A Statement of Support in the Event of Legal Threats Or Lawsuits
Elise Matthesen is a writer, artist, and activist. Sigrid Ellis is a writer, editor, blogger, and air traffic controller. Both are active in what I'll refer to as the fantasy and science fiction community.
Ms. Ellis gave a party at Wiscon; Ms. Matthesen attended. Ms. Matthesen experienced conduct she believed was harassment, and reported it. She later wrote a post — carried by several prominent figures in the science fiction community — about the process of reporting harassment at conventions. Ms. Ellis identified the person Ms. Matthesen reported.
Though I discuss harassment in the science fiction, fantasy, and gaming community on this blog, the purpose of this post is not to discuss that incident, or the nature of the conduct that led to the report.
Rather, I write to state my support.
As far as I know, Ms. Ellis and Ms. Matthesen have not received specific legal threats.
However, in the event that Ms. Ellis or Ms. Matthesen do receive legal threats or are subjected to litigation, I have agreed to give them my assistance in securing an effective and vigorous defense. That assistance will include the Popehat Signal. Thanks to the generosity of readers and the devotion of the community of First Amendment attorneys (including the First Amendment Lawyers Association, of which I am a member), the Popehat Signal has often been successful at pairing defendants with pro bono lawyers who have produced excellent results. I have also offered, to the extent appropriate and (depending on the jurisdiction) available, my personal assistance, which has also led to some success. Finally, I will do my part to encourage the Streisand Effect.
Does it sound like I boast? Maybe it does. Take it this way: I am utterly, unreservedly, mercilessly serious.
Conduct yourself accordingly.
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