Guerilla Gardening Gone Off the Rails

Alex Rollin alex.rollin at
Sun Aug 15 09:09:33 EDT 2010

There is a place for leadership.  I just received another update to my
recent post.

Tough rough stuff.  Perhaps there is enough there to inform your research.
 Any advice on how to proceed is welcome.


On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 2:54 PM, Anne Moreland
<judithdaviestripp at>wrote:

> Gated Virtual Communities and the Exercise of Coercive Power = Comply or
> get out. Written policies need to be in place to curtail the arbitrary
> exercise of coercive power. Almost every relationship can become a power
> play at one point or another. The ones who have the power to impose their
> will upon others by whatever means become instruments of oppression over
> time.
> I will be glad to research this topic since the problems of injustice
> associated with binary relationships defined as subjugator and subjugated
> are endemic.
> j
> On Sun, Aug 15, 2010 at 6:33 AM, Alex Rollin <alex.rollin at>wrote:
>> 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.
>> A
>> 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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