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Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay groups

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Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay groups

Postby GoPikachu » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:28 pm

Hey guys,

Recently on an unofficial Animazement group page on Facebook a post was made about certain cosplay groups being bullied - physically.
This is an important reminder of convention safety for anyone, not just cosplayers.

I've included a quote and the link below to the actual post if you would like to read and or follow it.

Hey to everyone in this group that likes Homestuck and cosplay it. I don't know the name of the group but there is a group that is actually attacking homestuck fans ranging from silly string to actually beating the cosplayers up. So far it's in the west but I'm sure that it's going to spread here to the east coast. So please travel in groups when in cosplay and please be careful.


Unofficial Animazement group page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/130206450449013/

Not only do I want to repost this information on the forum, I want to remind people to stay safe at AZ and keep an eye out for our fellow cosplayers.

This is not to prevent you from cosplaying as your favorite character or to create fear, but is inform everyone on safety so things like this don't happen!

If you see or are the victim of bullying PLEASE REPORT IT TO SECURITY OR STAFF. Please refrain from getting involved physically, as it adds to the confusion.
Security is in place for a reason, to keep us safe. So, don't hesitate to let someone know if you're being harassed.
If you can't find security, let a fellow attendee know you're having complications. Ask someone to walk with you to find staff. Many people, including myself, would be willing to walk with you.

We are all here for the same reason, to express our love for our favorite anime, manga, or whatever fandom you can think of. That being said, Animazement should be a place of acceptance. So, let's work together to keep each other safe and be a big sappy fan family.



Thanks for reading!



EDIT: There has just been evidence found of threats towards Homestuck cosplayers.

The group goes by the name of "Homestuck Hunters."
The group has planned to attend a convention in Pheonix; however, as a precaution I'd like to ask Animazement attendees to be prepared in case the actions of this hate group inspire bullying here on the East Coast.
No matter who you cosplay as, be safe and have fun!
Last edited by GoPikachu on Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby oglop_master » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:24 pm

Thank you for posting about this!
Having trouble styling your wig for your next cosplay? Well, you're in luck! Head on over to Erin's Wigs and check it out!
http://erinswigs.tumblr.com/
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby AZ_belle_45 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:42 pm

thats just terrible : / I don't understand/like a lot of con stuff, but to actually threaten and be rude to someone just because they really like something and express it v.v ugh the spirit of cosplay is slowly dying <3
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planned AZ 2014 cosplay:
Fight club captain Mako--kill la kill
Happy--Fairy Tail
Crimson Viper--Street Fighter
Bunny Maid
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby GoPikachu » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:45 am

It's not just the spirit of cosplay, Belle. It's a shocking decline in the compassion of humanity, let alone respect.
Actions like this happen incredibly more than they should. Conventions should be like a community. As I stated in the post, we all are going for the same reason - because we are fans who just want to have fun. We all have that in common, so why is it so difficult to get along?

Maybe something negative, such as these threats, can bring people together and remind them how important it is to care for your fellow convention goer. That is the ultimate defense against hatred, turning their negativity into something positive. Which is what I hope this post inspires along with safety awareness.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Tavex » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:21 am

Yeah there's no way I could see this happening at Animazement.

I for one would be stopping that garbage immediately.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby BobD » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:47 pm

Let it be known far and wide that Animazement has a ZERO tolerance in regard to this sort of activity taking place at the convention. Regardless, whether it is by a group or individuals, if you witness this type of activity happening please contact a staff member or security immediately. It will be handled promptly, I will make sure of that. Please do not take matters into your own hands as that will only result in your expulsion from the convention as well (two wrongs don't make a right). Do not form vigilante groups or take part in witch hunts. Unless a problem does surface just enjoy the con. Should it surface we will take care of it.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby wolf » Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:44 pm

This always makes me really upset to read. :c
If any of you can't find a member of staff, and you happen to recognize me from the cosplays in my signature, feel free to come up to me, you're more than welcome to walk/talk with me anytime you feel unsafe.

But in all the years i've been going to AZ, I've never felt threatened by someone because of what I cosplayed.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby GoPikachu » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:07 pm

wolf wrote:This always makes me really upset to read. :c
If any of you can't find a member of staff, and you happen to recognize me from the cosplays in my signature, feel free to come up to me, you're more than welcome to walk/talk with me anytime you feel unsafe.

But in all the years i've been going to AZ, I've never felt threatened by someone because of what I cosplayed.


Thanks so much to you and everyone else who has shown concern for this issue. The bullying hasn't happened, and hopefully it never will, but so often nothing is done until it is too late. The goal is stopping it before it starts. Animazement has security watching and staff, which is very helpful for keeping bullying from sneaking its way in.

