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Accusations, boycott from anti-fascist group puts strain on Citybikes

Posted by on October 2nd, 2012 at 11:33 am

fall colors
One of two Citybikes locations on SE Ankeny street.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A group of anti-fascist activists have announced a public boycott of Citybikes because they accuse its founder and president, Tim Calvert, of holding anti-semitic views and organizing for racist causes. Rose City Antifascists (RCA, also known as Rose City Antifa) have also sent Citybikes employees a list of demands — including firing Calvert — they want enacted prior to lifting the boycott. This increasingly public pressure on the shop has put a major strain on Citybikes employees, causing two of them leave the co-op and causing others significant personal stress.

Adding to the complexity of the situation is that Citybikes is a worker-owned cooperative that holds freedom of expression of its workers in high regard and is not able to simply fire a fellow employee-owner even if they wanted to. One former employee I spoke with (who wishes to remain anonymous), said he wishes Calvert would step down from his role at Citybikes. The former employee — who says he left specifically because of stress caused by these accusations — said that even if Citybikes wanted to force Calvert out, they would be open to legal action (because their own bylaws prevent it) and defending themselves would bankrupt the business.

All of this first came to our radar screen in the summer of 2009, when Rose City Antifa (a member of the Anti-Racist Action Network) began (anonymously) posting accusations against Calvert on Indymedia, on the local Shift bike group email list, and in comments here in BikePortland. The Citybikes Board of Directors responded by saying they supported Calvert’s right to free expression and Calvert himself called it a “smear campaign.”


The 2009 dust-up revolved around Calvert’s hosting of a controversial white separatist Valdas Anelauskas at a local bookstore. Calvert ultimately apologized for hosting Anelauskas and distanced himself from the Lithuanian-born activists extreme views about race and other topics. The issue died out, but it has now come roaring back. RCA points to a recent picnic organized by Calvert that included a guest the group calls, “an individual deeply connected to antisemitic, white nationalist, and militant anti-choice organizing.”

With the issue back on RCA’s radar, Citybikes employees are concerned that it is putting an unnecessary strain on the business.

“I am frustrated and upset, and hurt that one person’s activities outside the shop are affecting me… Free speech is a protected right, but it can turn incendiary.”
— A current Citybikes employee

The former employee who called me yesterday, said he/she and one other friend both left the shop because the recent accusations were causing “too much stress.” The employee sees no good ending, unless Calvert simply walks away. “If [Citybikes] were to be sued [by Calvert, for forcing him out], they would go out of business. If there is no lawsuit and he stays, more people are going to leave… It’s become a bad situation. Either way, it’s a shame.”

I was also contacted yesterday by a current employee who is actively involved in internal discussions and meetings about this issue. This employee is torn between her love of working at Citybikes and the “highly stressful” situation Calvert’s activities and the accusations have caused. Speaking personally and not as a Citybikes worker, the employee — who refers to him/herself as a “person of vulnerable minorities” — said he/she has never had any problems working with Calvert; but that he/she’s “frustrated and upset” at the situation. Here’s more from his/her email:

“I strongly support individuals and organizations who work to prevent hate, and who protect vulnerable peoples – and yet here I am trying to work in a shop, earn my living, and now I feel threatened and unsafe by Antifa, which feels highly counter-intuitive to their intent. It is frustrating and disheartening to not be able to have open dialogue with the organization or individuals leading this cause. These are serious allegations to make without any input from anyone, or the shop. I feel oppressed by Antifa’s demands and tactics, and I don’t ever use that word lightly.”

Calvert at the shop in 2006.

The current Citybikes employee I spoke with said RCA has not been willing to sit down with Citybikes and have a face-to-face dialogue. The employee also shared that a member of RCA called the shop offering to support the staff. “They offer me support,” the employee said, “but then ask people to boycott my livelihood. I’ve seen the shop work so hard to support it’s workers without going under, to create programs, policies, etc which support the community, and now I see all this work being publicly discredited, I honestly don’t know how to handle the pain of that.”

While the current Citybikes worker I spoke with isn’t happy with the tactics of RCA, he/she seemed to have mixed feelings about Calvert as well:

“I am frustrated and upset, and hurt that one person’s activities outside the shop are effecting me, and Tim has been made aware of this (again). I struggle to understand where the line is. Free speech is a protected right, but it can turn incendiary.”

When I asked Calvert to respond to concerns from current and former Citybike workers, he acknowledged that, “These renewed attacks are definitely causing turmoil in the shop.” But he also added that, “I have seen no business impact from the attacks of this group.”

On September 18th, Calvert emailed Citybikes staff a note of apology about his actions: “I am sorry that once again my political activity has drawn the coop into the spot light. The accusations against me are politically motivated and false. I have been a lifelong activist for peace and justice and “hate” no one.” To take off some of the heat from RCA, Calvert told Citybikes staff he had resigned from a controversial 9/11 truth group he was a member of.

But that doesn’t seem to have appeased RCA. Yesterday, in an email to Citybikes, they detailed their demands:

“We wish to clarify what it would take to end this dispute at present:

(1) Calvert fired;

(2) Citybikes issues an adequate public apology for its prior mishandling of the situation. The text of the Citybikes apology would have to be
agreed to by our organization. The public apology will be placed prominently on the Citybikes website, and also circulated as a Citybikes
advertisement in Portland media.

(3) Citybikes will create and enforce a meaningful anti-oppression policy for the cooperative. (Given the circumstances, we cannot admit any current
CB anti-oppression policy as meaningful.) Citybikes will also create an anti-oppression internal education curriculum for its co-op. Both the anti-oppression policy and the internal education curriculum will contain sections on antisemitism.”

The Citybikes Board of Directors is meeting about the issue this week and is expected to issue a new statement about Calvert’s activities and the demands being made by RCA.

Whether or not Calvert can continue his activism outside Citybikes without hurting the shop he co-founded 23 years ago, remains to be seen.

“We wish that he would step away from Citybikes and start his own extreme bookstore,” said the former employee I spoke with, “it seems that’s where his interests lie instead of the bike store.” If Calvert did step away, the former employee said, “Maybe I’d go back.”

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Comments
  • Ethan October 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

    What exactly does Calvert assert outside of work that is construed as anti-semitic?

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      Sorry the initial story wasn’t more clear about what exactly they’re accusing Calvert of. Their two biggest accusations have to do with his organizing of events that feature controversial people known to be racist and anti-semitic. I have updated the story with a paragraph about that.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • matt picio October 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

        I think part of why the story isn’t more clear is the source material. I can’t take RCA’s accusations seriously – the entire article on their site is filled with accusations, assertions and statements which have no listed references to back them up. It’s also full of statements like “Calvert issued a bogus apology”. Excuse me? How exactly doesn’t one determine whether another person’s apology is valid?

        Bigotry is offensive, but it’s only illegal in certain contexts. *If* Calvert is a bigot (unproven), that’s not actionable unless he discriminates against someone of color, orientation, religion, age, gender in housing, employment, administration of federal or state benefits, or other areas covered by law. Mere dislike or hatred isn’t against the law.

        Also, If the allegations are true (again, they aren’t at this point proven to be so), Citybikes is bound by state and federal law to follow their bylaws. (a point RCA seems to have missed) And if they are true, how many Citybikes employees share his views? I’m not sure any of us can find 5 people in Portland who all agree with each other on anything.

        *IF* the allegations are true, the solution isn’t boycotting the store. Boycotting the store could close the shop, putting people out of work and removing a community-based source of bike parts and support. I’d rather see a solution that doesn’t penalize everyone else.

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        • Rol October 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

          Ah yes, but didn’t you know, these particular “anti-fascists,” in a manner similar to fascists, openly disdain and expressly avoid the courts (one of the pillars of democracy, and a place with laws and stuff where you have to like, prove stuff).

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          • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

            What’s going on here is the Rose City Antifa are closet Zionists who are trying to smear Tim Calvert for his pro-Palestinian activism. Tim Calvert is far more Liberal than most people, including the membership of the Rose City Antifa. It is, in fact, Tim Calvert’s high degree of compassion, Liberality, and inclusiveness that has made him a target of the closet-Zionist Rose City Antifa.

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      • EMP October 4, 2012 at 10:31 am

        So from what I gather so far, Tim is guilty of knowing people RCA doesn’t approve of, who’ve said things RCA doesn’t like. My Oh My, if thats the standard I shudder to think what the future holds for folks that know me, or any of you.

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  • Red Hippie October 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Dude, what country did I wake up in this morning?

    To go after City Bikes for being fascist is like going after Obama for being a KKK member.

    Aren’t there more pressing issues out there?

    Recommended Thumb up 60

    • Alan 1.0 October 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Cascadistan?

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    • Opus the Poet October 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      I was thinking the same thing, then the quote from Diego Montoya (Princess Bride) came to mind “That word you use, I do not think it means what you think it means,”

      Fascism is a political/economic system that is government of the people, by the corporations, for the corporations. It is the system we are slowly sliding into now with the Citizens United decision from the SCOTUS.

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      • Easy October 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

        OT, but I would argue that your definition of fascism is…. wrong. Fascism is a principled, top down, totalitarian approach to homogenizing a culture through eugenics and a strong sense of national identity. Oligarchy or plutocracy are both on the no-no list for true fascists.

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        • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:19 am

          “Fascism is Corporatism.” – Benito Mussolini.

          The Rose City Antifa are Zionists who use Brownshirt tactics.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Al from PA October 3, 2012 at 11:49 am

        Fascism was a corporatist dictatorship under Mussolini in Italy, 1922-1943. It was not initially anti-Semitic, and its later (wartime) anti-Semitic policies and actions were less fervent than those of, say, Vichy France.

        If Tim Calvert is not a corporatist (a believer that all industry should be controlled by the government, and its ruling party), is not Italian, does not venerate the memory of the Roman Empire, and does not live in the period 1922-43, then he should probably not be called a Fascist. If he is to be called a Fascist, that term should then be clearly (re)defined. This has not been done.

        I’m not sure that it’s even worth entering into dialogue with (or taking note of, for that matter) people whose language is mainly hyperbole, and whose conception of history is so vague. Certainly one should not be intimidated by them.

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        • Pete October 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

          Good history lesson! This all reminds me of the early days of the Bauhaus architectural movement, where you simply had to label someone as “bourgeoisie” to invoke the disdain of the ‘people.’ Oh wait, it also reminds me of every election year I’ve lived through in the US!

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • spare_wheel October 4, 2012 at 8:15 am

          MIC

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  • Charley October 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Yeah. I’m withholding an opinion until I know what it is that RCA finds so offensive that they’re willing to hold a local business hostage (and its workers) over it.

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    • shirtsoff October 2, 2012 at 12:07 pm

      Exactly. More details are needed in this situation before informed decisions can be made. Until then I will refrain from knee-jerk reactions.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Granpa October 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    “…accuse its founder and president, Tim Calvert, of holding anti-semitic views.”

    It sounds like the thought police have too much time on their hands. Is this drama some sort of performance art scripted by Phillip K. Dick?

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • was carless October 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      I know, is this a Portlandia episode or something? Sadly, it seems not. “Anti-fascist” group attacks anti governmental “truther” while holding local non-profit hostage using boycott.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

        Just an aside: as far as I know, City Bikes is not a non-profit organization.

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  • rain bike October 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    A fine example of why I don’t waste time watching Portlandia on TV. The real thing is MUCH more entertaining.

    Recommended Thumb up 21

  • Dave October 2, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Loony. There are Portland progressives who are just too damned sensitive for their own or their community’s good. I’m a Jewish bike industry lifer who’s never had any but good encounters with Tim–this is horseshit.

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    • Zach October 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      These people are not “progressives” of any stripe. They’re the folks who fight neo-nazis in the street. Of course, there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to do that around here….

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      • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        There is and has been a sustained neo-Nazi presence in Portland for decades. That they don’t hold rallies and march downtown doesn’t mean that the northwest isn’t a power base for them.

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        • Rol October 3, 2012 at 12:57 pm

          An unseen “enemy within” to scare people. Another thing the “anti fascists” have in common with fascists.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

        • DIMcyclist October 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

          Indeed- anybody remember the Metzger case? Those clods didn’t just vanish. They might have grown crew-cuts & cover up their tats, but they’re still out there.

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        • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:37 am

          Mike K: You must be talking about the Portland City Council, which approved City cooperation with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, flouridation of Portland’s water supply, and surveillance cameras downtown — all against widespread citizen opposition.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

  • rojo October 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    no offense Johnathan, but if you’re going to broach this subject you should at least mention what it is he did to upset them in TFA rather than make me click a bunch of links to find out. Just sayin’

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  • Schrauf October 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Is antisemitism always equal to hate? If I am simply critical of the State of Israel and its massive disregard for any hope of peace in the Middle East and the World, would some people who disagree call me antisemitic? Probably.

    Difficult situation, but there are a lot of unknowns.

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    • Scott October 2, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      One can effectively criticize a country’s foreign policy without racism.

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      • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

        Yes, antisemitism is hate. You serious?

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    • John October 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

      you might be an anti-zionist

      Recommended Thumb up 1

    • DIMcyclist October 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm

      I know it’s off-topic, but I should point out that it’s the Zionists who like to conflate the issue (it being in their ideological interest to do so) and demand that anyone who’s anti-Israeli is by default anti-Semitic, which is far from the actual case. I’m anti-Zionist yet pro-Jew. In fact, most of my Jewish friends are anti-Zionists. Are they somehow less Jewish for that when they recite the Shema? I don’t think so.

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  • Stretchy October 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I’m sure everyone will give these accusations the same weight given to any accusations leveled by an “anti-hate” group toward any business, political group or, individual.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Some Guy October 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Yeah because people apparently aren’t allowed to have opinions anymore that don’t jive with an (anti)Fascist group. It is funny just how much this sound Fascist. Tim represents himself, CItyBikes is not responsible for his actions nor should they be, assuming he has even done anything wrong.

