Meeting Notes 2015-05-27

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Sudoroom meeting May 27th 2015

who?

icebreaker question #1: what makes you feel safe and happy? question #2: what is an awesome unrealized potential of sudoroom?

  • ryan - a weighted blanket; digital literacy activism
  • yar - breathing oxygen while i sleep; fire-safe electrical circuits. awesome people who made this amazing community actually wanting to be here.
  • remote-jenny - friends who support you at your worst / most frazzled; vertical space! ladders on horizontal rollers!
  • no-longer-remote-Egon: Buzz. Singularity.
  • Marc - Interstellar travel in a puppeteer ship (general products hull)
  • Matt - playing "sort" (his favorite game)
  • Sam (remote) - good music
  • remote lesley
  • rob - not being under threat of my project being thrown away; *points up*

announcements

  • Omni-wide party Sunday May 31!
  • June 25th, from 7-9pm the inimicable Sustainable Economies Law Center is hosting a FREE legal cafe for Omni participants. This is offset from the delegates meetings the week prior and after. SELC attorneys will be present to answer any legal questions we have. Would like to have a brainstorm in preparation of this Legal Cafe at the prior week's delegates meeting, June 18th. Sudo-specific questions also welcome.
  • linux installfest fridays are awesome! 6pm every friday
  • omnicommons.org/radio pronounced "slash radio"
    • 3 rules: 1) slash radio rules 2) only original public domain content 3) no bullshit.
    • storing original content on internet archive
    • doesn't exist yet. matt will propose
    • wants to use the crow's nest overhang
  • matt will propose a bar in the basement for locking bikes
  • need to secure a kindle to the table somehow
    • ryan has a bunch of drm-free books including a ton of makers books
  • making $440/mo on sudohumans. already 25% of what gittip was
    • switch off of gittip; they are charging again but we're migrating and people might end up paying twice
  • List of Shit Needing Fixing in the Omni in order to pass our inspection: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UC4TRflYiM_8HcOwJ5U8CPLwUQyJP5JPWF6D09tia2o/edit#gid=1330024239
  • server migration: still paying for 2 servers. waiting for meshmap to move. get your shit off asap...
    • marc says just shut it down
    • is there a backup?
    • yar does not want to be personally responsible for this
  • marc just Added a $45 recurring payment level to sudohumans

Finances

  • Current Actual Balance: $2,800.96
  • After June expenses (rent / shared utilities) - ~$300
  • Income from Stripe: $440/month
  • Income from Gratipay: $425/wk or $1900/month
  • Total: $2340/month
  • We are still below where we need to be (baseline) by about $200/month - please solicit sudoers to contribute!

Five Keys

  • Email from Five Keys Charter School; digital literacy at sudo
    • they haven't replied to ryan yet
    • Matt mentioned we don't have enough computers for this lab anymore because someone took them and our old harddrives.
      • Please ask folks for computer donations!
      • the black desktops under the platform?! did you talk to ed?
        • We can get some of those, but they are quite old. The ones I kept were better / faster / stronger / more modern / etc
      • jake emailed the list
        • We should make signage re:
  • daniel asked at work for computer/server donations, not high hopes since they may send them to a company that 'wipe' their hard drives. BS IMHO.

SPAZ parties

Sudo sponsoring SPAZ parties on First Fridays

  • Possible sudo fund raiser/collaboration
  • Insurance questions - will our insurance cover private BYOB parties outside of sudo space?
  • sudoers agree we're not covered at all
  • needs more sudoer supervision, more than one person
  • they should do all the work of talking to neighbors. they should give contacts to the neighbors BEFORE the event so neighbors can shut it down without going to cops.
  • primary blocker is keenan requiring event insurance b/c alcohol is present. SPAZ can also get one-night special event insurance via theeventhelper.com for ~$100
    • Does SPAZ also need to get some sort of waiver or temporary license from the city... besides insurance?
      • It's one-time event insurance, nothing else needed
      • What about alcohol
        • It covers alcohol. Would be an expense on their part until Omni has their ABC license reinstated.
      • What about this? http://www.abc.ca.gov/Forms/PDFSpc.html
      • Question: Who is going to deal with this? Who is going to ensure that they get all the right insurance and that they clean up after themselves. Who is going to ensure that the neighbors aren't getting upset about noise.
        • Jake. Talk to Jake. They also did this last month with no complaints. Did anyone talk to the neighbors or check noise levels?
          • They checked noise levels throughout the night. Not sure about neighbor convos. Talk to Jake.
          • Jake should talk to us if he wants this to happen.
            • Agreed. Am overexpended personally on event management.
            • Someone (Jake) should show up to a sudo meeting and talk to us. Otherwise this isn't going to happen (juul thinks)
        • How much money did we get last time?
          • Around $150.
  • niki had concerns, jake had answers. neither of them is here tonight. what can we do at this meeting?
  • maybe they aren't taking their responsibility seriously enough