I'd be more than happy to walk with someone to find security as well. I might be a little hard to spot among so many people, but if anyone just so much as happens to come across Kurapika (Hunter x Hunter) and needs someone to walk with, just ask!

Never have I felt threatened due to the character I was cosplaying as either. The most trouble I had was excited fans being a little rough, but it was innocent fun. Precautions are always good, though.
Like I said in previous post, everyone stay safe!
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby DrGonzo369 » Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:38 am

BobD wrote:Let it be known far and wide that Animazement has a ZERO tolerance in regard to this sort of activity taking place at the convention. Regardless, whether it is by a group or individuals, if you witness this type of activity happening please contact a staff member or security immediately. It will be handled promptly, I will make sure of that. Please do not take matters into your own hands as that will only result in your expulsion from the convention as well (two wrongs don't make a right). Do not form vigilante groups or take part in witch hunts. Unless a problem does surface just enjoy the con. Should it surface we will take care of it.



THIS ALL DAY LONG! Find staff, report it. Don't try to be a hero!
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Marzipan » Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:40 am

Staff is your friend!!

But this is good too. Nothing wrong with creating awareness. AZ has always been low key and safe, but it doesn't hurt to keep your senses alert for possible trouble.
Join the very much UNofficial Animazement FB group!<3

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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Dimmuburger » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:55 am

"I am better than you because of my taste in media" -Everyone who has ever lived
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby GoPikachu » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:41 am

As stated previously, don't jump into the confrontation. It will cause confusion and most be even more difficult for staff to clean up. Why make their job more difficult?

Hopefully the spreading awareness will encourage people tell staff and security before something foolish does happen. We're all scoping out good cosplay, other fans, merchandise, and so on.. So, while people are on the look out, why not keep an eye out for others.

AS SAID BY JUST ABOUT EVERYONE ABOVE... Tell staff. Don't complicate matters. You're being a hero by TELLING.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Shenanagan » Mon Mar 11, 2013 10:03 am

Well said, GoPikachu! Sometimes the best solution to a problem is the simplest.

And it's just shameful that this has perpetrated conventions. Not to say that isn't surprising, but that's all the more reason for us to act like a big nerdy family and help each other out!
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Quicksilver95 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:13 pm

So just out of curiosity then. IF (BIG IF) IF someone does decide to physically strike me. Am I allowed to defend myself vie Submission holds, Choke holds, And if worse comes to worse striking? Cause you know I don't want to sit there and get beaten >.>
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby AZ_belle_45 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:34 pm

Quicksilver95 wrote:So just out of curiosity then. IF (BIG IF) IF someone does decide to physically strike me. Am I allowed to defend myself vie Submission holds, Choke holds, And if worse comes to worse striking? Cause you know I don't want to sit there and get beaten >.>

I am pretty sure they would maybe just push you or something first before they start beating on you D: but I think the minute they put their hands on you, breathe, leave the area ASAP and find a staff member to report it and let them deal with it. If you choose to deal with said person after the con is over, then that is for you and youtube to judge lol
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planned AZ 2014 cosplay:
Fight club captain Mako--kill la kill
Happy--Fairy Tail
Crimson Viper--Street Fighter
Bunny Maid
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby GoPikachu » Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:38 am

Quicksilver95 wrote:So just out of curiosity then. IF (BIG IF) IF someone does decide to physically strike me. Am I allowed to defend myself vie Submission holds, Choke holds, And if worse comes to worse striking? Cause you know I don't want to sit there and get beaten >.>


Good question. If you're in a position where you need to use self defense, then it goes without saying to. BUT, beating the living crap out of the other person after they have let go of you? That becomes a fight, not self defense.
Basicaly no fighting. If you *REALLY* have to use self defense to get away, do. Then run to staff.

Advising people to not get involved and get staff instead is more directed towards people who might jump in and complicate things.
It would take a lot for me to not try to run to someone's defense, but in reality.. I'd most likely get hurt. That would make for multiple hurt people and a lot of questions later.

But the main point of this post remains. EVERYONE should keep an eye out. More people watching, the quicker anything can be prevented.

