DPW vs The Org: Labor Relations Board Ruling

Towards the end of last year, we heard about a big case – one that dealt with issues that Burners who create Black Rock City have had for many years with the organization that collects the money and *ahem* saves it for future roadworks. Here’s a similarly themed protest from 2007:

It doesn’t seem like things have changed much in 11 years. BMorg’s attitude seems to always have been “DPW are volunteers, they can leave any time they want, they should be grateful we give them some food and money and social cachet”.

So what happened with this case?

The only media coverage I saw was in the Reno Gazette-Journal, first from 10-year volunteer Jessica Reeder:

In 2014, it all changed. The event was growing faster than the crew. The work got too hard, the days too long, and collectively, many of the crew realized we wanted to “gift” a little less of our sanity and health. A member of my crew started organizing for labor rights.

Burning Man, to its credit, improved working conditions somewhat. It started feeding laborers for the full season, for example, and instituted a transparent structure for those who do get paychecks. However, the company still “encourages volunteerism,”  asks workers to camp in the dirt for months — and last year, fired the crew member who was suggesting we unionize.

My coworker took his case to the National Labor Relations Board. In a settlement last month, Burning Man compensated him for lost wages, and notified the entire workforce of their right to fair treatment under the law. That’s not an admission of guilt, but it also doesn’t indicate innocence. My coworker was not the first to agitate for better working conditions; and whether it’s coincidental or not, the people who complained did not tend to keep their jobs.

It’s shocking to consider that Burning Man, a people-oriented nonprofit, would do anything other than invest in the health and happiness of its workforce. As a company whose strength is its people, I hope Burning Man will take the lead in treating its crew like a valuable resource, instead of continuing to expect them to “gift” their own lives and well-being.

[Source]

The story is not exactly critical of BMorg. Still, it was quickly followed up by another op-ed in the same paper by Joanne Fahnestock

I’m not sure where to begin in my response to Jessica Reeder’s column about Burning Man doing right by its volunteers (“Is 2018 the year Burning Man starts doing right by its workers?,” Jan. 14.)

The obvious first would be: What is the National Labor Relations Board doing getting involved with a volunteer? “Volunteer” says it all. You do not get paid and you can leave whenever you want. If someone wants to change that, it certainly should not occur while you’re accepting the position of volunteer worker.

I agree, the conditions at Burning Man are brutal — hot during the day, cold at night and windy and dusty all the time. You bring your own food, shelter and water. This is all made very clear at the start.

And if it was not clear to you when you signed up, it would be apparent as soon as you got there. You can leave at any time. There is no contract, no obligation. You stay or
you don’t.

One of the 10 principles of Burning Man is gifting time, energy, money, kindness. And it does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value. Clearly this is a misunderstood principle that neither the workers who filed the complaint, the ones trying to organize or the National Labor Relations Board comprehend.

I have been going to Burning Man for over 10 years and I gift my time. I do not expect anything in return. It is an experience I cannot begin to describe to anyone who has not been there. I expect nothing from the Burning Man Organization. I get so much more than they could possibly give me in dollars.

And when I choose to no longer go to Burning Man, I won’t go.

Doing the right thing is living by the 10 principles. Some are easier than others, but they are always voluntary.

[Source]

I wonder if this preachy person has any idea what it is like in the weeks and months leading up to Burning Man, building Black Rock City. Burning Man is hard enough with free pancakes and carcass washing, spare a thought for the people that are laboring long days in the sun and dust constructing things without any of that infrastructure being available to them.

There were no comments to either of these stories, although the case did draw some commentary from long-time Carson City critic Guy W Farmer. There were a few complaints about the obvious shill story on Reddit:

[Source]

There is some further discussion at this other r/BurningMan thread about the class divide between paid and unpaid workers and the rich tech bro clientele putting $12 million cash in the Org’s bank.

Jessica Reeder’s original story links to the National Labor Relations Board case information, which doesn’t shed much light:

Screenshot 2018-07-17 15.03.35

BMorg retained a notorious union-busting law firm to represent them against their worker.