Concerns and questions:

  • Are alcohol licenses from the (state? county? city?) required?
    • NO. Only need insurance (see below)
    • Only a certain number are allowed per year. Are these per organization or per location. If per location we probably don't want spaz using them.
  • Is an insurance policy required?
    • Yes. There are many options for event insurance that include the sale, distribution, posession, and consumption of alcohol:
    • Easy to purchase from http://theeventhelper.com - only special event (one time) insurance, not a license required.
      • Per organization.
    • On top of that there needs to be stuff like:
      • Event insurance.
      • Trash cleanup plan (and getting rid of the trash somewhere not sudo dumpsters)
        • Yes, they have promised impeccable cleanup crew
      • Pro-active outreach to neighbors for noise complaints (both direct event noise and people hanging out an being loud outside)
      • Do they have people to deal with problematic/drunk individuals?
        • Yes, they have promised security
      • It is fairly obvious that the basement is NOT fire-rated for an event like this, nor will it be any time this year. Are we just ignoring this?
        • Fine for occupancy load under 50 people (SPAZ sez ~40 max)
  • It sounds like it isn't going to be huge, or even very loud (~40 people is a small party). If they get the permits (do we have a reason to believe they won't?), then it doesn't sound like approving this is a bad idea. Aside from neighbor complaints, is an unacceptable scenario likely?


nick's letter

TABLED in lieu of conflict mediator or steward to present / discuss

https://sudoroom.org/pipermail/sudo-discuss/2015-May/009971.html

joe also has a hand-written letter. he wants nick reinstated.

  • jenny: the "pss" at the end is creepy and patently false:
    • "p.s.s. It has been said " The only way to trust somebody , is to trust them ;) "
  • ryan refuses to deal with this at this meeting
    • which? my commentary or joe's letter?
    • ryan was basically forced into talking this at length despite asking for the conversation to end by joe to the point he was in tears. he just doesn't want this to even be on the agenda and is pissed it's taking up our time and space on the agenda.
  • Ive felt like this before with issues
  • Ryan has brought up that I felt were off-topic. They also havent been here in person in a while.
    • I am sorry if I have ever pushed a topic at a meeting to the point that it has that badly hurt you. - ryan
    • It shouldn't be; Joe is not a sudoer and this is a sudo conflict.
        • We told him that. He wouldn't stop forcing the interaction.
          • That's fucked up and I volunteer to have a conversation with him about it.
            • Appreciate that, but I can't even process the interaction yet.
  • yar thinks the next step is for nick to write an actual apology that isn't just "i'm sorry you're a bunch of oversensitive weirdos". anyone who cares about nick coming back, teach him how to do that.

Dante isn't here so we are ending discussion on this

omni proposals

ground rules

PROPOSAL : OMNI GROUND RULES Submitted by La Commune, 5/26/2015

The Omni must have clear and posted rules about what is not permitted in the space. We need a sign prominently posted at each entrance, in the bathrooms, and in other places as appropriate. Here is a draft of language for such a sign :

  • NO VIOLENCE; NO THREATS; NO HARASSMENT; NO SHOUTING; NO DRUGS; NO SLEEPING. ANYONE FOUND BREAKING THESE RULES WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE.
  • THE OMNI DOES NOT ALLOW PERSONAL STORAGE, SOLICITATION, UNLEASHED DOGS, OR MATERIAL DONATIONS WITHOUT PRIOR APPROVAL (please email donations@omnicommons.org).

