Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

.taro.

Rally thoughts and concerns

Recommended Posts

I'm starting this new thread as a place for people to post their thoughts and concerns regarding the "white civil rights rally" that is proposed to be held in DC, about 1 mile away, overlapping with the Saturday and Sunday of Otakon.

From what is currently known, the National Park Service has approved the initial request, but I have not heard that the permit has actually been issued.

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/21/622144455/white-civil-rights-rally-approved-for-d-c-in-august

That staff at Otakon a very aware of the existence of the rally and are working very closely with the convention center and Events DC to make sure they provide an environment where all our members can have a safe and enjoyable time at Otakon.

I'm not on the Otakorp BoD, I'm not speaking for them, please see the official statement here: https://www.otakon.com/news/2018/06/22/otakon-s-official-statement-regarding-proposed-rally-near-the-convention/

We've posted some safety tips here: https://www.otakon.com/info/attend/safety/

Otakon is a crazy, amazing, wondrous time where our incredibly diverse (sometimes dysfunctional) ota-family comes together so celebrate all the things we love.  This rally goes against almost all of that, and with how things went last year, it's right for people to be concerned.

Please keep the topics on the thread related to concerns as they relate to the convention itself, not on the ideology of the rally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/3/2018 at 12:27 PM, .taro. said:

From what is currently known, the National Park Service has approved the initial request, but I have not heard that the permit has actually been issued.

I know people keep repeating this fact in a hopeful manner, but is there any reason to actually believe they will not get a permit when the request has been approved? Isn't it just a technicality that they have not yet been issued the permit, similar to how my membership for Otakon has been approved, but my badge has not yet been issued? Is there any precedent for requests being approved, but then the permit is not issued? What might cause that to occur?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Krabstarr said:

I know people keep repeating this fact in a hopeful manner, but is there any reason to actually believe they will not get a permit when the request has been approved? Isn't it just a technicality that they have not yet been issued the permit, similar to how my membership for Otakon has been approved, but my badge has not yet been issued? Is there any precedent for requests being approved, but then the permit is not issued? What might cause that to occur?

Well good news! there is word that the permit is going to get denied (highly likely) and the rally will not happen! *wipes sweet of forhead* 

This is coming from a source I trust. I’ll edit the post later when I find the tweet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Yukimi Kazari said:

Well good news! there is word that the permit is going to get denied (highly likely) and the rally will not happen! *wipes sweet of forhead* 

This is coming from a source I trust. I’ll edit the post later when I find the tweet. 

Phew. Still, I'm glad I got insurance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/5/2018 at 5:56 AM, Krabstarr said:

I know people keep repeating this fact in a hopeful manner, but is there any reason to actually believe they will not get a permit when the request has been approved? Isn't it just a technicality that they have not yet been issued the permit, similar to how my membership for Otakon has been approved, but my badge has not yet been issued? Is there any precedent for requests being approved, but then the permit is not issued? What might cause that to occur?

I phrased it that way as I found it to be the most accurate.

Yes, from what I've heard, once the request is approved, it's typically a formality to issue the permit.  But I think it's best not to speculate.  As this is higher-profile then the typical request, anything is possible. Likewise with @Yukimi Kazari's mention that maybe it won't be approved. Let's try to avoid the rumor until we get an official word.  A tweet is probably not going to be an official word on the matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed. Considering how last year's rally went and the environment we are unfortunately in right now, I don't think the NPS is going to take their request lightly (at least, I'd like to hope). It would be best to hear their final decision from an official source, rather than an unconfirmed, random tweet.

That said, what sort of protective measures can we as attendees expect this year? Should we expect more security around the con floors?




Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@.taro. ya I don’t have anything concrete and apprely what I herd was on the DL but things are falling apart and losing support internally. Nothing concrete but it’s losing support. 