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    • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Fascism is not simply being mean or confrontational. I find it dangerous that in a majority-white and homogeneous city like Portland, those in the progressive community bristle at anyone being upset by the hosting of extreme right-wing speakers that actually, literally support white supremacy and deny the Holocaust. Although I’m sure this doesn’t endanger you, so why should you care?

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  • Citybikes worker October 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Just to add clarity and more information: the original statement released by the board of directors that “supported Calvert’s rights to free expression” was not consented upon by all Citybikes’ board members and another statement was re-issued stating that fact.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • pixelgate October 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      I support the rights of everyone’s freedom of expression, even when it conflicts with my own.

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      • John October 3, 2012 at 9:44 am

        me too. Let the zany boycott continue! Let the Truther host weirdos!

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      • 007 October 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

        You support the expression of anti-semitism? The above is an uneducated statement to say the least. If you all don’t read history, at least watch the documentary Shoa. Available from the library.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Moi October 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    The chronology of Calvert’s involvements as documented by RCA is pretty damning. (nazi holocaust denial?!?) But RC Antifa calling a boycott and hurting other coop members and the coop in the process doesn’t solve anything in the end.

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  • PorterStout October 2, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Is he using City Bikes in some manner to promote hate speech? If not pulling them into this feels purely punitive, as in, we don’t like what he’s saying so we want to destroy his livelihood and don’t care if it takes down others around him too. I also don’t know the specifics of their grievance but this is America, folks, where the right of free speech is “guaranteed” even before that other right that everyone gets so excited about.

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    • Era October 2, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      You do know that the 1st Amendment only concerns government involvement, right? Private citizens condemning other private citizens for expressing or supporting deplorable, violent speech is not a violation of anyone’s 1st Amendment rights.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • PorterStout October 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm

        True. The RCA has “the right” to raise whatever objections they want; this isn’t the issue. It’s their bullying “scorched earth” tactics attempting to strongarm an innocent business and its staff that’s the issue. All to punish this person who did or said something they don’t like. Sorry, but that isn’t the approach we use here, whether it’s the government or other private citizens raising the objection.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • BURR October 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Citybikes is and still will be my favorite bike shop in town, and Tim has never been anything but friendly and helpful to me. Among other things I give him credit for Citybikes’ hosting the 10th Anniversary celebration of Critical Mass during Bike Summer 2002; and Citybikes still has the best selection of affordable hard-to-find used bike parts in town, and will help anyone with any bike without a hint of the snobbery evident at many of the higher-end bike shops in town.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • I like bikes, too. October 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      So because this guy was nice to you and organized sweet bike events, it’s ok that he is antisemitic and brings antisemitic speakers to Portland?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Caleb October 4, 2012 at 11:39 am

        BURR did not say “it’s ok that he is antisemitic and brings antisemitic speakers to Portland”.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:43 am

      “The RCA has “the right” to raise whatever objections they want; this isn’t the issue. It’s their bullying “scorched earth” tactics attempting to strongarm an innocent business and its staff that’s the issue. All to punish this person who did or said something they don’t like. Sorry, but that isn’t the approach we use here, whether it’s the government or other private citizens raising the objection.”

      Right on. The Zionists pull that shyte in Israel, but we shouldn’t allow them to do it here.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Sounds like everyone should involved should have a custom-made tin-foil hat made for them. Both for Calvert’s conspiratorial theories and for the RCA and their bully tactics against someone asserting 1st amendment rights.

    I’m not a regular patron of City Bikes (though I’ve gone there in the past), but none of RCA’s demands and accusations make me want to avoid City Bikes.

    Got a problem with Calvert, RCA? Take him on in a public forum, but don’t take it out in ways that meant hurt other members of the co-op.

    Recommended Thumb up 34

    • Greg October 2, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Well said. I would like to repeat “… the RCA and their bully tactics against someone asserting 1st amendment rights.”

      Given that nothing at CityBikes even hints at this issue, going after the business seems off target at best.

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  • Terry D October 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    I lived in a 22 room housing cooperative run by consensus for four years in the early 90′s. We had strict non-discrimination polities but because of the nature of co-operative ownership removing someone without their consent was almost impossible. We attempted to once and it was a debacle. It led to a “conflict of interest clause” which excluded the person from being the only blocking vote in situations where the person was begin removed for reasons other than non-payment. After I moved out, the co-op went through the same thing again a few years later and managed to remove the disruptive person through this “modified consensus.”

    Personally, I have never had any problems from city bikes and support co-operatives as much as I can. I do not have enough information to form an opinion here, but I hope City Bikes can work though this.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jacob October 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    But what do the anti-communist groups think?

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  • Stever October 2, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Calvert is a member of the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, which hosts speakers who traffic in white supremacist, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. RCA has documented Calvert’s association with them here: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/108111822?access_key=key-2ntzfgag7drff6cu6w4t

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    • DK October 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      So…

      Hold the MAN accountable for his actions. …Not his employer.

      The reasoning behind the boycott is misguided. Where’s the love you are preaching about?

      Recommended Thumb up 8

    • are October 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      i have read the linked document, and i see the word “anti-semitic” used where “anti-zionist” is probably intended, and i see the phrase “holocaust denial” used where “placing the holocaust and the use of ‘the holocaust’ as a rhetorical device in a larger historical perspective” might be more appropriate.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

        I see the word “you” where “crypto-racist” is intended.

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

          Where do you see the word “you”?

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Alan 1.0 October 4, 2012 at 12:19 am

            Though unwritten, it’s pretty clear from the context. The irony is precious whether viewed from the perspective of ‘are‘s consistently level-headed words and actions regarding bigotry or from the perspective of the video of Tim Calvert pointing out the fallacies of that particular discourse technique. I’m glad that the post was not moderated, as it casts the poster’s credibility in a considerably clearer light.

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            • Caleb October 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

              Agreed, but I just asked the question to encourage more specification from Mike K. There already seems to be a high amount of potential for misunderstanding in this thread and the world at large.

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    • Chris I October 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      And what does any of that have to do with the bike shop, exactly?

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    • matt picio October 2, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Pretty flimsy documentation – no links to the web sources referenced, sentences full of weasel words, and a number of irrelevant statements. (e.g. a reference to a KBOO program with no explanation how that program applies to Calvert’s views) Looks more like a personal smear campaign than anything.

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  • whyat October 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    (2) Citybikes issues an adequate public apology for its prior mishandling of the situation. The text of the Citybikes apology would have to be
    agreed to by our organization.
    The public apology will be placed prominently on the Citybikes website, and also circulated as a Citybikes
    advertisement in Portland media.

    (3) Citybikes will create and enforce a meaningful anti-oppression policy for the cooperative. (Given the circumstances, we cannot admit any current
    CB anti-oppression policy as meaningful.) Citybikes will also create an anti-oppression internal education curriculum for its co-op. Both the anti-oppression policy and the internal education curriculum will contain sections on antisemitism.

    These right there would be deal breakers. RCA wants to dictate opinion, and not have an open conversation. Tim has always treated me well. He should be able to speak his mind (as crazy as those words may or may not be) outside of work, just like every other American.

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    • Donna October 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm

      Breathtaking, isn’t it?

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  • Spiffy October 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Calvert may be a great person to work with but this group obviously holds him to higher moral standards…

    I’m glad that they do… I don’t want to put money into the pocket of somebody that will support hate groups… it doesn’t matter how good he is at the job that I hire him to do, I don’t want my money community money going to causes that I don’t agree with…

    he has every right to hang with the wrong crowd, and we have every right to judge him for it and call him out…

    I wish we had this kind of advocacy in government to let us know how our money is used for bad things and that the people actually cared to take action against those people…

    do whatever you want, but don’t cry when people don’t like you for it…

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    • Alistair October 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Fine, but “this kind of advocacy”, one that requires an employer to issue a vetted confession/apology for someones outside-of-work craziness has departed from advocacy (to support or urge by argument) into dictate (to give orders).

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    • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Spiffy, the boycott you support in an effort to prevent money from supporting Tim’s political efforts would also prevent money from being available to other City Bikes employees. Do you personally consider that a wholly justifiable effort to render certain views of Tim’s ineffective?

      Further, what would you hope to be the result of the boycott? Do you think he would just leave City Bikes and make no money elsewhere? Do you think he will eventually have no opportunities to make money? How will the boycott ultimately solve the issues RCA conveys, or even those you personally perceive?

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  • Andrew K October 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    hmmm, my initial thought is that I don’t know enough about the details behind the RCA’s anger.

    Having said that, if Calvert did what he did as a private citizen and not as a representative of City Bikes then the RCA is targeting the wrong people. They should be calling Calvert out into an open forum to debate their views and his views.

    What they should NOT be doing is dragging the other members of the City Bikes coop into this mess and punishing them for what Calvert did on his own time independantly from the shop. If nothing else, ultimately such actions will be counter productive from what I presume to be the ultimate goal of inclusion.

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  • Ian October 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Is this The Onion?

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    • Nom de Plume October 3, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      More of a writer’s brainstorming group for Portlandia sketches.

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  • CaptainKarma October 2, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I checked my calendar; not April Fool’s Day…..maybe Opposites Day?

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    • Opus the Poet October 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm

      I checked my calendar; not April Fool’s Day…..maybe Opposites Day? Recommended 0

      That would be yesterday.

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  • pixelgate October 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    This is so stupid. I read the article in its entirety, this boycott is such nonsense. If the thought police now dictate that merely -knowing- someone means you have to quit your job, then I’ll proudly shop even more at City Bikes to make my own statement.

    Yet another occasion where the hyper PC radicalism of Portland makes me yearn for the east coast.

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  • NW Biker October 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Did somebody repeal the First Amendment while we weren’t looking? Calvert might believe things that others would consider reprehensible and he might associate with people we wouldn’t, but he has that right–the same as everyone else. Unless he’s presenting those views as a representative of City Bikes or on its behalf, then any action against City Bikes makes no sense. And demanding that Calvert lose his job doesn’t make sense, either.

    If the RCA has problems with Calvert, they need to take it up with him directly and leave City Bikes alone.

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    • Zach October 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      The First Amendment only applies to government actions. It is not relevant to private actions, and it is not relevant to this situation, except perhaps as a guideline to what’s right and what’s wrong.

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      • q`Tzal October 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

        The 1st Amendment should in no way be construed to be guidance in the realm of “right or wrong” or “good and evil”. It also applies directly to citizens as our Bill of Rights.

        If these accusations have a judicial level of truth to them then I would come up with some personal way to be spiteful to the accused person not the innocent organization with a wingnut in their midst. Every company has some cro-magnon hate filled caveman wannbies; we can bring down civilization trying to boycott every organization in to compliance.

        And we really should be careful of going too far down this rabbit hole. It is a slippery slope to ostracizing people for their religious beliefs; if you look carefully you can easily find hateful passages in most major religious text and some at your place of worship that secretly, and or openly, think that the most barbaric passages should be followed to the letter.

        I HATE hate groups and their philosophies; Nietzsche and Machiavelli soil their graves at my insidious solution were I the dictator but this is not a dictatorship: this is America and everyone has the right to believe in non-factual realities to the extent to which they don’t force them on others.
        Has he done anything other than holding and sympathizing with fellow wingnut?
        Has he ever proselytized at work?
        If not they need to understand that the company and its employees are victims here not collaborators.

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        • PorterStout October 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm

          Well put q`Tzal.

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    • esther c October 3, 2012 at 12:01 am

      This has nothing to do with government censorship so the 1st amendment does not apply.

      People have the right to say what they want but that doesn’t mean they’re free from criticism. If people want to organize boycotts, they too are exercising their freedom of speech.

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  • Mindful Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    I will continue to shop at City Bikes. I have never had anything but friendly service there whether I was bringing in an old steel frame, completely outta style MTB or my carbon/aluminum road bike.

    The RCA needs to go after Calvert as an individual and not the bike shop itself unless it has proof that there are a lot of others involved in the same thing. When you make other employees/co-op owners resign over stress they have nothing to do with, it is going too far.

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  • Anthony October 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    So the anti-fascist group wants to stop people from voicing their thoughts and beliefs? That seems kind of…what’s the word I’m looking for…something that starts with an F…

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    • The Popular Front of Judea October 2, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      But imagine the glorious revolution they would lead….

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  • Bjorn October 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    The fact that they aren’t willing to meet with the citybikes folks tells me everything I need to know. Also these are the same people that keep creating new anonymous accounts and posting long rambling nonsense notes about this on shift. No one cares what one of what like a dozen employees at a bike shop thinks about 9-11, I can’t imagine this boycott will go anywhere, although clearly they are harassing the other employees, which is probably the most offensive action in this whole mess.

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  • Jon October 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    It was not that long ago that hate groups in Portland killed people just because they had a different skin color. Just google “Tom Metzger” or “Mulugeta Seraw”. Hate groups and hate speech are not some sort of joke to be taken lightly. They are a real threat to real people. There is no reason to support the people that support and perpetuate hate. There is no way I will spend money at a business where the owner actively organizes for hate groups.

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    • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      But he is not the “owner” he is one of several owners. This is a co-op.

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      • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

        Unless there’s something I seriously don’t understand about co-ops.

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      • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 2:06 pm

        Citybikes has been a worker-owned cooperative since 1990. In a nutshell, this means that the workers own and run the business. We share responsibility and profit equally among the worker-owners.

        Citybikes currently has about 25 workers, 11 of whom are co-owners. Because we are equals, Citybikes has no managers. We run the business through a series of monthly committee meetings, at which we practice consensus decision-making. We share all tasks, from pondering which product lines to carry, to mantaining the buildings, to mopping the floor. Everyone that works at Citybikes is a trained mechanic, even our bookkeeper.

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        • Jon October 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm

          I guess that as long as a business has multiple owners they can pretty much do whatever they want without worrying about any consequences. Supporting those that support hate groups gives those hate groups more legitimacy. I’ll bet there were a lot of Germans from the 1930′s that wished they had not just ignored the hate groups that rose to power there.

