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  • Writer's pictureJohn Dodd

Conventions don't Ban people, unless we have to.

I've been considering this since yesterday, about whether to post out about this sort of thing and the effect it has on the community at large, but after things that have happened yesterday and today, I need to make some things clear.

I also want to note that there aren't that many people who organise conventions, and no matter what everyone thinks, we do all talk to each other, particularly about things like this.

Particularly about people like this.

In January, following another deliberate attempt to disrupt the Contingency convention by harassing people even when they weren't at the show, several conventions across the UK, including Dragonmeet, took the decision to ban someone from attending any of those conventions.

I'm saying this now, because despite being banned from Dragonmeet, I found in the tickets this morning that the person banned had picked up spaces in games and when asked, chose not to respond, perhaps thinking that I would think it was a different person with their name that had taken up residence at their address or that perhaps the word "Banned" meant something else.

It doesn't.

Not when they took to social media following the Ban to complain, there was no misunderstanding, just someone who thought that the rules didn't apply to them, which is how we got here in the first place.

I'm putting this out because their actions always skirted the line of the code of conduct, and in many cases, they would argue that they were exercising their right to free speech and action in doing the things they did, and that anyone who had a problem with their actions could take it up with them.

On behalf of all those people who were afraid to, and all those people who just stopped going to conventions because of their actions, we took it up in January, and for their actions these last two days, I'm posting this now.

As convention organisers, we have a responsibility to ensure that our conventions are places of safety where people know they can go and have a good time. There isn't a convention organiser I know who doesn't take that most seriously, it's one of the guiding principles of running a good convention. Our actions in January were taken because we recognised that many people no longer go to conventions because there was the possibility that this person would be there.

The needs of the many, outweigh, the needs of the few, or the one.

Conventions are for everyone, they're places for people to come together and enjoy games and talks and the company of others, things that have been in short supply this year to the misery of many.

It's unfortunate when some take actions that ruin it for others, but it's on us to make it right when they do.

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