I would still hope everyone stays safe because I’m sure some people are still going to go to DC sense they already booked flights so it may be even worse sense it would be unorganized. I hope DC police is staying on top even if it’s rejected!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not going this year because baby (just born two weeks ago), but you guys should be fine. Just be aware that the area will most likely have more foot traffic. Not only from the white supremacists, but also from counter-protestors that are sure to show up.

Utilize the buddy system and make sure your cell phones stay charged so you can check in with each other. (The local CVS sells power banks if you need them.) Arrange a meeting place beforehand in case you get separated from your buddy. And if someone tries to pick a fight with you, don't engage. The skinheads will do everything they can to rile you up, but you ultimately control how you respond.

And if things get rowdy, listen to police and con staff instructions. Even if what their orders don't seem fair to you, a riot is not the time to debate it. Their job is to make sure you stay safe. So if they tell you to go back to your hotel and clear the streets, do it. Order room service and wait for things to blow over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎7‎/‎6‎/‎2018 at 6:10 PM, animal_crackers said:

That said, what sort of protective measures can we as attendees expect this year? Should we expect more security around the con floors?

We can't really comment on specifics of security measures, however in addition to our staff we have paid security contractors at the two WCC entrances (Mt Vernon Lobby and Marquis tunnel) as well as other strategic fixed points & roaming through the convention center.  We also have MPD officers on site during convention operating hours.  The bag checks at the entrance will be in place again looking for weapons and other prohibited items.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update on this (sort of):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/organizer-of-deadly-charlottesville-rally-withdraws-demand-for-a-second-rally-permit/2018/07/24/f41cdfa2-8dd6-11e8-8322-b5482bf5e0f5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7c1bc5bf3b24

Relevant portion:

Quote

For this year’s anniversary, Kessler has sought demonstrations not only in Charlottesville but also across from the White House in Lafayette Square. So far, he has received initial approval from the National Park Service to hold the event Aug. 12 but has not received the permit yet.

And, as a PSA, you can contact the National Park Service with any concerns on this matter at the following number:

202-245-4715

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/25/2018 at 5:56 PM, The Eva Monkey said:

Update on this (sort of):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/organizer-of-deadly-charlottesville-rally-withdraws-demand-for-a-second-rally-permit/2018/07/24/f41cdfa2-8dd6-11e8-8322-b5482bf5e0f5_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7c1bc5bf3b24

Relevant portion:

And, as a PSA, you can contact the National Park Service with any concerns on this matter at the following number:

202-245-4715

So is the rally still happening because if the leader give up the offical request should we still be worried?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, LegendaryBroli said:

So is the rally still happening because if the leader give up the offical request should we still be worried?

They've given up on holding a second-year rally in Charlottesville, but are still pursuing the one in D.C. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apparently the rally permitting progressed enough that at one point Metro considered separate trains for rally attendees to separate them from the general population: https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7/2018/08/metro-union-concerned-about-security-plan-for-dc-unite-the-right-event/

I hate to say, but I'm very, very concerned. I am driving in for the weekend, but I had planned to use Metro at some point during the weekend to travel for Pokemon Go related things. At this rate, I might either take an Uber instead or just stay in the relative safety of the convention center.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, StarCreator said:

Apparently the rally permitting progressed enough that at one point Metro considered separate trains for rally attendees to separate them from the general population: https://wtop.com/tracking-metro-24-7/2018/08/metro-union-concerned-about-security-plan-for-dc-unite-the-right-event/

I hate to say, but I'm very, very concerned. I am driving in for the weekend, but I had planned to use Metro at some point during the weekend to travel for Pokemon Go related things. At this rate, I might either take an Uber instead or just stay in the relative safety of the convention center.

Most people here in DC are pretty pissed that its even being considered. I'd be surprised if Metro actually did it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The racists did everything they could last year to provoke fights with the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, so the Metro was considering separate transport for these jerkwads to avoid that. But the latest reports I read said that the Metro has abandoned those plans.

