From:   Willie Osterweil <>
Sent time:   Friday, September 16, 2011 12:20:40 PM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: can someone tell whoever spoke to the Village Voice

If it's a major concern, bring this second issue up in the GA tomorrow: online it will only produce divisive discussion. Luckily, that's in 24 hours! So not long to wait.

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 2:15 PM, Doug Singsen <> wrote:
I take issue with the equation of speaking inappropriately to the media with turning people into the cops. While Will was too negative about other tendencies in the GA and did too much finger-pointing in the interview, there is a big difference between discussing political differences--even when it's done ham-handedly in the media--and turning people over to the cops.

I also think that for the sake of clarity we need to separate out two issues about the "police liaisons" and "marshalls", which is the value or lack thereof of these functions and the concentration or dispersion of those functions in an individual or a group. In the GA, I agreed with David that it's a good idea to have these things done by open, democratic committees rather than by unaccountable individuals. But I do think that having groups of people to communicate with the cops and facilitate communication within the GA is important. The GA disagreed, at least on the former (I think we did set up a communications committee, and there has also been some discussion of this on the listserv), so we aren't going to do that, but we shouldn't confuse these functions with the way that they are organized.


On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 12:46 PM, David Graeber <> wrote:

wait a minute - you're defending someone dissing other activists to the press?

what's next, turning in fellow activists to the cops?

you do realize that such behavior only confirms in the minds of the anti-authoritarian elements denounced so aggressively in the interview that had the minority that tried to create a "police liaison" and "marshall" system actually succeeded, this is exactly the sort of thing they'd have started doing. If there's anything that confirms the suspicions of those who shot down the marshall proposal, it's this. 

The basic question is one of solidarity. Are your ultimate loyalties to fellow activists, to the members of one's coalition, regardless of how you might differ from them on specific issues, over and against the mechanisms of power like the corporate media, or police, or are they to one's own particular faction or sect, so much so that the mechanisms of power can be seen as potential allies to be used against them on behalf of one's own faction?

And why on earth do you think anyone would trust you to behave any differently on the streets?

On Sep 16, 2011, at 8:46 AM, Drew Hornbein wrote:

It might not be the most flattering article but it feels about right. I don't think Will said anything untrue, nor did he speak FOR the GA. imho.

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 4:39 AM, Lorenzo Serna <> wrote:
+alot to all

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 1:59 AM, jason ahmadi <> wrote:
Dear all,

its best not to answer the questions that press pose.  always always always stick to talking points.  acknowledge questions, but then always go back to the talking points.  there is a reason politicians do this and we should filter what we say to the media so our words can no be twisted or used against us.

also, its valid that you hold your opinions but do not share these with the press.  the people you should share these opinions with are YOUR FELLOW ORGANIZERS.  if you do not feel safe telling us who are your friends, then tell confide with a close friend that you trust but never the press.

Peace and Love,

On Fri, Sep 16, 2011 at 1:45 AM, David Graeber <> wrote:

though to be honest the comments weren't all that insulting
still, best to just put in the positive parts

On Sep 16, 2011, at 1:30 AM, David Graeber wrote:

> yes, I would strongly second that part about the insulting comments. Not badmouthing other activists
> in the press includes in the comment section!
> On Sep 16, 2011, at 12:21 AM, Will wrote:
>> Hey all, I just posted the comment below in response to the article
>> that came out earlier today.  I just want to add to this that while I
>> was having this conversation with the reporter I did not realize that
>> she was going to transcribe everything I said at that part.  I thought
>> it was going to be a column article and not an interview until after
>> it was done.  Also, she began the conversation with 'I hear there are
>> a lot of anarchists involved,' which doesn't show in the article and
>> makes it look like I brought up the topic myself.  I'd like to point
>> out that I didn't name any names.  That being said this was my first
>> time talking to the press and I pretty well botched it.
>> The insulting comments about me posted to the article are not
>> helpful.  If you have anything else negative you'd like to add I would
>> appreciate it if you posted it here, rather than making this any worse
>> than it already was.  I will see it.
>> I'll let the post speak for itself, but again if you have any more
>> comments please let me know.
>> Hey People, especially those from the GA,
>> I just wanted to clarify a few things from the article which came out
>> earlier today.  After reading it, I think the tone of it came out way
>> too pessimistic regarding the GA and S17.  More importantly, I didn't
>> mean or expect for things to sound so much against certain tendencies
>> within the GA, especially since nearly everyone involved has been such
>> a pleasure to organize with.  I have an enormous amount of respect for
>> these individuals from the GA both as people and as organizers, even
>> if there are some political differences between us.  In the end I
>> believe we share common goals, which is why I value our relationships
>> and the importance of us working together.
>> While I do stand by arguments I made, I recognize that the Voice was
>> not the best place to air some of these differences, particularly the
>> one about liaisons, which was inappropriate for me to talk about with
>> a reporter.  If I had fully understood the format of the article which
>> was to be written, I would have refrained from discussing several of
>> these issues and instead have focused on the more logistical issues
>> around S17 and its promotion.
>> I would also like to clarify that New Yorkers Against the Budget Cuts
>> operates as a separate group from the GA.
>> As an individual I fully stand with the GA, which we have all worked
>> so hard together to build, in the expectation that S17 will be a step
>> forward in the fight against budget cuts and the war on the working
>> class in the United States and internationally.
>> In solidarity,
>> Will Russell
>> On Sep 15, 8:44 pm, David Graeber <> wrote:
>>> rule #1 of all activist media work is you don't badmouth other activists to the press.
>>> I mean I know a lot of you guys are inexperienced but this is beyond obnoxious.
>>>        David
> -------------------------------------------------------
> Property is Theft - Proudhon
> Property is Freedom - Proudhon
> Property is Impossible - Proudhon
> A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds - Emerson

Property is Theft - Proudhon
Property is Freedom - Proudhon
Property is Impossible - Proudhon
A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds - Emerson

Property is Theft - Proudhon
Property is Freedom - Proudhon
Property is Impossible - Proudhon
A Foolish Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds - Emerson