I followed the instructions to obtain a copy through the FOIA system. Personal Identifying Information has been redacted by the government.

The plaintiff charges that they were dismissed for (1)discussing and (2)protesting their pay and working conditions.

In the settlement agreement, Burning Man did not acknowledge that they had violated the National Labor Relations Act, but paid the employee in full.

The key finding is that DPW have the right to unionize, and BMorg has been forced to inform all its (200) workers of that.

So there you have it. They will “not refuse to rehire” anyone who complains about working conditions. At least, that’s what they say. YMMV.

Here’s the full documentation:

NLRB-2018-000431_Responsive_Records_Redacted_FINAL

NLRB-2018-000431_Responsive_Records_Redacted_FINAL

Save Kal’s Robots

Original Burner Kal Spelletich is getting evicted from his warehouse, and is raising funds to help him move his massive collection of robots, hardware and tools. Kal was the first to bring robots and flamethrowers to Burning Man. Given this years I, Robot theme, you’d think the Org could assist. Donate here.


Re-blogged from https://www.gofundme.com/save-kals-robots

I’m getting evicted from my warehouse studio. I urgently need your help to raise $10K to relocate in the next month. I’ve hand built hundreds of robots, fire machines, and held jaw dropping events in the past 25 years in the warehouse. This is where I built the first ever flamethrowers and robots used at Burning Man in the ’90’s. I hosted music, noise and art events with the likes of the Bicycle Rodeo, Mitch Altman, Matt Heckert of Survival Research Laboratories, Heather Dewey-Hagborg to name a few and exhibitions with and for many many other artists and art groups (more below).
31144670_1531028786659139_r.jpeg
I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists. All with NO grants, no outside support, no gallery sales and no renting to tech businesses. In 1995 when I moved in the street was dirt and littered with abandoned cars and homeless everywhere, prostitution rings and  crack-heads lurking to rob you.
It was the project that should have never worked: an artist supporting artists by sharing below market rent.
Yet the 25 year run of people, events, exhibits are a testament to art over commerce.
Now, like virtually all other artists in San Francisco, I’m getting evicted.
I will keep making art. I will keep supporting others who make art and are active for change.
Sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart for any support you can offer.
It has been a gift to share my space with so many amazing people. I’m looking ahead to how I can keep doing this for the next 25 years.

BACKSTORY
Rented way back in 1995, my space is was one of the last remaining raw warehouse art spaces and I made it into a home for experimental, non commercial art. I hosted jaw-dropping, fire spewing, ear shattering robot performances, music, noise and art events with the likes of Chris Johanson, Johanna Jackson, Marie Lornez and her epic boat, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Matt Heckert.
31144670_1531028846834830_r.jpeg
I held numerous events like a mayoral fundraiser for the Green Party, art exhibits, housed visiting artists, when countless friends were getting evicted during the first dot-com I supported multiple people in distress, supported homeless folks giving food, sustenance, supplies and more,  writers, dancers, painters and activists; provided emergency art storage and live / work studios way way under market rates.
I did all this without grants or outside support.
31144670_1531029403379666_r.jpeg
No trust funds, patrons or high paying side jobs here. I passed along the cheap rent.

I provided housing and studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists and radical journalists like Trevor Paglen, AC Thompson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, worked on Survival Research Laboratories shows, and countless others.
My life and warehouse were the inspiration for Rudy Rucker’s sci-fi novel Realware.  Another book that wouldn’t have happened without my warehouse is Streetopia.
31144670_1531029458684851_r.jpeg
Here’s some of what I’ve accomplished in the 25 years of working steadily in one place:

As seen on the Discovery Channel  this past year, I built some 16’ tall mind-reading Robots with Mitch Altman

OMG I was in the New York Times  ! Thrice!

Here I am waxing poetically  in a short doc with some shots of the studio I am losing.

PBS

140K views, this  was listed as the most dangerous art in the world in an article:

This  was done by some college students that went on to win awards and launch their careers.