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          • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

            “Legitimacy” isn’t such a simple idea as you make it out to be in this comment.

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    • Zach October 2, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      Comparing loose associations of conspiracy theorists to organized neo-nazi groups is simply asinine. Both are bad, both need to be met with some level of resistance, but only one is truly dangerous.

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    • matt picio October 2, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Jon – if it’s not to be taken lightly, then shouldn’t we each determine whether or not the accusations are valid or baseless before responding reflexively?

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  • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    There are hate groups in the area. It doesn’t sound like City Bikes is one of them. Tim Calvert may be part owner, but it sounds like the rest of the cooperative doesn’t support his actions. I support the intention of RCA (oppsoing racism/anti-semitism, etc…) but it looks like their tactics are misguided and are only hurting the other people still left at City Bikes. What can they do?

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  • Oliver October 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t have the time to wade through the arguments, I won’t be adjusting my shopping habits just yet.

    But I will say this in agreement with some posters and apparent disagreement with others.

    One is well within one’s rights to withhold patronage of a business due to the politics of the owner of that business. This is not consistent with an attempt to deny someone their 1st amendment rights.

    furthermore, I believe that it’s plausible that the person in charge of military operations on September 11th, 2001 (R B Cheney) was expecting a terrorist attack (Pearl Harbor like event) on that day and purposely did nothing to stop it.

    But….

    I don’t believe that makes me a fascist or anti-semite.

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    • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      You should be aware that the shop is a cooperative and it sounds like the other owners don’t endorse the actions of one of their members. Sounds like he would actually benefit from being fired (because he could win a lawsuit).

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      • are October 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        benefit from being fired by winning a lawsuit. what is this supposed to mean?

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        • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

          If you are fired from your job on the basis you engaged in activities (legal ones at that) outside of your work environment, it would be pretty easy to sue (and win) a lawsuit.

          If I could get fired from my job for my politics, win a lawsuit based on the 1st ammendment, I would then retire and enjoy my winnings.

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    • Rol October 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

      You’re certainly within your rights to take any action you please, based on any old thing, real or fake, yes.

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  • Stever October 2, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Calling a boycott is not the same as denying somebody their 1st amendment rights. Criticizing a (probably ineffective) boycott, which is, in fact, an exercise of free speech rights, while defending hate speech is… ironic to put it politely.

    Portland liberals are so fecking precious.

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    • Alan 1.0 October 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm

      see: Möbius strip

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    • matt picio October 2, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      Free speech is pretty useless if it can’t be exercised. No one has to listen to those calling for boycott, no one has to listen to those who oppose/criticize it. Free speech just means we all have a right to say it. And fortunately, Jonathan is allowing everyone to use the comments of his mouthpiece in which to do it. (which he’s under no obligation to do)

      What impresses me is that so far, the comment thread has been extremely civil for what might otherwise be a very contentious subject.

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    • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      I never said RCA should not be allowed to call for a boycott. I simply called them crazy and a bully. I called Calvert crazy too. It’s the shop and the other owner/employees that are victims of a ridiculous publicity stunt here.

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:50 am

      The Rose City Antifa claims that the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance is a “racist” and “fascist” group, even though the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance membership includes people who are lesbian, gay, Hispanic, black, Jewish, and profoundly Leftist. The Rose City Antifa are closet Zionists whose agenda is to smear anyone who opposes Zionism or supports 9/11 Truth.

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  • Allan Folz October 2, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    RCA who?

    I’ve never heard of them. Had anyone else? Is this like a 4 person boycott?

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    • are October 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      you will never know because they do not identify themselves.

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      • q`Tzal October 2, 2012 at 4:31 pm

        It’s Guy Fawkes, and I saw him.

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  • wsbob October 2, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    At a bookstore, Calvert ‘hosts’ a “…Lithuanian journalist,a political exile who has settled in the USA and become a dissident in America. …” Valdas Anelauskas. http://members.efn.org/~rolanda/discovering/author1.html

    (appears to be lots of info about Anelauskas at that site, but I had trouble getting it to scroll, so couldn’t read it all.).

    …about whom it’s said, holds racist views. What about Calvert’s own views? Is he a racist, or is someone, or some group, out to make him, by association with someone who may be racist, guilty by association?

    Amazon sells Anelauskas’s book, and on its page for his book, has a substantial synopsis, and substantial comments. http://www.amazon.com/Discovering-America-As-It-Is/dp/0932863299

    And Powell’s, also with a synopsis: http://www.powells.com/biblio?inkey=62-0932863299-0

    Sounds like a book with a subject that speaks to a broad cross section of U.S. citizens. Is Anelauskas racist? I guess I’d have to read more about the guy to know. He may be…he may not be. Sites linked above, refer to him not as a racist, but as a human rights activist.

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    • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      Should we run out to boycott Powells now too? /snark

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      • q`Tzal October 2, 2012 at 4:41 pm

        Fahrenheit 451 baby!

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    • esther c October 3, 2012 at 12:16 am

      He’s (the lituanianian writer) a racist. I managed to find a bit of his shit on line and he’s starting his anti-Zionist argument with the old canard that Jews are not really the descendents of the ancient Hebrews. He is a “self described” white separatist.”

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  • Red Hippie October 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Think about the ACLU. Technically by the logic applied anyone who supports them,also by default, supports Nazi’s and Pedofiles in addition to the laundry list of more progressive causes I think most people here cherrish. So, freedom of speech is for the unsavory as well as the savory.

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    • matt picio October 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Godwin’s Law! I was wondering how long that would take in this thread…

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      • John Lascurettes October 2, 2012 at 6:01 pm

        Applicable here really. Since we are talking about white supremacists, Holocaust deniers, and antisemitism (if you read RCA’s material). And the ACLU point is perfectly apropos. I’m surprised Godwin’s law was not invoked out the gates.

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  • Travis October 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    If these accusations are true, I am little stunned by some on the forum suggesting RCA is wrong to boycott and publicly call-out. Several weeks ago, some were demanding a boycott of a certain small business owner over his activism directed at the biking community. Few considered the toll any such boycott could have on his employees. That is just one example among many: “we should boycott this business or that” in the cycling world. Do you not think sit-ins in a bank put undo strain on minimum wage tellers? –not that everyone here supported Occupy Wall Street. It seems clear Calvert has questionable opinions that, while protected by free-speech, come with repercussions. The RCA is not holding City Bikes hostage. Calvert, if accusations are true, is holding City Bikes and the other employee-owners hostage. Apparently several employees close to the situation have felt that way. If Calvert believes the accusations by RCA are false, he should publicly deny them point by point. RCA is posting some seriously heavy stuff (more so than the 9/11 stuff). Is it slander? I want to hear from Calvert. I want to hear Calvert’s opinion. If not, I’ll continue to be stunned. I have sympathy for City Bike and I suppose supporters should consider the best way to support: denial or boycott until Calvert speaks-up clearly for the record.

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    • are October 2, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      questionable opinions that come with repercussions. i like the way you think.

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    • Chris I October 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      I think most would think of him as an employee, rather than an owner. Co-ops don’t really have “owners” in the traditional sense. Owners typically hold full control over an organization and receive a significant portion of the profits. If this guy actually owned a business, I think fewer people would be objecting to this call for a boycott.

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      • Travis October 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        The legal situation is more akin to a partnership. It is perhaps fancy talk for co-ops to act as if there is not an owner be it a collective of many or not. The board cannot fire him (nor could they for his believes regardless). Also, it is not as if all owners in a partnership can take the profits at will. It depends on the agreement. But I hear what you are saying.

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    • was carless October 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm

      FWIW, I normally NEVER trust anything that I read on the internet, unless it passes my “Internet BS test”. In other words, it must be corroborated by other sources, preferably that hold differing viewpoints.

      In this case, I have an extreme sense of apathy towards this group. Any accusations against someones character, particularly antisemitism or racism, are not to be taken lightly.

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    • BURR October 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

      ATMs put a strain on minimum wage tellers too. Maybe we should all boycott ATMs and conduct all of our banking transactions in person with a real live teller from now on.

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      • are October 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm

        i do

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

      Actually the Rose City Antifa is holding both Tim Calvert and Citybikes hostage.

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  • Zach October 2, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    cross-posted from RCA’s blog post linked above:

    —–
    I am Jewish. I believe that 9/11 “truther” beliefs are generally odious. And I believe the accusations against Mr. Calvert.

    I’ve also been a proud customer of Citybikes for close to 20 years, and I will not participate in this boycott.

    Going to such extremes to encourage any business to fire an employee for his or her personal political activity is a poor method for combating anti-semitism and fascism. Perhaps it’s warranted for people who are (for example) active participants in neo-nazi groups. But even then I believe that it turns anti-semites and fascists into sympathetic figures.

    In a case like this, where there is no one individual with authority to fire Mr. Calvert, or even a detached board who can get rid of him by a simple vote, you put right-thinking individuals in the position of losing their jobs, maybe even destroying a great community resources that they have helped to build, just to put one piece of scum out of a job.

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  • Zach October 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    It would be interesting if members of RCA posting here stood up and identified themselves as such. I’m not sure if “astroturfing” could be an appropriate way to describe the activities of a small group, but I feel like something analogous is going on here.

    Doesn’t matter, though. I think very few people will ever believe that this boycott has more than the narrowest levels of community support.

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  • Rol October 2, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Funny how fascist the anti-fascist group is. The whole thing reeks of 3 letters folks: C – I – A.

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    • 007 October 3, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      Your name wouldn’t be Rolf, would it?

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:59 am

      “Funny how fascist the anti-fascist group is. The whole thing reeks of 3 letters folks: C – I – A.”

      It also reeks of six other letters: M-O-S-S-A-D.

      Mossad’s motto is “waging war by deception.”

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

      “Funny how fascist the anti-fascist group is. The whole thing reeks of 3 letters folks: C – I – A.”

      It also reeks of six other letters: M-O-S-S-A-D.

      Mossad’s motto is “war by deception.”

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Rol wrote: “Funny how fascist the anti-fascist group is. The whole thing reeks of 3 letters folks: C – I – A.”

      It also reeks of six other letters: M-O-S-S-A-D.

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      • dan October 11, 2012 at 6:36 am

        That seems like a rational conclusion. After all, the Mossad has nothing more important to do than go after bike shop co-ops in Portland Oregon. [rolls eyes]

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  • Easy October 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    In other news, I started my own personal boycott of citybikes, because the customer service is always bad to terrible, IMO.

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    • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      it’s almost like they don’t want to take your filthy, capitalist money.

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  • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    A boycott would be a completely different story if City Bikes was a single-owner business. If it was, I would support a boycott. I support the City Bikes collective members whose hands seem to be tied. Mr. Calvert should step down.

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  • Psyfalcon October 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Does Calvert sponsor other speakers?

    Bringing in speakers from various viewpoints is often a good way to discuss an issue. If you bring in only speakers that have one view, it makes me think you do support their views.

    Even then, the boycott may be misguided.

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  • Rol October 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    You know what I think? I think the whole Fortune 500 is a hate group, and finances hate groups. On a scale literally millions of times bigger than anything alleged here. You want to get serious, Portland? Boycott that. This small bike store, on the other hand, would be a perfect target for someone working on BEHALF of that particular hate group. For example, our govt., which does that class’s bidding, and also incidentally strongly desires to conceal what happened on 9/11, which is why I assert above that this is CIA all the way. It has all the hallmarks: The bullying & threats, the simplistic and unsupported accusations, the handy child-like transductive reasoning and guilt-by-association, the censorship (of the video of the talk that’s supposedly causing all the fuss… which by the way was too boring to get through… Anelauskas, a dynamic speaker, is not). Not coincidentally these are some of the same hallmarks of fascism itself, which is why it’s necessary to Doublespeakingly call this an anti-fascist group. If on the other hand this is a real group of people earnestly trying to fight fascism, they betta check themselves befo they riggity-wreck themselves — and look into maybe NOT USING FASCIST TECHNIQUES.

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    • Rol October 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      A covert operation and a smear campaign have another thing in common: They don’t have to prove anything; they just have to create a bunch of chaos and make things difficult for people. Spies and whole sections of the Pentagon budget are dedicated to sowing seeds of chaos, which is really easy. You can destroy in a day what took years to build.

      I’m convinced of Calvert’s character through direct observation. I believe he would host a controversial speaker. I don’t believe he hates Jews. Give me a break.

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 11:14 am

      “…the video of the talk that’s supposedly causing all the fuss… which by the way was too boring to get through… Anelauskas, a dynamic speaker, is not…”

      You got that right, Rol. Anelauskas is an immigrant from the formerly Communist eastern Europe, who doesn’t approve of some of the Leftist trends in American culture. He droned on about decadent pop culture, and I left after the first half hour. Anelauskas’ daughter is a Gothic metal fan.

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 11:58 am

      Rol wrote: “Funny how fascist the anti-fascist group is. The whole thing reeks of 3 letters folks: C – I – A.”

      And it reeks of six other letters: M-O-S-S-A-D.

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  • lemald October 2, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I used to be a fairly regular Citybikes customer, but having learned of this issue I won’t be shopping there anymore while Calvert is still employed. The evidence that RCA has presented pretty thoroughly demonstrates that he’s unapologeticly involved with really nasty anti-semitic, ultra-right wing activism (and I don’t think this article or some of the other comments really convey the gravity of how extreme some of this stuff that’s he’s involved with is).

    As far as the free speech issue goes – yes, everyone has a right to hold their own opinions and speak their mind, even if I find their ideas objectionable. However, this doesn’t mean that people are justified in acting like they’re having their rights violated when someone dares to disagree with them and decide to not support them because of their views. Thanks to RCA for making me aware of this issue so that I can take my money elsewhere, to other bike shops where my purchases won’t be supporting part-owners who are involved in racist activism. The whole situation is a real shame, because Citybikes is otherwise a very nice shop.

