sharpened edges is a blog about seven people, two houses, a motorcycle, and a locked treatment facility for adolescent boys.
*******, white cis queer man, 21, uk
"The point is never to apologize or accept, neither to reconcile nor to compromise, only to take up whatever obstacles we can find and sharpen their edges." – Evan Calder Williams
sooooo joe biel is gonna be at the sf zinefest. what should we do about it? message me if you have any ideas. they did an interview with him and are treating him like a guest of honor. can’t just go to the zinefest without doing something…
my friend got a weird response from someone named tom that compared banning joe biel from sf zinefest to book burning! LOL thanks for nothing.
omg they’re crying CENSORSHIP???
i got a response on monday that said:
Just today I’ve gotten several emails from people bringing Joe’s history to our attention. None of our organizers were aware of these events. We’re going to discuss our options and responsibilities at this late juncture. Thanks for your email.
SF Zine Fest Crew
this is what they said to my friend. so fucking weird!
We just learned about this today and we’re deciding what to do about it. De-inviting Joe is certainly a likely choice, but I must say I’m (my opinion, not zinefest’s) not entirely comfortable with banning Joe and Microcosm from zinefest. It’s incredibly unlucky that he’s our FEATURED GUEST and it’s hard to shake the image that we’re celebrating not only his art (which we still are) but him as a person. But there’s the problem. What number or degree of actions goes into defining the person. What level of sin is the cutoff point for banning someone from the show. Every exhibitor has some dark past (or at least grey past) and should zinefest as a public event discriminate against all people we deem below this line or only people who actually pose a threat to the show and its participants. Would we ban Pablo Picasso - another abusive person? Should we ban people who have anal sex (formally illegal), or don’t pay sales tax on their zine sales (currently illegal), or anyone who’s cheated on a partner (socially deemed illegal). Or does any of this matter when it comes to appreciating art. Could we have Joe’s art if he wasn’t personally present? Now that’s a really slippery slope there…just steps away from book burning. I don’t have answers to most of these questions, and the final decision will be made by our volunteer organizers as a group, but I thank you for your email - it will influence our discussion.
got the above response from someone named “tom,” you know, the perfect person to understand why i am not down with JB at SFZ, especially while healing from experiences of sexual abuse myself.
i love how joe biel is likened to pablo picasso. or hate it? no one’s burning books here buddy, we just want a radical, accountable and safe space to trade zines!
As a zine fest organizer we have set up a Safer Space Policy and we have trained in conflict mediation so that when issues like this come up we have a policy in place to refer to and we have been trained in how to deal with such situations. It’s not a matter of adding up the sins, transgressions, or legal infractions. It is about creating a space that makes our tablers and attendees feel comfortable and welcome and to foster an atmosphere that is amiable to people bringing us their concerns.
I can see that if SFZF has no Safer Space policy they are not really beholden to anyone to uphold those values. This is why after my experience I have chosen not to attend their event. This is actually the first time I’ve been publicly vocal about it, but that’s how I feel. Also, it’s really really hard to believe that organizers of a zine fest were not aware of the issues involved.
“It’s incredibly unlucky that he’s our FEATURED GUEST " unlucky, yes. not like, a thing you chose to do.
observation one: “oh my god my hand slipped and I accidentally made joe biel a featured guest!!!! how unlucky”
observation two: the only reason abuse is wrong apparently is that in some cases it might be illegal. this makes it morally equivalent to other illegal things, like not paying your taxes or having anal sex! that is how morality works. yes.
A (very) quick note for the UKUncut crowd
I had been hoping that UK Uncut would use today’s apology by the Met police commissioner to talk about the wider implications of police violence and access to justice. Obviously I’m glad that people have managed to take the Met to court and wrung both money and an apology out of them, but I dread the inevitable framing of this as the police being ‘called to account’, or the facts of the case being used to bolster the argument that the police just need better training with their weapons, or a reminder of their putative ‘public role’. UKUncut have a kind of access to platforms of public speech most people affected by police violence don’t, and it strikes me as simply *wrong* not to use those platforms to draw out the links between forms of police violence.
It might even be good to consider that while these activists have got their apology, many, many justice campaigns find it difficult even to win acknowledgement, let alone an apology, from *either* the police or the laughable IPCC. It would also be good to think about the differing distribution of justice and access to lawyers that obtains in these case, that this has to do with race, class, and what gets recognised as ‘protest’ or ‘political speech’ – and why the Met might be *willing* to apologise (to whom, for what, and in what framework.)
