Scary Larry

Claims of Sexism and Sexual Assault Plague Noisebridge Hackerspace

Since Noisebridge opened its doors in 2008, it quickly became not just a place to build robots or meddle with security systems, but a DIY community center in its own right.  Today it plays host to everything from LitQuake events to vegan cooking lessons, thanks in large part to its anarchist structure and open access policy.

But Noisebridge's one rule—“Be excellent to one another”—is the kind of toothless techno-libertarian feel-good sloganeering that does little to protect the community.  As Noisebridge member Hannah Grimm details, harassment is common and never criticized:

I've been spending time at Noisebridge for the last year, and in that time, I've been harassed by multiple people on many different occasions, almost always with members present.  Never once has a member intervened or spoken up on my behalf: not when Weev called me a cunt or made anti-semitic, anti-mormon, anti-woman, anti-gay jokes loudly in the space, not when someone loudly (and descriptively) told me about the “sluts” they double-penetrated the night before, not when an individual (upon seeing me about to leave the space on my Powerisers) declared “I love your stilts.  I'm going to make you my bride and then those will be mine” before slapping my ass as I was leaving just a few weeks ago.  The closest thing I have felt to supported in the space was when one individual decided to doocratically paint over the bathroom wall, which at the time was covered in images of maimed and broken crying women with enormous tits and waists so thin they would make Barbie jealous.  It has become abundantly clear to most women in the space that “Be Excellent” has failed us.

And it's not just Hannah.  Another member reports being “pinned down on a table” while another member “began unzipping [their] pants without any permission at all, refusing to stop even after [they] froze in fear asking what the fuck [he was] doing.”

It would seem that these black hat brogrammers are not Being Excellent, but largely in part of Noisebridge's consensus-based decision making process (which allows any one member to block a decision), women have not been empowered to remove misogynists from the community:

…attempts to remove sexual predators from the space have been stymied by the presence of lone, oblivious members of the community who simply refuse to believe that someone they consider a friend might not be a friend to women in the space.  The situation at Noisebridge has gotten so bad (alongside other issues such as dirtiness and homeless people living in the space) that long-time members went so far as to put in a proposal that Noisebridge seek to terminate its lease, presumably to then rebirth itself at a new location with tighter access control.

Instead of shutting down, Noisebridge instituted a sexual harassment policy—albeit provisionally, to protect against member's fears of censorship and (the long discredited notion) that women level false accusations of rape.

It seems at the intersection of Occupy and technology, women's safety just isn't that important.

Noisebridge refused to comment, with a member saying it's not “possible to get a response from a leaderless organization.

[Hannah Grimm | Photo by Jamillah Knowles]

Video Surfaces of Naked, Pissing, Highly-Limber Man Turning BART Station Into Personal Gymboree [UPDATED]

As you may remember, a “naked, spitting and pissing man” laid waste to the 16th and Mission BART station last month, photographed doing the splits by the fearless newshounds of The Bold Italic.  Now a month later, a video has finally surfaced of the full-frontal assault.

The video is fairly disturbing—and certainly NSFW—but in spite of bizarro Reggie Watts' fighting, harassing, and bringing victims to tears, we're nevertheless impressed with his abilities in turning the fare gates into balance beams (which, we hope we thoroughly cleansed after the incident).

Predictably, the majority of passengers cannot be bothered with his theatrics, not even taking out their cellphones for a quick pic of the glistening spectacle.  However, one bike-totting rider at the 2:25 mark gave the collapsed psychotic's butt a nice kick, proving that we haven't forgotten how to check an uncouth man's vital signs.

UPDATE: And here's the video of the arrest:

[Thanks Sam!]

Baby Head Whirligig Frightens, Amazes

I'm not totally sure how the artist's statement behind this decapitated baby head whirligig would read, but I imagine its purpose is to make small children cry and make big children (me) laugh.  Regardless, it's the most refreshing piece of street art this blogger has seen in Clarion Alley in quite some time.

Here's a moving picture Instagram of it in action:

Valencia Street's Planned Parenthood Protesters Are Nuttier Than Expected

We always knew that the people protesting basic freedoms outside of Valencia Street's Planned Parenthood were a bit unhinged, but their tantrum during last week's Board of Supervisor's meeting—when the board created a 25 foot protest-free “bubble” around the city's reproductive clinics—defies our already low opinion of them.  The Examiner's Melissa Griffin caught the scene:

At the meeting, a number of anti-abortion activists came to register their opposition to the law, and while I usually listen to the meetings while doing other work, I stopped multitasking when the first activist said, “This is my daughter. She was born on April 22, much to the chagrin of my husband. April 20 — 4/20 — might have been more fun, living in San Francisco.”

So, yes, it started with drug humor and got worse. “I have a question for the supervisors and all the people present here. Have y’all heard of the Emancipation Proclamation?” said the next activist. “There was a time when, if I had the means and the desire, I could own slaves.”

Then, pointing to various supervisors, two of whom are black, she said, “I could own you. I could own you. I could — usually the black people — I could own them. Yes I could. You would belong to me.” She went on to say that eventually, we will all view abortion like slavery, as something we can’t believe we tolerated. At least that’s what I think she said. By that point, I had crawled completely under my desk.

Fortunately, the law passed.

[Examiner | Photo of a BACORR counter-protest by Steve Rhodes]

Miserable Band Dude/Cat Owner Seeks Roommate With Moderate Income

Sure, this sounds like the makings of a ~tOtAlLY zAnY~ A&E reality show reboot, but this is probably cheapest room listed in neighborhood since we gave away tax breaks to companies with animal logos. no Joke.

(Thanks Nicole!)