But if you find yourself on the Metro with these jerks, just follow the same plan as you would if you encountered them on the street: Do not engage. Use the buddy system. Arrange a meeting place if you get separated from your buddy. And if things get hairy, follow the orders from the authorities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The racists did everything they could last year to provoke fights with the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, so the Metro was considering separate transport for these jerkwads to avoid that. But the latest reports I read said that the Metro has abandoned those plans.
But if you find yourself on the Metro with these jerks, just follow the same plan as you would if you encountered them on the street: Do not engage. Use the buddy system. Arrange a meeting place if you get separated from your buddy. And if things get hairy, follow the orders from the authorities.
Very good advice, Tigress! To piggyback on your comment, in case others don't know, there is a big red button in each metro car that is a direct line to the train conductor. Keep an eye out for them, and if someone starts harrassing you while the train is moving, do not hesitate to press it (it's also good to get the car number as well; these are also near the emergency buttons).

Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking *personally* -- as an area resident, not as staff, I'm just not too worried.

Their main goals are to show strength to the cowardly racist turds who would love to be there in person, and to scare anyone who isn't a racist nazi jerk.  They're looking for press. They have a barely restrained rabble of hate-filled jerks who will show up. But probably not as many as they'd like, and they're only expecting a few hundred.  DC authorities can and will shut them down if they go too far.

Unlike most big cities, DC is used to managing such things; between the park police and the secret service and the DC Metro police, they're going to be VERY aware, and every news org in the country will be there in case something happens. This is high visibility media bait, and they have been dealing with protests pretty often of late. 

I expect a show of uniformed force, as well as plenty of undercover, to be on these sick animals like white on rice.  And I don't expect the protesters or the counter protestors to get anywhere near our event.  At worst, there may be some annoyances on Metro, but I'm not too fussed about that either. 

The con itself continues to work with the appropriate authorities, and you MAY see a bit more enthusiasm in bag or weapon checks, but I wouldn't expect much of an impact on us, really.

That said, the usual big-city safety rules are always good to follow -- the ones on our site, which Tigress paraphrased nicely above, are a great start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, alabaster said:

Speaking *personally* -- as an area resident, not as staff, I'm just not too worried.

Their main goals are to show strength to the cowardly racist turds who would love to be there in person, and to scare anyone who isn't a racist nazi jerk.  They're looking for press. They have a barely restrained rabble of hate-filled jerks who will show up. But probably not as many as they'd like, and they're only expecting a few hundred.  DC authorities can and will shut them down if they go too far.

Unlike most big cities, DC is used to managing such things; between the park police and the secret service and the DC Metro police, they're going to be VERY aware, and every news org in the country will be there in case something happens. This is high visibility media bait, and they have been dealing with protests pretty often of late. 

I expect a show of uniformed force, as well as plenty of undercover, to be on these sick animals like white on rice.  And I don't expect the protesters or the counter protestors to get anywhere near our event.  At worst, there may be some annoyances on Metro, but I'm not too fussed about that either. 

The con itself continues to work with the appropriate authorities, and you MAY see a bit more enthusiasm in bag or weapon checks, but I wouldn't expect much of an impact on us, really.

That said, the usual big-city safety rules are always good to follow -- the ones on our site, which Tigress paraphrased nicely above, are a great start.

Still, I think it would put folks at ease to know as specifically as Otakon can tell us what measures will be in place, while also telling us specific things we can/should do to avoid encounters. I'm fine. I don't plan on engaging these looney tunes. I plan on staying in the AC and enjoying the con. But some people may want to start stuff with these cowards and should be advised otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just hope no one misses news about the rally and shows up cosplaying as Germany from Hetalia...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2018 at 3:54 PM, Aresef said:

Still, I think it would put folks at ease to know as specifically as Otakon can tell us what measures will be in place, while also telling us specific things we can/should do to avoid encounters. I'm fine. I don't plan on engaging these looney tunes. I plan on staying in the AC and enjoying the con. But some people may want to start stuff with these cowards and should be advised otherwise.

