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So interesting that people who refused to be interviewed for the story, now can't shut up and stop posting comments.
Earlier this year in February, my band (which contains rapper vocalist's) an another local rapper played a festival at the Gilman thrown by our friends band. After the festival was over members of the gilmans volunteer club expressed how "offended" they were for our and the other rappers use of "the n word", as well as how they were going to vote on getting us banned for doing so. Everyone else who attended the concert enjoyed our performance, not to mention 80% of our set was a mellow indie rock style performance. Other "traditional" punk bands that played the festival expressed much harsher lines like "fuck my dad I want to fuck my mom" and recieved no comments or criticism. No one had directly come to me or any of my other bandmates about this, not to mention every person who said "the n word" was of the African American decent. Yet we hear that we're going to be banned from the venue via social media? I personally was extremely excited to play the venue, as I finally felt an in to the Bay Area punk venue I long felt alienated from for being African American. I was only to find out that my style of music is not only offensive for attempting to reclaim a word long used to opress me in the form of art but that I would be banned upon my first gig. I have no wrong feelings towards the venue itself but I do feel as if the volunteer staff has gone extreme with implementing these rules so much to the point that it only caters to the said staff and friends. So much to the point where members exclaim "come to one of our meetings and talk to us", I only feel as if this would lead to them justifying themselves in a group manner. This level of alienation does not create a "safe space" it truthfully does the opposite and establishes an environment not open to people of all walks of life. I and my bad fully support any boycott of the gilman's volunteer club, and would love to play along with bands that feel the same way, in a true, uncensored punk manner! One that is actually inclusive and inviting to all regardless of what you say or your skin color!
What this 924 drama says to me is that punk is probably quite dead and all that remains is a scene dominated by a dry, sober parody of life on the edge of rock... where censorship rules. I hope the boycott spawns a new club where punk can thrive in whatever twisted manner that fits the audience, and the 924 cult can maintain their harmony without being offended.
Some people who appreciated punk used to go to shows to hear and see the band they liked or who they identified with. Although I went to hear the Dead Kennedy's, I was afraid to attend Black Flag shows. Looking back on this it was silly because people threw bottles at DK shows too. Offensive language did not put me off as I was a punk rocker after all. What is punk without offensive language anyways? Nirvana? Green Day? The Go Go's? Chipmunk Punk? These were chart topping pop bands, not punk bands.
p.s. I heard and saw Ovarian Trolley at Continental in NYC around 1990. They were awesome! The guitar player smoked a cigarette on stage while he played and he looked so cool and dangerous.
My punk years preceded Gilman's heyday, and as I never much cared for hardcore (Circle Jerks was about it for me, maybe a little Black Flag) I've not had much cause to go there (though I have been to a few shows & have a membership card). That said, I have always appreciated its all ages/straight edge policies and wish there had been such a place for me when I was a teenager.
I sincerely hope the club can work through these issues and continue doing its most important job - providing a home for the outcasts, losers, and punk rock geeks (such as yours truly).
Different. Just like everyone else.
On its face, there appear to be a bunch of legitimate issues raised by this boycott. The need for gender neutral bathrooms is a perfect example. Concerns with the booking of bands with lyrics and that have exhibited behavior clearly restricted by the Gilman's rules is another. My main issue with the boycott is that it appears to be an end route around what for me is the foundation of what makes Gilman so great. The open transparent democratic process of decision making at membership meetings.
The boycott statement includes a lot of calling out specific people for their opinions, but fails to acknowledge the concept of people having the right to offer differing opinions in a democratic process. Jesse Luscious, one of the people called out for his opinions, has commented above with a very thoughtful and detailed response which includes sharing that he rarely votes at membership meetings on the issues raised by the boycott. I could potentially understand calling him out for specific votes on issues that the boycott is specifically trying to address, but are we to believe that people are not entitled to voicing their opinions at membership meetings? I hope not. Jesse went on to say that he supports the idea of an outside organization such as Bay Area Women Against Rape to do trainings on recognizing and dealing with abuse which appears to be another central issue of the boycott.
Longtime member and co-founder Kamala Parks has responded here with several equally detailed and thoughtful comments/responses by suggesting that online forums are poor formats for discussing these types of complex and sensitive issues. I share that view and wonder if the Boycott organizers and supporters have either failed to truly participate in the membership process which admittedly can be arduous and frustrating, or if they gave up on it far too soon.
From what I have seen, there has been no response from the boycott organizers to these responses from people who have been specifically called out. If true, I find that troubling because these are folks who I believe deserve at the very least respectful engagement. Don’t’ we all? With that said, I do understand people may feel unsafe and possibly even threatened for speaking out. I would suggest that this dynamic of feeling unsafe is especially exacerbated when trying to discuss all of this via an online forums. Membership meetings provide a process to achieve decision making with clearly understood rules that include rules of conduct towards others. I can’t stress enough how important the membership meeting process is to the survival of Gilman. As someone who has been around for the venue’s entire history, I can honestly say that there is not one instance that I can recall where going outside of the membership process has achieved a desirable outcome for anyone. I wonder what would happen if all the folks behind the boycott organized all their supporters and attend a membership meeting all together as a unified voice to openly address all of this? There is an accusation that Gilman has failed to do the work on these issues of equality, but given that the venue is run by a democratic process, I wonder if it is the people making this claim who not done the work? After all, it is their venue as much as anyone else’s.
