Friday, October 26, 2012

Protest and Banning at Burn2

For the most part, the Burn2 festival has gone well those participating. Last weekend however on Sunday October 21st, there was a protest at the event, followed by a mass banning. According to eyewitnesses, not only were those actively protesting banned from the Burn2 sims, but apparently so were passersby whom did nothing more than watch.

I was contacted about the incident by an eyewitness, saying that Burn2 artist Kandinsky Beaumont needed the help of a Saveme Oh for her exhibit. Trouble was, Saveme wasn't allowed at the Burn, "Saveme … has been banned by LEA, SL9B … she was banned from (the) Burn last year. So Kandinsky was refused. So they started a protest."

I was given a name, Marmaduke Arado, and contacted him. "We were just banned from (the) Burn," he told me, "we were staging an improvised 'protest' performance and were mass banned. Even people just watching were banned … a few just for watching. Without explanation, warning, nothing."

Saveme Oh has a blog at (very much Not Safe For Work), in which she writes about the Burn2 incident, and previous ones she was involved in. Some people commenting on them accused her of editing out certain details. In her June 24 post, she wrote, "The first day after a Secondlife break I always have the uncontrollable urge to misbehave badly."

One other blog, Apmel,  had some information. One post (Not Safe For Work), shows pictures of Kandinsky's exhibit before and after she was given a notice, "Your build as a large protest creates disharmony in our community … It damages the joy of the celebration and community spirit. It also is not within the spirit or aesthetics of this event. We have a policy of 'No Drama' within our events. Your build is dramatic because of it's size and focus. This has to change significantly … Please consider a build that will enhance the joy and celebration of Burn2 rather than damage it."

I later met up with two of the leaders of the Burn festival, EmCee Widget and Ronon Carver. EmCee refused to comment on the matter. Ronon did answer, saying she was sorry but they would not talk about these kinds of matters.

It is unknown whether or not any of those not taking part in the protest who were banned have had it reversed.

Bixyl Shuftan


  1. I think a good solution to these sorts of problems is to have a sim off in the remote corner where the "extremists" of the group can have their displays. While not a requirement, the extreme members who are outside the scope of the group while still making creative builds can be set there. Thus people have to make the effort to see "offensive" stuff rather than just stumbling on it, and the builders are still free to do their own thing.

    And after the event, the entire group can discuss if the person is so far outside the group's scope that they should remain a member or not.

    This silences no-one at the event but still allows the group overall to remove elements that aren't keeping with the group's objectives and standards.

  2. "It is unknown whether or not any of those not taking part in the protest who were banned have had it reversed."

    No, they haven´t. And since when does looking at others demonstrating make you an "extremist"? It is a clear case of guilt by association on the Rangers part.

  3. It is a clear case of guilt by association and not right

  4. Thanks for this very accurate post. I was among the banned people, being as well supporting Kandinsky and Saveme Oh. And not unbanned so far. I confirm that several persons just passing by were banned, too, only because they were around, event if it was the first time of their sl life that they met our group.
    It is amazing and disturbing to see how much some persons try to create a disneyan world, where everyone must be a nice Bambi and smile sweetly all day long. They try so hard that they fell into a totalitarian behaviour. And when asked to discuss about it and maybe think a little bit further, the answer, as you state it, is clearly: "no comment".
    I dont think that Kandinsky or Saveme are "extremist". They simply offer something else, something different, provocative and raising quite a few questions.
    I remember with lots of nostalgia the ancient Burning Life events, where creativity had still its right place. It turned now to a poor, sad and bad copy of reality, with some of its worse aspects: intolerance and arbitrary.
    But please, SMILE. Please, SMILE AGAIN.

    Cat Shilova

  5. "to have a sim off in the remote corner where the "extremists" of the group can have their displays. "

    you mean like a ghetto?

    and how to you square that proposal with the first principle of Burn:

    Radical Inclusion
    Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.

  6. By the way... what are those black dots on the picture?
    Who is afraid of private parts? - which are, actually, the private parts of a world wide famous statue, MichelAngelo's David in Firenze. Which have been seen live by millions of millions (shocked) eyes.
    Finally, a ghetto might be a good idea....

    Cat Shilova.

    1. It is also funny that the writer says that my post is "not safe for work".Why not? Is the word penis forbidden at work places now?

    2. "Who is afraid of private parts?"

      puritans? btw, someone seems to have been a bit overzealous regarding Returned in this matter..

  7. The event manager seem to have no culture of democracy. I know only one adequate instrument against censorship: A big (and I mean BIG) protest of the community in 2013 e.g. no participation or a parallel event like a mass being caged in a huge Guantanamo jail! Should we tolerate Second Life becoming a democracy-free zone? Do we nee culture popes dictating us what "good" culture is?

  8. Listen, if you're not going to play by the rules in someone else's house (with LL and at Burn Man) then GTFO. If you're going to cause trouble, you'll get kicked. Simple as that.

    This isn't about censorship, it's about a bunch of nitwitted people who only want to cause trouble in an otherwise happy and care-free environment. They want to shit all over a great event then cry foul when the people who run it don't want them around.

    I don't see the logic in these people's actions. I think they're just using this as an excuse to act like complete arseholes.

  9. To those asking about the black dots and "Not Safe For Work," a number of workplaces in the US monitor Internet activity, and the viewing of websites with private parts on company computers is frowned upon. Also, many US workplaces have policies against what might be seen as sexual harrasment. When I first went to work at my current location, one could see a few "girlie pics" in places like personal lockers. A few years later, they were ordered taken down.