I don't think Otakon needs to do anything special. Their responsibility only extends to the grounds of the WEWCC and Marriott. What happens beyond the venues' property lines is not really under their control. If someone decides to seek out the protesters and get in trouble, that's their own idiocy. If the protesters come into WEWCC to harass people, Otakon staff are pretty quick to kick them out. A couple of guys doing a troll Youtube show tried to do just that last year and only made it as far as the photo suite before they were told to leave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hope everyone is safe today leaving the convention and traveling with the closures! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As I was returning home, I step off the Orange Line at Vienna and into a media circus at the turnstiles. There looked to be about 30 of those white supremacists trying to figure out how to hold their flagpoles while also tapping their smartcard on the spot to let them through the turnstile and down to the trains. There were news cameras all around recording their dexterity difficulties, along with police at about a 1:1 ratio to white supremacists. I go around the corner towards the exit and there's a cordon of police standing at the entrance. After getting permission to go through the cordon, there are MORE police outside talking into MORE news cameras. Media. Circus. <_<

If we're lucky, those were the only white supremacists to show up and the embarrassment of such a pitiful showing will prevent future acts of idiocy. (We're never that lucky, however.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just read the newspaper account of the rally and it appears those 30 or so WERE the only white supremacists to show. This turned out to be a tempest in a teakettle (thank goodness). B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

6 hours ago, Fadamor said:

Just read the newspaper account of the rally and it appears those 30 or so WERE the only white supremacists to show. This turned out to be a tempest in a teakettle (thank goodness). B)

Based on how the media was covering it, it doesn't really surprise me. 

All that panic and at the end of the day, God's in his Heaven and all's right with the world! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

 

Based on how the media was covering it, it doesn't really surprise me. 

All that panic and at the end of the day, God's in his Heaven and all's right with the world! 

Um, the world is definitely not "all right." Racism is still a huge issue and just because a lot of white supremacist sympathizers didn't show up (odds are they were largely scared off due to the opposing crowd size and plenty know they could get identified and outed like many were last year) doesn't mean they evaporated off the earth. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

2 hours ago, AnimeKen said:

Pretty sure that is just a reference to the  NERV motto from Evangelion 

Maybe relax there, chief

Never got into Evangelion, lol. 

On a more amusing note, it looks like the nazis were blaming us for a lack of hotel space:

 

nzitwt.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, windseeker said:

Never got into Evangelion, lol. 

In anime circles that's almost like saying "yeah, I was never really into the Beatles" to the music fans 

I mean, I can't personally say you're missing out in this case, but it seems like at least a passing knowledge of NGE is practically part of the price of admission to the anime fandom 

What's next, "Cowboy Bebop was ok I guess"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, AnimeKen said:

In anime circles that's almost like saying "yeah, I was never really into the Beatles" to the music fans 

I mean, I can't personally say you're missing out in this case, but it seems like at least a passing knowledge of NGE is practically part of the price of admission to the anime fandom 

What's next, "Cowboy Bebop was ok I guess"?

:blink: I never got into Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, OR the Beatles!!! I can't be a fan of manga/anime or music?? Dang, there were titles I really liked, too! :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, the Proper Taste Police will be along shortly to confiscate your fandom membership card and cart you off the Proper Taste jail

There you will be given the full Alex from Clockwork Orange treatment and be...reeducated

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2018 at 4:25 PM, windseeker said:

Um, the world is definitely not "all right." Racism is still a huge issue and just because a lot of white supremacist sympathizers didn't show up (odds are they were largely scared off due to the opposing crowd size and plenty know they could get identified and outed like many were last year) doesn't mean they evaporated off the earth. 