People keep saying that the boycotters are “cowardly”, “pc pussies” and any other number of insults among the threats of death, gang rape, and other attacks. Since when did either punk or being strong become about sitting down and letting other people run you over or push you to the margins?
“PC” was an idea invented by people with power to turn the idea of basic respect into something political and controversial so they could make it look like a conspiracy instead of a real conversation. Issues of gender, race, abuse, sexuality, bodies, and safety aren’t intellectual political debates or games.
For many of us those issues are our LIVES and about actual fucking daily survival. But if some people get asked to learn what even a dozen new words mean, it’s like the world is ending.
Kamala Parks said that electronic forums are inappropriate for these kinds of conversations but she declined to be interviewed for this piece. How many people read the violent comments her words were placed in before jumping to say she wasn't inciting violence. Kamala didn't, and she refused when I asked her to after it was posted.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard from a reliable source that Jesse Townley also declined the request. Still, he's first to come in with a long, balanced-sounding criticism about the article and the boycott. Why would that be the case?
I wasn't there for the Green Day issues, but those are probably the most public and well known of the boycott complaints, so I'll let others speak to those.
I was there and heavily involved since 2010 for the others. And I've talked to every single person involved firsthand in the abuse incident in depth.
Like hundreds (or thousands at this point, who knows) of others I still support the boycott.
I agree with Jesse Townley’s comment above about something. I personally wouldn't call Jesse's speech at the May 21st meeting "a tirade", though it would be easy to read the content of what he said as a tirade. No, it wasn't loud, he's right about that. It was worse than loud, because it was calm, even, and full of doublespeak. Then as he was finishing, he said he had somewhere to be so he left immediately after finishing his speech and there was no further discussion or back and forth with him about some incredibly faulty points.
Yes, he spent a lot of time talking about how we can't read minds or know people's beliefs so he gets “nervous when people start talking about things that happen outside the walls" of Gilman. I get nervous when people DON’T do that, and I said so. Like when the abuser in the incident was partially defended before being 86’d because abuse didn't happen in the club (except some did). If that's what you want Gilman to be like, you can have it. I’m doing my work outside the walls for now after exhausting myself trying twice now in two years.
The problem with Jesse's point is *WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WAS NOTHING BUT PEOPLE'S ACTUAL ACTIONS, NOT THEIR BELIEFS*. He used doublepseak to derail the conversation and then left, making it sound like any of these issues are about some liberal thought police conspiracy instead of about actual concrete behavior. Look long enough with enough context of the issues and you’ll spot patterns of doublespeak no matter who they are coming from.
A boycott means people did all the showing up they could, some for decades, some for years, some for months and then left. Criticizing not showing up is missing the ENTIRE fucking point of a boycott. So maybe drop that erroneous argument and focus on the real issues, which plenty of people and witnesses are talking about and plenty of Gilman supporters are ignoring.
Maybe more folx need to speak up, but that’s a personal decision nobody can make for them.
Regarding the board and bylaws: no, it is not stated in the bylaws that the board won't interfere in the day to day running. But Jesse doesn't acknowledge that it absolutely was promised to be or why it wasn't included. The last draft of the bylaws was written by Obadiah, one person, not a committee or a group..
Obadiah is actually my good friend, despite all this. I feel closer to him now than when I quit in 2014. He didn’t/doesn't have ties to the board, and the board mostly stayed back from daily running before Gilman's reputation was publicly, legitimately called into question by the boycott.
He didn't realize it was necessary to include that rule, and that's because once again the entire club dropped the ball when it happened and assumed the issue was finished and everybody was on the same page, so it hadn’t been talked about for a while. I assume it was never really talked about how it would be written into the rules. It happened after I quit in 2014 or I would have fought for it to be included.
Jesse "I'm Going Prioritize Telling People How to Spell my Name Correctly Before Any Other Point" Townley conveniently left that part of the story out. Let’s be realistic and fair, maybe he didn't even know about the promises. If so, THAT’S another big problem that illustrates the lack of perspective, communication, organization, and priorities that the majority of membership has had for years.
I believe Obadiah, even as a member of Fang, has good intentions. I think his heart has been often misunderstood throughout the boycott. I think it’s happened mostly because he's usually a man of few words and often sees the best in everybody. I truly feel like he cares about many people and wants everyone to get along and be happy.
My personal take is that, like that vast majority of members with elected positions (Obadiah and I were co-heads of sound last year and this year until I quit) and other voting members, he doesn’t have much experience with the “accessibility-oriented political discourse that characterizes the subculture today”. Still, he listens better than most others I’ve talked to, and is willing to discuss long past the time others have become defensive or petty.
In times like this, when more and more people are involved, it becomes even more clear that actions are about our impact and not our intent. This is true for everyone on both sides of the Gilman issue and nobody is perfect; though in my experience, many of the boycotters are more practiced and comfortable with looking at their impact and doing hard work to listen to people and grow. In fact it’s one of the main divisions.
