Published at 22:35 on 15 February 2013
I actually know — or, used to know; I cut off all contact with him when he started cavorting with fascists — the guy they are talking about. He’s a longtime activist that had done many positive things in Portland.
He was always deficient in the critical thinking department, which might provide some explanation for what he’s been up to in recent years. I remember him once trying to convince me that David Icke’s conspiracy theory about shape-shifting space aliens infiltrating human society was plausible and reasonable.
Perhaps even a more plausible explanation is that what he’s seeking is to mainly be the member of an exclusive “club” which is “in” on some knowledge that the rest of the world is not. Any sort of non-mainstream scene can furnish that; its values and whether or not its shared beliefs conform to logic and observable reality are irrelevant for such purposes.
Regardless, it’s tragic. It’s particularly tragic that Citybikes hasn’t taken the commonsense step of voting the guy out of any sort of position involving power or prestige in their organization. (It’s a worker’s co-op, so they easily could.) Yes, he did play a key role in forming the collective. Too bad — past good works should not serve to excuse one from present accountability.
And yes, Calvert does cavort with known fascists. Here’s him shamelessly and fawningly introducing one at a so-called “9-11 Truth” society meeting in 2009.
As such, it’s especially tragic that I have to say I find Rose City Antifa’s call to boycott the establishment sounds like a reasonable response. Though I do take issue with their demands that Calvert be fired; I think a demotion would be sufficient. He has a right to express his views, reprehensible though they may be. What he has no right to is any sort of respect for those views.
It’s a great store, and I generally believe that worker’s collectives deserve all the support they can get, so it really pains me to come to any sort conclusion in favor of boycotting one.