I was the first to bring robots  and flamethrowers  to  Burning Man.

For more see here:
https://kaltek.wordpress.com/pressmedia/
31144670_1531029526993768_r.jpeg
This moment is uniquely busy: I am creating pieces for my first museum show at St. Mary’s College Art Museum in Moraga, CA in 2019 and a concurrent solo show at Catherine Clark Gallery in San Francisco.

Over the past two months since getting the notice to get out, I have undergone massive upheaval.

Over the past 38 years I’ve built momentum. Losing this is NOT an option.

REQUEST
I’m asking for $10K.

$50K, including payments in-kind (temporary workshop and storage) so far, is my minimum to keep going; to relocate some of my tools and all of my projects to a new permanent studio space and get robot storage as soon as possible.

In-kind payments from friends already: a temporary workshop, temporary storage for some of my work  and referrals to a tenant’s rights lawyer.

I’ve been awarded a spot at the Stochastic Labs to work on my artificial organ project this summer.

And I sort of have a live space.

NEED BREAKDOWN
– Move out: debris boxes, rental truck, labor, hauling $20K

– Permanent storage: a barn or a shipping container and/or a space to park it in the Greater Bay Area (another payment in kind opportunity!) $10K

– Lawyers fees: $10K (and up)

With another $10K I can breathe a sigh of relief as far as paying MORE lawyers (ugg), more moving & hauling costs, outfitting new workspace, overhead for long term  storage (some robots are BIG), and  preparing for upcoming exhibits in the Fall of 2018 and all of 2019 (some of the best opportunities of my career).

31144670_1531029577761484_r.jpeg
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
My entire art career has been a risk and a challenge. I’m on year 38 as an artist.

I’m working to make everything fall into place to keep momentum for the next couple of years—some of the most important in my life.

A main concern is my old, tired body. Formerly broken fingers and limbs – my art wounds- flare up now and then. One is nothing without their health.

Sorting through and moving 25 years of equipment and materials on my own is a major challenge.

There’s always a risk with a renter’s lawsuit. It could lose and if it does it’s possible I could be sued for a lot more than I have ever made or will ever make in the rest of my life. Much more than I’m asking for right now.

From my activist work, organizing marches, prop making and self survival and safety in violent confrontations with power, to traveling the world showing and making art, in India, Africa, all over the U.S. and Europe the 25 years in this space have been spectacular, as an artist,  not going to stop, ever, this I know. The challenge is to keep that momentum moving forward at this stressful and critical juncture.

——————
Karl Marx was right, Capitalism doesn’t work without gaming private property!

I never gamed this art space, never rented to tech bros or overcharged tenants. Some said I was a fool, I just did what I hoped someone would do for me.
————–

ABOUT ME
For 38 years, Kal has been exploring the interface of humans and robots, using technology to put people back in touch with real-life experiences. His work is interactive, requiring participants to enter or operate his pieces, often against their instincts of self-preservation. He probes the boundaries between fear, control and exhilaration by giving his audience the opportunity to operate and control fascinating and often dangerous machinery.

Born and raised in Davenport, Iowa, the seventh of nine children. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, and an M.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, both in the field of Media Art. He has performed, exhibited and lectured worldwide, collaborating with scientists, musicians, and politicians. Spelletich’s work has been included in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions over the past three decades, including the De Young Museum, SFMOMA, The Exploratorium Museum and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, S.F., Ca., California Folk Art Museum, L.A., CA, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA, and Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA. He has exhibited internationally in Namibia, India, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Croatia, France, Czech Republic, Holland, England, Slovakia and Austria. Spelletich lives and works in San Francisco, California.

In 2019 his work will be shown in a solo museum exhibit at St. Mary’s College of Art Museum in Orinda, CA, and a concurrent solo exhibit at the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco, CA as well as other shows.
31144670_1531029610246208_r.jpeg

Bear’s Tribute to Larry

Burning Man’s former Social Alchemist Bear Kittay shares his memories of Larry Harvey, as well as some insight into how Larry’s crowning achievement of a permanent, year-round Philosophy Center came together.


