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Confronting Bigotry In Our Movement

A Call For Reflection & Support

Hello Fellow Cooperators, This packet includes some information about Tim Calvert’s history of involvement with bigoted (and particularly, anti-Jewish) organizations. We were deeply saddened by these revelations, which came to light in 2009. We are also disappointed that our earlier attempts to discuss concerns were met with silencing tactics, including deflection, outright denial, and (perhaps most disturbingly) excuses. Documentation of and reflections on our attempts to address this issue locally are included in this packet. Tim Calvert is a member of the City Bikes collective and, until recently, a Western Worker Cooperative Conference Board Director. We do not deny the value of his contributions to the worker co-op movement. Nor are we motivated by a desire to punish Tim. However we feel deeply uncomfortable allowing bigotry to go unchecked within our movement. By turning a blind eye to bigotry we signal to our fellow organizers, allies, and the outside world that our movement is unwilling to take a stand against oppression. In the face of public scandal, this unwillingness is discrediting and embarrassing. More importantly, this unwillingness to engage with such challenges divides our movement. A co-op movement that responds to bigotry with a shrug is not, contrary to one apparently popular opinion, more tolerant and inclusive of differences. Such a movement is unwelcoming for members of marginalized communities. This point deserves underlining: to the extent that we, as a movement, tolerate racist organizing we forfeit the participation, support and respect of the people targeted by that racism along with their allies. We present this information in pursuit of dialogue around Tim's involvements. We hope the co-op movement will hold Tim accountable for his long history of participation in anti-Jewish and other bigoted organizing. We also hope to develop a broader and deeper awareness of anti-oppression politics within the co-op movement, including a capacity to address and respond to future crises. Suggested steps toward accountability can be found in the Red and Black Cafe's Open Statement, included in this document. We believe rigorous and compassionate accountability processes are vital to healthy communities and movements.


Introduction Can We / Should We Even Address This? Timeline Why this Forum? Summary of Tim's Involvements In Racist Organizing Additions from Lew Church Red & Black Cafe's Open Letter / Statement of Intent Thoughts on Confronting Anti-Jewish Prejudice Conclusion / Suggested Outcomes Appendix: Excerpts From the Portland Indymedia Dialogue Rose City Antifa: Statement ...
Response to Rose City Antifa (RCA) re: Tim Calvert Coops Should Unequivocally Reject Anti-Semitism Tim Calvert's response A Response to Tim Calvert Statement from a portion of the Citybikes Board A Final Note

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You may have heard that Tim Calvert, City Bikes (of Portland Oregon) worker/owner, has been accused of anti-Jewish prejudice. You may have also heard that an attempt has been made to oust him from the board of the Western Worker Co-op Conference and even to get him fired from his job at City Bikes. Or you might be hearing about this whole thing for the first time. Whatever your awareness of this issue, this pamphlet is an attempt to set the record straight from the point of view that Tim's behavior demands a response from the worker coop movement. The response thus far, or more accurately lack thereof, has been deeply disheartening to those of us who have contributed to this pamphlet or participated in other attempts to address this situation. Tim Calvert was, and presumably still is, a member of Portland's 9-11 Truth Alliance, a group that has been providing a platform for anti-Semites and other racists and bigots. He is also a long-time activist and worker cooperative organizer who, among other things, co-founded Laughing Horse Books (a radical book/info shop), City Bikes, and the Western Worker Co-op Conference. He is also, by most accounts, a nice guy with some ‘out there’ theories. Tim has gained a well-deserved reputation for his dedicated work in the worker cooperative movement. Through this work, he has formed many friendships and acquaintanceships with many people at this conference. One thing that has been very hard for people to understand is how someone they know and care about could possibly be involved in racist organizing. Our awareness of this issue started in 2009 when Portland Antifa issued a statement about it on Portland Indymedia. (See Appendix, page 15) The statement claimed that Tim's anti-Semitism had been “an open secret for years.” The specific event that triggered the release of this statement from Antifa was Tim's involvement in bringing Valdas Anelauskas to speak in Portland. Although Tim claims that he was unaware of Anelauskas' racist agenda we do not find that claim credible for reasons which will be made clear later in this document. Furthermore, Tim's involvement with anti-Semitism is not restricted to this one event. The Laughing Horse collective had previously barred Calvert from talking about the Holocaust in their bookstore. On several occasions, Calvert had questioned whether the gas chambers and other apparatus of mass killing were real and suggested that any evidence of their existence was


“Zionist propaganda.” The Laughing Horse collective has since asked Calvert to resign -- which he has since done. Through his participation in Portland 9.11 Truth Alliance, Tim took part in an organization that promoted and provided a platform for several neo-fascist and racist speakers. This is detailed later in this packet. (See pages 7-10) Far from being irrelevant fringe issues, Tim's activities have adversely affected and divided our community in a number of ways. City Bikes previously enjoyed the support of members of local co-ops, collectives, and the wider radical community. Now, many participants in these movements no longer feel comfortable supporting City Bikes. As a result many local anti-racist activists are boycotting City Bikes. Because local Palestine solidarity organizing is overrun with members of anti-Semitic groups like the 9-11 Truth Alliance and the Pacifica Forum, many anti-racists and radical Jews have been driven away from this work. As we mentioned in above, our intention is not to simply "call out" Tim's involvements. We also wish to discuss possible barriers to addressing these concerns. So far, members of our community have been hesitant to address Tim's involvements because they do not perceive anti-Semitism to be a real threat, because they are afraid of silencing Tim's free speech (he has accused concerned community members of being "thought police" and even "state agents"), or because they believe Tim is being charged with guilt by association. We try to explore these concerns later in this packet. We also try to identify possible steps toward addressing this problem. We feel that at a minimum, this means people from our movement taking the time to educate themselves about it. Another step would be for Tim to distance himself from bigoted organizing and engage in an education / accountability process with support from community members. While we do not know exactly what needs to happen, we believe the requests made in the Red & Black Café's Open Letter (included in this packet) are still a viable starting point. Thank you for taking the time to read and think about these important issues. It is our firmly held belief that by thoughtfully engaging with this issue we can only strengthen the worker co-op movement and our ability to meaningfully deal with oppression.