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    • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      What is your advice to the rest of City Bikes owners?

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      • lemald October 2, 2012 at 4:50 pm

        That’s a totally legitimate question, though I feel as though I don’t really know enough about the structure of the organization and the internal issues at hand to provide a meaningful answer. I’m honestly not sure what to say, other than that they’re in a really unenviable position. It is a real shame because, as I said, it’s actually a pretty nice bike shop and I’d love to support cooperatively-run businesses. But when one of the people who’s profiting is involved in the sort of stuff that Calvert is… well, unfortunately, for me at least, that outweighs the other good things about the organization.

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        • Bjorn October 2, 2012 at 5:50 pm

          If you are willing to boycott a co-op business over one of their 12 worker owners organizing a speaking event for someone whose book was positively reviewed by Howard Zinn then you probably don’t really support the cooperative business model. There are reasons that it isn’t a model that most businesses choose to adopt, and your reaction is one of those reasons.

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    • wsbob October 2, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      “…Thanks to RCA for making me aware of this issue so that I can take my money elsewhere, to other bike shops where my purchases won’t be supporting part-owners who are involved in racist activism. …” lemald

      Does Rose City Antifascists suspect or know whether owners of those other shops you’re going to switch to doing business with, are involved in racist activism? For you, that could be kind of a bummer to take your business to other shops, only to find out RCA suspects their owners also may also may be involved in racist activism.

      I wonder if RCA ever heard of that U.S. politician from way back…Joseph McCarthy. What the RCA is doing here with regards to City Bikes and its co-owner Tim Calvert, rings unpleasantly close to some of the tactics McCarthy was infamous for in going after people he was certain must be commies.

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      • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 8:20 pm

        I find this sentiment histrionic. Regardless of whether other bike shops organize with dangerous racists, this one has an employee that does.

        And white supremacist politics have more adherents than communist ones ever did. This comment section, for instance.

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        • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 3:35 pm

          Mike K, what makes you think anybody in this comment section is a white supremacist politics adherent? That seems a careless claim to make, especially given the lack of citing any specific statements made by commentors.

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      • wsbob October 3, 2012 at 2:42 am

        I took the time early-early this morning, to read some of Rose City Antifascists’s writings about Tim Calvert, starting with the following link included in this bikeportland story:

        http://rosecityantifa.org/1/post/2012/09/citybikes-co-op-maintains-antisemitic-president-portland-anti-racists-call-for-boycott-of-business.html

        It’s complicated material to follow, and there’s a lot of it. Calvert isn’t often quoted, but links to video of some of his event presentations are posted (hard for me to download/view them.). Calvert doesn’t come off looking too good. To me, what he seems to be, is a conspiracy theory enthusiast-nut, which he apparently allows to take him into a conspiracy theory notion along the lines of ‘Jews rule the world, are responsible for all the wars, blah-blah-blah…’. I’ve heard that theory before. Some people like a simplistic explanation to explain every evil in the world. Maybe Tim Calvert is one of those people.

        What I could tell from the modest bit of reading about him that I did over at RCA, is that Calvert attempts to moderate the impression that might be given by his actions and remarks, that he’s anti-Semite, if in fact he is anti-Semite. He appears to be an evasive, slippery kind of guy about that subject.

        I probably would be leery of having to work with someone taking conspiracy theories overly seriously as Calvert seems to. City Bike co-owners dilemma is understandable. He apparently is a friendly, swell guy to do business with, and certainly has people remarking to that effect in comments to this story. Also, someone that keeps people nervously on edge, knowing the cat could bring something nasty into the house.

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  • jered October 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    RCA’s list of demands is pretty… uh demanding. if you read it with your best “Hogan’s Heros” German accent you may start to wonder who is who in the scuffle.

    I was just in Israel for a wedding and on the kibbutz was an old Colonel from the IDF how did “intelegence work”, the dude had seen action in all the wars and over and over he said “its all really complicated” which in context seemed to mean right and wrong is a pretty subjective concept all things considered, people, emotions, politics, etc..

    I’m starting a boycott of the RCA.

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    • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Calvert should offer to walk away, only if those dingbats identify themselves.

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  • was carless October 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    This is frankly ridiculous.

    Folks, there are loony nutcases ALL OVER the world. Many live in your neighborhood. You may even be dating/married/be one yourself!

    I have a philosophy of exercising great tolerance when dealing with people – whether it be a colleague, classmate, friend, roommate, or partner. IMO, it is borderline immoral to go after someone and boycott a company simply because you want one of their employees fired. Especially a 2-bit bike shop (as much as I love citybikes).

    Debate in public, but although I do not think antisemitism deserves any place in freedom of speech, this is not an appropriate vector. It reeks of petty politics.

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  • Jewish Antiracist October 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    1. Whether or not this article makes the case, the allegations are REAL. Calvert has been promoting “white separatists,” anti-Jewish conspiracy theorists, and militant homophobes and anti-feminists (most recently, a convicted far-right bomber) for years. His history is thoroughly outlined on the Rose City ARA site.

    2. Yes, there is a difference between criticizing Israel and promoting anti-Jewish conspiracy theories. Calvert’s “activism” unequivocally falls into the latter category.

    3. As RCA stated in their recent press release:

    “The First Amendment and related free speech laws protect citizens from state interference, not from criticism by the public… [W]e do not call for any sort of government intervention regarding hateful speech, by Calvert or anyone else. We aim to address issues of racist and extreme-Right organizing within communities.”

    4. CityBikes is a cooperative. As a supposedly democratic organization, it is accountable to its members. Jewish and anti-racist worker-owners have already left the cooperative because of Calvert’s organizing.

    Should the cooperative coddle a member who makes others feel so unsafe that they are forced to leave their jobs and community at a business they co-own?

    If the majority of CityBikes worker-owners tacitly support Calvert’s racist organizing, or if CityBikes’ democratic processes are so broken that those most affected by Calvert’s organizing are forced to leave, CityBikes is not worthy of our support.

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  • Editz October 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Take the Skinheads bowling. Take them bowling.

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    • Rol October 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Some people say the bowling alley’s got big lanes.

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      • gl. October 2, 2012 at 9:34 pm

        some people say that bowling alleys all look the same.

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        • Mindful Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 11:21 pm

          There’s not a line that goes here that rhymes with anything.

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  • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Calvert conflates Palestinian solidarity and anti-Zionism with the denial of the Holocaust (Laughing Horse used to have Norman Finkelstein’s The Holocaust Industry in stock; check that out if you want the roots of Calvert’s thinking). He’s also a fringe conspiracy theorist, which is not a crime. The problem is that he espouses and supports overt or thinly-veiled antisemitic politics and those politics have routinely been used to target non-white people.

    I’m disappointed, though ultimately not surprised that many of the people commenting here have no problem with a person with a high degree of power in an apparently “progressive” space such as Citybikes hosting white supremacist speakers who have found a second career peddling 9/11 Truth. Valdas Anelauskas, whom Calvert bring to Laughing Horse (a radical bookstore), in 2009 is a “white nationalist” that organizes with the neo-Nazi Pacifica Forum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacifica_Forum). Fritz Springmeier (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i3Dw8Cvg0o), is a convicted right-wing Christian, racist and militiltant anti-abortion bomber. Calvert himself spoke at this event. Google this shit. The evidence is not easy to refute. No one is being unduly mean or “holding Citybikes hostage”. If you think a person who gives support to white supremacists and holocaust deniers should be protected by the community, so that a safer space is given to extreme right-wing beliefs that physically endanger all non-white people, then shop at Citybikes.

    As for if the boycott will work? I don’t know. A town composed of liberal white people that is this unable to care about the privilege it exerts if it should threaten to tarnish the image of its nice, little co-op wouldn’t. One that does more than pay lip service to equity would be at least upset that this person is being sheltered. I don’t shop there. I haven’t since 2009. None of my friends do and I talk to people about why they shouldn’t. I hope Citybikes does something principled and courageous, but if they only hear the communities obliviousness to racism, they will keep the status quo.

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    • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Just trying to learn here, because I know little of what’s going on out there. What specific antisemitic politics does he espouse and support? What specific routines have been implemented to target non-white people and how exactly have those routines used the antisemitic politics you mention?

      I don’t know if it’s accurate to say many of the people commenting here have NO problem with what Tim does politically.

      Aside from his ability to earn money at City Bikes, does his “high degree of power” at City Bikes contribute to his politics?

      Your view on City Bikes’ reasoning behind its decisions seems very presumptuous. At what point did City Bikes say it was giving support to white supremacists and holocaust deniers as a means of providing a safer place for physically endangering beliefs? Even if Tim is a white supremacist and a holocaust denier, City Bikes supporting him would NOT necessarily mean City Bikes intends to support white supremacy and holocaust denial in any way other than to acknowledge and tolerate such views (which is far different from promoting such views). And even if they did intend to support white supremacy and holocaust denial, it would NOT necessarily mean they do so intending to provide a safer place specifically for physically endangering beliefs. White supremacy and holocaust denial are not inherently physically endangering. Nor are ANY beliefs for that matter.

      People don’t have to tolerate racism-prompted harm brought upon others in order to support City Bikes. People don’t have to be oblivious to racism to support City Bikes.

      That you seem to put emotionally charged language and abstract things like courage and principles above an inter-subjective understanding of the situation says to me you might be as bigoted as you claim Tim is. Please practice some patience with the people you’re trying to educate.

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    • Fritz Springmeier October 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm

      The Antifa are themselves the fascists. They claim I am a convicted right winger. How does one get convicted of being a right winger? Anyone who knows me or reads any of my 19 books will see I am not a right winger, because I eschew the dialectic between right and left wings. If I were to be categorized it would be as someone for peace which is why this last year I was awarded a peace award for outstanding work for the cause of peace…definitely not what the lying slanderous drama queens of Antifa are about, who make stuff up to cause trouble. I am not a convicted unibomber like the fascists of Antifa slanderously make up to cause the City Bikes trouble. Nor am I anti-Semitic, nor am I a holocaust denier, nor am I a Nazi. All lies brought to you by the fascists of Antifa who have 4 fingers pointing back at themselves while they point at others for expressing opinions they don’t like. If anyone should not be tolerated it is the slanderous intolerant liars of Antifa who pretend to be on a crusade. There was no problem anywhere, so why must they work so hard to create trouble? People that work at City Bikes should not have to put up with Antifa’s garbage.

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  • Concerned Cyclist October 2, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I’ve been able to chat with some current (and former) City Bikers collective members. They all seem to be pretty upset with Tim Calvert’s actions but since these actions took place outside the shop, off the clock, and not in CityBike’s name, they can’t really do anything. They don’t support him, but are afraid to fire him because of a possible lawsuit (which he could certainly win, especially because he’d probably be able to rally all sorts of sketchy deep-right fascist legal assistance). They’re also afraid that if he stays, more people will leave the collective. If the boycott was effective and long lasting, it could negatively affect their business to the point they’d have to sell the shop. Either way, City Bikes loses and Tim wins (a lawsuit would award a ton of money to Mr. Calvert), a sale of the business would reward Tim because he’s been an owner for like 20 years or something, way longer than anyone else and therefore would benefit from the business being sold. So, all they can do right now is marginalize him and hope that he walks away.

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    • Donna October 2, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Like the kind of sketchy deep-right fascist legal assistance he could get from the ACLU?

      He could most certainly win a lawsuit because firing someone for legal activities they engage in outside of work that has no effect on their job performance is generally considered a wrongful termination no-brainer.

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    • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Calvert should offer to walk away, only if those dingbats identify themselves.

      I believe they have run into the concept of “accountability”.

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  • Liz October 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Anyone who knows TIm, knows that he doesn’t hate anyone. This boycott is a load of horse shit.

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  • anon anti October 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Wow, its insane the amount of people who are forming opinions about this without any further knowledge (http://rosecityantifa.weebly.com/1/post/2012/09/1.html). No one is going after TC because of what he has ‘said’ but rather what he HAS DONE. which is organize space for racists et al AND GIVE THEM MONEY to voice their bizarre anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. Who gives a shit what he says, but the fact is, the money he raises goes into the pockets of violent racist people. That is a FACT. the end. His actions threaten the entire community. He should step down from CB and leave town. Shit, he was already booted out of the Laughing Horse Bookstore Collective for this. He is the one holding the business hostage not RCA. if it was ‘no big deal’ like some here tend to think, then why is there a huge schism within CB over this? Why did the last statement from the board not brought to consensus by the workers? Ignoring people who organize for racists (including giving them money) doesnt make them go away. This isnt a free speech issue, its about a looney bastard who raises money and plans events for known and vocal racists/fascists. Its pretty simple people.

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  • fiddleback October 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Weird, I’ve never noticed the ‘no Jews’ sign hanging in the window. I guess I’ll look closer

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    • Mike K October 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      That’s because that’s not what this is about: overt racism exhibited by the shop. It’s about one powerful member who has a repeated history of organizing racist speakers in furtherance of his confused, racist politics.

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    • Era October 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      This is easily the worst comment in the whole slew of comments. I don’t have the time to meticulously explain what racism is and how it works in a society, but I just wanted to point out for anyone reading this comment what an insidious excuse it is for perpetuating violence and oppression.

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      • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 1:58 pm

        I’ve never experienced violence or oppression in that bike shop.

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  • anon anti October 2, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    im taking my biz to A Better Cycle…

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    • barry October 2, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      Good call, there is a bike shop that knows how to force employee owners out.

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  • Sunny October 2, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    So when’s the next klan rally?

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    • Donna October 2, 2012 at 10:56 pm

      Two of the same flavor of ad hominem attack in the same comments section? How dreadfully boring.

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  • Däv October 2, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    My two cents, not doing business with Citybikes anyway (it’s too far out of my way and not worth my time to do so), it’s not like my opinion on Calvert or the RCA statement really matters.

