ThIs post includes discussions of rape and abusive behavior. Please read with care.
not to derail & talk about charm city art space, but it infuriates me when anti-rape culture/survivor-supportive bands (like punch/rape revenge) play CCAS - i never know whether they’re aware of the history of the space or not, but regardless, it sends a message that the past doesn’t matter as long as kids can go to a fun show. even my friends in punk bands and sj-type efforts have ignored my calling attention to CCAS’ fucked up rape apologist tactics because “there’s no where else in baltimore to have DIY shows”. fuck that. no excuses for anyone who is involved in this space staying functional.
STOP SUPPORTING CHARM CITY ART SPACE. PERIOD.
Thank you so much for posting this. Punch is aware of the history of CCAS. I e-mailed them and Ceremony shortly after everything had happened. Ceremony responded saying that they felt it was unfair to make a judgement based on “one perspective” and Punch said they would think about what I had e-mailed them and never got back to me. Neither of them cancelled their shows.
Des Ark also played there knowing their history, but handled it a lot differently. They had communicated to a friend that they still wanted to play CCAS because it was important to them to bring up these issues during their set, so it didn’t go unsaid and couldn’t be avoided. After that show, they played a private show at a friends house for myself and other folks who weren’t comfortable being at CCAS.
it is such a bummer that all of this history is already being lost. when we played baltimore the other day (not at the CCAS, we haven’t played there since finding out) our friend who helped set up the show had moved to baltimore within the past year and had no idea that all this stuff went down, and attended shows at the CCAS. CCAS has done a great job of letting this all blow over and never actually addressing it after their ridiculously botched handling of this situation & first super problematic public statement, and they’ve never been truly accountable.. instead, lots of turnover in involvement (skewing heavily white cis male) means no one has to care about history & the original safe space document that CCAS founders set down ten years ago, and tons of bands still play there & people go to shows there. super disappointing to say the least as someone who went to shows there since it opened.a friend of mine hosted a consent workshop at CCAS for members after this went down, and barely anyone showed up. there are ways that current CCAS members could work towards making this better, but if they haven’t done it yet i have low hopes for it ever happening.
I REALLY don’t want to go into all of this again but I don’t think anyone at CCAS has ever claimed to be an expert at handling these kinds of situations. We brought in a mediator and someone who could help work things out between the parties and that didn’t seem to do anything… people still think we didn’t try to do anything when I don’t think this weight should be put on our shoulders… yet, we still tried/try to make things better. We did create a conflict resolution plan so that should something like this arise in the future, we will know how to handle it — if you would like to see it you can email us at email@example.com. There is a lot of talk about us doing things to make a mends well if you have any suggestions as to what those things actually are, PLEASE TELL US! We need your help! As I’ve said, we are not experts in dealing with this and that isn’t a requirement in being a member. I and the rest of the collective is sincere in saying that we want to work with you to ensure that people feel comfortable going to shows at CCAS. I don’t want us to continually be dragged through the mud for something that happened three years ago and wasn’t handled properly by either side of the situation. If you have something productive to contribute, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or email the space at email@example.com (though I manage that email too).
That’s false, a mediator was never brought in. Als, various suggestions made about how to move forward in that particular situation by concerned parties, both in the emergency CCAS meeting years ago and outside of it, went totally ignored by all remaining members.
Here’s a suggestion: work to avoid language that puts blame on the survivor/survivor’s supporters. It’s insulting to say that this “wasn’t handled properly by either side of the situation”. Even if you think that those folks really could have handled things better, it is just not ok to act as if they were doing anything other than trying to do their best to handle a horrific situation.