Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

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Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Mike Godwin-3

At Sue's request, and in response to the expressions of concern on  
this list, I've been looking into the question of safety for attendees  
at this summer's Wikimania in Alexandria.   I did not have any  
presumptions one way or the other regarding what the likely answers to  
this question might be.

Primarily by consulting sources I have in DC and in the security  
industry, who helpfully pointed me to online sources as well, I think  
I can walk through some basic issues for those who are wondering  
whether attending Wikimania in Alexandria poses unusual or exceptional  
risks.

The short answer is this:  while there are some parts of Egypt that  
might be problematic for Wikimanian travellers, travel to Wikimania in  
Alexandria appears to be not a threatening prospect in particular.

I'll spell out some of my reasoning below.

1)  If you research Egypt, you'll find that points of greatest tension  
involve the Egypt/Israel border (places like Gaza), which are  
emphatically not where we're going to be.

2) Many countries, including the U.S.A., routinely post updates for  
their citizens regarding risks associate with travel.  In the U.S.,  
there are "travel alerts" (concern about relatively short-term  
threats) and "travel advisories" (concern about longer-term, more  
systemic threats within a particular destination country).  Currently  
(as of today), there are no "travel alerts" associated with any Middle  
Eastern destination -- there are of course many "travel warnings"  
regarding countries whose relationship with the USA is tense. (Take  
Pakistan, for example.)  Egypt, however, currently has no "travel  
alerts" or "travel warnings" associated with it.

Travel warnings:  <http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.ht 
 >
Travel alerts: <http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/ 
pa_1766.html>

3) Despite how it may look to outsiders, the Egypt and Israel get  
along pretty well, under the circumstances. (You can blame/thank Jimmy  
Carter for this.)  There are border tensions, but, as I have noted, we  
are not going to be situated at the border.

4) There is a useful general links for how the USA and other nations  
view the risks associated with travel to Egypt:

<http://www.allsafetravels.com/CountryPage.aspx?countryid=149>  (a  
multi-country listing)

See also http://www.usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/press/state/archive/1998/april/sd2408.htm 
   (an old alert from the US State department, but it gives you an  
idea how much things have calmed down since 1998).

5) Here's a recent report from Ha'aretz regarding border tensions, but  
one of the things you should take away from this article is that Egypt  
and Israel are actually discussing with each other how to respond to  
border problems. And, as I said, we won't be on the border.

6)  Want the fullest possible warning of what can go wrong for  
Americans in Egypt?  You can find it here:  <http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html 
 >.  But note how much this document references the Sinai and the  
border, which is where we won't be -- we'll be in Alexandria (a city  
of six million people on the Mediterranean Coast), or in transit to or  
from an airport (probably in Cairo, I'm guessing).

7) How to register with the local consulate if you're an American:  <http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_1186.html 
 >.

8) Now, everything I've said with regard to safety talks primarily  
about Americans (that's most of the data I could put my hands on in a  
hurry) and, more importantly, assumes nothing about whether we'll be  
prominent as Wikimedians (or whether the protest against images of the  
Prophet on Wikipedia are going to be generating ongoing conflict).    
But it should be noted that there are Muslims everywhere, not just in  
the Middle East, and it can't be assumed that anyone who's not in  
Alexandria as a Wikipedian is necessarily any safer than if they're in  
(to take an obviously relevant example) Amsterdam as a Wikipedian.

I can't give anyone any assurance that the images-of-the-Prophet issue  
won't heat up, or that the political situation in coastal Egypt will  
remain stable, but the evidence we have now suggests that the library  
at Alexandria is a reasonably safe and stable place to hold a  
conference, in my view.


--Mike Godwin





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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Thanks,
    GerardM