Can We / Should We Even Address This?
In short, we say 'yes.' It is not only legitimate but also necessary to address Tim's actions. Many folks are uncomfortable with the idea that a cooperative or co-op organization would have anything to say about the politic involvements of one of its members. The idea is that the worker co-op movement should be as inclusive and nonsectarian as possible. There is wisdom in this approach, to a degree. This maxim, however, is being abused when it is used to rationalize the failure to confront and disrupt racist organizing. Many of Tim's own positions and organizational ties are harmful to Jews. This alone should be cause for alarm. We fear that folks in our community are reticent to acknowledge and reject anti-Semitism. These tendencies are touched upon briefly under the heading, Thoughts on Confronting Anti-Semitism, included later in this packet. However, it is important to note that groups like the 9/11 Truth Alliance and the Pacifica Forum and speakers like Valdas Analeuskas are not only anti-Semitic, but anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, anti-queer, and anti-just about any struggle against white supremacy, nativism, and patriarchy. Again, these issues are detailed throughout this packet. Another objection to addressing this issue is the assertion that, while Tim's involvements may be repugnant, it is only speech. The idea here is that 'free speech' has to be protected or we are opening the door to censorship in the guise of combating oppression. Addressing the concept of 'free speech' itself is beyond the scope of this packet. What we can say, however, is that scrupulous respect for Tim's free speech is perfectly compatible with holding him accountable for providing a platform for racism. Whether we respond or not does not change the fact that racist speech has consequences. Far better that the consequence be an unequivocal rejection of racism. Otherwise, the consequence becomes the greater legitimacy for racist perspectives and the alienation of allies. Finally, some folks believe that Tim is "only" guilty by association. A corollary to this idea is that attending a racist lecture does not necessarily make an individual racist. We would like to emphasize that there is every indication that Tim has not only attended but organized several of these events. In fact, Tim and the group he has organized with for years have been hosting almost exclusively racist and bigoted speakers.


Other "9-11 Truth" groups exist in Portland. In 2007, the 9/11 Truth Alliance split and most of the progressives left due to a culture of "racism, homophobia, and virulent hatred of women" promoted by group members and the far-right speakers they sponsored at Laughing Horse Books (against the wishes of most Laughing Horse collective members). Members who opposed these right-wing tendencies were "targeted for hate campaigns." (See We would also like to emphasize that our issue has not been whether or not Tim Calvert is personally racist. In addition we do not doubt Tim's sincerity when he says that he is not racist. Rather, our focus has always been on the fact that he has been creating a platform for racism thinly veiled as left-wing / emancipatory / anti-elitist populism— while retaining a leadership role in the worker cooperative movement. The implications for our local community, and for outside perceptions of the worker co-op movement, are disastrous.

Some people who are convinced that Tim's racist activities are problematic are nonetheless unconvinced that we, as the co-op movement, can or should take this on. Certainly, the authors of this packet would strongly prefer that Tim Calvert himself, with the support of the City Bikes collective and / or other close friends and allies, assume responsibility for addressing these issues. Very shortly after the Antifa article was published on Indymeda (in late June of 2009), members of City Bikes (represented as the Board of Directors of City Bikes) released a public statement defending Tim and accusing Antifa of using "fascist" tactics. (See Appendix, page 16-17) Many members of our communities were deeply offended and concerned. Following a public outcry, City Bikes retracted their initial statement and released a second statement in which they offered to consider the matter more carefully. In July of 2009, members of the Red & Black Café drafted an Open Letter to City Bikes. (See page 11) City Bikes requested that Red & Black collective members meet with City Bikes representatives before releasing the statement. We complied, and arranged a facilitated meeting in August 2009. During this meeting we expressed our concerns. Some members of the City Bikes collective also expressed concerns, but most felt unable to address the issue at work. We were were not able to arrange a follow-up meeting. In November 2009,


a portion of the City Bikes Board of Directors issued a statement thanking people for bringing the issue to their attention but also failing to address the issue of Tim's racist organizing. (See Appendix, page 22) In September 2009, two members of the Red & Black collective brought this issue to the Western Worker Coop Conference. Of particular concern was the fact that Tim was a member of the WWCC Board of Directors. Some conference-goers expressed interest in addressing concerns, and others expressed skepticism. Some dialogue around this issue continued after the conference ended, but these conversations eventually fizzled out.

Why This Forum?
Despite attempts to deal with concerns on a local and regional level, we are no closer to addressing the issue in a thorough and productive manner than we were in July of 2009. Because this issue has been so trying and divisive in the Portland community, we are requesting support from other members of the co-op movement. We understand that not everyone has the time, energy, or inclination to deal with this painful controversy. However, we hope that many worker co-op members recognize the importance of addressing bigotry within our movement, and we hope a few will join us in ongoing efforts to promote dialogue and accountability.

Summary of Calvert's Involvements In Racist Organizing
Originally compiled by Rose City Antifa, summarized by Red & Black collective members, this summary was shared with the CityBikes collective in July of 2009 "We believe Tim Calvert's persistence in providing a platform for Valdas Anelauskas alone is cause for alarm. However, this incident appears to be part of a pattern. The following is a summary of a report furnished by Antifa members. "The Valdes Anelauskas Lecture "We find it dubious that Calvert and 9-11 Truth Alliance members were unaware of Anelauskas' bigotry. Anelauskas was barred from speaking at Laughing Horse and at one other venue due to his racist / anti-Semitic positions. Calvert was aware of the fact that he was barred from speaking and the reason why he was barred from speaking at the first two venues. Then Calvert participated in setting it up at the third location while telling people at Laughing Horse that the event was actually