    I will say, however, that… this really isn’t much of a free speech issue. It would be a free speech issue if we were talking about government entities moving to suppress or restrict speech. We’re not. We’re talking about the freedom of folks who are uncomfortable with a particular form of speech exercising their freedom of speech and freedom of association to confront that speech. Nobody has to do business with a business that employs someone whom folks presume to be a fascist, whether folks who don’t like RCA’s position are comfortable with that fact or not.

    I mean, I’ve personally disagreed with RCA in the past *cough*Allerseelen*cough* and know how this can feel… I don’t particularly care in this case as it’s pretty impossible to boycott something you don’t already engage with at all… but the fact remains that, from a legal standpoint, all parties are within their rights here.

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  • Lisa October 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    It isn’t RCA’s place to call a boycott. If there was good communication between RCA and coop members, many of whom are minorities, RCA would know that their actions are hurting vulnerable people, namely collective members.

    Why should City Bikes workers have to bend to the whims of RCA, a bunch of anonymous, self appointed hall monitors? Where does RCA get the authority to dictate the policy of any workers’ collective? Members have made known their challenges around his issue. They need support to toss this guy, not more hassle.

    RCA needs to respect the workers enough to leave them the power and sovereignty to deal with it on their own.

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  • don'tridebikesdon'tlikenazis October 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    yea this isn’t a first amendment issue. i suggest you read the first amendment.

    if RCA “took it up with him,” you all would be just be whining about how they attacked some dude for his “beliefs.”

    really, you’re just a bunch of bored unsatisfied self-important people who will always perform some cynical mental gymnastics, like thinking this boycott is somehow more baseless or underhanded than the chik-fil-a boycott half of you were probably cheering along a few weeks ago. not because you feel strongly at all, but because you have to write SOMETHING, lest your precious freedom to do so disappear.

    it’s more important to many of you to be able to say anything than to do the right thing.

    if they won’t cut this cancer out, than let the whole body die.

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    • Caleb October 3, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      How many users on this web site do you actually know? How do you know what motivates users here?

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  • jla October 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    So I (+ some coworkers at the Red & Black) did meet w/ 6 members of Citybikes ~3years ago around this issue. Several people from citybikes brought up some of the same points being made here.

    For example: the idea that, while his work promoting racist events was unsavory, it’s all *outside of work.* This excuse falls apart very quickly under scrutiny. Would someone who actively organizes w/ racist anti-immigrant groups (like the minute men) be let off the hook as long as they kept it outside of work? Would it be ok if this person (let’s call him Tom) had immigrant co-workers and he neglected to share his racist views with them on shift? Would it be OK if the racist person in question was a ‘nice’ guy?

    If you still answered ‘no’ to these hypothetical questions I don’t think you take racism seriously enough. Maybe you think it’s ‘pc fascism’ to point out that his group (9-11 Truth Alliance) has made it possible for holocaust deniers, right wing bombers and anti-choice white supremacist bigots to make money while spreading their message in Portland…

    It’s simply awful that Citybikes have been unable to hold Calvert accountable *at all* for years while workers who are (understandably) uncomfortable leave. This ‘dilemna’ of being, at least theoretically, unable to fire Tim is a giant cop-out. If that felt like a step too far 3 years ago (when RCA 1st called for Tim to be fired) why didn’t they do something, anything else?

    For example publicly calling for Tim to stop helping white supremacists get paid speaking gigs. Or joining the call for Tim to step down from the board of the Western Worker Co-op Conference. Or threatening to quit as a group unless Tim went through an accountability process or leaves. If even a subset of workers did any of these things I would feel so much better about this shitty, shitty situation.

    Nothing has been communicated by Citybikes indicating that they are even officially aware of Tim’s racist organizing let alone committed to doing *anything* whatsoever about it. At this point I don’t feel sorry for Citybikes. I feel sorry that we, as a co-op movement, aren’t solid when it comes to being consistently against racism and other forms of oppression. As a lifelong co-op nerd I’m embarrassed and ashamed that other businesses with no special ‘progessive’ reputation have been able to effectively deal with racist organizers in their midst while we have floundered.

    John

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    • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Let’s apply the same thing to Occupy Portland people. They did all that stuff outside of work…..and if it makes my business look bad, I should fire them.

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      • bjorn October 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        Seriously trust me if you fire someone for activities that are legal and occur outside the workplace you are gonna be on the losing end of a lawsuit.

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  • Donna October 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    Their two biggest accusations have to do with his organizing of events that feature controversial people known to be racist and anti-semitic.
    Recommended 1

    So I guess I’m confused. Do these “controversial people known to be racist or anti-semitic” have any outstanding arrest warrants and Tim is aware of that? Is Tim doing this organizing at work and/or using the resources of Citybikes? Because if he’s not, it sounds like these anonymous people simply want to see Citybikes go out of business for no credible reason at all. ‘Cause that’s exactly what would happen if Citybikes “fired” Tim Calvert, and anyone with half a brain knows this. He could sue for wrongful termination, probably would, would easily win – and deservedly so. These people more than likely realize how asinine their demands are, hence their insistence on remaining anonymous.

    I neither know nor care what Tim Calvert thinks about anything other than the methods he used to build my stepdad’s bicycle wheels. (And I know I’m in complete accord with him on that subject.) Really, anything else is none of my damned business. He’s not running for political office and as far as I am aware, he leaves personal stuff at home when he goes to work. A truly free society will never be a comfortable place for all people. There will always be people with opinions and beliefs that others find distasteful, and even abhorrent. Jerks have the right to be jerks and think jerky thoughts so long as they don’t engage in criminal acts. If you want freedom of speech & expression to apply only to people you like and/or views you sympathize with, start organizing a Constitutional Convention, because that’s what it will take – and good luck to you. As a member of a free society who wishes to remain free, I will stand up for these jerks with abhorrent opinions, no matter how little I might care for them or their views on a personal level. I will not let these anonymous, small-minded and vicious bullies impose their puritanical vision of groupthink on me, and I’m not going to get stressed out about it or lose a moment of sleep over it, either. I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve always done – buy goods & services from Citybikes when it makes sense to do so, just as I do at Clever Cycles, A Better Cycle, and any other area bike shop that I like taking my business to.

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  • Donna October 2, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    matt picio
    Pretty flimsy documentation – no links to the web sources referenced, sentences full of weasel words, and a number of irrelevant statements. (e.g. a reference to a KBOO program with no explanation how that program applies to Calvert’s views) Looks more like a personal smear campaign than anything.
    Recommended 7

    And once again, Matt cuts through all the emotional reactions to the heart of the matter. Thanks, man.

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  • ~n October 3, 2012 at 12:33 am

    I’m a writer and I value free speech and expression. I’m also a cyclist who’d prefer better bike infrastructure, and I’m concerned about the effect Tim’s “outside the shop” behaviors are having or going to have on the reputation and adhesiveness of the bicycling community at large. (We already have the Oregonian and the Portland No-Pothole-Paving-Due-To-Cyclists Posse against us.) Holding Tim accountable for his questionable and potentially destructive (to Citybikes, if not to the whole biking community) behavior is something we should do out of love & compassion for Tim, the bike shop and anyone who is the target of a hate-group. Bullying others is wrong. Supporting/hosting bullies and their “work” is too close to wrong to be comfortable for me, and it disturbs me greatly that Tim would (allegedly) host anti-Semitic speakers and then sell me bike brakes. It would also sadden me tremendously to lose City Bikes.

    If we were in a remote African village some 1000 years ago, we’d all gather around Tim with our spears and drums and the chief would kindly but firmly explain to him how he needs to leave City Bikes and go host the bullies in some other village far away from us, OR stop hosting bullies and stay here, but that he can’t do both because it is hurting the feelings of many of the villagers–and thus the village (our biking community!) as a whole. Maybe we need to get back to basics and stop worrying so much about lawsuits and free speech in this instance and do what’s right and loving here–and be firm with Tim. What is so wrong with telling him, “No anti-Semitic activity–none–is okay with us if you’re going to be a prominent figure or own a prominent bike shop in the biking community.” Politicians have met demise for lesser, also “legal” things.

    Sure–this whole thing MAY in fact be some kind of conspiracy; I wouldn’t be surprised. But just in case it isn’t, I think we should do everything we can to protect our cycling “community,” a group that includes people of all races, classes, creeds, sexes, ages, genders, ability, etc. Introduce hate of any segment of our community, and we have a problem. Introduce those kinds of problems amongst ourselves, and coops fall apart, the city stops taking us seriously & won’t build our bike infrastructure, and bicyclists will keep getting hit by cars. Therefore, love–love must once again be the answer. And clearly, as the comments on this post demonstrate, love isn’t turning a blind eye.

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    • Rol October 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

      Yeah but see, thus far nobody’s been able to demonstrate to me that anyone’s a bully or even an anti-Semite. Tim Calvert expressly disavows both. Good enough for me.

      Also your tribal chief 1000 years ago, probably has a totally homogeneous little tribe with no different religious or ethnic sub-groups in it. Tribes self-separated along geographic and blood lines. Freakin racists!

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      • ~n October 3, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        Good thing imperialism, colonialism and slave traders came along to nip that in the bud, haw haw haw! (That’s facetiousness for anyone who doesn’t know me.) Look, I know a lot of people here are Tim’s friends, and so that any hackles I may have raised–like Dave’s–can go down, I never said Tim was a bully. But he seems to have a habit of hosting folks who are–at least verbally speaking. Words do intimidate, and the way we use words can make people feel oppressed or uplifted, just like our physical behavior. I’m just suggesting we ask Tim to stop hanging out with those folks. Clearly, their behavior (including use of words) is bullying. And ironically, Tim and his shop’s clearly being bullied by this anti-hate group. He’s playing “monkey in the middle” I guess. I know he’s into critical thinking… this doesn’t seem like that tough of a problem to think through and solve on his part. Why doesn’t he?

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        • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

          The Rose City Antifa are obviously bullies. Are you going to listen to them?

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        • Caleb October 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

          If you consider the event we call “intimidation” occurring within the “intimidated” person, you might find that words alone don’t “intimidate” anybody. Claiming they do rather than changing the behavior within us that leads to intimidation simply perpetuates the problems people blame on words.

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          • ~n October 4, 2012 at 11:54 pm

            Yep, I’ve heard that line before. If that’s so true, why are comments on this blog (for one example) moderated for abusive language?

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            • Caleb October 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm

              Maybe because people such still hold on strongly to beliefs that words alone actually do intimidate other people? Maybe because Jonathon acknowledges people hold such beliefs and he subsequently draws a line somewhere in an effort to keep such people from getting more riled up than he would like? Just speculation.

              I don’t know why moderators moderate comments on this blog for any specific language, because I’m not the one who moderates them, and I haven’t seen a statement from moderators as to why they do. I do know, however, that their moderation or lack thereof does not determine whether words perform the whole function we call “intimidation”.

              If you believe words on their own can indeed perform that whole function we call “intimidation”, could you please provide your definition of “intimidation” and then explain how they carry out that function? Perhaps we’re just thinking of two very different things here.

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              • ~n October 5, 2012 at 7:47 pm

                You’d probably do better to ask an attorney who specializes in defamation cases–libel, slander, etc. But I could try to come up with a working definition of what it means to intimidate someone using words.

                Although, I’m not sure what you mean by “words on their own.” I find words are not usually “on their own,” but spoken/written with a particular grouping of other words, an inflection, a tone, a display of body language, etc. To what degree can sometimes depend on how emotional the speaker is.

                Personally, I’m not at all sure I’d want to remove the physiological/emotional reactions (be they reactions of intimidation & fear or of joy/love/gladness) that words evoke in me. I believe these reactions are an instinctual way my body tells me whether I’m safe or not in a given situation or with a given person. Sure, words are tied in with our intellect to varying degrees, often depending on how advanced/educated we are with a particular language, but our brains are physical organs. Not sure we can intellectualize our way out of this one, and not sure I want to. I hold that when people are knowingly using words to intimidate, and refuse to stop or soften their language when asked, they are the ones whose behavior needs correction. Yeah, yeah, we’re “free” to keep using that language even if it’s offending someone… and that says something about what we think of the people we’re speaking to or about.

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                • Caleb October 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm

                  I wasn’t interested in the legal standard for “intimidation”, but rather your own perspective, so your answer is what I was asking for. Thanks.

                  By “words on their own”, I was intending to convey the idea of words being solely responsible for “intimidation”. Sorry my vocabulary often lacks in effectiveness.

                  Anyway, what you said about words coming with inflection, tone, body language, etc and these things being influenced by the emotional state of the speaker relates to what I was trying to get across – that if someone feels intimidated in response to words, they are intimidated in response to much more than just the words.

                  I don’t encourage removing physiological/emotional reactions people experience when hearing or reading words, because I consider that impossible, because I believe any “absence” of emotion is simply a different state of emotion than what would otherwise be a “presence” of emotion.

                  Instead what I’m encouraging and trying to practice myself is recognizing that our emotion doesn’t come prompted solely by words, tone, or body language that we perceive, because many variables within us exist between our perception and emotion. The assumptions we make about people and their words, tone, body language, intention, etc influence our emotion. The assumptions racists make about any group of people influence their emotions. The assumptions individuals must make for Tim’s behavior to affect the entire cycling community’s reputation would influence those individuals’ emotion. The assumptions any individual makes about what is and isn’t “right” or “wrong” influence that individual’s emotion. The assumptions people make about whether particular behavior is anti-Semitic or not influences people’s emotion. The assumptions people make about the intention of others that lead them to believe something is anti-Semitic influence those people’s emotion. The assumptions people make about how awesome Tim is influence their emotion. Etc.