Guest Post by Bear Kittay

“Burning Man’s a self-service cult, you wash your own brain.” -Larry Harvey
Larry Harvey. Visionary, poet, iconoclast, beat, muse, my friend. We had our glorious ups, and some terrific and intense downs together. Spirited debate and philosophical sparring. As Global Ambassador, I had the privilege of accompanying Larry to the likes of Turkey, Ibiza, London, Paris and beyond. Our connection was potent, originating with transgenerational juxtaposition of the significance of Burning Man as a cultural phenomenon through the lens of ancient history, culture, commerce and technology.
.
Larry’s enigmatic approach definitively set the trajectory for Burning Man as a movement, with genius foresight, protecting the “anti-brand” at all costs, both stewarding this as the gold standard of what I like to call “post-capitalistic social physics” in it’s ephemeral event, and, much to my millennial chagrin at moments, arguably diminishing its capacity to collectively evolve into a true movement beyond himself as the “anti-cult” leader. This is not to say that he didn’t possibly have the most genius plan for scale of all: to restrict the organizational capacity and thus force function the diaspora to scale independently, powered by the remarkably relevant Ten Principles, as it most certainly has. But possibly nowhere on earth is there a community with more capacity and demand to govern itself with decentralized ageny in earnest than Burning Man.
.
Larry didn’t have a formal succession plan. To his, and the other “founders” credit, they sacrificed financial gain for the protection of decommodification in earnest by giving up their ownership in the LLC to the nonprofit. But, from my personal experience, true evolutionary governance for Burning Man during his reign was not something that interested him. In a lesser known act, he and the “founders” retained control of the Intellectual Property of Burning Man in an entity most ironically named “Decommodification LLC”, and kept this governed independently of the Burning Man Project non-profit and it’s wider Board of Directors.
.
I haven’t spoken or written publicly about my experience co-leading the acquisition of Fly Ranch. It really should be a book. Thrilling emotional saga to say the least. So much complexity – a true miracle that we were able to pull it off despite so many obstacles (notwithstanding ourselves). It was Larry‘s last unrealized prophecy for Burning Man. Three attempts, over 15+ years, had been made to acquire the property but none successful. It was this challenge that turned me on and my beloved Katiyana and I, along with a devoted team (Daniel Claussen, James Milner & countless others), dedicated two years of our lives to fulfilling this dream. It was with a great deal of hubris, naïveté and unbridled passion that we gave this our all, leveraging introductions to weave directly to the very titans of industry within the community who had the capacity to write the extremely unconventional types of checks necessary to both fund the enormity of the project and the patience and care to tolerate the unwillingness to plan what would happen there or commit to how it would be governed, not to mention the eccentric personalities and bizarre bureaucracy.
.
And how we did the “sales”… was a legend of its on accord. During Burning Man in 2014, and 2015, Katiyana led the “top-secret operation” where we organized discrete “tours” of Fly Ranch during the event. Some of these were more structured via first camp, while others were nothing short of rouge playful kidnapping raids on billionaires through the back gate of Black Rock City (known as Point One) and back for dinner. Naked, singing, visionary, shamanic, philosophical, sexy… many forms of magic occurred. But these relationships and moments together transcended time and space, and laid the foundation for the leap of faith required to close the transaction at long last, as well as an “unofficial” ecosystem beyond.
.
And it was in the 11th hour as the funding and acquisition became a reality that I had my moment with Larry, pleading with him to, for the sake of his legacy, commit to more inclusive process and governance design that would demonstrate Fly Ranch as a V2 for Burning Man. A laboratory to prototype the future of human civilization and bring the processes, best practices and of course, magic of Burning Man to the world at large. We didn’t see eye to eye, but continued to have respect for each other even going through the predictable (to most but not me at the time) break up that followed. When we finally closed the transaction on my 31st birthday, June 6 2016, it was clear my 4 year stint of time serving in the Burning Man Global Government-Aristocracy-Church-Nonprofit was up. Bittersweet breakup. Ego death. Life lessons that money could never buy.
.
My last conversation with Larry, I bumped into him outside of his apartment on Alamo Square in San Francisco. We spent two hours in a passionate conversation (with the typical plumes of Larry smoke) where I explained to him all that I had been learning about the Blockchain and its capacity to provide a grand template for evolutionary governance. He was skeptically intrigued. I left feeling a deep sense of reverent satisfaction and walked across the park…
.
And now Larry’s gone. A transition in a time of transition. What will the future hold for Burning Man? Has the movement evolved beyond the event? Are the many connotations of Burning Man now amassed in a lexicon of terms and verbs more broadly such that the burden of post-capitalist / decentralized leadership is no longer on the organization to steward?
.
The longer that has gone by since we parted ways, the more wisdom I realize was gleamed from him. In a world of binary, quantifiable, branded paradigms, Larry was an artist of the coyote: diagonal, sarcastic, socratic. He wouldn’t give you direct answers, he would ask vexing and whimsical questions. He wouldn’t tell you what it was, he would only ruminate upon it’s reflections. Thank you Larry Harvey. Your irreverent genius will always accompany me somewhere deep in my conscience. Although you claimed to be an atheist, I do wonder if you are consciously prancing somewhere in another realm far beyond… I hope to see you there.
🐻❤🙏🙏🙏
-Bear