cancelled. (the video can be found at: A cursory Google search exposes several racist / anti-Semitic quotations from Anelauskas. [While the Anelauskas lecture promoted and organized by Calvert was supposed just "about the Frankfurt School," this lecture has been revealed to focus on the Frankfurt School as an example of a Jewish-controlled, corrupting liberal social force.] "In his lectures, Anelauskas claims that Jews perpetrated a greater genocide than the Nazi Holocaust in the former USSR. He argues that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a czarist forgery describing Jewish plans for world domination, is credible. "In his lecture on Zionism in Russia, Anelauskas said, "after many years of my experience and research, I came to the conclusion that among Jews. . . there is a much larger percentage of bad people than among other [ethnicities]." "On an web forum, he wrote, "Only from people of that peculiar tribe can we expect such Talmudic hatred for humanity. There is even a famous saying that wars are the Jews' harvest." "Anelauskas also characterized Martin Luther King, Jr. as a "moral leper and communist dupe." "The 9-11 Truth Alliance and Racist / Anti-Semitic Organizing [The 9/11 Truth Alliance split in 2007 due to some members' public use of misogynistic and racist slurs and persistence in sponsoring primarily racist, nativist, and anti-feminist / anti-queer speakers. This split is briefly described and cited above, in the middle of page 6.] "According to his own post on Portland Indymedia, Calvert and 9-11 Truth Alliance members met Anelauskas at a Pacifica Forum event. "Between 2003 and 2005, 3 organizations that sponsored the Pacifica Forum dropped the group due to concerns about anti-Semitic programs. The Forum's host Orval Etter has repeatedly lectured on the supposed crimes of the "world Jewry" on the anniversary of Kristallnacht. "The forum has hosted Mark Weber, the director of the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust-denial group. Weber has ties with the neo-Nazi National Alliance. The Forum has also hosted David Irving, a prominent Holocaust denier, and Rod McLaughlin, who lectures on "The Mass Psychology of Anti-Fascism: Fake Hate Crimes, Censorship, and the Israel Lobby." McLaughlin said, "To hell with the feelings of minorities. If anti-Semitism, if it exists at all, should not be seen as a problem."


"The Pacifica Forum also hosted Tomislay Sunic, a white supremacist who stated in a radio interview, "Especially in these multiracial cities. . . I'm sort of afraid even of raising my head and looking at people right in their eyes because I know they may not be of my species." "The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classifies the Pacifica Forum as a hate group. At the event Calvert attended, speakers compared the SPLC to the KGB. One presenter suggested that "the Jews" give money to the SPLC to influence which organizations are listed as hate groups. Forum affiliates stated that hate does not incite violence. [Members of the 9/11 Truth Alliance stood outside an Anti-Racist / Antifascist conference in July 2010 handing out fliers in support of the Pacifica Forum.] "Calvert and the 9-11 Truth Alliance have also helped to provide a platform for the following speakers in Portland: "-Dave Brownlow, a Constitution Party candidate for senate in 2008; originally scheduled at Laughing Horse, 2007. Brownlow is co-founder of the hardline antichoice group Life Support. He promotes Oregonians for Immigration Reform, an organization with white supremacist ties. "-According to Lew Church, Tim organized a speaking event for Mary Starett, a Constitution Party gubernatorial candidate in 2006, originally scheduled at Laughing Horse in 2007. She spoke again to the 9-11 Truth Alliance on August 12th, 2009. Starett also interviewed with white supremacist Randy Weaver and wrote an article defending white supremacist Eric Rudolph. [The Oregon Constitution Party also promotes controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS through the establishment of 'quarantine' camps for LGBTQ people.] "-David Irving, British Holocaust denier. The 9-11 Truth Alliance made up the largest group in attendance when Irving spoke in Portland this July. Calvert did not attend (this lecture occurred at the height of the scrutiny following the Anelauskas event). Other attendants included Nazi skinheads, former and current members of the American Nazi Party and the National Socialist Movement. "Irving said, "I'm forming an association especially dedicated to all these liars, the ones who try and kid people that they were in these concentration camps, it's called the Auschwitz Survivors, Survivors of the Holocaust, and Other Liars- A-SS-H-O-L-E-S [sic]." "Other Concerns about Tim Calvert "We also are disappointed to learn that Calvert encouraged the Laughing Horse


collective to stock books by David Icke, a conspiracy theorist who believes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion accurately details an international Jewish conspiracy. "During his tenure at Laughing Horse books, Calvert was barred from talking about the Holocaust in the store. The collective asked him to stop discussing the subject because he had (on several occasions) derided evidence of the genocide against Jews as "Zionist propaganda." "We are concerned that in response to recent criticism, Calvert referred his critics to, a conspiracy website noted for its consistent anti-Semitism.

Additions from Lew Church
Lew Church is active in Portland State University's Progressive Student Union. The excerpts below were recently published in the Student Unions Newspaper. "As someone who has known Tim Calvert since he was a volunteer for me when I did fundraising for Portland's Interagency Food Bank in the mid-80s (25 years), and an organizer who was present at the meeting at Laughing Horse when Tim was voted out of the collective (and where Rainier quit the collective), I've had long discussions with Tim and other organizers regarding many of these issues: "On Holocaust denial: Tim Calvert's official response to allegations that he doesn't believe the Holocaust happened have been along the lines of "the holocaust of war in WWII was a destructive force" but nothing that specifically says Tim Calvert believes 6,000,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Tim C. did schedule (it was cancelled before it happened, and moved to Old Wives Tales, where Tim personally introduced the speaker, and was taped) a right-wing speaker from Lithunia at Laughing Horse. That speaker allegedly was critiquing the Frankfurt School (on the accusations against the Frankfurt School is that it was all-Jewish [and promoted liberal social values], according to Spencer [Sunshine], the ARA workshop coordinator this past weekend in Portland). “On [the] Pacifica Forum: Tim Calvert went to Eugene and listened to speakers at the right-wing Pacifica Forum, and Tim reported back to Laughing Horse at a meeting that the student body president at UO was a Jewish woman who with other students picketed and protested Pacifica Forum meeting on campus, and eventually protesting students got Pacifica Forum to move downtown, off the UO campus.