If somebody runs over me with a car but didn’t mean to, that doesn’t heal any bones. If somebody is abusive or manipulative but didn’t mean it, that doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t hurt, sometimes quite badly. Owning your shit means owning all its effects, forever. It means having the strength to face yourself and the world and learning to do better without blaming others when your actions get you backed into a corner you didn’t want or see coming. A lot of us are being called to accountability in ways we didn’t expect. Now our choices are about how to react and what to do about it.
Being accountable doesn’t mean putting yourself out there to be hunted down without thought. If people think the boycotters put people in danger at anywhere near the level of threats of death and gang rape by naming issues and people, then those people have a lot to learn about the issues and the kind of people who want Gilman to evolve with the rest of the punk community.
Kamala Parks publicly suggests mysterious corporate conspiracies and wants people to track down the people who actually started the boycott. She calls the boycott “cowardly” and anonymous - even though many many people who know the incidents and issues in the boycott statement are supportive of the boycott - even though they are talking about it regularly and are NOT anonymous. If she wants people to track down the people who "started" it and is willing to say so in a post full of a thousand aggressive posts and dozens or more violent threats and refuses to reconsider re-wording her statement when privately, directly asked to. She and Jesse (who are also roommates, again correct me if I'm wrong, I have not heard it from them) both declined to be interviewed here and yet continue to pop up and be quoted with rhetorical doublespeak.
Maybe while people are busy personally tracking down the people who started the boycott, they might ask themselves how the side *defending* Gilman would look like right now if it didn't prominently feature two community members with huge amounts of social capital. They are members who live together, admit freely that they are long removed from the daily running of the club, and (speaking of agendas) it is their job it is to try and keep people interested in Gilman enough to raise at least $1 million dollars to ensure it continues and to secure its legendary status - a status their own local fame is built on.
I can’t speak for any other people boycotting, but I know the bottom line of what I want to see is a lot more people communicating HONESTLY and thinking critically. I have no fear about what things would be like if that started happening more.
And if I or anyone else is physically attacked for continuing to talk about it, I’ll be sure that as many people as possible hear about it. I’m not too worried about that - despite major people players defending the club with questionable tactics and refusing to renounce violence when asked to. Anybody with a bit of foresight can see that following through on the threats would be infinitely more damaging to the club’s future and existence than anything that has happened so far. Hopefully people are at least thinking critically enough to know better.
My name is Jesse Michaels. I was the lead singer for the band Operation Ivy and was a Gilman member from before the first show.
This article is inaccurate, disingenuous and is written by somebody who is in the self affirming echo chamber around the boycott narrative. The boycott idea is based on several false premises:
1) That Gilman has "changed" from an imagined previous era in which the wall rules were followed more vigorously.
FALSE. The wall rules have always been a matter of debate and this issue has been coming up literally since the first month of club activity. It has always been a matter of organized chaos and people being bummed on both sides of the issue. In the first year, many bands played that were every bit as controversial as some of the ones coming up now. The Feeders anyone? What is new is well educated, upper middle class white ideologues playing Safe-space Savior and trying to DAMAGE OR EVEN END THE CLUB because they lost a meeting vote. This article portrays a sense of betrayal on the part of certain alienated members. What it doesn't portray is the sense of relief among the majority of members, including young, queer and POC members, that Gilman is NOT being turned into a new-left info shop where anybody who says something "problematic" has to face a Community Call Out™. It also does not portray the sense of betrayal felt by the majority who can't believe that people who lost a simple majority vote or two would actually take to outside public forums to try to influence broad opinion rather than continuing to participate or at least handling the boycott on a show to show basis rather than trying to shut down a place that has changed the lives of thousands of young people.
2)That the people who disagree with the boycott are all or almost all older, white, male volunteers.
FALSE. Every public thread on this subject shows a majority of commenters disagreeing with and in fact, openly mocking the boycott (hey - it's punk, don't expect good manners). Many, many of the people who see the boycotters as a bunch of reductive, dogmatic true-believers are young people, POC and queer people.
3) That a monolithic entity (old Gilman volunteers) sought to ban dissenters.
FALSE. A vote was taken up to ban specific members for seeking to damage the club publicly. The membership, including older volunteers, voted against the ban.
4) That Kamala, Jesse and other veteran members sought to discredit or even encourage reprisal against the boycotters.
FALSE! FALSE! FALSE! You fucking idiots! (sorry). Kamala is the nicest person in the WORLD. When she suggested readers research who was boycotting and what kind of shows they played, she was pointing out that some of the people jumping on the bandwagon play over 21 gigs, play with bands with seedy reputations and so on. She was pointing out that before you join a self feeding mob of rah-rah-rah buzz-word shouting dipshits, take a look at who they actually are and how rigorous they are at avoiding "problematic" situations and "oppressive" behavior in their own affairs.
