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Local science-fiction convention in turmoil over #metoo incidents; president resigns, is barred from event

The day after announcing that the president of the group that runs the Arisia science-fiction convention had resigned and been barred from the event over a rape and harassment allegation, several members of the group's executive board have resigned as well.

At issue is not just the allegation - and new ones involving other women and other incidents during the convention in past years - but whether the volunteers who run Arisia tried to sweep incidents under the rug and in some cases allow attackers to continue to harass their victims at convention events.

The news comes three months before the annual convention - one of Boston's two main science-fiction conventions - at the Westin Boston Waterfront. The location could prove troublesome for another reason - it's one of the hotels being struck by Unite Here Local 26.

Recent days have seen some participants, such as Brianna Wu, calling for a boycott of the convention as being unsafe for women.

Elizabeth Leggett, an official "artist guest of honor" for the upcoming convention, however, explains why she'll still be attending. Two "writer guests of honor," however, have announced they will not attend.

Arisia, Inc. holds a public meeting and board elections at 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 at the Armory, 191 Highland Ave. in Somerville.

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Comments

Leggett is the artist guest of honor. That can look like being "the" guest of honor because the writer guests of honor, Daniel Jose Older and Malka Older, responded to Crystal Huff's post by saying they will not be going to Arisia.

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Voting closed 9

They wanted Rosenberg out and banned, and that has now happened.

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A recent tweet says
"update on the "as things stand" part of the above post: @m_older and I have advised Arisia we're not going to be Guest of Honors this year, period. Ending rape culture takes more than firing 1 person and then another as accusations become public. Accountability is not cosmetic."

The situation turns out to be worse than it looked a few days ago, when the Olders said they wouldn't be guests of honor "as things stood."

The whole thing is (already) long enough that Adam probably doesn't want us rehashing it here, even if I had the spoons to do so (either lots of retyping or pasting in a lot of links).

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The whole thing is (already) long enough that Adam probably doesn't want us rehashing it here

Darling, everyone loves juicy gossip.

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Take care of yourself! and thank you for the info.

For those who want more, there is some additional information and links on Jim C. Hines's blog at http://www.jimchines.com/2018/10/arisia-rapist/

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sad and disappointed when all this news came out, but considering the incidences coming to light all across the "old school" con scene, including also-local Readercon, not surprised. it's tough to turn around an entrenched organizational culture no matter what, and SFF fandom has had issues in general since forever. combine the two and of course shit like this is a sad inevitability; predators love cultures where they can get away with it.

I've heard a few other local/regional cons are using this as a chance to go over their own policies again, though, so there's some slight silver lining to the whole mess.

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Arisia has largely overturned its executive board, and has decided to move back to the Park Plaza Hotel for 2019, because UNITE HERE is still on strike at the Westin Waterfront (and six other local Marriott-owned hotels).

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