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 10:45 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> At Sue's request, and in response to the expressions of concern on
> this list, I've been looking into the question of safety for attendees
> at this summer's Wikimania in Alexandria.   I did not have any
> presumptions one way or the other regarding what the likely answers to
> this question might be.
>
> Primarily by consulting sources I have in DC and in the security
> industry, who helpfully pointed me to online sources as well, I think
> I can walk through some basic issues for those who are wondering
> whether attending Wikimania in Alexandria poses unusual or exceptional
> risks.
>
> The short answer is this:  while there are some parts of Egypt that
> might be problematic for Wikimanian travellers, travel to Wikimania in
> Alexandria appears to be not a threatening prospect in particular.
>
> I'll spell out some of my reasoning below.
>
> 1)  If you research Egypt, you'll find that points of greatest tension
> involve the Egypt/Israel border (places like Gaza), which are
> emphatically not where we're going to be.
>
> 2) Many countries, including the U.S.A., routinely post updates for
> their citizens regarding risks associate with travel.  In the U.S.,
> there are "travel alerts" (concern about relatively short-term
> threats) and "travel advisories" (concern about longer-term, more
> systemic threats within a particular destination country).  Currently
> (as of today), there are no "travel alerts" associated with any Middle
> Eastern destination -- there are of course many "travel warnings"
> regarding countries whose relationship with the USA is tense. (Take
> Pakistan, for example.)  Egypt, however, currently has no "travel
> alerts" or "travel warnings" associated with it.
>
> Travel warnings:  <http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.ht
>  >
> Travel alerts: <http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/
> pa_1766.html>
>
> 3) Despite how it may look to outsiders, the Egypt and Israel get
> along pretty well, under the circumstances. (You can blame/thank Jimmy
> Carter for this.)  There are border tensions, but, as I have noted, we
> are not going to be situated at the border.
>
> 4) There is a useful general links for how the USA and other nations
> view the risks associated with travel to Egypt:
>
> <http://www.allsafetravels.com/CountryPage.aspx?countryid=149>  (a
> multi-country listing)
>
> See also
> http://www.usembassy-israel.org.il/publish/press/state/archive/1998/april/sd2408.htm
>   (an old alert from the US State department, but it gives you an
> idea how much things have calmed down since 1998).
>
> 5) Here's a recent report from Ha'aretz regarding border tensions, but
> one of the things you should take away from this article is that Egypt
> and Israel are actually discussing with each other how to respond to
> border problems. And, as I said, we won't be on the border.
>
> 6)  Want the fullest possible warning of what can go wrong for
> Americans in Egypt?  You can find it here:  <
> http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html
>  >.  But note how much this document references the Sinai and the
> border, which is where we won't be -- we'll be in Alexandria (a city
> of six million people on the Mediterranean Coast), or in transit to or
> from an airport (probably in Cairo, I'm guessing).
>
> 7) How to register with the local consulate if you're an American:  <
> http://www.travel.state.gov/travel/tips/registration/registration_1186.html
>  >.
>
> 8) Now, everything I've said with regard to safety talks primarily
> about Americans (that's most of the data I could put my hands on in a
> hurry) and, more importantly, assumes nothing about whether we'll be
> prominent as Wikimedians (or whether the protest against images of the
> Prophet on Wikipedia are going to be generating ongoing conflict).
> But it should be noted that there are Muslims everywhere, not just in
> the Middle East, and it can't be assumed that anyone who's not in
> Alexandria as a Wikipedian is necessarily any safer than if they're in
> (to take an obviously relevant example) Amsterdam as a Wikipedian.
>
> I can't give anyone any assurance that the images-of-the-Prophet issue
> won't heat up, or that the political situation in coastal Egypt will
> remain stable, but the evidence we have now suggests that the library
> at Alexandria is a reasonably safe and stable place to hold a
> conference, in my view.
>
>
> --Mike Godwin
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Andrew Whitworth-2
On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Gerard Meijssen
<[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hoi,
>  Thanks,

Yes Mike, this was very helpful and informative, thank you. As an
additional matter, and one that you didn't touch on directly (perhaps
because it's a non-issue and you didn't need to mention it) is the
issue of homosexuals. Assuming our conference attendees maintain a
strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy, will there be any particular
danger to them? I assume not, since you can't punish a person for an
offense you aren't aware of.

--Andrew Whitworth

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Casey Brown-3
The understanding that I have is that there is going to be a further
investigation done by Mike with a specific focus on LGBT Wikipedians
and any risks associated with that.

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:41 PM, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Gerard Meijssen
>  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  > Hoi,
>  >  Thanks,
>
>  Yes Mike, this was very helpful and informative, thank you. As an
>  additional matter, and one that you didn't touch on directly (perhaps
>  because it's a non-issue and you didn't need to mention it) is the
>  issue of homosexuals. Assuming our conference attendees maintain a
>  strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy, will there be any particular
>  danger to them? I assume not, since you can't punish a person for an
>  offense you aren't aware of.
>
>  --Andrew Whitworth
>
>
>
>  _______________________________________________
>  foundation-l mailing list
>  [hidden email]
>  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>



--
Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

---
Note:  This e-mail address is used for mailing lists.  Personal emails sent to
this address will probably get lost.

