Guerilla Gardening Gone Off the Rails

Alex Rollin alex.rollin at
Sun Aug 15 07:33:40 EDT 2010

I appreciate your interest in getting involved.  I also see the inequality
as part of the problem.

Please feel free to let me know how I can be of assistance in your
contemplation of this situation within which I find myself.

Perhaps you are aware of research on the subject.


On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 1:24 PM, Anne Moreland
<judithdaviestripp at>wrote:

> Alex,
> Inequalities in power distribution usually results in the nemesis of
> democratic oganization. I would like to be of assistance. I think what you
> are wantring to address is crucial.
> j
> On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 5:14 AM, Alex Rollin <alex.rollin at>wrote:
>> Hello friends,
>> I've been involved in a horrific (for me) "speaking truth to
>> power" exercise this month.
>> You can see the archive in public!
>> The main participants in the thread are Michel Bauwens and myself, Alex
>> Rollin.
>> Michel is a founding member of the P2P Foundation and sits on the board.
>>  He has taken issue with me, and sees my wishes to engage in some sort of
>> official conflict resolution procedure as a power grab and a threat
>> (paraphrasing).  I am under threat of being banned from the community and
>> could lose some access to 774 pages of work I've done on the wiki.
>> My requests:
>> 1.  that the board of the P2P Foundation put some policy in place that
>> outlines the rights of the users of the P2P Foundation website.  (Users have
>> no rights and can be banned/deleted ad hoc.)
>> 2.  That one of these rights be access to a conflict resolution procedure;
>> a procedure which has Foundation policy as the backbone.  (Currently there
>> is no policy at all.)
>> 3.  That the officials of the Foundation develop some "Pledge
>> of Commitment" that says, basically, that hey will use a process to handle
>> conflict and abstain from the exercise of official power when they are
>> involved in the conflict.  (Wikipedia has one like this here
>> )
>> My concern:
>> I am concerned that users who watch the use of power exercised as a
>> personal warfare by board officials of the foundation, power that can ban
>> and dismiss ad hoc, that individual users become less and less willing to
>> participate, and finally become silent.  I contend that this type of
>> behavior, of banning people for having ideas and wishes, is deserving of
>> some reigning in.  (Read about the Foundation here if you like
>> )
>> My request to you:
>> A member of the board does not see this process of "silencing" happening,
>> as such, and would appreciate some feedback on the subject.  He has asked me
>> to collect letters from people about their feelings on this dynamic of
>> the exercise of power, and has promised to respect whatever confidentiality
>> the authors request.  His names is James Burke, lifesized at .
>> My disclosure:
>> I realize that, if you look at the link above you will see an incredible
>> amount of information.  In fact, this is the ugliest, nastiest discussion I
>> have ever had the public pleasure of participating in.  I have made
>> mistakes, and I have done my best, and I am currently silent under the
>> threat of banishment.  I have participated to this extent because I have
>> worked on 774 pages of "work product" on one of the P2P Foundation systems,
>> the wiki, from which I could be banned at any moment.  Larger than that,
>> though, I generally agree with the mission of the foundation, and I value
>> the multitude of perspectives that create the wiki
>> I would not fault you for criticizing my behavior.  I do not think I did
>> "all the right things" by any means.  However, how "right" constructed,
>> here, and how it is enforce are the actual issues.  As you consider how you
>> would proceed, you are free to consider my behavior and provide feedback to
>> me which I would value greatly as a friend and fellow Guerilla Gardener.
>> As this was my largest effort at Guerilla Gardening to date, and as I have
>> seen horrendous failure, I see this as relevant.   I do not believe that you
>> are bound to support me, or that you should, really.
>> If you choose to participate, though, please know that I see our mutual
>> interest as that of Guerilla Gardeners, and that I believe that this
>> "silencing" dynamic, is an important feature of the space.  When
>> participatory democracy is online, it can be possible to simply remove
>> access to the systems.  This silences people.
>> How should folks understand this as feature/benefit of "online
>> participatory governance" ?
>> What should a group understand about these dynamics and how they might
>> interact with the policy requests I am making above?  What is an appropriate
>> board policy for engaging community stakeholders when the conversation is in
>> a public forum?
>> What should James know, on that subject, based on what you see in the
>> archive?
>> Thank you for considering my request.  I appreciate you are busy, and
>> value the opportunity to connect with you further on this subject.
>> Sincerely,
>> Alex Rollin

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