Obviously, I don’t like being the rain on your parade: I celebrate all actions against the police. But it seems increasingly obvious that to consider policing of protest exclusive of other kinds of policing obscures the actual operation of policing in practice. This is not advanced stuff, I think, it does not require extensive study. But I think it would be good, for instance, if UK Uncut people were also tweeting, sharing and turning up for things like this: http://londonagainstpoliceviolence.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/support-d-tsg/
That same day white jurors giggled while Mrs. Mary Ruth Reed, a pregnant black sharecropper, testified that Lewis Medlin, a white mechanic, attempted to rape her in front of her five children. In an effort to get help, she scooped up her youngest child and ran across a field. Medlin knocked her down and pummeled her until a neighbor finally heard her screams and called the police. In court, Medlin’s attorney argued that he had been drinking and was “just having a little fun.” Then, turning to the white jurors, the attorney pointed to the woman sitting next to Medlin. “You see this pure white woman, this pure flower of life?” he said. “… This is Medlin’s wife … Do you think he would have left this pure flower, God’s greatest gift,” he asked, “for THAT?” Reed burst into tears as the jury broke for deliberation. Less than ten minutes later they returned a not guilty verdict.
— At the Dark End of the Street; Black Women, Rape, and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power, by Danielle L. McGuire, p. 42 (via inlovewiththepractice)
What fucks me up about the Darren Wilson fundraiser is that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He doesn’t have to hire a lawyer. He’s on paid leave, so he’s not losing wages. This is not covering his expenses, because he doesn’t have any additional expenses. This is a reward. He’s getting a $250,000 reward for murdering an unarmed black kid.
HE HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL. MIKE REACHED FOR HIS GUN. HIS FRIEND THAT WAS WITH HIM EVEN ADMITTED THAT HE LIED ABOUT THE COP JUST RANDOMLY SHOOTING HIM AND CONFIRMED THAT THEY ROBBED THE STORE. SELF DEFESE.
None of this is true. This is how good the Ferguson PD’s smear campaign has been. Not one sentence here is accurate. Let’s break this down:
- "HE HAD TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL." Michael Brown’s autopsy showed no sign of struggle.The picture of the CT scan that’s being passed around to show that Wilson had an orbital blowout fracture is actually from 2008 from the University of Iowa, and a right-wing pundit photoshopped out the date and hospital info.
- "MIKE REACHED FOR HIS GUN." Officer Wilson’s story is that the first shot that went off was an accidental discharge while they were fighting over the gun. However. there was no gunpowder residue on Mike Brown, meaning that he was absolutely not holding the gun when it went off and furthermore that he was not even that close. He was fired on from a distance.
- "HIS FRIEND THAT WAS WITH HIM EVEN ADMITTED THAT HE LIED ABOUT THE COP JUST RANDOMLY SHOOTING HIM AND CONFIRMED THAT THEY ROBBED THE STORE." This is actually a compound lie, which is kind of impressive. His friend, Dorian Johnson, did not say that. His lawyer said they were together in the convenience store, the police said there was a robbery, and the media put those two statements next to each other to imply a statement was made that never was. Johnson isn’t being charged with anything because the Ferguson PD “determined he committed no crime." The Ferguson PD also admitted Officer Wilson didn’t know about the scuffle at the convenience store before he stopped Brown and Johnson. You may be wondering why I say scuffle instead of robbery. That’s because there wasn’t one: the owners of the store didn’t call the police and video shows Brown paying for the cigarillos! The clerk confronted Brown about reaching across the counter instead of waiting for him to hand over the cigarillos, he put his hand on Brown, and Brown pushed him. Yes, he pushed him too hard, but the clerk apparently didn’t care enough to call the police. The police were called by another customer in the store, who apparently didn’t know what was actually happening.
- "SELF DEFESE." The autopsy shows that he was shot on the inside of his arm, meaning his hands were up, and the top of his head, meaning that, since Brown was 6’4”, either he was on his knees or the officer was 8’ tall. The officer was not 8’ tall.
The evidence clearly shows that Officer Wilson, who had no idea of the not-actually-a-robbery, executed the unarmed Mike Brown while he was on his knees with his hands in the air. Just like all of the eyewitnesses said (except for “Josie,” who turned out not to be real).
But the Ferguson PD’s already tainted public opinion. They’ve spread so many lies so effectively that no amount of evidence will bring justice. Your ignorance here is proof of just how effective it’s been.