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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.”

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Ethan
Guest
Ethan

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

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

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.

matt picio
Guest

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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).

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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.

EMP
Guest
EMP

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.

Red Hippie
Guest
Red Hippie

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?

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

Cascadistan?

Opus the Poet
Guest

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.

Easy
Guest
Easy

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.

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

“Fascism is Corporatism.” – Benito Mussolini.

The Rose City Antifa are Zionists who use Brownshirt tactics.

Al from PA
Guest
Al from PA

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.

Pete
Guest
Pete

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!

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

MIC

Charley
Guest
Charley

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.

shirtsoff
Guest
shirtsoff

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

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

“…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?

was carless
Guest
was carless

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.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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

rain bike
Guest
rain bike

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

Dave
Guest
Dave

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.

Zach
Guest
Zach

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….

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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

DIMcyclist
Guest
DIMcyclist

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.

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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.

rojo
Guest
rojo

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’

Schrauf
Guest
Schrauf

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.

Scott
Guest
Scott

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

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

Yes, antisemitism is hate. You serious?

John
Guest
John

you might be an anti-zionist

DIMcyclist
Guest
DIMcyclist

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.

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

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.

Some Guy
Guest
Some Guy

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.

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

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?

Citybikes worker
Guest
Citybikes worker

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.

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

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

John
Guest
John

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

007
Guest
007

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.

Moi
Guest
Moi

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.

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

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.

Era
Guest
Era

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.

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

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.

BURR
Guest
BURR

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.

I like bikes, too.
Guest
I like bikes, too.

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?

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

“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.

John Lascurettes
Guest

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.

Greg
Guest
Greg

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.

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

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.

Jacob
Guest
Jacob

But what do the anti-communist groups think?

Stever
Guest

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

DK
Guest
DK

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?

are
Guest

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.

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

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

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

Where do you see the word “you”?

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

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.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

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

matt picio
Guest

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.

whyat
Guest
whyat

(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.

Donna
Guest
Donna

Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Spiffy
Guest

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…

Alistair
Guest

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).

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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?

Andrew K
Guest
Andrew K

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.

Ian
Guest
Ian

Is this The Onion?

Nom de Plume
Guest
Nom de Plume

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

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

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

Opus the Poet
Guest

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

That would be yesterday.

pixelgate
Guest
pixelgate

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.

NW Biker
Guest
NW Biker

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.

Zach
Guest
Zach

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.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

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.

PorterStout
Guest
PorterStout

Well put q`Tzal.

esther c
Guest
esther c

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.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

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.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

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…

The Popular Front of Judea
Guest
The Popular Front of Judea

But imagine the glorious revolution they would lead….

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

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.

Jon
Guest
Jon

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.

John Lascurettes
Guest

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

John Lascurettes
Guest

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

John Lascurettes
Guest

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.

Jon
Guest
Jon

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.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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

Zach
Guest
Zach

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.

matt picio
Guest

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?

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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?

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

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.

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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).

are
Guest

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

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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

Stever
Guest

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.

Alan 1.0
Guest
Alan 1.0

see: Möbius strip

matt picio
Guest

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.

John Lascurettes
Guest

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.

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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.

Allan Folz
Guest
Allan Folz

RCA who?

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

are
Guest

you will never know because they do not identify themselves.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

It’s Guy Fawkes, and I saw him.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

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.

John Lascurettes
Guest

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

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Fahrenheit 451 baby!

esther c
Guest
esther c

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.”

Red Hippie
Guest
Red Hippie

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.

matt picio
Guest

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

John Lascurettes
Guest

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.

Travis
Guest
Travis

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.

are
Guest

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

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

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.

Travis
Guest
Travis

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.

was carless
Guest
was carless

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.

BURR
Guest
BURR

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.

are
Guest

i do

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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

Zach
Guest
Zach

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.

Zach
Guest
Zach

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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

007
Guest
007

Your name wouldn’t be Rolf, would it?

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

“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.”

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

“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.”

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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.

dan
Guest
dan

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]

Easy
Guest
Easy

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

Chucklehead
Guest
Chucklehead

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

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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.

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

“…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.

Free Palestine
Guest
Free Palestine

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.

lemald
Guest
lemald

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.

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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

lemald
Guest
lemald

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.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

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.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

“…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.

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

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.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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.

wsbob
Guest
wsbob

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.

jered
Guest
jered

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.

Chucklehead
Guest
Chucklehead

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

was carless
Guest
was carless

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.

Jewish Antiracist
Guest
Jewish Antiracist

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.

Editz
Guest
Editz

Take the Skinheads bowling. Take them bowling.

Rol
Guest
Rol

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

gl.
Guest
gl.

some people say that bowling alleys all look the same.

Mindful Cyclist
Guest
Mindful Cyclist

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

Mike K
Guest
Mike K

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.

Caleb
Guest
Caleb

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.

Fritz Springmeier
Guest

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.

Concerned Cyclist
Guest
Concerned Cyclist

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.

Donna
Guest
Donna

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.

Chucklehead
Guest
Chucklehead

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

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