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Mike Godwin-3
> The understanding that I have is that there is going to be a further
> investigation done by Mike with a specific focus on LGBT Wikipedians
> and any risks associated with that.

Casey is right here. What I posted simply represented my initial fact-
gathering. We are actively looking for a professional threat-
assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible  
threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the  
conference.  (I'd like to ask the community to forward any  
recommendations they have to me -- any feedback at all would be useful.)

Andrew is right to think that the issue of homosexual orientation and/
or conduct needs to be considered.  What I've uncovered so far  
suggests that gay men and women who are not engaging in homosexual  
conduct in a way that confronts the sensibilities of a fairly  
conservative (though officially secular) Muslim culture should have no  
worries.  (Similarly, you probably shouldn't be drinking alcohol in  
the street either.)  I'm trying to get more specific guidelines,  
however.


--Mike




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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

John Reaves
So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
necessary?

--John Reaves

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Jon-146
John Reaves wrote:

> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
> necessary?
>
> --John Reaves
>
> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  
>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>>    
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  
I think safety steps like this should be taken, in all venues - for
every venue.  Prudence.

Yes, a conference needs to be had. :)

./scream
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Chad
In reply to this post by John Reaves
I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
(as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
should be fine.

-Chad

On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>  necessary?
>
>  --John Reaves
>
>
>  On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>  > "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>  > assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>  > threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>  > conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
>  foundation-l mailing list
>  [hidden email]
>  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

M. Williamson
That was the most offensive e-mail I have read yet in this entire
discussion. I am disappointed in this list now more than ever.

Mark

On 06/03/2008, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>  wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>  (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>  should be fine.
>
>
>  -Chad
>
>
>  On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  > So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>  >  necessary?
>  >
>  >  --John Reaves
>  >
>  >
>  >  On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >
>  >  > "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>  >  > assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>  >  > threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>  >  > conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>  >
>  >
>  > _______________________________________________
>  >  foundation-l mailing list
>  >  [hidden email]
>  >  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >
>
>  _______________________________________________
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--
Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Chad
How so? I was replying to John Reeves'
question about whether it was worth
having Wikimania in light of necessary
precautions.

And I commented on the US gay community,
of which I am a member.

What's offensive?

-Chad

On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 7:40 AM, Mark Williamson <[hidden email]> wrote:

> That was the most offensive e-mail I have read yet in this entire
>  discussion. I am disappointed in this list now more than ever.
>
>  Mark
>
>
>
>  On 06/03/2008, Chad <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  > I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>  >  wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>  >  (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>  >  should be fine.
>  >
>  >
>  >  -Chad
>  >
>  >
>  >  On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >  > So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>  >  >  necessary?
>  >  >
>  >  >  --John Reaves
>  >  >
>  >  >
>  >  >  On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >  >
>  >  >  > "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>  >  >  > assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>  >  >  > threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>  >  >  > conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>  >  >
>  >  >
>  >  > _______________________________________________
>  >  >  foundation-l mailing list
>  >  >  [hidden email]
>  >  >  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >  >
>  >
>  >  _______________________________________________
>  >  foundation-l mailing list
>  >  [hidden email]
>  >  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >
>
>
>  --
>  Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.
>
>
>
>  _______________________________________________
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>  Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by Chad
on 3/6/08 7:34 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:

> I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
> wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
> (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
> should be fine.
>
> -Chad

Chad, what exactly does "flaunt their sexuality" mean to you?

Marc Riddell

>
> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>> necessary?
>>
>> --John Reaves
>>
>>
>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>>> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> foundation-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Oldak
In reply to this post by M. Williamson
Thank you Mike for addressing these issues and investigating them.

On 06/03/2008, Andrew Whitworth <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 5:04 PM, Gerard Meijssen
>  <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  > Hoi,
>  >  Thanks,
>
>  Yes Mike, this was very helpful and informative, thank you. As an
>  additional matter, and one that you didn't touch on directly (perhaps
>  because it's a non-issue and you didn't need to mention it) is the
>  issue of homosexuals. Assuming our conference attendees maintain a
>  strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy, will there be any particular
>  danger to them? I assume not, since you can't punish a person for an
>  offense you aren't aware of.