Acton v Goodman – Was Charleston Dirty Bomb Hoax an FBI Operation? [Updates]

[Update: some new analysis from Tracking the Leopard Meroz, go to their site for a summary]

Parties

The general description states, “This complaint alleges that the defendant, and his cooperative of wrongdoers, operate in alignment on social media for a common purpose.  By staging fake news, raising public alarm, spreading junk science, using deception to implement the Port hoax, etc. are rewarded with the expectation of remuneration, increases in their financial status and receipt of other such pecuniary advantages and benefits”.

There are 7 Parties described in detail:

The Plaintiff-Certified in Critical Infrastructure Protection

Wrong-doer Multimedia System Design, Inc.

Crowdsource the Truth– Racketeering Enterprise

Defendant Jason Goodman – Coordinator of CSTT RICO Cartel

Wrong-doer George Webb Sweigert – “Investigative Journalist”

Wrong-doer Deep Uranium – “Confidential Source” of Hoax

Wrong-Doer Quinn Michaels -Team Tyler Hacker Network

Specific Allegations:  Ten Counts (in the original complaint 5 were listed)

Count One:  MDSI Operates as a Racketeering Enterprise

Count Two: MDSI/CSTT Closure of the Wando Welch Terminal at the Port of Charleston

Count Three: Fraudulent “Hudson Intelligence Group”

Count Four:  Conspiracy to Defraud The United States

Count Five:  Murder For Hire Activities on the Darknet

Count Six:  Hoax Assassination Plots

Count Seven:  Malicious State Actors Deny Civil Rights

Count Eight:  Trafficking in Personally Identifiable Information

Count Nine:  Tampering With A Witness

Count Ten:  Abuse of Court Processes by a Federally Protected Witness

More at Tracking the Leopard Meroz


Original Story:

Following on from the news that Dave “Acton” Sweigert sued The Mouth That Roared Jason Goodman in South Carolina court…

The plaintiff has filed a significantly amended complaint.

Perhaps adding fuel to the fire of rumors that Dave Acton Sweigert and George Webb Sweigert are the same person, Dave has chosen to file in court as “D. George Sweigert”. He is demanding a jury trial. The Exhibits share some of the mainstream media coverage of the port shutdown and his own credentials as a Homeland Security Critical Infrastructure expert. 

5-main
5-1

 

The significant development in this claim is the involvement of an FBI contract informant in the Crowdsourced LARP. Is that why nobody got in trouble for shutting a whole port down from a YouTube livestream?

