident, some
>"that's ok, we don't have rules, so it's fine." None of
these are okay, and
>if I was less into CM, I would have left and never come back.
We need to
>have a way to tell people that's not okay, and that, rules or
not, we are
>>From: Mykeru <mykeru at starpower.net>
>>Reply-To: mykeru at mykeru.com
>>To: Dave Sachs
<sachsd at SEIU.ORG>,dc-critmass-list at lists.mutualaid.org
>>Subject: My Two Cents (Re: [dc-critmass-list] changing our mass)
>>Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 10:55:40 -0400
>>One thing that I've noticed reading this list is that there's
>>a contingent of people who just seem to be all about
>>naysaying. Maybe it's the same person, but I'm turned off when
>>someone posts a heartfelt, real experience with getting jumped
>>on his bike, gets a few responses and someone takes the
>>opportunity to put people down for being "macho". I wrote the
>>person a tempered email explaining how high-handed and
>>unconstructive that was, but of course there was no response.
>>Some people just don't want to hear it. The best thing to do
>>with people like that, although I hardly follow this advice
>>myself consistently, is to tune them out. I like to talk to
>>people. I don't need people talking *at* me.
>>So let's discuss the problem. And if someone wants to dismiss
>>my thinking out loud as not the way things are done or "macho"
>>I don't see any real work being done. Why is it that the
>>unofficial critical mass website hasn't been updated in a
>>year? Where are the people printing up and posting flyers? How
>>about some edgy stickers? If no one is doing it, then perhaps
>>you should enlist the services of a graphic artist. You know,
>>I know people loathe the idea of any sort of organization, and
>>would just prefer to ride around yelling "ride a bike, save
>>the planet" (although, personally some days I think the
>>planet, especially this country, should be sterilized down to
>>the bedrock, with nukes if necessary, but that's just me) so
>>that pedestrians can smile at the silly hippies.
>>Would it hurt to try to get a more weighty message across,
>>like with the information here:
>>How about a ride to get a single idea across, such as the
>>"Hubbert peak theory", or is that too unlike an "organized
>>coincidence" for people's tastes?
>>In fact, when I look at that the "save the planet" crap
>>irritates me even more. We live in egocentric times. Most
>>people drives cars, leave a footprint on the planet the size
>>of Sasquatch and even take condoms "ribbed for her pleasure"
>>and turn them inside out, they are that fucking selfish. So
>>how about convincing people to save their own asses? Or that
>>all the work they are putting into setting up a unsustainable
>>lifestyle for their kids is a complete waste of time. How
>>about explaining that their bullshit half-measures are not
>>working, that hydrogen isn't energy, it's energy storage and
>>it takes more petrochemicals to make the fucking hydrogen than
>>they are saving using it.
>>Unless people are willing to self publicize, grab some
>>attention and actually say something worth hearing then
>>marginalization is simply a form of just deserts.
>>---- Original message ----
>> >Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005 10:15:35 -0400
>> >From: "Dave Sachs" <sachsd at SEIU.ORG>
>> >Subject: [dc-critmass-list] changing our mass
>> >To: <dc-critmass-list at lists.mutualaid.org>
>> > people talk about the NYC-CM as if it were legendary
>> > with it's hundreds and hundreds of riders.
>> > why then is it that here, in our nations capitol,
>> > there are so few (dedicated) riders, and such little
>> > awareness?
>> > where are the people?
>> > like any other living, breathing, organism
>> > do we not need constant regrowth?
>> > where are our new members coming from?
>> > how can new people show up for a ride they know
>> > nothing about?
>> > when was the last time you handed a flyer to a
>> > complete stranger on a bike?
>> > i for one sugest that the key to making the DC-CM as
>> > legendary as we want it to be,
>> > is for us to all do our part in spreading awareness,
>> > and recruiting participants wherever we go.
>> > now, i didn't ride last month. and it wasn't out of
>> > protest.
>> > i was enjoying myself with a group of friends
>> > (bikers and non alike)
>> > and the company and margaritas were too good to part
>> > with.
>> > so ,,, one less rider. sorry people.
>> > but i would like to think that this week alone i
>> > have more than made up for it.
>> > with 8 flyers handed out, and countless stickers
>> > placed in "prime spots",
>> > the word is being spread, only we are the winds that
>> > can carry it.
>> > please speak out. please say something.
>> > otherwise nothing will change.
>> > if we build it, they will come
>> > ride
>> > _ dave
>> > yarrgh
>> > ------------------------------------------------
>> > http://www.purpleocean.org
>> > http://www.seiu.org
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