Thanks Lesley, although I firmly stand that signs and words will never go as far as actions.

I agree with many posters here that it's not an individual, it's a collective issue -- you can zoom as far back as white supremacy culture, and there are many subgroups within that, and Omni does play a role in that. A majority of the people responding on this list are, in fact, white.

Notice these cultural traits:
Worship of the Written Word
Sense of Urgency 
Either/Or Thinking
Fear of Open Conflict
Right to Comfort

among others...

On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 6:25 PM Autonomous <> wrote:

On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:35 PM Lesley Bell <> wrote:

I'd like to drop in a friendly reminder that "Rather than call-outs, the Omni supports a culture of calling people in to a greater understanding of the intersecting systems of oppression that affect us all."

@rayc, I firmly believe Robb was not being racist at all, even subconsciously. I have heard him say the exact same thing ("act like a normal human") to white people, and he has consistently and humbly expressed his openness to consider and reflect on his actions. Our collective failure here is that we haven't been 100% excellent allies against racism in that there are many reasons why poc would feel unsure of whether they are welcome in the space. It is also understandable that someone with past trauma from racism would be triggered by many aspects of how the omni operates.

I'm seriously disappointed in the people who are quick to blame a single individual rather than take collective responsibility for a culture we all take part in creating. The default is for poc to feel unsure and afraid in new, majority white spaces, and we need to emphatically welcome them, each in the ways we are able. Maybe we can put in some permanent signage that will fix situations like this in the future by (1) letting visitors know that it is the protocol for everyone to identify themselves and the collective they are visiting and (2) affirm that poc, queer, trans, and otherwise underrepresented groups are emphatically welcome in the space and will be supported and listened to? (I've put up paper/cardboard signs on multiple occasions, but they disappear pretty quickly.)

Also, let's take care of each other and try to keep the volunteers who do the most from burning out. Robb, I am so very grateful for all the labor, time, and care you put into the omni. Robb seems to consistently do a lot of jobs that no one else wants to do, like opening the door late at night. He's welcomed a lot of people to the space and helped a lot of underrepresented people gain resources to build their own technology instead of just consume it. His default mode is to be friendly, safe, compassionate, and affirming, and I hope he'll feel better soon and heal from whatever stress and burnout he might be feeling.

On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 2:18 PM Robert Chu <> wrote:
At Marina. I think this subject is taken way beyond context. You said in your response that there's no reason at all. they're clearly was a reason that agitated and made Robert upset to the level of hostility that he showed against Deon. You're also stating that this is a racial issue without anything racial having transpired.

Is there any proof that there was a pre-meditative racial agenda that Robb had, rather by being annoyed with the ringing of the bell numerous times. I I truly don't think it's fair just to say that a person who is African American ring the door in this matter, it automatically is an issue of racism. 

I also feel that if I were the one who have been ringing the door incessively that I would have gotten the same level of response that Robb had delivered at the time as well.  

and if we're talking about white people controlling the space not letting people of color in... Let's discuss the couple of people I see of color who are part of CCL and also Phat beats as well. Also discuss the numerous black lives matters organizing events and other activists events that have transpired at the Omni Commons with the assistance of Robb. 

I've also known Robb for many years before the Omni, from Noisebridge, and OccuppySF. I've also interacted with him and people of color on many different occasions. And throughout my many years of knowing him I've never encountered anyone considering him calling him or even thinking of him being a racist. 

I would also like to revisit what I stated earlier about how I feel that this isn't an issue of race it's an issue of the person being really annoyed about someone ring a doorbell multiple times. 

On Fri, Jul 12, 2019, 1:50 PM Autonomous <> wrote:

Please accept my sincerest apologies for being treated with disrespect at the Omni. Furthermore please accept my apologies for the unacceptable delay in receiving a response from members of Sudo Room or the Omni. There is simply no excuse for the way you were treated. The manner in which this unfortunate encounter was handled by the Omni and Sudo room needs to be seriously reviewed and measures need to be taken to prevent incidents from occurring again.

Thank you for your service to the community and your generosity. I hope that you will return to the Omni sometime soon and be warmly welcomed. 

Best regards,

On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 4:31 PM D. Scott Nanos <> wrote:
Greetings Sudo et al, I'm so sorry but I have to bring to your attention a recent, very unfortunate, inappropriate, and violent encounter a friend of mine, Deon Saunders, had with a guy named "Rob", who I don't think I know personally, although I'm sure he's well known around Omni in general. I don't believe he's a sudo member specifically, but I believe this incident sort of came into Sudo territory when Marc became involved; I also really respect and love what Sudo room provides to the community, and I know that Sudo is a powerful force within the Omni; as such, I'm writing to you all now because I believe this issue definitely needs to be dealt with, and not ignored or brushed aside. 

Basically, Deon is friends with Phat Beets and Food First, and has been frequenting the Omni in order to do work and access the community resources that are available. To my understanding, he often works in the Sudo room space. Although this should not need to be said, I can personally vouch for Deon as an upstanding and generous member of the Oakland community. 

Deon was having trouble accessing the space the other day and rung the Omni doorbell several times, at which point guy named Rob opened the door and started cursing at him and being very aggressive. After Deon was able to enter Omni, Rob then started following him around and harassing him, acting like a cop. Although this is egregious in and of itself, and a terrible counter-representation of the Omni's values, this all came to a head when Rob accused Deon of not being "an actual, normal, human being". Whether or not this was intentional, it evoked longstanding racist attitudes that black folks have been subjected to, suggesting that Deon was less-than, or sub-human. Deon was so offended that he promptly left the Omni and has not been back since. 

Besides this very loaded and hateful comment, this general kind of treatment and attitude, overall, is the EXACT opposite of the way black folks should be treated when interfacing with the Omni. Rob's actions are not okay, at all, and I strongly feel that a serious accountability process should be implemented for this incident. This is not a small matter. I've spoken with Deon, and he has agreed to participate. 

I've also heard that this type of incident has happened before at the Omni, specifically involving Rob. Correct me if I'm wrong, but apparently, the attitude that was expressed to Deon was that Rob is one of the main people that operates (i.e. helps to reproduce and sustain,) the Omni, and as such, people basically go along with what he says and does. If this is in fact the case, then an accountability process is even more imperative. In no way should labor, and by proxy, "power" derived from labor, enable a person to act with racism against members of the Oakland community. I think it's in the best interest of the Omni to address this issue immediately, for Deon, for the Omni, and for the Omni's relationship with the greater community of Oakland. 

I believe Marc was present for part of this incident as well, and although I know, Marc is so busy doing vital work for Sudo and Omni, it might behoove him to also participate in this process, as a witness. 

I am writing this email not because I am trying to "cancel" or ruin anyone, but because I care about Deon, The Omni, Sudo, and the Oakland community at large. This issue seems indicative of larger problems, and if addressed with love and respect and accountability, could seriously benefit all parties listed above, and improve the Omni and it's relationship with Oakland. 

I'm not sure where to take it from here, as I am personally extremely busy with other community-based activities in Oakland right now, but a mediator/facilitator should be sought out, ideally a black person, but at the very least, a non-black poc, and probably someone that isn't personally involved in the day-to-day operations at Omni, sudo etc. If i am able, I could possibly be this mediator, but I hope other options are sought out first, because a.) I'm a non-black, mixed race poc, and b.) I have very little capacity at the moment.

But please keep me in the loop regarding an accountability process for Rob, and I'll do whatever I can to help move this along and reach a fair and just conclusion.

Sorry to bring such difficult news to you all, but I could not stay silent. 

With love and Solidarity, 


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Karissa McKelvey