My concern isn't that homosexual Wikimedians will be in danger if they
don't tell anyone, it is that homosexual Wikimedians must actively
hide their sexuality. By "hide", I'm not talking about not having sex
in public (as some posters have suggested), or even hand-holding
(which most homosexuals don't feel comfortable to do in the UK). The
former is laughable, the latter is dispensable.

Does the "don't ask, don't tell" policy extend to not mentioning that
you have a partner to others? If a Wikimedian attends with a same-sex
partner, should they not tell people they are partners? Should they
not tell people they are staying in the same room? I don't think many
homosexuals are interested in saying "I'm a homosexual" for the sake
of saying it or making it known for the sake of making it known:
heterosexuals don't have to make such an announcement and there's not
an expectation that heterosexuals make it clear that they are
attracted to people of the opposite sex.

The concern is that while heterosexual Wikimedians may attend with
their other-sex partner and let others know that they are partners,
homosexual Wikimedians wouldn't have the same freedom under a "don't
ask, don't tell" policy.

--
Oldak Quill ([hidden email])

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Chad
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
Marc,

Oldak said exactly what I was meaning, so his reply
is probably more elegant than mine.

By "flaunting their sexuality," I was referring to being openly
gay with a partner, holding hands, sharing a room, that kind
of thing. I guess "flaunting" was a bad choice of words, "publicly
displaying" would probably be closer to my point.

Sorry for any confusion.

-Chad

On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 7:59 AM, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> on 3/6/08 7:34 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>
>  > I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>  > wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>  > (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>  > should be fine.
>  >
>  > -Chad
>
>  Chad, what exactly does "flaunt their sexuality" mean to you?
>
>  Marc Riddell
>
>
>
>  >
>  > On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>  >> necessary?
>  >>
>  >> --John Reaves
>  >>
>  >>
>  >> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >>
>  >>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>  >>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>  >>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>  >>> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>  >>
>  >>
>  >> _______________________________________________
>  >> foundation-l mailing list
>  >> [hidden email]
>  >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >>
>  >
>  > _______________________________________________
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>
>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

daniwo59
 
In a message dated 3/6/2008 8:10:05 AM Eastern Standard Time,  
[hidden email] writes:

By  "flaunting their sexuality," I was referring to being openly
gay with a  partner, holding hands, sharing a room, that kind
of thing. I guess  "flaunting" was a bad choice of words, "publicly
displaying" would probably  be closer to my point.



A quick comment here: I think that in a conservative society people would  
expect men to share a room with men and women to share a room with women. That  
would not be raising any eyebrows.
 
As for two men holding hands in public, one of the first things I noticed  in
my first exposure to Middle Eastern culture is that it is actually quite  
common for two men to walk down the street hand in hand. This is no more a sign  
of their sexuality than two men kissing each other on the cheek when meeting
in  some parts of Europe or the Middle East.
 
Anecdotally, in the 1980s my friends and I used to love watching the  
Jordanian English news at 10 pm every night. The opening line was always "His  
Majesty the King today ..." which was often followed by our having  a betting pool
over how many people he would kiss.
 
D



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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Marc Riddell
In reply to this post by Chad
Thanks, Chad, for your clarification. I am frankly amazed by the decision to
hold the event in Alexandria. Given what has been said about the cultural
and social attitudes toward homosexuality; it would be like having a
sponsored gathering in 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, and telling the
African-Americans not to "flaunt their blackness". It is one of the most
insensitive decisions I have heard an institution make in a long time.

Be healthy,

Marc


on 3/6/08 8:09 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:

> Marc,
>
> Oldak said exactly what I was meaning, so his reply
> is probably more elegant than mine.
>
> By "flaunting their sexuality," I was referring to being openly
> gay with a partner, holding hands, sharing a room, that kind
> of thing. I guess "flaunting" was a bad choice of words, "publicly
> displaying" would probably be closer to my point.
>
> Sorry for any confusion.
>
> -Chad
>
> On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 7:59 AM, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> on 3/6/08 7:34 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>>
>>> I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>>> wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>>> (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>>> should be fine.
>>>
>>> -Chad
>>
>> Chad, what exactly does "flaunt their sexuality" mean to you?
>>
>> Marc Riddell
>>
>>
>>
>>>
>>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>>>> necessary?
>>>>
>>>> --John Reaves
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>>>>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>>>>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>>>>> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> foundation-l mailing list
>>>> [hidden email]
>>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> foundation-l mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Gatto Nero
In reply to this post by Oldak
On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 1:59 PM, Oldak Quill <[hidden email]> wrote:

