This is what happens when you ask someone to leave and they do not like that. This is also a lesson in how to deal with something so negative: not over reacting, trying to get them to understand how they have hurt themselves by hurting us, and creating a piece of art our of the negative situation.
And when it happened we posted this on Facebook:
“Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Anything he does to the web, he does to himself.” Chief Seattle The kid who did this hurt the web and hurt himself. We have boarded it up and started painting the board (pictures to come). We strengthened the web, but lost a strand. I have hope and remain optimistic that our influence will create change.
Then some really surprising things happened. One, the post reached 6520 people and received 35 reactions, 19 shares and 42 comments. The comments and shares generated priceless testimonials. A few are listed below:
“Having had Carm utilize the space that the fledge offered and having it play such an important role in my friend Pat and Troy (to be specific) lives, I find myself angry that this happened. I understand your view, but if there is no respect for that philosophy…then protect and don’t let stuff like that ruin the experience. That’s just my opinion. From someone who doesn’t come to GL/Lansing area much anymore but has appreciated the space The Fledge provides.”
“Dont be discouraged or angry. Doors can be replaced. What the Fledge really is can never be damaged, hurt, or broken, because we ARE The Fledge. For every destructive person, there are dozens of creative people ready to help. Just saying :)”
“This is our home, where all of us can collaborate with like minded people that we love and appreciate. The fledge for us is family which we don’t take lightly, meaning an incident such as this is an act of violence against our family. Myself, the Devils Cut boys and Saint Chris are very upset by this…whoever is responsible is lucky we are on tour right now…but we’ll be back!”
“Goddammit. Smash the door of a place with the beautiful concept to leave it open for anyone. Don’t ever change guys. You disarmed my anger by saying chaos spawns innovation. I believe in what you’re doing and it affects the way I think”
“I never understood why all the nice things had to be ruined. The fledge was such and influential part of my life. I spent months from morning till night in here and had the option to do whatever I wanted to this place, because that’s the beauty of the fledge.. exist as you are and create at will.. but never once did defacing the property even come to mind. Some people are just so shallow and emoty. All they did was a break a doorway to a creative paradise, idiots lol. You can’t break down the brains, heart, determination, and soul that this place envelopes, so I hope they were satisfied with breaking the door.”
“I remember one of the first times I ever came to The Fledge talking to the guy recording music at the time. I wanted to hear about the studio, but all he was interested in talking about was how he wanted to make sure the unworthy idiot teenagers who hang out here didn’t touch his stuff. I thought it was ridiculous then, and still do now.
This incident started out as a kid who had nowhere to stay who ended up bringing in a lot of extra people and taking advantage of us big time. First my food was stolen, my bike was temporarily stolen, and cigarettes were smoked inside. I tried to explain that wasn’t what we were about and gave the kids a tour and encouraged them to use our space for what it’s meant for. Then we came to find out all of our donation money was stolen out of Jerry’s office and Pat’s skateboard got torn apart and used for parts. We finally told them to leave and never come back and after all that they came back and broke through the window. These kids lied to our face time and time again, putting on little angel faces whenever I was around and I most certainly feel played.
But my point here is this – we might have to run a slightly tighter ship now but we all knew this was going to happen at some point because we are first and foremost a hyper-inclusive space and we want to welcome everybody. Not only including, but ESPECIALLY the people who our society deems as useless and/or threatening – The kids who’s teachers have long since gave up on. The homeless, the felons, the impaired. The people who’s interests are dismissed by the affluent, paranoid, more-middle-of-the-fucking-road-than-I’d-like-to-imagine-exists part of America that’s been hampering creativity for way longer than of any us have been alive. We don’t even have to get along with you here. If you’re a shithead I don’t doubt you’ve probably been shat on a few too many times, and we want to help change that!JUST USE THIS PLACE FOR WHAT IT’S MEANT FOR
Hating people who have wronged The Fledge doesn’t make us better. Isolating new faces won’t improve our community. Being nearly unconditionally trusting doesn’t make us weak. This place popped up in a town that didn’t (and still doesn’t) understand that and gave me and many of our friends careers doing what we love when barely anybody else believed in us. To change the formula now would be ridiculous. Now we get to turn the door into art, and I dig that. I’m also glad to have have a good opportunity to reiterate what The Fledge stands for. Hopefully this will bring a new wave of creativity to our basement that will make the people who want to take advantage of us feel out of place.
If you see Jerry Norris give him a high five or a hug! He deserves it.”