                  Sometimes our assumptions are inaccurate to what has actually taken place. While we’re acknowledging our emotions, let’s also acknowledge we might feel very differently if our assumptions included just one minor, true, unassumed detail or excluded just one minor, false, assumed detail. Let’s acknowledge that we might not need their motivation to keep ourselves safe and be what we consider responsible with our money. Let’s also acknowledge that sometimes they motivate us to make untrue assumptions, and sometimes they motivate us to make true assumptions, but it takes a whole lotta faith to ever believe which we’ve made about things beyond our sensory.

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      • spare_wheel October 5, 2012 at 7:32 am

        ” I don’t deny the horrors of WWII including the Holocaust and the many forgotten details of that time.”

        “including the holocaust” and “forgotten details”. meh.

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        • Caleb October 5, 2012 at 5:14 pm

          What are you implying in your post?

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  • esther c October 3, 2012 at 12:42 am

    It seems to me this could be solved with a board meeting and a vote on whether or not to include some sort of moral turpitude clause for their partners.

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  • bjorn October 3, 2012 at 12:52 am

    My old girlfriend worked for the WRC doing labor inspections in factories in Asia for many years. The factories produced clothing for Nike, Columbia, Eddie Bauer etc… A boycott was always the last possible play, only to be used after long term dialogue failed completely. By working with the factories and putting pressure on the companies buying from them over the long term they improved conditions significantly over the course of years. The fact that this group is jumping to a boycott without any formal meeting with Citybikes really shows that they are not exhibiting competent diplomacy, which makes me think they aren’t a group that is serious about exacting change, they just want splashy headlines. Actually it is probably unfortunate that bikeportland has given them this exposure because they seem more interested in self promotion than anything else.

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    • jla October 9, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Yeah but dialogue did fail completely in at least 4 different venues: the citybikes / red & black mtg, the western worker co-op conference, the u.s. federation of worker co-ops and with in the citybikes board of directors/collective. This isn’t new. The fact of the matter is that some people at citybikes have been losing their jobs for the last 3 years as their concerns about this situation met a brick wall of indifference and excuses. At this point the ship is going down with its antisemitic captain.

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      • are October 10, 2012 at 8:05 am

        again, many of us who are not inside these circles are coming to this conversation with limited information. what was the nature of the “dialogue” in these four venues? calvert must leave, because his political views are at odds with those of us who set the boundaries of permitted thought? i can see why that might not have met with much success.

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      • Caleb October 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

        What specifically has Tim done that has rendered him anti-Semitic? What has he done to discriminate against Jews? What has he done that was hostile toward Jews? What has he done that was prejudiced against Jews? Anybody?

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  • Organic Brian October 3, 2012 at 1:53 am

    In case anyone is still readnig after all these comments:

    I’ve noticed many comments hostile not just to 9/11 Truth Alliance but 9/11 Truth (the concept). The 9/11 Official Story conflicts with the laws of physics, with probability, and flies in the face of Occam’s Razor. I know it is frightening that your government might not represent you and might actually work against some citizens for the national interest, but this is nothing new. When you use ad-hominem attacks and terms like “tin-foil hat” while 9/11 Truth has many thousands of scientists, engineers, military and government personnel all with factual information about how the Official Story cannot be true, you make yourself look silly.
    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    Even many people in government say that the 9/11 Commission Report is purely a cover-up. It doesn’t mention Building 7 at all, which collapsed although not damaged by fire, plane, or any falling wreckage.

    I’m honestly not all that interested in what any of you think about the 9/11 attacks. The government has completely won that round. I’m giving this information to support that I don’t think Tim is what many people here are saying that he is. The US gov’t will continue pulling out all the stops, sparing no expense, to keep their 9/11 myth going as the dominant belief since their wars and destruction of Americans’ rights depend on that. I think this smear campaign is part of that.

    I believe that Tim’s intent in organizing those events is in regard to 9/11 Truth and that his association with “racists” is just incidental to that. Some people in the 9/11 Truth movement don’t know how to edit, and they latch onto any person or thing which they think helps them support the cause. Maybe RCA actually does do some legit anti-”fascist” work, but I feel certain that there are saboteurs in the organization whose role is simply to discredit anyone opposing the government position on 9/11.

    If RCA are really anti-racist, then since the Official Story promotes a false myth about Middle-Eastern people which has demonstrably led to violence toward those people simply based on their race, why would RCA not do everything they can to discredit that?

    All the stuff you would have to believe in order to accept the Official Story:
    http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2004/08/coincidence-theorists-guide-to-911.html

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  • Another Concerned Cyclist October 3, 2012 at 6:54 am

    I’ve spoken with many employees of bike shops and their attitude is “who is Tim Calvert?” One thing for sure, nobody is going to believe an anonymous group who #1) refuses to identify themselves by name or address and #2) make complete unsubstantiated claims and then continue to hide behind their masks. This either smacks of an intelligence agency dirty tricks or some vindictive sick mind, or perhaps both.

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  • Dave October 3, 2012 at 9:13 am

    ~n
    I’m a writer and I value free speech and expression. I’m also a cyclist who’d prefer better bike infrastructure, and I’m concerned about the effect Tim’s “outside the shop” behaviors are having or going to have on the reputation and adhesiveness of the bicycling community at large. (We already have the Oregonian and the Portland No-Pothole-Paving-Due-To-Cyclists Posse against us.) Holding Tim accountable for his questionable and potentially destructive (to Citybikes, if not to the whole biking community) behavior is something we should do out of love & compassion for Tim, the bike shop and anyone who is the target of a hate-group. Bullying others is wrong. Supporting/hosting bullies and their “work” is too close to wrong to be comfortable for me, and it disturbs me greatly that Tim would (allegedly) host anti-Semitic speakers and then sell me bike brakes. It would also sadden me tremendously to lose City Bikes.
    If we were in a remote African village some 1000 years ago, we’d all gather around Tim with our spears and drums and the chief would kindly but firmly explain to him how he needs to leave City Bikes and go host the bullies in some other village far away from us, OR stop hosting bullies and stay here, but that he can’t do both because it is hurting the feelings of many of the villagers–and thus the village (our biking community!) as a whole. Maybe we need to get back to basics and stop worrying so much about lawsuits and free speech in this instance and do what’s right and loving here–and be firm with Tim. What is so wrong with telling him, “No anti-Semitic activity–none–is okay with us if you’re going to be a prominent figure or own a prominent bike shop in the biking community.” Politicians have met demise for lesser, also “legal” things.
    Sure–this whole thing MAY in fact be some kind of conspiracy; I wouldn’t be surprised. But just in case it isn’t, I think we should do everything we can to protect our cycling “community,” a group that includes people of all races, classes, creeds, sexes, ages, genders, ability, etc. Introduce hate of any segment of our community, and we have a problem. Introduce those kinds of problems amongst ourselves, and coops fall apart, the city stops taking us seriously & won’t build our bike infrastructure, and bicyclists will keep getting hit by cars. Therefore, love–love must once again be the answer. And clearly, as the comments on this post demonstrate, love isn’t turning a blind eye.

    Recommended 2

    Pure nonsense and idiocy. And, if Citybikes cans Tim due to this, they deserve what any employer who steps on an employee for off-hours activity and speech deserves–bankruptcy and liquidation.

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    • ~n October 3, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      You know the most hurtful thing I’ve been called an idiot for? Trying to be a bike commuter in a car-centric society. I s’pose I oughta sheepishly head to the nearest car dealership and buy a car, because anyone who calls bike commuting idiocy and nonsensical must be right. Anyway–continuing on in the spirit of actually caring about and trying to preserve Citybikes and its other owners and customers…… I mean, clearly, no one’s free speech is actually being threatened here–everyone’s exercising that just fine–but an important Portland bike shop IS being threatened.

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      • Caleb October 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm

        Yes, the bike shop is apparently being threatened…but what specific threat is threatening it? That’s a little unclear. Regardless of what the threat is, it isn’t there simply as a result of Tim’s doing. Putting all the expectation on him to end it is completely biased.

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  • jimbobpdx October 3, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Readers of BikePortland need to be aware that the RCA is a bourgeois revisionist cadre that must be condemned for their soft line on this issue.

    The true voice of Anti-fascism in Portland – The Rose City Antifascist Front (RCAF) – demands the immediate cessation of all bicycling in Portland until Mr. Calvert agrees to relocate to Clatskanie and never return to Portland. The RCAF further demands that CityBikes:
    1) Prominently display RCAF’s comprehensive list of forbidden thoughts, words and deeds at both its locations;
    2) Require that its employees, customers and passers-by pledge to never indulge in any of the proscribed behaviors; and
    3) Denounce the RCA’s backward and cowardly leadership as pro-auto toadies.

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    • Zach October 3, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      The AFRC (Antifascist Front of the Rose City) begs to differ.

      In secret.

      Fascist.

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    • Nathan October 6, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      “Readers of BikePortland need to be aware that the RCA is a bourgeois revisionist cadre ”

      Savvy readers will recognize the use of the word “cadre”. There are two organizations who use this word regularly and sincerely: The National Labor Federation and the Larouche PAC. The Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance has members and/or sympathizers from both political CULTS.

      Jimbobpdx cultspeak and feeble attempt to smear Antifa says more about himself, and his alliances, than it does about Antifa.

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  • Chucklehead October 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    I wonder how many of these anti-fascists hate republicans.

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    • 007 October 3, 2012 at 1:46 pm

      Oh, yes, Republicans have been so mistreated and discriminated against over the centuries.

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  • Pete October 3, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Ah Portland, the Berkeley of the Northwet… they should make a TV show about you guys. :)

    Don’t tell me, let me guess: “antifa” is Calvert’s pissed-off ex-lover?

    Rubber side down y’all!

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  • WendyOh October 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The buzz has reached the east Coast:

    http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2012/10/wednesday-comes-but-52-times-year.html

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    • Caleb October 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      A local Portlander also landed in the cockpit portion of the blog post.

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  • Andrew B October 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    I have known Tim Calvert for over thirty years. He is a good person and a hard worker who would bend over backwards to help almost anyone anytime. He also has one of the most open minds I’ve ever met, and he works hard to build a community where any idea can be discussed, whether anonymous cowards like it or not. I fully support him, and I support CityBikes.

    These bozos should apologize to him and to CityBikes – in person.

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  • Hart Noecker October 4, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Man, talk about when worlds collide. Seems like making such one-sided demands is counter productive toward finding a resolution. Harboring racists doesn’t seem good for business, if those allegations are actually true, but there doesn’t seem to be enough info available here to prove or disprove them. Hopefully this can be resolved to that all involved can move forward agreeably.

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  • Another Concerned Cyclist October 4, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Let me see if I have this right, a group of anonymous hatemonger’s are making all kinds of nonsensical threats and they want to be taken seriously over a case of Constitutional protected rights. If that held any credibility at all they would #1 – do this in a public forum where we would know who they are and can have an open debate and #2- not hide behind some anonymous bullying. Also, without discussing America’s true foreign policy of invasion, destruction and outright cold-blooded murder in so many countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Iraq, Nicaragua, Honduras etc, etc) then their tactics of intimidation by little bullies should be discarded. If not, we are turning democracy over to Nazi-esque promoters and we can not allow that to happen. They will never expose themselves because they know they have a very weak case if any at all. Let’s ignore the anti-nuts forever and hope they can enjoy what is left of their so-called lives.

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  • jams run free October 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

    We’re evolving, slowly, but surely. Our consciousness expands for the good of society when we confront our imperfections and accept them as part of our human condition. Hate exists in us all, as well as love.

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  • Rory October 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Having known Tim Calvert for almost 30 years, I’m guessing that the extent of his political sin is probably something dietary or “anti-semitic” support for someone being damaged by the Israeli government. I marvel that some snot-nosed twerp has mistaken what they have for brains as moral fiber.

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    • esther c October 4, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      no, not being damaged by the Israeli government. Read the link to the writings I posted above. the guy he hosted is an pure anti-semite, not anti-Israel. get your facts straight.

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      • Caleb October 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        Rory stated a guess without claiming it was fact.

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  • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 9:56 am

    There’s a big undercurrent to this story which the article above does not illuminate. For years, Tim Calvert has been an activist in support of Palestinian rights, and Tim Calvert is being harassed by Zionist members of the Rose City Antifa, which calls itself an “antifascist” group, in spite of the fact that the Rose City Antifa uses Brownshirt tactics, including the frequent threat of violence, against anyone it labels (or libels) as “fascist.”

    The Rose City Antifa also claims that the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance is a “racist” and “fascist” group, even though the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance membership includes people who are lesbian, gay, Hispanic, black, and profoundly Leftist. The Rose City Antifa are closet Zionists whose agenda is to smear anyone who opposes Zionism or supports 9/11 Truth.

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    • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:27 am

      P.S.:
      In additition to lesbian, gay, Hispanic, black, and profoundly Leftist members, there are also Jewish members of the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance.

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    • Nathan October 6, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Let’s see if this is one of the comments that never gets published….

      “even though the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance membership includes people who are lesbian, gay, Hispanic, black, Jewish, and profoundly Leftist. ”

      NO leftist group would tolerate a holocaust denier like Calvert’s pal Titrud.

      Blacks members? Where? When? If they ever had them you can bet the Portland 9/11 Conspiracy Clowns would have waved them in front of everyone. Like they did with Titrud’s Asian wife to “prove” he couldn’t be racist. Not against Asians, obviously, but Jews are another story. You know Titrud is a Holocaust denier? And the entire 9/11 group knows it? The person moderating comments should Google that before hitting “delete”.

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  • spare_wheel October 4, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Calvert allegedly arranged a venue twice for this guy (note his jail release date):

    On January 31, 2002, Springmeier was indicted in the United States District Court in Portland, Oregon[7] in connection with an armed robbery. On February 12, 2003, he was found guilty of one count of armed bank robbery in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 2113(a) and (d) and one count of aiding and abetting in the use of a semi-automatic rifle during the commission of a felony in violation of 18 U.S.C § 924(c)(1).[8][9] In November 2003, he was sentenced to 51 months in prison on the armed robbery charge and 60 months on the aiding and abetting charge, fined $7,500, ordered to pay $6,488 in restitution, and assessed an additional $200.[10] Springmeier’s conviction was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.[11] He was imprisoned, and was released from federal prison on March 25, 2011

    From wikipedia (but claims are referenced).

    http://leavingalexjonestown.blogspot.com/2011/11/fritz-springmeier-political-prisoner.html

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  • Free Palestine October 4, 2012 at 10:47 am

    So the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance hosted a speaker who is an ex-con. Are you saying that everyone should discriminate against ex-cons?