The point of Otakon is to enjoy everything the fandom has to offer and to leave politics outside. The fact that 20 people with a similar ideology caused such a commotion to the Otakon community gives them more power than they really have. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

The point of Otakon is to enjoy everything the fandom has to offer and to leave politics outside. The fact that 20 people with a similar ideology caused such a commotion to the Otakon community gives them more power than they really have. 

Sorry, but this post is so wrong it borders on offensive. This is an easy thing to say with hindsight now that so few white supremacists/neo-Nazis showed up, but there was nothing disproportionate about the "commotion to the Otakon community" during the lead up. This rally was presented as the one year anniversary/sequel to a rally that drew hundreds of them to a nearby town last year, and resulted in the actual death of one person protesting against it (and two cops to boot). People had every right to be concerned leading up to Otakon, especially if they were people of color, disabled people, LGBTQ folks, Jewish people, and any other minorities who these folks advocate against their right to live.

This wasn't "20 people with a similar ideology", it was a rally for Nazis that thankfully had a low turnout. No one with Otakon would have been this upset or concerned if a Libertarian rally or even a standard Trump rally was taking place that weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2018 at 12:53 PM, WorldisYours said:

Sorry, but this post is so wrong it borders on offensive.

One of the perks of a free society is that we can say things that offend each other.  I still stand by what I said earlier. The hysteria this caused (did you see how the media covered it?) gives these people more power and recognition than they deserve or have, and that's exactly what they want. Recognition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

One of the perks of a free society is that we can say things that offend each other.  I still stand by what I said earlier. The hysteria this caused (did you see how the media covered it?) gives these people more power and recognition than they deserve or have, and that's exactly what they want. Recognition. 

Never said you didn’t have the right to be offensive lmao. You guys are all the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, WorldisYours said:

You guys are all the same.

Speaking of offensive... <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/13/2018 at 10:15 PM, AnimeKen said:

In anime circles that's almost like saying "yeah, I was never really into the Beatles" to the music fans 

I mean, I can't personally say you're missing out in this case, but it seems like at least a passing knowledge of NGE is practically part of the price of admission to the anime fandom 

What's next, "Cowboy Bebop was ok I guess"?

Meh, that isn't the case for a good chunk of the newer anime fans. I do know the overall story and I did watch Evangelion ReDeath every year it was on at the fan parodies...does that count :P? Also, you'd be pretty suprised how many people don't care for the Beatles. Isn't anyone who listens to music in general a "music fan"?

I just dont seem to like mecha series. Don't know why. I got into anime watching a lot of older series (Kimba the White Lion and Science Ninja Team Gatchaman anyone?):D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, KyoKyo said:

One of the perks of a free society is that we can say things that offend each other.  I still stand by what I said earlier. The hysteria this caused (did you see how the media covered it?) gives these people more power and recognition than they deserve or have, and that's exactly what they want. Recognition. 

Sorry, that's just ignorant. These people KILLED a woman the last time they had their rally. Its not "hysteria" to react to that.

Ignoring a problem doesn't magically solve it. We ignored nazis for decades and we are dealing with them now as a result.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, windseeker said:

These people KILLED a woman the last time they had their rally. Its not "hysteria" to react to that.

As I recall, the death was caused by the driver of a car, not an entire group. Attributing a death caused by an individual to a whole group is no less offensive than someone saying, "You people are all the same." It strips people of their individuality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Fadamor said:

As I recall, the death was caused by the driver of a car, not an entire group. Attributing a death caused by an individual to a whole group is no less offensive than someone saying, "You people are all the same." It strips people of their individuality.

Perhaps people seeking to downplay the awfulness of a group as vile as white supremacists have already stripped themselves of their individuality. Having horrible opinions that, at the very least, excuse and apologize for people who promote genocide is not a protected minority class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the rally is over, I'm closing this thread.  As I stated in the OP, the posts here needed to be kept on the topic of how they relate to our convention.

There are larger problems in the world that are outside the scope of our anime/asian popular culture convention.  As a non-profit corporation, it's important that Otakon stay away from political activity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×