Hopefully that clears up things.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby BobD » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:00 am

1. You will most likely find these types of occurrences at larger conventions in major cities.
2. I find it very unlikely that groups are physically traveling a circuit just so they can beat up Homestuck cosplayers.
3. I find it unlikely that they would want to pay the price of admission for said activity when all they would have to do is wait outside for targets (that's why we encourage people to travel in groups going and coming from your hotel rooms regardless of what type of group they would represent).
4. These people live on the type of fear, disruption and chaos they can cause and not so much physical violence. They don't even have to leave the comfort of their chair in front of their computer monitor to do this. Evidenced by the continuation of this thread. I have yet to see any reports put out by any convention or convention news agency indicating that gang violence has taken place during their cons. Believe me, if it were happening it would be reported and directors would be getting notice to be on the lookout. We have heard nothing.
5. Conventions are crowded places. If someone bumps into you accidentally and looks at you cross and you interpret that as an assault and put that person in a "choke hold" it puts you at a high risk of expulsion from the convention. In the fifteen years of Animazement we have yet to see someone having to fend off a full force attack that had to be physically defended against. We have enough staff and security that there is literally someone in sight of just about every inch of convention space at all times. We can be alerted quickly. If and when this ever should happen then sadly we will have to rethink all our security procedures to ensure the safety of our attendees. Security is already one of our top priorities.
6. The sheer presence of hundreds of people has a tendency to ward off attacks. That's a lot of witnesses which most people want to avoid.
7. Most attacks are not vicious enough that the assailant unrelentingly attacks like a mad dog. Should that happen then certainly one should defend themselves. But unless that is the case one is expected to contact security or staff to handle the situation.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby GoPikachu » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:27 pm

Like BobD said, it is incredibly unlikely. The chances of something so incredibly drastic you would even have to defend yourself is almost impossible. Pay all that money to go somewhere where you KNOW security is? This is just to make people aware. It helps staff if everyone is looking out for each other.
I've never EVER experienced anything at Animazement that made me feel uncomfortable (as said previously.)
Honestly, I feel more safe at conventions than I do at Walmart.......... Walmart is terrifying.

This just a reminder to watch out and go to staff.
Hopefully this post didn't scare anyone. Don't stop cosplaying because you think someone might attack you.. You could apply that theory to anything in life. "Don't go to the store wearing purple. I saw some mean looking guys who might not like purple."
But because there has been groups made and threats were made at ONE convention (that's one out of.. how many?) I just wanted to inform people to watch.
So, you don't need to practice your self defense moves.. Chances you would need to whip out some flashy self defense moves is about the same as a robbery happening in a police station.

We should be watching out for each other anyway.........
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby kaiser_forsaken » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:40 pm

While this an extremely unlikely event, I find it disheartening that Animazement staff has implied that they will discharge attendees whom find themselves (or others) defending against such actions, or implying violent force is somehow "wrong" when used in self defense. There is a difference between "vigilante groups" and taking your own safety into your hands.

Please do not take matters into your own hands as that will only result in your expulsion from the convention as well (two wrongs don't make a right).


Perhaps they need to acquaint themselves with NC GS 14-51.3, regarding legal use of (non-deadly) force in defense of person. I have taken the liberty of highlighting relevant clauses.

Use of force in defense of person; relief from criminal or civil liability.
(a) A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat in any place he or she has the lawful right to be if either of the following applies:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.
(2) Under the circumstances permitted pursuant to G.S. 14-51.2.
(b) A person who uses force as permitted by this section is justified in using such force and is immune from civil or criminal liability for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman who was lawfully acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer or bail bondsman identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer or bail bondsman in the lawful performance of his or her official duties. (2011-268, s. 1.)


Furthermore, NC use of force laws permit someone to intervene on behalf of another up to the level of force the victim is permitted.

Meaning if someone is beating the crap out of a friend of mine, I am legally permitted to step in and offer similar levels of force, and no more. Meaning I can't take a chair to their head, but their closed hand is legally considered a higher level of force than me restraining or locking said limb, and equal to me returning closed hand blows.

There are also clauses that take into account disparity of force. Meaning if a big guy/group of people, are attacking a smaller person/female/individual, then that person has reasonable grounds to fear for their health/safety, and is permitted to respond with anything necessary to remove themselves from harms way.

If you want to be prepared in the event that you ever need to defend yourself, there are some excellent resources online for learning the legalities of the use of force.

However, BobD Has posted some excellent and valid points. I've been to half a dozen or more Animazements and never seen a knock-down, all-out fight. AZ con-goers, by and large, are some of the friendliest people around.
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Re: Safety reminder! Bullies targeting certain cosplay group

Postby Shenanagan » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:34 pm

kaiser_forsaken wrote: I've been to half a dozen or more Animazements and never seen a knock-down, all-out fight. AZ con-goers, by and large, are some of the friendliest people around.


I've heard a little rough-housing every now and then, but that's pretty normal when you're in an excitable crowd like AZ!

And I personally don't think folks around here will try and target people. Most of the con goers are very friendly!
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