As I said at the beginning of this post, controversial bands have played since day 1. Nobody, not even Tim, ever thought of the rules on the wall as absolute, inerrant dogma. The thing that is NEW is not a departure from Gilman's ethical culture, but rather an outbreak of absolutism and rigid adherence to "safespace" principles. The reason I said that this article is disingenuous is because the article writer is almost certainly one of the adherents of this politically sterile, judgmental and sanctimonious line of thought. He discloses that he used to work for MRR but he should disclose what his own take is on the subject before writing a slanted piece in a high visibility public format under the pretense of objectivity.
One more thing: I do NOT believe in the new culture of encoded bias against "privilege." In other words, I think it is stupid when people have to do an analysis of somebody's class, race, social position, etc. before they listen to what that person has to say. But since the boycotters DO believe in that bullshit (with their repeated allusions to "white male" opposition) I find it more than a little vexing that the boycotters seem to be mostly college educated white people with liberal arts degrees trying to shut down a space that has served as a refuge and stomping ground for generations of working class and homeless kids, most with no formal education.
Fuck how many years you've been volunteering at gilman, fuck how much work you put to keep it alive, if you don't support oppressed people, if you don't stop and re evaluate your values, if you keep on the side of those who's bullying the ones who want gilman as a safer space, all your effort is U.S.E.L.E.S.S. This is fucking 2016, wake up. Also what goes around comes around, just saying.
This is the response to the (still) anonymous attacks on me and my history. I apologize for its length. There was a lot of inaccuracies to correct. Yours, Jesse
So since I’ve been identified as one of the problems, let me respond. I walked into 924 Gilman in June of 1989 for the Anarchist Gathering show with MDC, Political Asylum, Yeastie Girlz, Kondom Nation, & others, & didn’t leave until 2010 when the combination of personalities then in charge made me decide to turn in my keys. During those 21 years, I was Secretary for 14 years (i.e. ran collective meetings & took minutes) and stage managed and/or coordinated hundreds of shows. I’ve worked every volunteer position except sound since 1989. Around 2013 or 2014, as Gilman legally became a 501(c)3 non-profit, I started going to meetings again and helped Ryan E. & others create a structure in our by-laws to accommodate our new legal status. I ran and was elected, along with my housemate Kamala (who literally found 924 Gilman w/ Victor/Alchemy Records, and went on to play in Kamala & the Karnivores, Cringer, The Gr’ups, Naked Aggression, & Hers Never Existed among others), to the initial fundraising committee (or “fundraising board”, as we called it in the by-laws for some reason). Both of our terms expire in November 2016.
Claim from above post:
“ In recent years, a number of core volunteers have stated they don't feel the “No Major Labels” policy is still necessary given the state of the music industry (including board member Jesse “Lucious” Townley, who helped write the policy in the first place).”
First off, there’s 2 “s”s in Luscious. 2nd, I still think the Major Label ban is a good idea. I have always advocated against bands signing to a major for the reasons stated above. I have also stated repeatedly that context HAS changed, and that for the vast majority of Gilman patrons, Green Day has ALWAYS been on a major & that I understood why the collective approved having Green Day play- for them it is NOT the “third rail” of punk politics that it was 22 years ago in 1994. Kamala & I DID come to a meeting & proposed that the show be moved to a larger venue in order to raise more money for the benefit. We also expressed serious concerns about security for the show. The collective did not agree with our proposals.
“Longtime volunteers such as Obadiah Bowling, Jesse “Luscious” Townley, Jeff Armstrong, etc have consistently made it clear that they are not interested in challenging the reactionary mindset much at all and have made numerous "exceptions" the new rule, especially when it comes to waiving the ethics and broader community/moral considerations for anyone who is a past or present shitworker, anyone who has been around long enough (including lots of fucked up HC bands from the 80s), and certain corporate entities that want some kind of explicit dual association/branding (ie Jack Daniels at a fundraising event co-sponsored by 924 Gilman at the Fox Theater, Green Day carefully filming their "homecoming" as mentioned previously). When people have raised questions about any of this, they have been gaslighted, quickly shut down, and/or essentially told they "just don't get it" and are being judgmental/fascists/whatever.”
I don’t know what specific examples I’m being associated with in this example. The fundraising committee is, under our by-laws, charged with getting major initiatives approved by the membership but allowed to take care of the details outside of collective meetings. We were not at all involved with the details of the Green Day benefit for the fire victims, so I can’t speak to that.
We worked with another non-profit, Undercover Presents, on the Fox Theater “Tribute to Dookie by Green Day” benefit for Gilman. They, through their leader Lyz Luke who came to a few Gilman meetings to answer questions, worked on sponsors and large donations. I worked closely with her on the budget and we worked out various ways that Gilman would guarantee a donation income through both ticket sales and our independent-of-Undercover-Presents indiegogo campaign. From day one, it was clear to the collective that this was a collaboration with Undercover Presents and not a solo effort by Gilman.
By practice and by a proposal passed by the membership, fundraising committee representatives appear AT LEAST at the 2nd membership meeting of the month, and often- as in this month- at the 1st to report on news and initiatives. We always ask for input and if an idea is controversial the collective can vote on it. This process was used when people were uneasy with the fundraiser’s media committee doing outreach to various media outlets without the collective’s knowledge. The collective mandated that media outlets be mentioned during fundraising reports in order to be vetted by the collective.
