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GWU Seattle calls for removal of GWU International member over 'exclusionary behavior'

GWU Seattle calls for removal of GWU International member over 'exclusionary behavior'

June 1, 2020 | By Alissa McAloon

The Seattle chapter of Game Workers Unite are calling for changes to be made to GWU International in response to "exclusionary behavior and bullying" from Marijam Didžgalvyte, a prominent member of the game industry-focused workers rights advocacy group.

That behavior, and GWU International's alleged inaction toward it, is the crux of the statement of demands put out by the Seattle chapter of GWU over the weekend, shared here.

It’s a significant accusation made toward an organization that has publicly advocated for social issues and, in a recent thread on its newly formed anti-racist committee, condemned racism and white supremacy and pledged to root it out of its own ranks.

The Seattle chapter is now calling for Didžgalvyte’s removal from the organization, as well as a public apology to past and current members from GWU International and to prioritize "the creation of the Anti-Racism Committee to address this situation and all member descrimination."
“We as members of the Seattle GWU chapter are angry and appalled by actions taken by members and leaders of the GWU International organization,” writes the Seattle chapter. “Their actions were condescending and dismissive towards POC doing difficult and vital work for free, and those members were unjustly pushed out of roles where they were most needed. We are also bewildered at the lack of action taken to deal with this behavior that breaks our organization’s rules and blatantly is against our Points of Unity and Code of Conduct.”

Didžgalvyte published a statement on the single incident she notes that she believes prompted GWU Seattle’s accusations where she, inadvertently in her retelling, shot down a proposal from Lionkiller dev Sisi Jiang that GWU make a thread on white supremacy for fear of making the International organization too focused on “‘Western’ stuff”.

“I said three clumsy sentences in a meeting that were not closing down the discussion, but just trying to rethink it, immediately felt bad about it, addressed it and apologised to Sisi straight away,” writes Didžgalvyte. “I asked for good faith that it was essentially a miscommunication and I was ready to post any thread that eventually got made. I would never counter any anti-racist messages coming from GWU International.”

Tweets critical of GWU’s treatment of people of color (including the thread by writer Meghna Jayanth where Didžgalvyte originally tweeted her response) indicate that the issue is far broader than one conversation, and calls out GWU UK for not taking accountability for similar incidents.

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