“On zyklon B/gas chambers: Tim Calvert has said there are many uses for zyklonB, and that gas chamber technology can have many uses, per se, while the documentation for the Holocaust is questionable. Many of Tim's issues are raised in terms of 'asking questions' rather than flat-out statements, per se. When Glen (a former Laughing Horse volunteer banned from the store [for publishing antiJewish, anti-Black, and misogynistic language on the bookstore website]) was asked whether Tim did, in fact, deny the Holocaust happened, Glen stated, "Tim is a very smart man." … “At Laughing Horse Books, I was one of three people (with Julia and Dominic, both longtime Laughing Horse collective members) who argued for Tim no longer being a member of the collective, based on Tim's Holocaust denial practices. Even Grace, another longtime Laughing Horse volunteer who is still friends with Tim, said that Tim had told her the Holocaust didn't happen and was being used by Zionists to promote the Israeli cause today. Grace even wrote in to Willamette Week, on the other side, that ARA and groups that seek to 'remove' people from their jobs or their groups, based on allegations of Holocaust denial— are simply McCarthyites in modern-day liberal or progressive clothing. . . Grace said such actions, as that by ARA or Antifah, is like the Catholic Church and the Spanish Inquisition punishing people for thought crimes, etc. "After Tim was removed from the Laughing Horse Books collective, both Julia and I contacted Tim Calvert, but Tim said he couldn't be friends with folks who deny his right to free speech. Dominic, at Laughing Horse, wondered why I would be for removing Tim from the store, since Tim and I were friends for 25 years: I said that (as a History major— my Masters from PSU in 2005 is in high school history) history is important, it matters, that denying the Holocaust is important enough that friendship is less important, etc. . . Lew Church 503-222-2974 PO Box 40011, Portland, Oregon 97240"

The Red & Black Café's Open Letter to City Bikes
This was sent to City Bikes by the Red & Black Cafe in July 2009 “In the spirit of cooperation, we want to help City Bikes hold Tim Calvert accountable for his racist involvements. In addition we would like to help City Bikes hold Tim accountable for recklessly accusing people of being state agents. Through this process, we hope to strengthen solidarity with in the local co-op movement as well as help City Bikes regain the support of the Portland’s larger


progressive community. We believe that true solidarity consists of thoughtful engagement, not uncritical support. “In this case we believe that City Bikes can and should develop a more robust anti-oppressive response to Tim Calvert and the revelations of his involvement in racist / anti-Semitic organizing. “To reiterate from our recent statement, we strongly encourage City Bikes to: “(1) Release a new statement, clearly denouncing anti-Jewish prejudice, apologize for dismissing and slandering Antifa, and assure the community that the collective is working to hold Calvert accountable; “(2) Encourage workers affected by Calvert’s behavior or the original BoD statement to express their concerns without fear of reprisal. Empower, but do not require, these workers to guide the collective in addressing their grievances; “(3) Thoroughly investigate all allegations of Calvert’s racist and anti-Jewish organizing; “(4) Request that Calvert be educated about racism and anti-Jewish prejudice, especially in progressive / left movements. “We are attaching a summary of Calvert’s past support of anti-Jewish and racist speakers and organizers. This summary includes a little more background on the relationship between the 9-11 Truth Alliance and Anelauskas. It also summarizes Calvert’s / 9-11 Truth Alliance’s history of promoting racist / anti-Semitic speakers and additional concerns about Tim Calvert himself. “We think that this list can be the starting point for a more thorough investigation of Calvert’s involvement with racists / anti-Semites. We urge you to take the time to process this summary before our meeting, and to share this list with your coworkers. “We want to emphasize that our goal is not to get Tim or anyone else to to adhere to a particular political line. However, we feel that the worker co-op community should be emphatically on the side of marginalized groups and identities.


“Anti-Semitism is not a harmless eccentricity. It forms the basis for dehumanization and persecution and, in the current context, undermines effective solidarity with Palestinians struggling against the state of Israel. “On a more local level, tolerating anti-Semitism sends the absolutely wrong signal to those who would be our allies. As an ally of City Bikes, the Red and Black sees it as our role to help you craft an effective and just response to recent events. “In solidarity and friendship, “The Red and Black Cafe

Thoughts on Confronting Anti-Jewish Prejudice
We were disappointed when a large swath of the co-op movement refused to address Tim Calvert's involvement in anti-Jewish organizing. But we cannot say we were surprised. Local radical and progressive groups have been slow to acknowledge anti-Jewish prejudice as a problem, despite neo-Nazi activity in the area and an increasingly visible anti-Jewish contingent in local Middle East peace and justice organizing. We suspect indifference to anti-Jewish bigotry stems from several latent (perhaps even subconscious) assumptions. These assumptions include: • • • • • Discrimination against Jews ended circa 1945. Discrimination against people presently considered white (like Ashkenazi Jews) is unthreatening. Jews are actually over-privileged or over-represented (politically, economically, culturally). Contemporary anti-Jewish prejudice is a direct result of Israel's policies, and therefore Jews are to blame. Focusing on anti-Jewish prejudice diverts resources from more dire antioppression efforts, such as confronting white skin privilege and disparities between white folks and people of color or confronting Israeli oppression against Palestinians.

The first four bullet points are most definitely rooted in ignorance and / or longstanding patterns of anti-Jewish scapegoating. The last bullet point (which we suspect is the most influential in radical and progressive communities) is just sad and misguided.


Anti-oppression work is not a zero-sum game. Diverse struggles against bigotry and oppression complement one another theoretically and tactically. Each time we confront oppression, we build solidarity, learn from the experience, and become better equipped to handle other challenges. Finally, a truly progressive or radical movement must support justice and liberation for all communities. Anti-Jewish prejudice or the refusal / inability to confront it creates a terrible blind spot that discredits erodes our struggles— especially the struggle for justice in historic Palestine! We urge folks who oppose racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of bigotry to contemplate the interrelatedness of various struggles, and challenge oppression whenever it rears its ugly head.