“Gilman board member, fundraising committee member, and politician Jesse ”Lucious” Townley launched into a tirade (ignoring the point) about how personal redemption trumps all other considerations and that we can't tell if someone is a homophobe/sexist/racist etc at the door or whatever so we shouldn't try to read minds…”
Okay, this is where the character assassination comes into play. I AM a politician- to be specific, I am the Chair of the Berkeley Rent Board. I am a progressive and I have been a proud Green Party member since 1992. I was first elected to the Rent Board in 2008 and reelected in 2010 & 2014. 924 Gilman’s struggles against the Berkeley PD in 1990-91 and Pyramid Brewery in the mid-90s prepared me & that generation of Gilman regulars- with the help of long-time volunteer John Hart (a veteran of the People’s Park fights)- for addressing government power structures head on. We learned how to pack City Council meetings, how to stay awake AND comprehend zoning meetings, and a ton of other political tips that have enriched our lives & saved many projects, including Gilman, in the decades since.
This line about a “tirade” actually conflates 2 separate statements in 2 separate agenda items at the last membership meeting.
In the agenda item about that dude from “Hard Times” website, I cautioned against 924 Gilman taking action against things that did not happen with its 4 walls based on its historical inability and lack of savvy to do so (see: Jeff Ott & Jux, circa 1995) and also to point out that the rules on the door regulate behavior, not belief. I gave examples from way back when about how we regulated “No Racism” and “No Misogyny” (note the difference in wording to today’s “No Sexism”- at that time the collective thought misogyny was easier to discern). I talked about how we required jerks with white power shirts or tattoos to cover them up or leave, and how one member of a recurring bunch of jerks wore a “No Means Yes” shirt and we refused him entry until he removed it (which I’m pretty sure he didn’t so he never entered). (Obviously, anyone who showed up with either racist or misogynist or homophobic regalia & covered up was carefully monitored by volunteers & security since the odds were good that they’d be violent and/or drink inside as well, allowing us to toss them) I talked about how we didn’t feel that we could regulate what people actually thought, in their heart of hearts, but instead we could regulate their outward appearance and actions.
This whole point was delivered in a diplomatic & conversational tone at regular volume. (I *am* a politician, remember?)
The 2nd part about redemption & rehabilitation came up when someone proposed that Sam McBride/Fang should be 86d. Besides the fact that his bands have played Gilman repeatedly over the past decade with no problems from him, here’s an interview where people can read- in his own words- where these ideas of redemption & rehabilitation come from. (In addition to being a foundation of any cultural scene made up of fuck-ups, non-conformists, & weirdos) You can also read that he does not consider himself blameless or free of any efforts at redemption.
In addition to the sober living house he co-founded for addicts coming out of rehab:
About the murder he committed:
“And I could have made a bunch of different choices, but I didn’t. I came from a background of drug dealing where you didn’t do things like that. But that’s still just excuses and there’s no excuse for what I did. I can’t imagine that if those circumstances happened again that I would ever react like that again. I did what I did. Some of your choices in life you can’t take back.
WW: Did you ever hear from her family?
Sammytown: I got some threats from her Dad but I get that. I did a fucking horrible thing. That’s where, this part I definitely take responsibility for. People give me shit for what I did, because, for some reason, they don’t think that I have a problem with what I did. But I have a much bigger problem with what I did than they can imagine. There’s no dialogue for it. They just say well fuck that guy, he’s a horrible person. There are a lot of circumstances that affect the decisions you make when you’re seeing red. You know, and if you take just one of those things out of the equation you can have a totally different outcome. There’s a lot of reasons, but there’s no excuses.”
There’s a lot more in that interview that explains why a majority of the collective members who were there (my estimate is 40-45 people) voted apparently overwhelmingly NOT to ban Sam McBride. (I don’t know the vote total because I had to leave before the vote)
3 more things for your consideration.
1. I am 100% against (even now) the Slapshot/Fang bill happening at 924 Gilman. While our security is good, this combination of crowds is much more appropriate for the larger security crews at the Oakland Metro or similar local venues. At the last meeting I proposed canceling this show due to security reasons. It lost with 12 yes, 13 no, unknown # abstain.
2. Jeff Armstrong has told me, directly, that he, Obadiah, & Executive Officer Larry forced the asshole who abused our Secretary to turn in his keys well before the situation was public knowledge. That is in direct contradiction to this: “… Their first reaction was to tell her that she should “step away from the club for a while”, effectively making her the problem instead of addressing the issue directly until the abuser was outed publicly and a wider community response occurred.”
Even if “Boycott Gilman”’s claim is accurate, then it indicates that our collective may be unable to handle issues like abuse within the context of a egalitarian construct. Jeff A. suggested to the collective months ago (& I suggested to the Secretary’s close friend this week) that Gilman bring in an outside organization like Bay Area Women Against Rape to do trainings on recognizing and dealing with abuse. (I suggested it based on the history I mention above, I can’t speak for Jeff’s reasons) It seems like a no-brainer regardless of what else happens.