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    • spare_wheel October 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Strawperson much?

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  • P October 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

    As silly (or objectionable) as 9/11 Truth “activists” views may be to me (and they’re frequently both) my main concern is that the Rose City “Antifa” learn the lesson that intimidation is not an effective tactic for getting what they want.

    (That’s probably not possible, because the sort of “activists” who get involved in RCA-style work do so with the purpose of intimidating people, not to achieve any actual goal. They couldn’t care less about any vulnerable person. “Anti-racism” is just a moral cover-story to justify their actions and make them feel good about themselves. They have nothing to do with the very important work of real activists who monitor and combat actual white supremacists and hate groups.)

    What do we learn on the internet? Don’t feed the trolls. To that end, I hope that Citybikes notifies RCA that they will keep Tim Calvert on until they have heard nothing on the issue from RCA for a minimum period of 18 months. After that, I hope that they do whatever they think is best internally. (From my perspective, I hope Tim stays on at Citybikes.)

    (NB: I know Tim and like him. I am a regular customer at Citybikes and will continue to be one.)

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  • Jeremy Cohen October 5, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Everyday we all make decisions to patronize or not patronize various businesses for various reasons. Maybe you don’t spend your money at McDonald’s because you are trying to be healthy, maybe you don’t buy Nike shoes because of their labor practices. Maybe you only shop at cooperative businesses because you believe in that structure. Maybe you always take your coffee in the shop with the cute gal/guy behind the counter. In this case, there are a huge number of bike shops in this town–mostly run by nice people who are trying to make a little money, serve the bike community, get along. For my limited cycling needs, I will likely not visit City Bikes while Calvert works there. In my years in Eugene I was well informed about the Pacifica Forum and the hate they espouse and the speakers they brought to town (which are also speakers Calvert has organzied for and introduced), and it is not worth it for me, as a Jewish-American, to risk that my money would support an employee/owner that participates in hosting speech that creates a culture of hatred against me.
    Just yesterday I walked by some graffiti on the sidewalk in my neighborhood that was overtly anti-semetic–and it caused hurt and fear for me. I can assure you it is difficult enough to live in this culture as a part of a minority–even a well assimilated/integrated minority–and I don’t need to support anyone that is trying to make that worse for me.
    I don’t fear for the future of City Bikes, in part because I know all the people that support Calvert and the shop will step up and spend extra money there to offset the income lost by those that choose to shop elsewhere.

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  • Another Concerned Cyclist October 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Jeremy Cohen, I am also a Jewish-American AND happen to know Tim for about 20 years and I can assure you that there is not an evil bone in his body. Now if you want to discuss this with me, let me know, until then, by encouraging a witch-hunt makes you more of a tyrant than Tim could ever be.

    Not that many years ago hard-working people were destroy by being falsely and anonymously accused of being a homo-sexual, a communist or even a Mormon or a Jew. So you want to go back to those bad-old days. Shame on you Jeremy Cohen, shame on you.

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    • esther c October 5, 2012 at 11:34 pm

      Why does he provide a forum for an anti-semite to spout their vile opinions if he’s such a nice guy?

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      • are October 6, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        maybe he was not dissuaded by the fact that others try to discredit analauskas by calling him an anti-semite. specifically what “vile opinions” was analauskas seeking to spout?

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          • are October 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm

            apart from merely relaying antifa’s conclusory statements, what the snob puts forward is an excerpt from some statement by analauskas decrying the criminalization in some parts of europe of holocaust “denial,” which he says extends to “questioning even the smallest detail of dogma.”

            okay, so we have not criminalized thought in this country, yet — apart from, y’know, the homeland security sh*t. but objecting to this is not in itself anti-semitism.

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        • spare_wheel October 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm
          • are October 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm

            again, largely anti-zionism rather than anti-semitism per se, unless you would like to point to something in particular in the thirty-odd page document to which you have linked

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            • are October 15, 2012 at 9:04 pm

              correction, two hundred something pages

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  • Miri October 6, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    I agree very strongly with Jeremy. I believe very strongly in spending my monetary energy in the most ethical ways possible. I do not know why on earth I would support someone that is clearly is not in line with my own personal values in a town with many options available to meet my family’s bike needs without funding anti-Semites. I am glad to have that information so I can make choices for me and mine, and for the kind of world I want to be creating. I do not see anything wrong with calling for a boycott. Maybe I am missing something, but it seems like a pretty reasonable way to approach this issue.

    It seems to me like many people are responding mainly to ideas about who people/groups are, rather than what they do. The assumptions and preconceived notions people have about the identities of the actors seems to be the primary way the are forming their opinions:

    Citybikes (and by proxy Calvert) is seen as liberal, benign, moderate, reasonable, compassionate, eccentric, good-natured and principled.

    Antifa on the other hand are (presumably) anarchist, therefore dangerous, violent, unreasonable, illegitimate, juvenile, and not trust-worthy.

    I do not always agree with anarchists, but I have also learned that many of the stereotypes I had about them were false divisions. From what I have actually seen of Calvert, he seems to be dangerous. He appears to be suffering from some major mental health issues, and is tied to hate groups. There seems to be a long history of him organizing with lots of people from various points on the hard right spectrum, the unifying theme being anti-Semitism. While people may think it is funny or kooky that he thinks he is the target of a massive Jewish conspiracy, I would not want to be working along side someone like that. He seems like a ticking time bomb that may be fully delusional. Citybikes doesn’t seem to take this issue seriously. For whatever reasons, they seem to be unwilling to take responsibility here and unable to act collectively to address this. From what I have seen of Rose City Antifa’s website, they do not seem irrational or threatening. It seems like they did some research, wrote some articles, and then called for a boycott. I feel like if the exact same things were done by a group called Portland Neighbors for Peace, people would have acted differently. What is so scary or “oppressive” about writing and boycotts? I would feel far more “oppressed” by working with someone that may smile in my face but secretly organizes to deny my humanity.

    I think it is unfortunate that people don’t use these forums to do more constructive dialoguing. I think there are important issues and questions here that could be discussed. Do people think that racist ideas should be challenged ideologically or do people think it is only a problem when physically violent acts have been committed? Do you think a collective has the responsibility to deal with the destructive behavior of its member(s)? If you think a boycott is a bad solution, what solution do you propose? How do we educate the community about anti-Semitism? Is this particular issue so hard for people because it somehow messes with our ideas about identity (that co-ops and hippie-looking people are “us” and racists are somehow an outside “them”)? It seems to me that identity is key here.

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    • are October 8, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      the word “seems” occurs quite a lot in your post. and it is not at all cleat on what you are basing your assertions about calvert’s mental health, etc.

      i do not have a problem with someone calling for a boycott of a business the profits of which would promote harm. and i have no problem with anarchists.

      however, i do not agree that rose city antifa has made its case. the article(s) to which they have provided links here are long on innuendo and very short on facts.

      calvert invited someone to speak, and someone else (anonymous) who disagrees with that speaker calls the speaker an anti-semite. does not make the speaker an anti-semite in fact. you have to go a step or two deeper to find out what the invited speaker actually says in his speaking and writing. when i take that step or two, what i find is anti-capitalism and anti-zionism. i do not find holocaust denial, but rather a suggestion that the holocaust has been exploited for particular political agendas.

      i agree a person ought to try to act ethically in directing her financial resources, but i think the problem that has been placed before us is not as simple as accepting rose city antifa’s claims at face value.

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    • Robert Burchett October 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

      Miri went on to say:

      “. . .(Calvert) seems to be dangerous. He appears to be suffering from some major mental health issues. . .He seems like a ticking time bomb that may be fully delusional. . .

      What are the credentials of this person, Miri, and on how many occasions was Calvert interviewed to establish his mental state?

      I am not informed about all of Tim’s opinions, but at the times I have seen him at City Bikes he was quite plausibly sane. He has never mentioned any political affairs in my presence at all, or spoken ill of any person or group of people, but of course I have only ever spoken with him at the bike shop, about bike parts and such, or perhaps business in general or the weather.

      We know that Tim harbors suspicion of the United States government. That is not on any list of mental defects.

      It seems clear that some people Mr. Calvert knows, speaks to, and appears with, who share his view of the events of 9/11/2001, also espouse views that are objectionable. This association might be what my father used to call bad judgement. In fact that was almost the worst thing he would say about another person but it is not a hanging matter.

      This discussion has gone pretty far past the topics of this list, I think, as well as the first mention of the capital-N word, but since we’re here let me say that the slavish attendance of the United States government on the wishes of the government of Israel may go down as one the great mistakes of history. I hope we may live to see that proved wrong, but meanwhile if that makes me a racist or a whatever, so be it.

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  • Roger October 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    To RCA members…

    Answer me one question…Is the ethnically Jewish Noam Chomsky an anti-semite. This is an yes or no question.

    See: Israel, the Holocaust, and Anti-Semitism by Noam Chomsky
    http://www.chomsky.info/books/dissent01.htm
    This article offers excellent context for this issue.

    To City Bike employees: Consider that MIT university has not fired Chomsky for his outside political activities, though they are controversial to some.

    Freedom of speech is what makes America an admirable country.

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  • jla October 9, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    The answer is no, Noam Chomsky is not antisemitic. Contrary to the opinions of apologists for and supporters of the state of Israel justifiably condemning Israeli policy does not = antisemitism. Also: just because people misuse the term antisemitism does not mean that antisemitism doesn’t exist.

    Many commenters here seem to think that freedom of speech means freedom from consequences for speech. Let’s keep in mind that the 1st amendment is all about barring the federal gov’t from infringing on this right. The right of free speech carries no obligation that individuals or private groups financially support someone (or their do-nothing workplace).

    Just think about this for a second. For the sake of argument pretend you read the ample supporting documentation and understand that, even though you may not know what is in Tim’s ‘heart,’ you acknowlege that he’s been actively organizing with extreme racists for years with no consequences. Assuming that you’re against racism (etc. there’s a lot of other fucked up oppressive ideologies here too) why not avoid a store that can’t get its shit together to effectively oppose racist (etc.) organizing on the part of one of their workers. For 3 years. Are you still waiting and hoping for it to work itself out?

    BTW are you also hoping that the members of oppressed groups targetted by this shit also adopt your principled commitment to supporting a business that knowingly harbors a racist & misogynist organizer?

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    • Ricia DuBois October 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Are you an RCA member? Is this the RCA’s official opinion or your personal response?

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    • Caleb October 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm

      jla, what specific organizing has Tim done with extreme racists? If they’re just organizing tiles in an abstract mosaic, then I have no problem. If they’re organizing strategy that will harm others, then I have a problem. Regardless, I already have a problem with the fact that nobody to my knowledge has stated what harmful organizing Tim is doing or has done with anybody, but that people such as yourself are still citing Tim’s organizing as reason for condemnation. Where’s the evidence of the organizing harming anybody?

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      • Caleb October 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

        Addition to the above comment: Where’s the evidence that they’re organizing anything intended to harm anybody?

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  • Jay Knott October 10, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I’m a minor player in this drama, but still I’ve been called a ‘hardcore antisemitic propagandist’ by these so-called ‘anti-racists’. In fact, I’m on the left. I’m a longtime Portland biker and supporter of the co-op. I don’t find racism appealing. The anti-racists have consistently stated that the Pacifica Forum website, which I run, contains racism, but have been unable to provide a single example. I’m not inclined toward Tim’s conspiracy theories, but I defend his right to defend them. I do believe Anti-Racist Action is OBJECTIVELY pro-Zionist, since that’s the only interest its behavior serves, but I don’t think it’s run by Mossad! Its politics, a common error in the left, is basically the defense of Zionism by means of distracting us from this prevalent form of racism toward the almost non-existent issue of white supremacy. Its hypocrisy is staggering – surely the only political group promoting ‘hate’ in Portland right now is Anti-Racist Action! And, as other commenters have pointed out, the only people who try to oppose freedom of speech are ‘anti’ fascists!

    Solidarity with Tim and The Right of Return for the Palestinians!

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  • Jay Knott October 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    The article linked to by ‘spare_wheel’ is entitled ‘College Campuses See Rising Anti-Semitic Sentiment’. It’s a clear example of what I refer to in my comment above. A comprehensive critique of this approach can be found here, in my article for the Council for the National Interest:
    http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org/news/opinion-a-analysis/item/1792-“hate-studies”-ignores-certain-types-of-hate

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  • are October 11, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    jay graves contributed money to jim oberstar’s campaign. oberstar opposed abortion rights and gun control. should we boycott bike gallery?

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  • Ricia DuBois October 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    The Wizard’s of Oz pulling levers of projection behind curtains of autonomy…fearful of their own shadow and what the light might reveal.

    Boycotts are fine, Phantoms of Ankney Street but you must have the integrity to show your face to be taken seriously
    Until then you have no credibility, it would be short sighted and dangerous for me, or anyone to give you any.

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  • Morgen October 12, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    My next door neighbor is racist. He is the text book example middle aged white guy who is suspicious of the Russians down the block and thinks the African Americans are the cause of all society’s ill. Other than those things, he’s a generous guy. Nice to pets, ready to lend a hand and willing to go out of his way to help you out.

    I have him over for dinner sometimes. We talk politics, and religion, and don’t agree on anything. He’ll say something negative and I’ll benignly offer to wash his mouth out with soap if he can’t get control over it. He grumbles… but keeps coming over. And I keep inviting him.