We can word the signs however we like but we have to be crystal-clear about expectations and consequences. Every community space in Oakland and elsewhere has dealt with these issues and the Omni will be no exception. With compassion and love, we have to deal with these things clearly and firmly.

discussion

    • Maybe unleashed pets in general?
    • like to clarify drugs and shouting
    • should also clarify solicitation... should someone not be able to ask for change passing through the smoking section?
      • yar: I don't see why we can't just remove solicitation
      • yar: also the no drugs is not as important as these other things
  • yar would remove shouting, drugs and solicitation from this because too vague and misdirected. either don't solve actual problems or goes too far.
    • No hard drugs is a pretty amiable alternative (eg cocaine, heroine, etc)
      • ryan: I disagree. I don't think heroin use is a problem. I think that behavior on heroin use *can* be a problem.
    • egon: I disagree with Ryans opinion on herion/cocaine/drug use. Private abuse poses a threat to the space before it becomes obviously apparent. The policy should be strict. No drugs.
    • OR we could stop wasting our time on this wedge issue
    • Or we just say "No illegal drugs" <-- whenever we can avoid making statements about lawfulness or legality, we should avoid it...+1
      • So should someone with prescriptions that aren't legally prescribed for them not be able to use medication they need?
      • It's only a problem when a problem becomes evident. Then you employ the rules.
        • My point is if the behavior is already the issue and covered, we don't need to ban "drugs" which is a thing with almost no definition. I agree, as long as policy is concise and conistent.
          • ...word. how about, "no bullshit we have to deal with"?
            • ++
            • wouldn't that be nice...
              • So nice!!
              • ~~ bogarting = banishment
      • The behavior is the real issue, but the cause needs to be evidently addressed.
        • Beyond our scope. Agreed.

Rekeying

  • We need a list of sudoers who need physical keys to the building, as we are imminently rekeying! Keycard access will still be available, this is for highly-trustworthy folks who work on the access system, often open or close the building, help with booking and bottomlining events, and/or who are night owls with exceptional needs for space access:
    • Ryan / deilann
    • Jenny R
    • Yar
    • Matt S
    • Jake
      • door access team
    • Marc Juul
      • door access team
    • Substack
      • door access team
    • Sam T (loft audio access, etc...)
      • Sam, the rekeying will only be the external doors. Loft key will stay the same. Are you saying you don't have one of those yet either?

discussion

  • Marc - want to keep the number small?
  • Ryan - safety issues
  • matt's going out of town, probably have rekeying done by next saturday (June 6)
  • rekeying is separate from replacing the door. will reuse the cylinders

Conflict Resolution

jenny's message

Copy/paste of message from Jenny: Submitted by Jenny (Conflict Steward) and Niki (Mediator) on 5/21:

Summary

With regard to the Omni Commons community, the relevant elements of the conflict between Pidgein / Violet and Centi that have occurred in the Omni Commons space and that affect (implicate) the Omni Commons community include:

First encounter between Centi and Pidgein / Violet in La Commune (on last day of Omni Commons fundraising campaign) Centi attempted to request mediated intervention from Jenny prior to the initial confrontation, but she was unavailable at the time. Pidgein / Violet publicly confronted Centi with accusations that he was complicit in cis-supremacy by standing aside when Pidgein / Violet was beaten by another housemate at a group house they shared together at one point in the past. Ongoing interactions between Centi and Pidgein / Violet in Omni Commons The first round of mediation concluded with a shared agreement of total non-engagement between the two in the Omni Commons space. Centi upheld his end of the agreement in the face of continued escalating microaggressions by Pidgeon / Violet, at which point he approached Jenny to ask for continued mediation and action to protect him in the space. Addressing Pidgein / Violet's specific actions, Pidgein / Violet was asked to stay away from Omni Commons for one month in order to discourage the harassment of Centi. Month-long temporary ban of Pidgein / Violet ends, Pidgein / Violet returns to Omni Commons Upon return to Omni Commons, Pidgein / Violet directly confronted Centi during a work session at Omni Commons for a conference to raise awareness and supporting Political Prisoners. Pidgein / Violet claims someone, namely either Centi or Mitch, stole a wallet and laptop from her bag. Gerald asked Pidgein / Violet why she would leave her belongings unattended and never answered this question Pidgein / Violet disrupted the activities of many people in Omni Commons at this time, and was asked to leave.

Outside of the Omni Commons, the conflict between Pidgein / Violet and Centi has a long and complicated history. The root of it as first described by both parties in a stewarded mediation with Ryan Rising as mediator and Jenny Ryan as conflict steward involves a shared housing situation (outside of omni commons) in which Pidgein / Violet was forcibly removed from that external community.

The conflict between these two people escalated in the Omni with Pidgein / Violet publicly accusing Centi of not speaking up in the face of cis-supremacy during this earlier incident in the shared housing situation. Centi approached Jenny in the space just prior to sensing that a conflict was about to erupt, but she was unavailable to advise in the moment. A heated argument between Pidgein / Violet and Centi followed and both were asked to take it outside. At this point Jenny spoke with both parties and agreed to act as the conflict steward, reaching out to Ryan Rising to act as mediator.