>  Does the "don't ask, don't tell" policy extend to not mentioning that
>  you have a partner to others? If a Wikimedian attends with a same-sex
>  partner, should they not tell people they are partners? Should they
>  not tell people they are staying in the same room? I don't think many
>  homosexuals are interested in saying "I'm a homosexual" for the sake
>  of saying it or making it known for the sake of making it known:
>  heterosexuals don't have to make such an announcement and there's not
>  an expectation that heterosexuals make it clear that they are
>  attracted to people of the opposite sex.

Most interesting by a "conference" point of view: it will be obviously
prohibited to hold a speech regarding "wikipedia/news/whatever and
diversity".
Maybe Jimbo could hold it, as he said, but: noone will be able to
speak or intervene saying "I'm homosexual and I think that...".

(Oh, but my opinion will be of course considered as uncivil, as I'm
moderated. People telling to "not flaunt your homosexuality" are more
civil: I will take that lesson.)

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Chad
In reply to this post by Marc Riddell
Interesting analogy.

Although granted, it is moderately easier to hide your
sexual orientation than it is to hide your skin color. Not
trying to justify it though, as one should not be forced to
pretend to be someone they're not.


-Chad

On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 8:23 AM, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Thanks, Chad, for your clarification. I am frankly amazed by the decision to
>  hold the event in Alexandria. Given what has been said about the cultural
>  and social attitudes toward homosexuality; it would be like having a
>  sponsored gathering in 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, and telling the
>  African-Americans not to "flaunt their blackness". It is one of the most
>  insensitive decisions I have heard an institution make in a long time.
>
>  Be healthy,
>
>  Marc
>
>
>
>
>  on 3/6/08 8:09 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>
>  > Marc,
>  >
>  > Oldak said exactly what I was meaning, so his reply
>  > is probably more elegant than mine.
>  >
>  > By "flaunting their sexuality," I was referring to being openly
>  > gay with a partner, holding hands, sharing a room, that kind
>  > of thing. I guess "flaunting" was a bad choice of words, "publicly
>  > displaying" would probably be closer to my point.
>  >
>  > Sorry for any confusion.
>  >
>  > -Chad
>  >
>  > On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 7:59 AM, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]>
>  > wrote:
>  >> on 3/6/08 7:34 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>  >>
>  >>> I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>  >>> wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>  >>> (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>  >>> should be fine.
>  >>>
>  >>> -Chad
>  >>
>  >> Chad, what exactly does "flaunt their sexuality" mean to you?
>  >>
>  >> Marc Riddell
>  >>
>  >>
>  >>
>  >>>
>  >>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >>>> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like this are
>  >>>> necessary?
>  >>>>
>  >>>> --John Reaves
>  >>>>
>  >>>>
>  >>>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  >>>>
>  >>>>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>  >>>>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>  >>>>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>  >>>>> conference." <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>  >>>>
>  >>>>
>  >>>> _______________________________________________
>  >>>> foundation-l mailing list
>  >>>> [hidden email]
>  >>>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >>>>
>  >>>
>  >>> _______________________________________________
>  >>> foundation-l mailing list
>  >>> [hidden email]
>  >>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >>
>  >>
>  >> _______________________________________________
>  >> foundation-l mailing list
>  >> [hidden email]
>  >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>  >>
>  >
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>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians inAlexandria

Philippe Beaudette
Just to carry the analogy to extremes, it's also a lot easier to be
persecuted for false assumptions about one's sexuality than one's skin color
(ie, law enforcement makes up their own mind about your sexuality, but not
skin color...)

But I've seen no evidence of profiling of that type, to clarify.