Thank you for reading and listening. As people both deeply invested in the worker co-op movement and dedicated to anti-oppression, this issue has been difficult. It has meant spending limited time and energy on something we really wish was not an issue to begin with. In addition, it has strained relationships both within the co-op movement and between co-ops and anti-racists in Portland (as explained in the Introduction). There are probably people within the worker co-op movement who wish we could all just forget about this and move on. But we can't and we won't. The only real solution is to address this issue head on and together. To us this means offering support to each other, to City Bikes and to Tim Calvert while simultaneously rejecting racism and other forms of oppression.

Here's what you can do to help:
(1)Carefully read and reflect on this document. Encourage the other workers at your co-op to do the same. Talk with them about this issue. (2)Reach out to members of the Red & Black Cafe, City Bikes, and the Board of the Western Worker Co-op Conference & ask what you can do to help us move forward. (3)Commit yourself and your co-op to seeing this issue through to its conclusion. Help work to ensure that a meaningful and transparent accountability process is completed. (4)Join us, individually and at the level of your co-op, in making these requests of Tim Calvert:


• • •

Cease involvement with the 9-11 Truth Alliance, the Pacifica Forum, and any other groups that promote anti-Semitism and other oppressions; Agree to learn about anti-Semitism and other oppressions, especially in progressive / radical communities. Publicly admit to and apologize for promoting anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry

In cooperation, John Langley Red & Black Cafe Portland Collective Housing Rachel Rabble Red & Black Cafe Palestine Solidarity Project Anti-nationalist Jewish organizing Ari Perezdiez Red & Black Café Portland Collective Housing Lantz Arroyo Red & Black Cafe Doug Taylor Radical community accountability work


Appendix: Excerpts From the Portland Indymedia Dialogue
These selections originally appeared as articles or comments on Portland Indymedia in the summer of 2009. Many Portlanders were made aware of the issue of antisemitic organizing by Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance and Tim Calvert through this dialogue. Most comments were not included but are available online. These excerpts are presented in chronological order:

- The Rose City Antifa Statement - A Worker Co-op Member Responds - City Bikes BoD First Statement* - City Bikes BoD Second Statement - Tim Calvert's Response - Peter Little's Response - Members of City Bikes BoD issue last statement
*In the subsequent statement it was made clear that this initial statement was made not agreed to by the whole BoD or any other body within City Bikes

“Rose City Antifa: Statement on Anti-Semites and their Collaborators

“author: Rose City Antifa e-mail:fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net “Recent events have highlighted the fact that anti-Semitic organizers in Portland, Oregon are relying on "Leftist" spaces and groups to tolerate their efforts and ideology. “On Wednesday, June 10, Valdas Anelauskas, a self-described "white separatist" who is involved with Holocaust-denial circles, gave a presentation to a group of sympathizers in Portland, Oregon. The event was sponsored by the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, and was initially scheduled to take place at the Laughing Horse Book & Video Collective. Members of Rose City Antifascists ("Antifa") —the Portland affiliate of the Anti-Racist Action Network—were among those who contacted Laughing Horse Books about the scheduled event. The Laughing Horse collective canceled the anti-Semitic event within 48 hours of being notified about its true nature. Subsequently the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance moved Anelauskas' talk—on the topic of "The Frankfurt School and Cultural Marxism"—to a secondary venue, which was also discovered by Antifa and then persuaded to cancel on the day of the event. Unfortunately, Anelauskas' talk then went ahead at a third venue, a restaurant obviously booked at the last minute.


"Valdas Anelauskas is a "racialist" (read: racist) activist currently based in Eugene, Oregon. This Lithuanian immigrant has assisted the World Anti-Communist League, an organization that supported Latin American death squads and has harbored former Nazi collaborators. Anelauskas is now active in the Pacifica Forum, a Eugene, Oregon organization which hosts Holocaust-denial speakers such as David Irving plus Mark Weber of the Institute for Historical Review. Anelauskas himself claims that the evidence for the Holocaust is "shaky", that Jewish people are responsible for "Bolshevism", and that the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion are credible. Anelauskas' position on Jewish people is clear: "Only from people of that peculiar tribe can we expect such Talmudic hatred for humanity. There is even a famous saying that wars are the Jews' harvest." “While Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance activist Tim Titrud was one organizer for Anelauskas' talk in Portland, Titrud appears to have been assisted by a cast of several others, especially Tim Calvert, who is well-known in Portland as a co-founder of Laughing Horse Books as well as the City Bikes Workers' Cooperative. Calvert's conspiracy theories about Jewish power, and his denial of the Nazi genocide against the Jewish people, have been an open secret in Portland for years. Footage of Anelauskas' speech, including an introduction by Tim Calvert, is available at the following link: http://www. mefeedia. com/entry/pdx-9-11-truth-on-frankfurt-school-cultural-marxism-in-america/19360151 “The anti-Semitic, racist and fascistic nature of Anelauskas' presentation is obvious. We would like to note, however, Tim Calvert's insinuation during the introduction that his critics are actually state agents— an extremely dangerous claim to make in the absence of any evidence. Rose City Antifa strongly opposes attempts to make excuses for antiSemitism, or to pretend that it is any less poisonous than any other form of racism. “Anelauskas' speaking event in Portland took place on the same day that white supremacist James von Brunn opened fire at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, murdering a security guard there. By making its anti-Semitism explicit, and by organizing in association with racists, fascists and Holocaust-deniers, the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance has shown its true colors. It has cleared up any confusion in antifascist ranks about how we should consider the organization. “With all this stated, we applaud the Laughing Horse Books collective for its brave decision to cancel the Anelauskas event at the store. We have now received information that Tim Calvert has retired from Laughing Horse Books. Needless to say, we believe that Laughing Horse should not host any future events of the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance. We also believe that most of the Laughing Horse Books collective have acted commendably so far. “Rose City Antifa calls for the City Bikes Workers' Cooperative to remove Tim Calvert from the co-op, and to thereby stop putting food on his plate. We believe that those pushing organized Jew-hatred and pogrom politics should be collectively resisted. If a collective or co-op can't deal properly with an anti-Semitic activist within its ranks, then it does not deserve to be supported. Other organizations involving Tim Calvert, such as the Cascadia Education Project, are also advised to take notice. This statement is a beginning; other fascist collaborators should not consider themselves to have been let off the hook in any way. No compromise and no half-measures!