3. From the 5/18/16 post that starts “924 Gilman Street is over as we know it.
This is a call for a wide-scale boycott of 924 Gilman by those of us who give a fuck about things that matter.”
“… Board members who abide by the pre-incorporation promises to not interfere with the daily running of shows and the club environment…”
Also, from the post above:
“[nevermind that membership was assured when the club got nonprofit status and a board in 2014 that the board would always be completely separate from day-to-day business and wouldn’t interfere with the running of the club].””
There is zero in the rules or the by-laws restricting fundraising committee members (aka “Board members”) from participating in collective meetings as full voting members as long as they complete the requisite volunteer work required for all voting members. This seems like a jab at people who can only serve in limited yet still important capacities for our shared endeavor. Is this suggesting that our collective small “d” democratic process should disenfranchise certain regular volunteers? Four legs good, two legs better?
Personally, I rarely vote at all- not even to abstain- in membership meetings, even on proposals I make and/or advocate for/against. I do this because I feel like this allows me to participate without participating “too much”. I’m balancing my deep emotional ties to the collective with the recognition that I don’t do the nightly/weekly volunteer work that so many others do. (And yes, this is a change from the last time I attended meetings on a regular basis) But my personal preferences are just that- my personal preferences- and NOT anything the collective has signed off on.
[Note: I did not vote in any way on the proposal I made to cancel the Slapshot/Fang show for this reason]
Hi, I'm one of the long-time Gilman volunteers slandered by the (still) anonymous "boycott Gilman" people. Like Kamala, I also turned down Sam's request for an interview. I did post a statement explaining how the (still) anonymous "boycott Gilman" misrepresented my long history with the collective and my personal ethics.
At the last Gilman meeting a collective member proposed 86-ing Rory & Jamie. He withdrew that proposal after the overwhelming majority of those present said it would be unfair to a) take such action without proof that they were behind the "boycott Gilman" page and b) take such action without Rory & Jamie having the opportunity to respond and take part in the discussion.
Please update your article to reflect this: the collective REFUSED to take unilateral action based on hearsay against current and former collective members out of a strong sense of fairness and direct communication.
wheres the interview of anyone from the support gilman side.? yeah maybe going to the membership meeting that happened after the boycott gilman stuff started might have been a better way not to make this look one sided.
This article seems pretty straightforward to me. I don't find it particularly slanted to one side. Unless this is one of those cases that when you don't like the facts you just claim that they're "biased". Also, how can Gilman simultaneously ask people to "come to meetings" and participate AND ban/attempt to ban people responsible for the boycott? Lastly, this is just a fucking punk club - one that means a lot to a lot of people- but a punk club. Death threats? Rape threats (from the now deleted fb page)? If those are the people that are on your side, maybe it's worth re-evaluating what yer fighting for.
Kamalas too nice hahaha <3
Sam, it might have been useful if you went to the last Gilman meeting, and interviewed the many supporters of Gilman that were there. It might have given your piece a little more balance. Maybe you can go to the next meeting this Saturday the 4th for a follow up. Also, yes, the Boycott Gilman page did have some really nasty stuff that was unacceptable, and frankly embarrassing but unfortunately that is the nature of Facebook and the internet if things are not moderated. On the flipside, maybe as a journalist you should have also looked at the "Boycott the Boycott of 924 Gilman" an invite only group of mostly old school Gilman regulars. On that page, since it was not entirely public, it is mostly positive, and mostly funny posts.
Please read the entire statement by Kamala Parks instead of just the cherry picked parts used to make her seem like she was inciting violence towards the boycotters.
My name is Kamala Parks and I’m one of the many co-founders of 924 Gilman as well as current chair for the 924 Gilman fundraising committee. It’s important that you know this so that you have some (but not all) insight into my relationship with 924 Gilman. I have avoided participating in the Boycott Gilman online discussion because a) I find these forums to be the refuge of anonymous bullies, and b) I don’t have Facebook© account. I’m engaging now because close friends are being drawn in to what I can only classify as a “first world problem”.
To the best of my knowledge, 924 Gilman is the longest running and only volunteer-run, non-profit, all-ages, collectively governed venue serving the punk community west of New York (apologies if I’ve gotten this wrong). The governance and bi-weekly membership meetings of 924 Gilman were established by Maximum RockNRoll in 1986 and are still very much in place today. I am indebted to MRR for getting the venue going financially. Like many others, I hold 924 Gilman fondly in my heart more than any other venue or place I’ve frequented.
Because of this structure, 924 Gilman as an entity has had many personalities over the years, some of which I’ve identified with more than others. It has and continues to reflect the personalities of those who volunteer substantial time and energy to participate constructively in providing a refuge to our wide, diverse community. It also means that many decisions are made openly, democratically, and through face-to-face discussion. I don’t always agree with the majority vote, but I respect the process and gain greater comprehension of the nuances involved in decision-making when I participate in the membership meetings.
