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Quick complaint, quick action: Bike shop and customer show how to fight everyday sexism

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Update 8/12: The bike shop in question has shared a brief statement about their response. See below.

Here’s a brief online exchange from Saturday afternoon that shows what it looks like when people come together to marginalize a sexist comment from a bike shop employee.

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

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012
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.
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