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Email regarding OO Media

By: a guest on Mar 4th, 2012  |  syntax: None  |  size: 5.87 KB  |  views: 275  |  expires: Never
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  1. Dear friends--
  2.  
  3. Many of you are aware that an offensive and dangerous article, written by 3 participants of the OO Media Committee, about a member of Occupy Oakland--who I will refer to as "O"--was posted on the OO Meda web site, hellaoccupyoakland.org last Saturday. This article argued that "O," a Palestinian-American, was likely the same as another Palestinian man who was accused of being a terrorist by the Department of Defense, and is also now possibly a Federal infiltrator, though only by insinuation and with no evidence. I hope that I need not explain how reckless this is both to the safety of the individual but also toward the movement. This sort of thing has no place among progressives and radical. If you have not yet seen the article, please let me know.
  4.  
  5. Unfortunately, many members of the OO Media committee, which I have been a member of for months, are completely unrepentant about this article. There has been no accountability for the article, no apology, and in fact the original authors, after claiming to leave OO, are now secretly involved in the Media committee. People in OO Media continue to defend the article, including through official OO Media channels, which is utterly unacceptable. As I have relentlessly pursued an argument in OO Media about the need for accountability since Sunday, a secret meeting was organized without me, but with the three original authors, that voted to expel me from OO Media. This situation was temporarily resolved by another secret meeting, when I was allowed in and kicked back out several times on Friday, and now the two secret meetings (neither of which I was invited to) are denouncing each other's authority.
  6.  
  7. I hope you know me well enough to know that I am not disruptive or hostile or unreasonable, making the fact that the committee has been organizing behind my back even more astonishing. I simply believe in accountability and transparency, which is non-existent in this committee.
  8.  
  9. OO Media in its current form is unaccountable, reckless, undemocratic and simply unrepresentative of Occupy Oakland and its goals.
  10.  
  11. Take these examples:
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  13. * An anonymous supporter of the article has stepped forward. He continues to work on the committee and participated in the secret meeting to expel me. After an official inquiry to OO Media about this article came in through our official email, he responded to this person and defended the article, explaining that it did not accuse the OO member of being a terrorist (though it clearly did) and the government probably already knew about the connection anyway.
  14.  
  15. * Another OO Media member responded to this inquiry, condescendingly stating that the article was not dangerous, accusing "O" and his supporters of giving the article more publicity by discussing it at the GA. She finished a second response stating "we're all in danger.  i may be the first to be shot dead by opd.  that's the way it goes in a revolution.  maybe [O] will have something to celebrate on that day."
  16.  
  17. * Another OO Media member announced the morning after the article was published: "from the outside, a bds [divestment from Israel] endorsement can appear allied with terrorism until a separation is distingished." thus dignifying the accusations in the article.
  18.  
  19. * After being expelled by a secret meeting, I was forced out of our Facebook discussion group, where the work of the committee is done. I was allowed in and forced out multiple times, before an OO Media member not only brought me back into the group FB group but also brought me into a separate discussion group. Apparently, this group was the "real" OO Media group. Discussions were raging about comments I made on Twitter, to which I had no opportunity to respond, not to mention many abusive comments among people in this secret group to each other. I made a post in this group, absolutely refraining from insulting language, which erupted into a tirade against my "lies" from people who have never discussed the situation with me or allowed my opinion to be heard, then a battle raged amongst them over whether or not the secret meeting was legitimate, resulting in my expulsion again while I watched quietly.
  20.  
  21. This committee is out of control, reckless, irresponsible, and completely unaccountable to the movement. This committee does not belong to me or to the other participants but to Occupy Oakland.
  22.  
  23. In my opinion, the best solution is to remove everybody from the committee (myself included) and start it anew with an entirely different group of people who can be trusted to carry out the work of the group responsibly. The people in the group can continue what they are doing in a non-official form, but this committee is the official mouthpiece of the movement. It needs to be run by responsible adults, and it currently is not. God forbid a New York Times reporter make an inquiry on this subject and they talk to these people. But if an NYT reporter wanted to discuss this issue, the first place they would go is the outside inquiries email for this group (media@occupyoakland.org). Therefore, the situation is urgent and needs to be resolved.
  24.  
  25. I am happy to send you links or copies of any of the content described as I was able to save almost all of it before I was expelled for the fourth time. Please feel free to contact me for more info and feel free to forward this email to allies. I hope to send out further updates about the situation and plans to deal with it later today.
  26.  
  27. Thanks,
  28.  
  29. Scott
  30.  
  31. PS This is NOT about me. My feelings are not hurt in any way, but I am offended by the actions of this group and, frankly, embarrassed that I was not able to do more to stop this situation from developing in the first place. My only excuse is that it was all carried out behind my back for nearly two months and only after the article was published did I realize how serious the situation was. I am happy to walk away from this committee once OO has taken it back and re-staffed it with responsible people.