Philippe

--------------------------------------------------
From: "Chad" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:52 AM
To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Concern for the safety of Wikimanians
inAlexandria

> Interesting analogy.
>
> Although granted, it is moderately easier to hide your
> sexual orientation than it is to hide your skin color. Not
> trying to justify it though, as one should not be forced to
> pretend to be someone they're not.
>
>
> -Chad
>
> On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 8:23 AM, Marc Riddell <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> Thanks, Chad, for your clarification. I am frankly amazed by the decision
>> to
>>  hold the event in Alexandria. Given what has been said about the
>> cultural
>>  and social attitudes toward homosexuality; it would be like having a
>>  sponsored gathering in 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, and telling the
>>  African-Americans not to "flaunt their blackness". It is one of the most
>>  insensitive decisions I have heard an institution make in a long time.
>>
>>  Be healthy,
>>
>>  Marc
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>  on 3/6/08 8:09 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>>
>>  > Marc,
>>  >
>>  > Oldak said exactly what I was meaning, so his reply
>>  > is probably more elegant than mine.
>>  >
>>  > By "flaunting their sexuality," I was referring to being openly
>>  > gay with a partner, holding hands, sharing a room, that kind
>>  > of thing. I guess "flaunting" was a bad choice of words, "publicly
>>  > displaying" would probably be closer to my point.
>>  >
>>  > Sorry for any confusion.
>>  >
>>  > -Chad
>>  >
>>  > On Thu, Mar 6, 2008 at 7:59 AM, Marc Riddell
>> <[hidden email]>
>>  > wrote:
>>  >> on 3/6/08 7:34 AM, Chad at [hidden email] wrote:
>>  >>
>>  >>> I would say so. Mike seems to think that as long as the
>>  >>> wikimedian gay community doesn't flaunt their sexuality
>>  >>> (as gay men in the US seem to do all the time), they
>>  >>> should be fine.
>>  >>>
>>  >>> -Chad
>>  >>
>>  >> Chad, what exactly does "flaunt their sexuality" mean to you?
>>  >>
>>  >> Marc Riddell
>>  >>
>>  >>
>>  >>
>>  >>>
>>  >>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 11:37 PM, John Reaves
>> <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  >>>> So is it really worth having the conference there if steps like
>> this are
>>  >>>> necessary?
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>> --John Reaves
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>> On Wed, Mar 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM, Mike Godwin <[hidden email]>
>> wrote:
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>>> "We are actively looking for a professional threat-
>>  >>>>> assessment firm to consult regarding the full range of possible
>>  >>>>> threats we might have to deal with in holding and attending the
>>  >>>>> conference."
>> <https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l>
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>> _______________________________________________
>>  >>>> foundation-l mailing list
>>  >>>> [hidden email]
>>  >>>> Unsubscribe:
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>  >>>>
>>  >>>
>>  >>> _______________________________________________
>>  >>> foundation-l mailing list
>>  >>> [hidden email]
>>  >>> Unsubscribe:
>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>>  >>
>>  >>
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>>  >> [hidden email]
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>> https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
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>>  >
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>>
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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians inAlexandria

Oldak
On 06/03/2008, Philippe Beaudette <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Just to carry the analogy to extremes, it's also a lot easier to be
>  persecuted for false assumptions about one's sexuality than one's skin color
>  (ie, law enforcement makes up their own mind about your sexuality, but not
>  skin color...)
>
>  But I've seen no evidence of profiling of that type, to clarify.
>
>  Philippe

From a BBC News Online article
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/crossing_continents/1858469.stm):

"The police told the man to take down his trousers. They wanted to see
if he was wearing typical Egyptian underwear - baggy white cotton. If
he was not, they said he must be a homosexual. He failed the test.

The police started to beat him. They tortured him for three days. Six
months later he still has scars on his arms and back."

--
Oldak Quill ([hidden email])

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Re: Concern for the safety of Wikimanians in Alexandria

Mike Godwin-3
In reply to this post by Chad

Marc Riddell writes:

>  Thanks, Chad, for your clarification. I am frankly amazed by the  
> decision to
> hold the event in Alexandria. Given what has been said about the  
> cultural
> and social attitudes toward homosexuality; it would be like having a
> sponsored gathering in 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, and telling the
> African-Americans not to "flaunt their blackness". It is one of the  
> most
> insensitive decisions I have heard an institution make in a long time.

I want to be clear about one point -- no one at the Foundation has  
urged anyone not to "flaunt" anything at Wikimania.

There is plenty of reason to believe that all sorts of expressions of  
affection between men or between women are acceptable public behavior  
in Alexandria (as in many other cultures).  As I've said, I'm  
consulting with a number of sources to obtain good guidelines for all  
of us to follow. I hope to have further useful information soon.


--Mike





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