Anyone considering participating in a call to action such as this boycott should, first and foremost, be skeptical once you realize there are no names attached to these proclamations and claims. Because of that, I urge you to research the first bands who jumped on the Boycott Gilman bandwagon and figure out with whom they associate and identify. This will guide you to the chuckleheads who are too cowardly to openly stand behind this boycott or to sustain any challenges to their monolithic and privileged world view.
Please pay attention to the actions of people and bands who identify as Gilman Boycotters and question them directly. Are they attending or playing at 21+ bar shows or venues that regularly host major label acts and why? Are they using corporate products or tools to assist their participation in the punk community and why? I also challenge anyone reading this to name venues that have greater international renown and that have done more to support the greater punk community than 924 Gilman.
.**This is Kamala Parks again. I’ve been told that there have been some questions about the term “first world problems” in my post from a couple of days ago. I first want to reiterate the core of my message, which is that electronic forums are completely inappropriate for discussions about abuse, diversity, and sensitivity, particularly when the sources are anonymous. These issues absolutely deserve serious attention to identify and rectify and are certainly not "first world problems". To clarify, “first world problems” in my post referred to these serious concerns being drowned out by an avalanche of hearsay, gossip, misinformation, and petty grievances perpetuated through electronic forums.
Kamala Parks here with what I hope is my last online post
regarding “Boycott Gilman”. There are reasons to rejoice and be saddened in the wake of the Boycott Gilman call to arms.
Yesterday’s membership meeting and show movingly demonstrated 924 Gilman’s strength and its place in people’s hearts. The membership meeting was one of the best-attended ones in recent memory, and several came to find out more about the issues behind the boycott. They were interested in supporting this important community space by actively engaging in our open and democratic process to discuss the issues, both internal and external, facing the club. Unfortunately, none of the anonymous forces behind Boycott Gilman, if they were there, spoke up. Nonetheless, I was heartened by the strength of our transparent process concerning a proposal to ban a couple of Gilman volunteers who are suspected of being involved in the boycott. Despite the heightened emotions we were all feeling, we came to consensus that those named have the right to be notified in advance so they can respond to allegations at the next meeting before the membership takes any action.
The show itself was a reminder of the magic that happens at 924 Gilman, with bands and attendees who covered the gamut of ages, races, genders, and sexual orientations. The packed crowd was galvanized and motivated to support the place.
At the same time, I’m sad to learn that Maximum RockNRoll is planning to devote a significant section supporting the boycott in their next issue without any input from 924 Gilman supporters. Jesse Townley and I tried to meet with head coordinator of MRR a couple of weeks ago to have a discussion about their grievances with 924 Gilman, but she refused after an extended e-mail exchange.
Both Jesse and I have a long history with MRR. In the 1980’s, I was a shit worker, scene reporter, regular contributor, and house resident. Their renowned annual guide to the international punk community, “Book Your Own Fucking Life”, was inspired by an article I wrote for MRR, “Book Your Own Fucking Tour”. Jesse was also a shit worker for many years from the time he moved to the Bay Area in 1989 and a book reviewer for 14 years.
In the past, MRR has been a beacon to broad swaths of the punk community, demonstrating their can-do spirit by creating a radio show, a fanzine, Epicenter Record Store (R.I.P.), Blacklist mail order (R.I.P.), and 924 Gilman (almost 30 years and counting). Many of us who worked at MRR and its enterprises at that time embody this spirit by being the agents of positive change in the punk community and beyond. Alas, the current leadership of MRR seems so busy identifying lines in the sand that they have lost hold of the principles that had previously guided it and inspired so many.
If you feel there are issues with 924 Gilman, I invite you to affect change by participating in our bi-monthly meetings (where most decisions are made) and volunteering your energy (where most of the action takes place). To be 100% clear, I am speaking for myself and NOT 924 Gilman or the Gilman fundraising committee. The collective has not appointed a spokesperson or drafted a statement.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to listen to “Our Lips Are Sealed” by the Go-Go’s and try to heed to its 35-year old wisdom.
"Avilez" has performed at "THE GILMAN" in all these bands and dates since 1993 (and has been performing in "L.A. PUNK BANDS" since 1986) ... so like the last comment states and stands ...
Jan. 29, 1993 – THE REJECTED - w/ MDC & Fuck Boyz
May 7, 1994 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ The Fixtures, Society Gone Madd, Dead and Gone
July 16, 1994 – REJECTED MOTHER FUCKERS – w/ UXA, Screw 32, Snap-her
Sept. 24, 1994 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Swingin Utters
Sept. 15, 1995 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Naked Aggression
Feb. 3, 1996 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Strychnine, Skaven, The Need, Young & the Useless
Feb. 16, 1996 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Capitalist Casualties, Subincision
June 21, 1996 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – Heckle, Link 80
(OPPRESSED LOGIC was 86'd from Gilman and was voted back in a meeting in 2000!!!)
Nov. 5, 2000 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Dayglo Abortions, Decry, Portrait of Poverty
Mar. 10, 2001 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ The Varukers, Scarred For Life
July 13, 2001 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Special Duties, Violent Society, ZBS, Born/Dead
Jan. 12, 2002 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Plan 9, Hellbillys, The Sick
Feb. 22, 2002 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Deface, Eddie Haskels, Throat Oyster
July 4, 2003 – STRUNG UP – w/ ?