Jenny and Ryan first met with Centi and two of his housemates at the end of January. The three of them recounted the incident and ensuing harassment by Pidgeon / Violet. Ryan and Jenny then met with Pidgein / Violet two days later, who recounted the incident from her point of view and abusive behaviors by two of Centi's housemates.

The incident outside of Omni Commons:

The 11 housemates had an accountability session in which they asked Pidgein / Violet to move out. The house was visited by a city inspector, after which point Pidgein / Violet was asked to leave three times. Pidgein / Violet refused to leave.

Pidgein / Violet brought two friends, A and B, with her when moving out who both had issues with residents in the complex. One of those friends, A, punched one of the residents, X (not Centi), in the face repeatedly, and at that point, X began to beat Pidgein / Violet. Pidgein's / Violet's primary accusation was that Centi stood aside and did not defend her during this incident.

The accusations: Pidgein / Violet claims: Centi did not have her back in the face of cis-supremacy and violent abuse. Centi assaulted Pidgein / Violet by hugging her for too long against her wishes. This claim brought up only after May 5th (after month ban). Centi claims: Pidgein / Violet has continued to harass him both in the space and out. Pidgein / Violet took photos of Centi at social services offices. Pidgein / Violet tweeted at the twitter account of Centi’s housemate, Z, with claims they'd hired a transphobic enabler. A mutual friend told Centi that Pidgein / Violet was making death threats toward the house on her Twitter account.

The demands: Pidgein / Violet demands: Centi be banned from the space. Centi demands: Not to be forced to engage or converse with Pidgein / Violet To be able to be in a public space with Pidgein / Violet without being harassed To engage in mediation with Pidgein / Violet if necessary.

First mediation: At this point (February 2nd), Ryan and Jenny attended a CDC meeting asking for advice on how to move forward. We discussed how responses to violence often looks strange, as well as the Omni Commons community's role in mediating conflicts that occurred outside the space. We also discussed what constitutes abuse (does not acting in the face of violence constitute abuse? 'Sometimes,' was the conclusion, but not in this case). We discussed the need to assert power and be heard in the community, and one suggestion was making a statement that we don't ban people for not acting.

Notes from this meeting: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Event:2015/02/01_CDC_Meeting#Conflict_w.2F_Pidgein_and_Senti

Ryan and Jenny then met with Centi and Pidgein / Violet together in the Omni Common's treatment room. Pidgein / Violet requested accountability for those who attacked her and that they educate themselves on dynamics of power in anarchist communities.

Centi asked that Pidgein / Violet stop harassing him, saying that an accountability session had been held with Pidgein / Violet at their shared house and went so badly that no one wants to deal with her anymore.

They then agreed to a pact of total non-engagement with each other while in the space.

What happened next: Centi claimed continued microaggressions by Pidgein / Violet when he (Centi) was in the space. He did not approach Jenny until rotten eggs were found in his backpack after both had been working on the public terminals in sudo room. After speaking with several community members who'd witnessed Pidgein / Violet's continued provocation of Centi in the space, including a threatening note left on the door of the upstairs bathroom while Centi was inside, written in Pidgein / Violet's handwriting, Jenny determined that Pidgein / Violet needed to stay away from the Omni Commons for one month. While in the space the next day, Elliot confronted Pidgein / Violet about the rotten egg incident, who denied the accusation. After touching base with Jenny, Elliot told Pidgein / Violet she had to leave and was banned for one month.

Three days after Pidgein / Violet's return to the space, a conflict went down between Pidgein / Violet and Centi and Mitch, witnessed by several community members including Matt, Niki and Gerald. Elliot had confronted Pidgein / Violet about being in the space telling her that she was banned. Niki intervened on Pidgein / Violet's behalf explaining to Elliot that the ban had been for one month and that the month was now up. Pidgein / Violet antagonized Elliot by gloating.

Shortly afterwards, Pidgein / Violet claimed that her wallet and her friend's laptop were stolen from her bag which was proximate to Centi and Mitch, who were working with Gerald at the time to organize the political prisoners conference at Qilombo. At this point, Niki stepped up to replace Ryan as mediator with Jenny as conflict steward. All involved parties were asked to temporarily leave the space.

