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[liberationtech] Call for Participants @ Noisy Square - Putting the Resistance back in OHM

micah micah at
Mon Jun 24 19:46:55 PDT 2013

Jacob Appelbaum <jacob at> writes:

> micah:
>> Eleanor Saitta <ella at> writes:
>>> Hash: SHA256
>>> On 2013.06.24 07.19, Douwe Schmidt wrote:
>>>> Dear LibTech Readers,
>>>> In a little bit over a month OHM2013 is happening in The
>>>> Netherlands. There has been a lot of controversy in the run-up to
>>>> this gathering. There was criticism of the involvement of tech
>>>> security company Fox-IT, then there was a heated debate on the
>>>> presence of Dutch High-tech Crime Unit in a village of their own.
>>>> Both discussions have calmed down. But the relevance of these
>>>> topics was clarified and reinforced.
>>> It's very sad that the organizing team has not actually taken any
>>> meaningful steps to address either their complicity with the
>>> manufacture of surveillance equipment, their acceptance of the
>>> promotion of a fascist police force, or the way they treated people
>>> who had previously been part of their own team during the "discussion"
>>> that ensued.  In fact, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing has
>>> happened on their end, they've just out-waited any discussion.
>>> A lot of people are asking me to change my mind on attending, and it
>>> sounds like you guys are going to have a lot of fun, but I'm finding
>>> myself pretty unmotivated to change my mind given that much of the
>>> organizing team doesn't seem to care at all about human rights.
>> I felt the same way as you, but someone convinced me that boycotting
>> just removes my voice from this conversation, and that attending gives a
>> chance to have this well needed discussion with the community.
> This is a false dichotomy of an argument if ever I've heard one. I keep
> hearing it too. It bums me out to no end.

A false dichotomy would be to suggest that this discussion cannot happen
anywhere else, except for at OHM, when in reality there are plenty of
other potential options for discussion... for example what we are doing
here. I would be quite silly to suggest that it is not possible to have
this discussion anywhere other than OHM while in the middle of having
such a discussion which is obviously not at OHM.

There *is* a dichotomy involved in what we are talking about, but it is
a real one: you either go to this event or you do not. Although, I've
already had discussions online with the organizers about their various
poor choices, as well as others in the community who were upset and
uncomfortable with how things happened, the ones that have been most
useful have been the ones that I've had in person. Online discussions
have never been as persuasive or as productive as real face to face

I would hope that nobody thinks that this discussion can just wait until
we are all together in person at OHM, and then once that is finished
then pencils down! no more discussion. Rather let us talk about it now
(we are!), let us organize ourselves to bring a strong statement to OHM
against this disease that rots the hacker community, and let us continue
to discuss it afterwards.

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