”Rose City Antifa / Portland ARA fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net 971.533.7832 (voicemail)

“Response to Rose City Antifa (RCA) re: Tim Calvert* “author: City Bikes Workers Cooperative, Board of Directors *note: this was later revealed to not be from the Board of Directors as a whole. See below. “June 30, 2009 “This letter is being presented in response to the allegations leveled at Tim Calvert by the organization calling itself Rose City Antifascist (RCA). “Tim Calvert was one of the people responsible for transforming City Bikes from a sole proprietorship into a worker-owned cooperative in 1990. Tim is well known in the Cooperative for his years of political organizing and for his political and social points of view on a wide range of topics, some of which appear quite controversial to the casual observer. The beauty of working in a cooperative business structure is that no one here gets away with being a casual observer for very long. Sooner or later, members of a cooperatively-run business MUST find a way to grow their maturity to a level that insists on and welcomes diversity of thought and belief, inclusion of multiple perspectives and creative, cooperative problem-solving. “Sexism, racism and other forms of personal oppression have no place at City Bikes. Tim has always respected the diversity of thought, belief and religious observance that is to be found here. We have never heard him say anything that could be construed as antiSemitic, or really anti- anything else, for that matter. Several members of City Bikes’ Workers Cooperative are of Jewish heritage and at least one is a religiously observant Jew. None of us has ever felt that Tim did not accept us for our heritage or religious practices. “The one thing we know Tim to be firmly against is any organization, institution or ideology that requires lockstep thought and action; we applaud this sort of thinking as the natural by-product of embracing a cooperative structure and learning to work with its many nuances, agreements and disagreements. We have found Tim’s political discussions to be highly nuanced, mature and thoughtful, and indicative of the reality that the world is a complicated place in which to live. Shutting down disparate voices through harassment and intimidation does not serve any cause well. Our desire is to seek understanding through respectful, constructive dialog.


“We would like to point out that the RCA’s insistence that City Bikes vote Tim out of the Cooperative is, firstly, illegal. A person cannot be fired from his employment for his political, religious or philosophical views. Finally, we find it more than a little ironic that a self-labeled “antifascist” organization would resort to harassment and intimidation to achieve their ends. “We support Tim Calvert as a member of the Cooperative. “Sincerely,The Board of Directors “City Bikes Workers’ Cooperative [End of “Response to Rose City Antifa (RCA) re: Tim Calvert” *] “Coops Should Unequivocally Reject Anti-Semitism

“01.Jul.2009 “worker coop member / owner “Antifa thanks for exposing this. I've been acquainted with Tim for a few years as a member of the local worker coop movement and I had absolutely no idea that he held these views. I agree with the people who said that we need to hear what Tim and Citybikes have to say for themselves. I also think that we need to hear what Laughing Horse has to say; I'm glad that they pressured him to resign (right?) but I want to know how long they've been aware that he held these beliefs and why this hadn't been brought to light already. Especially in light of this, if true: "For years, several Laughing Horse members have stated that Tim says there was no holocaust, and no gas chambers." “It's really upsetting to me that this wasn't made an issue long ago if it's true that Tim's anti-Semitism / holocaust denial (or minimization?) has been an 'open secret in Portland for years.' My sense is that people think that anti-Semitism isn't as a big of a deal as other forms of oppression -- a belief which is itself anti-Semitic. Clearly Tim has also done good things over the years but this in no way absolves him of any effort he's made to spread hate and racism. … [End of excerpt “Coops Should Unequivocally Reject Anti-Semitism”]


“Follow-up Statement from the City Bikes Board of Directors “13.Jul.2009

“author: City Bikes Workers' Cooperative Board of Directors “An amended statement in response to previous statement posted on Indymedia “We would like to express our regret for the initial response to Antifa’s statement regarding Tim Calvert released by the City Bikes Board of Directors. The letter was not released with consensus from all members of the Board, nor did it pass through the hands of each and every worker. The decision does not reflect the overall views of the coop, nor does it adequately address all of the issues at hand. We recognize the need for communication and are still in the process of dialogue. “City Bikes Workers’ Cooperative Board of Directors

“Tim Calvert's response to the indymedia smear campaign “7/13/2009

“As a life long activist who has struggled for human rights and justice for all people. Who respects the religions and spirituality of all people. Watching as globalization and homogenization destroy cultures world wide. Staring with wonder at the power of the multi-national corporations and their propaganda organs. Witnessing the oppression of activists who challenge these forces. Wondering if truly being in solidarity with the forces of justice equality and respect for the earth would bring these forces down on me. “Now I am being anonymously attacked and accused of all sorts of things without ever being asked to clarify anything. I am not anti-Semitic. I don't deny the horrors of WWII including the Holocaust and the many forgotten details of that time. “I do want to acknowledge that inviting Valdas Anelauskas was wrong and I apologize for creating this controversy and doubt in my credentials as a progressive activist. Thank you, Rose City Anti-fascists, for bringing this matter up in such a vigorous way. I would like to apologize to anyone I may have offended. Rose City Anti-Fascists have helped deepen the discussion of what is offensive. “Having talked with many people over the last few days, I want to further clarify why the 9-11 truth group invited Anelauskas and what my position is vis-a-vis him. “The 9-11 group invited him because we had had some limited contact with him when a number of us went to Eugene and met him after a Pacifica Forum event. The Pacifica