Niki and Jenny then spoke with Centi about the accusations, who claimed he had no idea what Pidgein / Violet's bag even looked like and that Pidgein / Violet had left the building that day 'beaming with joy'. Then they spoke with Pidgein / Violet, who said Elliot had been making threats, accusing Pidgein / Violet of telling lies about others, and said "stop fucking with peoples shit or I'll make something happen," referring to a group of trans people wishing to run Pidgein / Violet out of town. Pidgein / Violet also stated at this point that she had previously been assaulted by Centi, claiming that Centi had hugged her against her wishes some months ago. When this was brought up with Centi in a mediated conversation with Jenny and Niki, Centi confided that the two had hugged many times, but that he'd never been told that any of these hugs were unwanted. At this point, Centi requested that Pidgein be banned from the space. Jenny and Niki asked Pidgein / Violet to stay away from the space until the issue could be brought to the next scheduled delegates meeting, in two weeks time. Niki told Pidgein / Violet she could come and speak her case and was encouraged to bring allies to the meeting to provide support.

Jenny spoke with Centi the next day, who expressed discomfort with the process of both attending the meeting. Jenny at this point realized that the proper next step should be her and Niki sharing the facts of the conflict with the delegates and making a decision without Centi and Pidgein / Violet present, and told Centi she would ask Pidgein / Violet not to come to the delegates meeting. Then life intervened and she totally failed at that commitment. The issue was not put on the pad and delegates were not notified that it would be discussed at the meeting. Pidgein / Violet came to the delegates meeting on May 21st, accompanied by three allies. See the meeting minutes for what ensued: https://omnicommons.org/wiki/Event:2015/05/21_Delegates_Meeting#Bans

Suggested outcome:

All of those who have participated in this conflict resolution process humbly and readily admit our own limitations in addressing and responding to complex situations of conflict. We assume that oppression is intersectional, and neither simple nor easy to address. However, it is our duty as a community to act in good faith, to the best of our ability, to try to listen, understand, and engage in paths to resolution, healing, and interdependence. In this specific conflict and situation we contend that we have tried our best to live up to our visions and principles as a community. We believe our understanding and assessment are reasonable. We support our conclusions based on the simple facts of this case, and the following is our suggested outcome:

Not wanting to make assumptions as to the veracity of Pidgein's / Violet's claims of having been the victim of abuse, we can only make a recommendation based on the behaviors within the space and in regards to the the impact that they have had on the larger community of those involved in the conflict following mediation.

Pidgein / Violet does not appear to be concerned with the trauma that others involved in the conflict have experienced nor with the trauma that continued violent engagements in the space cause those around her.

Pidgein / Violet has been banned from several community spaces in the bay area, including Noisebridge and Qilombo, and several community members have reported a history of false accusations.

This community is dedicated to making the space safe for survivors of violence and that must extend beyond those who are engaged in any particular conflict. While we do not expect survivors to police their reactions when faced with their abuser, we, as a community cannot allow individuals to repeatedly engage in violent, traumatizing behavior and ongoing microaggressions and provocations in a public space in which many individuals are themselves survivors of violence and abuse.

We are recommending that Pidgein / Violet be indefinitely banned from the space at this time. Additionally, we support Pidgein / Violet and her supporters’ efforts in working together to identify models for community accountability that could be implemented in large community spaces such as the Omni. We welcome and encourage other suggestions as to how to better develop these processes.

We are not offering a path to reconciliation to Pidgein / Violet at this time but remain open to revisiting this ban at a later date contingent upon Pidgein / Violet's ongoing good faith engagement in such a discussion and a clear demonstration of Pidgein / Violet's commitment to the overall community’s health and well-being.

Centi has abided by all agreements made and is an active contributor to the Omni community. We do not, at this time, find his presence to provide a negative impact on the community.

discussion

  • yar will be delegate
  • matt will call julio as well
  • ryan will be there
  • is it appropriate for sudo to do anything here without quorum?
  • yar: my approach is always to poll the humans in the room, write down how they felt, and let people in the future sort that out
  • matt: delegates are accountable to their group but what that means is vague.
  • matt explains conflict resolution process to egon
  • rob reminds us this will be a special delegate's meeting convened just for this issue
  • 4 members present. Who agrees with the mediator's recommendations about permanently banning Violet and letting Centi's ban expire?
    • 4/4 agree. Pending any unanticipated details to be revealed, Sudoroom's delegate will vote "yes" on this tomorrow.
    • some reservations about Violet being part of a survivor's group
    • remote people who also agree with it:tae
      • jenny (presumably since she wrote it) (+1 = 5)
      • niki also wrote it and is a sudoroom member... (+1 = 6)