Guerilla Gardening Gone Off the Rails

Anne Moreland judithdaviestripp at
Sun Aug 15 07:24:55 EDT 2010

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.

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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