    Being near him doesn’t make me racist. Any more than reading this board makes me a bicyclist. Even if I was only part of an active knitting group I could promise that there would be people in that group who did and believed things I find objectionable.

    It seems like the problem here is that a small anonymous fringe Group A is upset that a member of small fringe group B knows another member of Group B and therefore is boycotting the place of his employ. The only clear item in this situation is that we now know why Group A has chosen to be anonymous. It prevents us from taking the actions against them that they having taken against us.

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  • roger noehren October 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I just read this article, but not any of the comments (yet), so my response does not reflect anything that others have written…

    I am appalled that an anonymous group of people is accusing someone of guilt by association and is making demands that he be fired by his employer – never mind that the employer is the worker owned cooperative that he created and has worked diligently for since 1989!

    Antifa should come out into the open and engage in a public debate with those with whom they have differences of opinion, rather than go after a hard working member of the community, who has worked for social justice locally and in Central America, promoted worker owned cooperatives, co-founded Laughing Horse Books, kept the Red Rose School going for years almost singlehandedly and is a pillar of the cycling community.

    Full disclosure: I founded Citybikes in 1986 and hired Tim to reorganize it as a worker owned cooperative in 1989 – the best decision that I ever made!

    This whole business makes me very sad, because I like Tim and am still very fond of Citybikes and everyone who works there. I can think of lots of businesses to boycott, but they’re all multi-nationals, not wonderful locally owned grassroots cooperatives! Fight the real enemy!

    As the veep would say “It’s all a bunch of malarkey”…

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    • are October 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

      thank you, roger

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  • Jay Knott October 13, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I think there’s some naivety here about what Anti-Racist Action is and what it represents. It’s no good telling ARA Tim is a good guy and a lifelong progressive. “Fight the real enemy!” says Roger Noehren, and appeals to ARA to be more open, as do several other commenters.

    Listen, ARA is part of the same framework as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s not interested in your pathetic appeals. It’s interested in undermining Palestine solidarity.

    It wouldn’t attack Alison Weir and Tim Calvert as well as genuinely far-right individuals unless that were true.

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    • Nathan October 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

      “Listen, ARA is part of the same framework as the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. It’s not interested in your pathetic appeals. It’s interested in undermining Palestine solidarity.”

      Please prove where Antifa or SPLC is against Palestine solidarity. It sounds like another far right conspiracy.

      Also, maybe you want to weigh in on the attack on the Red and Black worker’s house apparently by supporters of Calvert?
      http://rosecityantifa.weebly.com/1/post/2012/10/co-op-activist-targeted-for-anti-racist-advocacy.html

      Alison Weir’s antics have been covered at IMC in the past.
      http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2010/04/398993.shtml

      And your, Mr. Knott, appear to be a fan of David Irving:
      http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2009/07/392889.shtml

      That says it all. No point in posting comments here again.

      Good bye, Nazis apologists.

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      • are October 14, 2012 at 7:28 am

        i dunno, man, looks like your handwriting on that rock

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    • Jay Knott October 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      Wold I like to ‘weigh in’ on “the attack on the Red and Black worker’s house”? Yes, it looks like yet another clumsy fake hate crime.

      “Fan of David Irving”. No, David Irving is a historian who has written lots of useful stuff and made some serious mistakes. Just like the late Eric Hobsbawm and other historians. The difference is whom he made the mistakes about. We defend Irving’s freedom because, unlike other historians, his freedom NEEDS defending against hate groups.

      Listening to Irving doesn’t make you a Nazi, any more than listening to Hobsbawm would have made you a Communist – in fact, even less so, for, whereas Eric was a commie, David was never a Nazi.

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  • Duncan October 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Back on topic… citibikes has always been good to me. I have bought a few bikes from them, had some work done- always walked away happy. They have my business in the future.

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  • spare_wheel October 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    while i believe that calvert has hosted at least one anti-semitic speaker i do not support the boycott. citybikes should not be held responsible for the private behavior of one of its owner-members. i do not believe in collective punishment.

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  • A Friend October 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I realize that this post comes late in the discussion but I am not an aggressive internet user. I believe that the attacks against me by rose city antifa are not, in fact, related to my participation in the 9-11 group and the occasional speakers I have been associated with, but instead, due to to my pro-Palestinian activism, and criticism of Israel. The vehemence and underhandedness with which this anonymous group attacks me looks very similar to the standard Hasbara (Israeli propagandist) smear of anyone critical of Israel.

    Since the death of Rachael Corrie in 2003 and then the savage attack on the refugees in Gaza in 2009 I have been a visible vocal critic of the Israeli state and the lobby which protects it here in the United States. Thus I join the ranks of other critics of Israel in having my name smeared publicly and my career threatened. My politics have been represented by the three buttons I have worn pretty continuously since 2009. “We are all Palestinians” “Islam is not our Enemy” and “Peace with Iran”. I have been actively involved in Solidarity with the Iraqi refugee community that now resides in Portland. These are the things I believe in.

    This aggressive attempt to peg me to all sorts of noxious “beliefs” is pretty standard practice in Hasbara technique. Below is the response I sent to the bike cooperative with links further explaining the sort of political milieu that Palestinian Solidarity Activists must navigate. To rose city antifa I would like to suggest that rather than dividing, demoralizing and attacking peace and justice workers, they propose positive campaigns that would unite our positions. I would suggest that they employ their aggressive techniques to helping the people of Portland mount a material aid caravan to the people of Gaza.

    Finally I would like to say that I feel personally threatened, it is clear that the rose city antifa is a prototype of a black-op militia that could escalate to violence at any moment. Their targeting of me and Citybikes suggests that collateral damage is of no concern to them in their quest of ideological hegemony. My future is uncertain as of now, but I would like to appeal to my colleagues in the peace and justice community for solidarity and support.

    Tim Calvert.

    Here is the announcement for the potluck for which I am being attacked.

    Tired of Propaganda?

    Feel smothered by people parroting lies?Well this potluck is for you!

    Bring food you like to eat and beverages you like to drink to share with others! A Bullshit Free zone will exist around area G. People who talk about the 9-11 false flag, Portland’s water system and why we must stop the poisoning of the water via fluoride, Palestine and how we are all Palestinians, peace, justice and anything else; will be there.

    There will be an extra interesting participant, Fritz Springmeir, at the potluck. Find out about him come and ask a question.

    Letter to the Cooperative

    9/18/2012

    Dear fellow cooperators.

    I am sorry that once again my political activity has drawn the coop into the spot light. The accusations against me are politically motivated and false. I have been a lifelong activist for peace and justice and “hate” no one.

    It is obvious from the latest round of attacks that even holding a potluck at a park is too much political activity for my oppressors. It is also painfully clear that I am under heavy surveillance from people who aim to do me harm.

    Therefore I am publically announcing my resignation and distancing myself from the 9-11 truth group and will no longer organize any events associated with them. I do this because I want to protect Citybikes from defamation and because the 9-11 group has been effectively suppressed in Portland.

    There is, of course, a lot more to say. I will bring information to the meeting on Monday to share that further elaborates my position and affirms my struggle for human rights for all. When I helped co-found Citybikes Worker Owned Cooperative 23 years ago, one of my motivations was to create a business that protected the rights of the owners/workers to organize politically without the fear of reprisal. I hope this dream of people cooperating for a better world, with dignity and freedom of thought, and speech and association is not just a pipe dream.

    In Solidarity, Tim Calvert

    Here is my further account:

    Further responses and proposals about the current slander attack

    From tlc 9/20/2012

    I would like to say that this slanderous attack is underhanded and a real disservice to the Portland community. I have stood for 30 plus years as an advocate for the oppressed insisting on respectful communication and actions with my fellow citizens, customers, and co-workers. I would hope that the direct communication and interactions that I have had with my co-workers carries a little more weight than the slanderously spun accusations and lies directed at me.

    Below are a series of links to relevant information that shed light on why Palestinian solidarity activists are especially targeted for punishment.

    Finally, this group is trying to suppress my human and civil rights. I have done nothing illegal or un-ethical. I have the right to the freedom of thought, speech, and association. These are human rights protected by the First amendment and by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    Citybikes should put forward our support of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a document that represents our values. I would also propose that Citybikes contact a lawyer to brief us on our rights and responsibilities in this circumstance.

    Article 18.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

    Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    Article 20.

    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

    (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

    This group makes accusations about people who have spoken at public events that I am associated with, but not about what they actually said at these public events. I have organized no event in which the speaker was advocating hate of any specific group or ethnicity. I cannot vouch for, nor should I have to, what they may or may not have said in the past. Unlike my oppressors I do not spend my time researching every “incorrect” thing a person may or may not have said, I stand by the dialogue I have with the individual- not their past, nor opinions I did not know about. I reject being judged in this way, as once again this abridges my human rights.

    I am being set up as some sort of leader of the 9-11 group. I am not a leader, there are no leaders. I was not the one to suggest Fritz Springmeir attend the potluck in the park, but I did not say no he can’t come; did I witness him doing anything inappropriate? No, he played bocce ball.

    I understand how facing a hidden cabal of agents who apparently have the time and money to detail my life, at least their version of my life, can be a little daunting, I know that I am a little troubled by the manifestation of a militia or black-op group targeting me and the people near me. Know that I work for human rights, justice and peace and that I need your support and help.

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-hasbaras-smear-fell-apart-again-1.html

    http://.blogspot.comuprootedpalestinians/2010/11/from-tribalism-to-humanism.html

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/uncovered-israels-role-planned-us-lawsuit-fight-bds/10350

    http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/sept_oct_09_goldberg_makdisi

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/zionist-tolerance-for-a-change/

    http://desertpeace.wordpress.com/2010/10/31/the-resurection-of-mccarthyism-in-canada/

    One specific quote from the Tikkun article that I want to highlight.

    The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

    We should all find alarming that what is taking place in the academy today is an extension of what takes place on Capitol Hill and in the corridors of (real) power. What is at stake is the process of representation, which shapes memory, disposition, and arguably — in the long run at any rate — the policy process itself. Many of the same tactics are being used in both situations; and they share the aim to monopolize legitimacy by tarnishing all criticism and questioning it as inherently illegitimate and malevolent.

    Oh and here is another quote:

    “The Pro-Israel Propaganda Handbook

    It is not surprising, then, given its provenance, that the Stand With Us report on “Gaza and Human Rights” expresses what pro-Israel campus activists refer to using the Hebrew word “hasbara.” This means, essentially if not literally, “propaganda.” The Hasbara Handbook: Promoting Israel on Campus, which is distributed to campus activists by organizations like Stand With Us (e.g., click “Guides for Activists” on http://www.middle-east-info.org), explains that it is often better to score points than to engage in actual arguments, and offers an explanation for how, in its own words, “to score points whilst avoiding debate.” Point-scoring, the Hasbara Handbook explains, “works because most audience members fail to analyze what they hear. Rather, they register only a key few points, and form a vague ‘impression’ of whose argument was stronger.” Part of the strategy is to recycle the same claims over and again, in as many settings as possible. “If people hear something often enough,” the document points out, “they come to believe it.”

    The Hasbara Handbook offers several other propaganda devices, all of which can be seen vividly at play in the coverage of the UCLA Gaza panel and other similar events, including, again, the Robinson affair. “Creating negative connotations by name calling is done to try to get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea,” the handbook states with remarkable bluntness, in advocating that tactic. It also suggests using the opposite of name calling, to defend Israel by what it calls the deployment of “glittering generalities” (words like “freedom,” “civilization,” “democracy”) to describe the country; manipulating the audience’s fears (“listeners are too preoccupied by the threat of terrible things to think critically about the speaker’s message”); and so on. The point of all this is not to use arguments backed by reason and evidence. It is, instead, to manipulate (the handbook’s own term) an audience precisely in order not to examine

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    • Ricia October 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks Tim for your effort and commitment to the Portland community and Indigenous Rights all over the World.

      Politics, economics, policies, culture, media and markets today are Anti-Indigenous. There is the very real “holocasust” going on right now.

      Holocaust (from the Greek hólos, “whole” and kaustós, “burnt”),[2] also known as the Shoah (Hebrew:HaShoah, “catastrophe”; Yiddish: חורבן, Churben or Hurban, from the Hebrew for “destruction”),

      You are not a “holocaust denier” at all, on the contrary, you are someone bringing attention to today’s holocaust, the very real Indigenous holocaust (catastrophe/destruction) going on all over the world.

      You have my support..and Mr. Chomsky’s it seems

      QUESTION TO CHOMSKY: I ask you this question because I know that you have been plagued and hounded around the United States specifically on this issue of the Holocaust. It’s been said that Noam Chomsky is somehow agnostic on the issue of whether the Holocaust occurred or not.

      CHOMSKY: “My “agnosticism” is in print. I described the Holocaust years ago as the most fantastic outburst of insanity in human history, so much so that if we even agree to discuss the matter we demean ourselves. Those statements and numerous others like them are in print, but they’re basically irrelevant because you have to understand that this is part of a Stalinist-style technique to silence critics of the holy state and therefore the truth is entirely irrelevant, you just tell as many lies as you can and hope that some of the mud will stick. It’s a standard technique used by the Stalinist parties, by the Nazis and by these guys.”
      Israeli,the Holocaust and Anti Semtism
      http://www.chomsky.info/books/dissent01.htm

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  • Jay Knott October 17, 2012 at 8:34 am

    More ‘staggering hypocrisy’. I can’t call it ‘chutzpah’, because you know what they’d acccuse me of: over at Indymedia, the IDF, I mean Anti-Racist Action, complain about the moderator at this site deleting some of their comments. This may be because the editors here feel that arguments like “Jay Knott crawled out of his sewer” are unacceptable; I don’t know. In any case, attempts to defend Citybikes, and criticize Israel, on Portland Indymedia have been censored since 2009: http://tinyurl.com/ccudya7

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 17, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Everyone,

    Thank you for the comments and discussion about this story. I am now closing the comments.

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