April 18, 2004 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ The Resistoleros, American Terrorists
Oct. 14, 2005 – RETCHING RED – w/ MDC, Blown To Bits, Instant Asshole, War Krimes
May 13, 2006 – RETCHING RED / OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Naked Aggression
Oct. 6, 2006 – RETCHING RED – w/ Decry, Zero Bull Shit
Feb. 2, 2007 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / LAST ROUND UP – w/ D.I., Deathtoll
June 15, 2007 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Agression, Verbal Abuse, Shattered Faith
Sept. 14, 2007 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Dr. Know, Circle One, Zero Bull Shit
Aug. 13, 2008 – FUKM – w/ Channel 3, The Disciples, You Die
Oct. 18, 2008 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ SMD, Crucial Cause, Rat Damage
Dec. 19, 2008 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ D.I., Neighborhood Watch, Fukm
Oct. 2, 2009 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ TSOL, Everything Must Go, The Disciples
Feb. 6, 2010 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Angry Samoans, Dr. Know, Bum City Saints, Nihilist Cunt
Aug. 13, 2010 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Fang, Sex Offenders, Hewhocannnotbenamed
Aug. 28, 2010 – LAST ROUND UP – w/ Circle One, Negative Trend, You Die, Nihilist Cunt
Oct. 16, 2010 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Scream, Toys That Kill, Grace Alley, Zero Progress
Dec. 11, 2010 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Plan 9, Black Fag, Remones, MC Meathook
Feb. 5, 2011 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Scream, Deathtoll
May 21, 2011 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Murder Junkies, Hammerlock, Jesse Morris
Sept. 3, 2011 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Reagan Youth, ZBS, Gutwrench
Sept. 10, 2011 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Battalion of Saints, Attitude Adjustment, V.D.
Oct. 30, 2011 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ The Dwarves
Feb. 3, 2012 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / ZERO BULL SHIT / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE
May 12, 2012 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ The Insaints, All or Nothing HC
Sept. 9, 2012 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / ZERO BULL SHIT – w/ The Whoremoans
Sept. 14, 2012 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Yeastie Boys, Go Time, Culo A Boca
Dec. 12, 2012 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Fukm, Trouble Maker
Mar. 2, 2013 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE w/ Punk Funk Mob, Skunkadelics (No H.R.)
April 27, 2013 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Antidote, Visual Discrimination
June 14, 2013 – ZERO BULL SHIT – w/ MDC, Verbal Abuse, In Defence, Nihilist Cunt
July 13, 2013 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Urban Waste, Strung Up, Out of Tune, No Mistake
Sept. 27, 2013 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ General Fucking Principle, Attitude Adjustment
Dec.14, 2013 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Poison Idea, Fang, Attitude Adjustment
Feb. 6, 2014 – RETCHING RED / OPPRESSED LOGIC / ZERO BULL SHIT / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE – w/ Luicidal, Neighborhood Watch, Hollywood Hate, Sick Sense, Nihilist Cunt
May 18, 2014 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ The Skeptix, Choking Susan, Fukm
May 31, 2014 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE -w/ SNFU, Trouble Maker, Nihilist Cunt
Sept. 27, 2014 – GUANTANAMO DOGPILE -w/ Green Jelly, Mystic Knights of the Cobra
Oct. 3, 2014 – ZERO BULL SHIT – w/ Dr. Know, Attitude Adjustment, No Fraud
Oct. 18, 2014 – OPPRESSED LOGIC / GUANTANAMO DOGPILE- w/ English Dogs
Nov. 22, 2014 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Angry Samoans, Wasted Ones, Cornelius Apspergers
Mar. 28, 2015 – RETCHING RED – w/ The Insaints, Trouble Maker, Jack Killed Jill
June 19, 2015 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ UK Subs, Fang, Nihilist Cunt, MFB
Dec. 12, 2015 – OPPRESSED LOGIC – w/ Voodoo Glowskulls
May 7, 2016 – LUICIDAL / ZERO BULL SHIT w/ Sawyer Family, Heartless Folk, Sorry Mom
(this show was the same day as the meeting regarding Fang/Slapshot show, but not one PC peep about it... Fang was ask to play this date, but was unable... F Y I !!!)
That said Gilman has had ....
OPPRESSED LOGIC = 35x
GUANTANAMO DOGPILE = 17x
ZERO BULL SHIT = 6x (with Avilez as bassist)
RETCHING RED = 5x (with Avilez as bassist)
LAST ROUND UP = 2x (with Avilez as bassist)
REJECTED MOTHER FUCKERS = 2x (with Avilez as bassist)
STRUNG UP = 1x (with Avilez as bassist)
FUKM = 1x (with Avilez as bassist)
LUICIDAL = 1x (with Avilez on vocals)
Oh Yeah... GUANTANAMO DOGPILE broke up 2 years ago!! Might be time to reunite!!!!
Bandwagon.....try something original people.
One has to wonder when this band moved to Oakland themselves.
next MAYA SONGBIRD PERFORMANCE.
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