Statement: we have been a target of disinformation efforts. Our initial reaction!

Tirana, 26/03/2021

On the 18th of March, an article written by Daniel Pocock came to our attention. Said article makes some misleading, discriminatory, racist claims toward some of our members, our main event OSCAL, and our organization as a whole. To make these claims, Daniel Pocock, has used specific parts of private email communications, shown totally out of context to fabricate a story that seriously damages the health of our community and the reputation of its members. Related to these claims we will follow the example of many other Open Source activists and organizations, previously dealing with his behavior: consider legal action!
There is one claim though, for which we want to be able and have full information before we say it never happened. We provide more context on that below. 

We (as referred in the article, The Albanians) will address his claim in a second public statement. 

What Daniel suggests, is that women members of our community have communicated to him that certain men in our community have acted as gate-keepers and controllers for women. He suggests that this has been made possible by exploiting our NDA (forked by Mozilla, adapted collaboratively, and agreed by all members) and using a code of conduct written specifically for women (which is untrue and absurd). 

As of today, we, the current members and the current executive board members (proudly 100% women by the way), of Open Labs Albania, have never been informed in any of our communication channels on these concerns, nor by Daniel, nor by the person who he claims to be protecting. In no case has there been communication of any kind with us, from our members, to address a disagreement on our NDA, or to address these concerns on ‘male control’. 

We are committed to keeping Open Labs an inclusive community, where everyone feels supported and heard. If at some point, any of our members did not feel that way, we want to encourage them to come forward. We want to make sure these concerns are addressed and we are taking further steps: As we are an open community, and the current members of Open Labs are not the same people who were part of the organization in the period these alleged events refer to (2017 – 2018) – we have reached out to all of the previous members and to the people who played an active role in our community at this period of time, to confirm if in any sort of way they have received (or have had) any complaints of this nature.
We are expecting to have an answer from them by 30.03.2020.  Depending on the information we gather, we will then decide on the next steps; one possible course of action we are considering is taking legal action to address the issue. 

Regarding the other disinformation efforts of this article, we will not comment any further. We consider this an attempt to hurt our community and we don’t want to contribute in spreading misinformation at scale. 
We encourage all Open Labs friends to get in touch if they have any sort of concerns related to this post.

Thank you,

Open Labs Hackerspace Members.

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