forum itself has been under attack from various players, including the Southern Poverty Law Center. The lecture we saw was prepared by Anelauskas, and was an expose on the Southern Poverty Law Center. A contact we had with the Pacifica Forum alerted us to a new lecture he had prepared about the Frankfurt School. We decided to invite him to speak. “I should say that we were not intimately familiar with all of Anelauskas's views and did not subject his background to heavy scrutiny. When the event was targeted by this outside group, whom we also really don't know, i.e. Rose City Anti-Fascists, we were defiant. “As this controversy has expanded, I want to clarify my politics vis-a-vis Anelauskas. Much of what he said in the lecture and subsequent conversations revealed that he had a naïve and reactionary view of American politics (the fifties were great), a rather tortured view of European politics (the Western Tradition was under attack, but when queried on the definition of Western Tradition, that too, seemed naive and ill formed). He does offer an unusual perspective - Latvian, Soviet Dissident, a scholar without a home, filled with a certain amount of (perhaps justified) bitterness. Would the 9-11 group invite him again? I doubt it. “The 9-11 Truth group has a fairly long history of taking on controversial issues and positions. The group has invited other speakers that it has not agreed with. I would say that the 9-11 group values Free Speech in the highest way, as we have watched the narrative of the 9-11 attacks being solidified into a ludicrous conspiracy theory involving Arabs in a Cave, and the voices challenging that lie systematically silenced. “In summary, I do not agree with most of Valdas Anelauskas's politics, some of which I agree is offensive. Does this mean he never makes any good points? He was invited to talk about the Frankfurt School and he did so. Did the group assembled think he was unassailable? No. As people may be aware, I have a long history of political work and thinking, and am happy to share my perspective with others. Fundamentally I believe in Justice, Solidarity, and Human Rights for all. My perspective on religions is respectful and supportive; spirituality with community are to be lauded. I have no problems with individuals in any faith. I do reserve the right to criticize organized religions when they are being used to justify oppression and, unfortunately, all three in the Abrahamic tradition have had that history. A person's ethnic or religious background is secondary to the actions they display in the world. I deny making any broad accusations about any ethnic or religious groups. I judge people and institutions by their actions, not their appearances. [End of “Tim Calvert's response to the indymedia smear campaign”]


“A Response to Tim Calvert “15.Jul.2009 “author: Peter Little “In the interest of seeing the ‘dialogue’ so many have asked for, it's nice to see Tim Calvert’s recent statement regarding his organizing of an anti-semitic, racist event in Portland posted here. It actually offers an opportunity to pose clearly some of the questions which the recent hosting of Vladas Anelauskas by Calvert and PDX 9/11 Truth have brought up. “Calvert’s statement itself, however, seems to dodge the most pertinent issues which his acknowledged organizing and subsequent defense and relocation of an event for Anelauskas have brought forward. “While many of us find anti-semitic views appalling, its actually beside the point either whether Calvert has Jewish friends or whether he believes that he is anti-semitic. The record of his actions stands for itself. Calvert actively worked in building a platform for holocaust denial, despite being warned of the politics of the individual he was promoting ahead of time, and when he was warned, not only defied those who warned him, but accused them of being state agents as a way of avoiding accountabiliy for his actions. “In Calvert’s letter of July 13th, he defends his actions, claiming ignorance,"I should say that we were not intimately familiar with all of Anelauskas’s views and did not subject his background to heavy scrutiny. When the event was targeted by this outside group, whom we also really don’t know, i.e. Rose City Anti-Fascists, we were defiant. "The statement Calvert references (posted at on June 25th) in his own letter explicitly points out Aneluaska’s holocaust revisionist and white separatist history and views. “Calvert goes on to personally reference the controversy and the document itself in the spoken introduction he gives to Analeuskas’ event (which can be seen either at the home page for the Portland 9/11Truth Alliance or at or at link to “Are we really to believe that despite Calvert’s admission in his letter that he was aware of the controversy, and his admission during his introduction to Analeuskas specifically that he was aware of the debate on Portland Indymedia, and that he wasn’t aware of Analueskas’ politics when he twice organized to move the event after it was twice shut down because of Analeuskas’ politics?


“Calvert’s declaration states that: “I don’t deny the horrors of WWII including the Holocaust and the many forgotten details of that time.” What does this awkwardlyconstructed sentence actually mean? It appears to locate the Holocaust as a subset of “the horrors of WWII” alongside other unspecified “forgotten details”. In viewing the Shoah as one horror amongst many in a blur of warfare, Calvert eviscerates its historical meaning and importance, explaining it away as merely a result of World War. Ironically, this itself is a classic Holocaust-denial strategy. “The statement by Calvert actually cites his involvement with the Pacific Forum, but leaves out crucial information about Anelauskas, about the history of the Pacifica Forum in Eugene, the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance, and Calvert’s own complicity in Anelauskas’ fascist speaking engagement. The declaration states that members of the Portland 9/11 Truth Alliance “went to Eugene and met him Anelauskas after a Pacifica Forum event. The Pacifica forum itself has been under attack from various players, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.” “The Pacifica Forum was reported on by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) due to its repeated hosting of Holocaust-denying, anti-Semitic and fascist speakers. Apart from Anelauskas himself—who Rose City Antifa has already written about and who is a central player in the Pacifica Forum—individuals who have been hosted by the Pacifica Forum over the past two years include: “Mark Weber, head of the Holocaust-denial organization the Institute for Historical Review, and a former member of the neo-nazi National Alliance organization. “David Irving, a neo-fascist who is one of the world’s most notorious Holocaust-deniers. “Tomislav Sunic, an anti-Semitic author who collaborates with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens as well as the “American Renaissance” group. “Although the SPLC deserves criticism and has at times have politically mischaracterized its opponents—it is clear that the Pacifica Forum is a grouping which promotes antiSemitism, and that the group itself has not been mischaracterized in this instance. As well as Anelauskas, a frequent participant in Pacifica Forum gatherings during 2008 was Jimmy Marr, last seen protesting alongside the National Socialist Movement in Medford, OR. “There can be no plausible denial that the Portland 9/11 Truth group was not fully aware of the nature of Anelauskas’ presentation. Regarding the speaker himself, the organization did not need to “subject his background to heavy scrutiny” to know about his politics—a simple Google search would suffice. Besides, Calvert and his organization had more than enough information about Anelauskas when Laughing Horse was asked to cancel the event. Again-Calvert acknowledges his awareness of the debate already