The informant in question is allegedly Okey Marshall Richards, Jr, who has gone by the aliases “Deep Uranium”, “Rock Hudson”, and “Mr Hudson” in about 30 YouTube shows with these operatives. The “MidWest Conspiracy Theorist” is presumably the plaintiff’s brother George Webb. Webb has claimed to be part of “old Mossad” with many global intelligence connections, including a friendship with #pizzagate accused James Alefantis. George Webb is no stranger to FBI informants either, having written an Op-Ed about them for North Star Post in 2015 before launching his crowdsourced journalism career.

[via Tracking the Leopard Meroz]

Jason Goodman’s co-conspirator Quinn Michaels, aka Korey Atkins, has also claimed to be an FBI informant. Jason recently came to New Zealand to interview Vinny Eastwood about suspected operative Pete Santilli. Despite Vinny presenting a large amount of evidence to Jason of Santilli’s FBI involvement, Jason Goodman subsequently went on Pete’s show and proclaimed him his friend.

Then there is Goodman himself:

There are an awfully large number of FBI connections to this operation. In that context, is this a coincidence?


You can find the public court documents for yourself on PACER.

Sweigert vs Goodman (South Carolina) 2:18-cv-01633

Steele vs Goodman (Virginia – Eastern) 3:17-cv-601 

Dave Sweigert has also made 7 separate filings (so far) in support of Robert David Steele’s lawsuit , detailing some of his own harassment and defamation by this gang. His filing address is Greenbrae, Marin County.

51-main
51-1

54
55
56
  58
59
60

Goodman, who appears to be representing himself as pro se defendant and claims he’s a journalist because “anyone can be a journalist just like anyone can be a photographer”, has filed a number of motions to dismiss Steele’s suit as frivolous…but so far the case continues.

44
52

 

Goodman has also responded by having the Becks (of the fatal DNC lawsuit fame) on his show to discuss “Litigation as a weapon of mass destruction”.


 

[Update July 10 2018]

The plaintiff has filed a number of updated motions. He is claiming a large number of instances of copyright violations by the defendant.

The case has been referred to Judge Bristow Marchant, who presided over the Dylann Storm Roof mass shooting case (explored here by Miles Mathis – h/t Queen Tut).

This motion is asking the Court to recognize that Goodman’s discussing the case on his YouTube channel indicates his acceptance that he has been served.

7-main
7-2

This motion is seeking an injunction against the Defendant to cease copyright infringement on social media platforms.

8-main
8-1
8-3

So far the defendant Jason Goodman has not filed any response.

 

CryptoBeast #11 with Special Guest Joe Atwill – Quatuor Coronati, Theosophy and the Z’s

Could it be that Zionism and Nazism both came from the same place? Was Anti-Semitism invented by these same people as a weaponized form of social engineering?

Scholar, independent researcher and semi-retired tech entrepreneur Joe Atwill joins scholar, independent researcher and semi-retired tech entrepreneur Steve Outtrim for a look into the mysterious research lodge Quatuor Coronati and its role in world history. John Yarker’s Masonic initiation of both Aleister Crowley and Helena Blavatsky is discussed, as is the connections between Montagu Norman and Theosophy, and Blavatsky and Hitler’s occult backers the Thule Society. We look into the Masonic and Black Nobility banking origins of Zionism, Theosophy, Nazism and Anti-Semitism.

Please support what I’m doing by Following me as many places as you can. I’m on:
Bitcoin (donations always gratefully accepted): 1EBRT8McLP1FtqTk6B6rpcDDocz9CesiXk
Ethereum (donations gratefully accepted, I send tokens back): 0xFf95EC077692DEAf74701651a83AF554E4c30064
Get some ZEA with +50% bonus: https://etherical.io/tokensale?bonus=BEAST
Buy your first Bitcoin at Coinbase (easy!): https://www.coinbase.com/join/5a1d097…
Sign up for Binance to trade alt-coins: https://www.binance.com/?ref=19039236