occurring on Portland Indymedia when he introduces Anelauskas and explains why the event was moved twice. Its there, on video, at the PDX 9/11 Truth website. “When the Anelauskas event was cancelled at Laughing Horse, Calvert purposefully lied to others that the Portland date had been entirely called off. Calvert was adamant that the event would go on, and labeled his critics as “Zionists” and even state agents. If Calvert or any of the other event organizers had criticisms of Anelauskas, they were certainly not revealed at Anelauskas’ speaking engagement. In fact, Calvert gave a glowing introduction to Anelauskas, and stayed entirely silent as Anelauskas argued for fascist political stances. While in Portland for the event, Anelauskas stayed at Calvert’s house. “It is ludicrous that Rose City Antifa should be asked to have a dialog with Calvert. Rose City Antifa is, as the name implies, an anti-fascist and anti-racist organization. It does not exist to coddle anti-Semitic organizers, or those who insist on propagandizing for and giving a platform to fascists. This is the heart of the debate here. Not whether Calvert has Jewish friends, or considers himself an antisemite. The answer which Calvert has avoided, and which is needed from Calvert, is whether he thinks it is acceptable to use socalled,“free-speech,” to provide a platform for the views promoted in Analeuskas’ talk. In Calvert’s public letter, he states,"The 9-11 Truth group has a fairly long history of taking on controversial issues and positions. The group has invited other speakers that it has not agreed with. I would say that the 9-11 group values Free Speech in the highest way, as we have watched the narrative of the 9-11 attacks " Calvert should be clear-does he think it was acceptable to provide a platform or these politics, or will he join in condemning them not only within the left, but within our society as a whole? “Calvert says ,"In summary, I do not agree with most of Valdas Anelauskas’s politics, some of which I agree is offensive. Does this mean he never makes any good points? He was invited to talk about the Frankfurt School and he did so. " I’d actually press Calvert to clarify what WAS good about Analeuskas’ presentation. I’ve watched it, and its pretty solidly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory laced with anti-woman, anti-queer, and racist overtones. Theres not much else there. “By claiming to be the victim of a “smear campaign” Calvert is actually smearing those who have brought the details of his involvement in this organizing event to light. It should be noted that the event is still promoted and can be watched via the website of the PDX 9/11 Truth grouping that Calvert speaks so fondly of in his own defense. Is this really accountability? Analeuskas’ dirty politics are still being given a platform by the same groups Calvert is praising, while in the same breath he tepidly tries to distance himself from those politics. “If Calvert wishes to make amends, then he should begin by actually taking responsibility for his actions and speak honestly about how events have transpired up to this point. If Calvert really believes he made a mistake, he should be clear about it and take clear


actions to remedy it-his vague response so far leaves more questions than answers. “If City Bikes is really a collective with radical political values, they need to hold a member of their collective accountable for his actions within the community in which they exist. If they choose not to, then they shouldn’t be surprised when people choose not to patronize or support them. Rose City Antifa shouldn’t be blamed for this-they didn’t organize the fascist event, and they don’t have the power to force people to shop or not shop at City Bikes. They’ve merely shined light on a seedy corner of close-in Southeast Portland. Its disingenuous to blame Rose City Antifa if, when presented with the facts, City Bikes patrons choose not to associate with City Bikes for sheltering someone who is organizing and promoting fascist politics. “Statement from a portion of the Citybikes Board “20.Nov.2009

“author: members of the Citybikes Board of Directors Making consensus decisions on immeasurably difficult issues is not something that comes easily to our cooperative. Members of the coop have been working from June until now, and this is what we wish to express. The reaction that our community has shown in response to Tim Calvert's organizing on behalf of Valdas Anelauskas has had an intense effect on us. Friends, coworkers, customers, and the community at large have shown great concern. We want nothing as much as we want people to be treated justly and with respect, and for our friends and customers to even hint at feeling otherwise has been a huge blow to us personally, and as a cooperative. We greatly appreciate every single person and organization who has communicated with Tim and Citybikes about this issue. For a cooperative such as ours, open communication is truly vital. We have heeded many exchanges of both trepidation and support, from our customers, our friends, other cooperatives, and members of the community, for which we are extremely grateful. Citybikes workers were quite surprised to hear of Tim's association with this speaker, upon learning of Anelauskas's apparent platform. We have held countless meetings over the course of the last three months, with the general cooperative, the board of directors, a separate subcommittee, concerned members of other coops, and innumerable lessformal conversations. Through these discussions, we have come to recognize Tim's sincerity when insists he is for the rights of all people. Tim and the rest of the coop now understand how destructive an effect bringing someone like this into the community, and advocating for them can have.


This is the first and only situation where Citybikes workers have witnessed Tim being associated with such thinking, though we take these associations very seriously and understand the ramifications. From this experience, we have begun forming an antioppression policy. Should something similar occur within Citybikes, process will be in place for us to deal with it. Due chiefly to lack of consensus, we are not placing any sanctions on Tim at this time. Interacting with the community in response to this event has been a huge wake-up call, and an immense learning experience for each of us. It has been extremely challenging, and rewarding to be reminded of the people who care about Tim and Citybikes, and that we are a part of so many communities of thoughtful people. With deep respect and gratitude for our customers, everyone in Portland, and in the farreaching cooperative and bike-related worlds, Signed, Lindsey Musselwhite Kathy MacCrate Noel Thompson Burton Ford Members of the Citybikes Workers' Cooperative Board of Directors

A Final Note:
This is the most encouraging statement by City Bikes to date on this issue. We realize that a lot of time and energy went into trying to address the situation and that there were, and probably still are, a variety of points of view on how to react to it within City Bikes. It is laudable that City Bikes is has developed an anti-oppression policy. We feel that it is still possible and desirable to deal with the situation involving Tim Calvert. Our position is that Tim's “thinking” or “sincerity when insists he is for the rights of all people” is not what is at issue and never was. Instead, Tim's history of promoting bigotry is what is at issue. Again, our intention is not to force City Bikes to "place sanctions on Tim." Rather, our intention is to support members of our movement who are concerned about Tim's involvements by advocating for meaningful dialogue and positive change. We hope Tim and his friends will collaborate toward this end.