From:   Alexa D. O'Brien <alexaobrien@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Friday, September 23, 2011 11:34:22 PM
To:   september17@googlegroups.com
Subject:   [september17discuss] My Public Response to Nathan Schneider
 

Dear Mr. Schneider,

 

Please correct the downright falsehood and inaccuracies in your article.

 

http://www.truthout.com/occupywallstreet-more-hashtag-its-revolution-formation/1316784846#comment-318797623

 

US Day of Rage 'endorsed' the call to action to #occupywallstreet in

early July. I don't remember seeing you at those early GA meetings Mr.

Schneider. Probably because you weren't there.

 

We even live tweeted GA meetings and wrote about them on our web site

early on explaining who was who. Ask the Internet.

 

Secondly, we physically organized all the the non violent civil

disobedience trainings in REALITY that occurred in the run up to Sept

17. Every single one.

 

We even recorded CD digital non violent training talks early on

(http://www.usdayofrage.org/resources.html) because we knew outreach

was hitting critical mass on the Internet with the game generation.

Those videos were with Jason and Sam. Ask them. Or just watch the

videos that have been since the beginning of August.

 

Here is one:

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ft3mXm76jEA

 

A quick visit to the Internet would corroborate all of those facts.

 

Were you aware that many so called core GA organizers and other

"group" supporters feel alienated by the NYC GA process? Where were

you or your unnamed mysterious "main" organizer to ask those people

for their perspective for this article?

 

All our Non Violent CD trainings were open to the public, despite the

fact that some GA facilitators tried to copt them for their own group

purposes.

 

US Day of Rage also established contact with the National Lawyers

Guild and organized legal observers for Sept 17. In fact, Susan Howard

of the NYC NLG urged me to contact the GA and implore them to contact

her in my conversations with her, which I did.

 

I also gave her the email and name of the one GA member who called the

NLG and introduced himself as "not the GA but an independent artist"

who was curious about the legality of Sept 17.

 

One week prior the GA barely had consensus or a legal working group.

 

We supported Sept 17 and mitigated potential risks that those

realities presented by designing tactics and a crowd source map as a

back up contingency for the lack of organization on the GA's part.

 

We did this because we knew that many people were coming because they

learned about the action on the Internet. If people are looking for US

Day of Rage, its only proof that we actually performed outreach -

because we were actually organizing the effort for Sept 17 and we did

it in a manner that created solidarity for the action and all the

groups involved - whereas the NYC GA could even get a website up until

3 days before Sept17 and infighting.

 

We considered the welfare of ppl's coming our moral responsibility. In

fact, the GA couldn't even reach consensus on the action's "non

violence" in the run up to Sept 17 (something I would think you cared

about considering your blog title, "Waging Non Violence".)

 

US Day of Rage also organized 5 other protests on Sept 17 in

solidarity with #occupywallstreet in Austin, Seattle, San Francisco,

Los Angeles, and Portland...and are currently organizing a Portland

occupation in solidarity with #occupywallstreet and #occupyDC (please

see our Joint Solidarity Statement with the Oct2011 movement from

several months ago) called #occupyPortland to be announced this

weekend.

 

We performed outreach on major news channels in the run up to Sept 17

ALWAYS mentioning the various groups involved in the action and ALWAYS

stressing the 'supposed' independence of the GA. Check the Internet

and the google group for sept17.

 

We have great respect for the individuals GA members who actually

worked. We love them. I smile when I see them. But many did so

independent of the process created by the GA. That is not the case

with the Tactics Committee. I won't speak for them. Although I have

heard some of them say as much casually.

 

In fact, members of the Arts & Culture committee that "independently"

staged a test run of #occupywallstreet. I wasn't at the test run,

because I work a full time job, but I was at the Police Station to

greet the one protester who was kept all night.

 

This does not mention the organization for online outreach. That is

one that we will let you figure out for yourself.

 

Articles like yours putting down the hard work of myself others or

presenting yourself or putting forth the NYC GA as the only thing that

is legitimate or actually exists as an organization, organizer, or

body of people around Sept 17 is flat out false and disrespectful.

 

We don't conduct ourselves in like manner to you because we actually

support the idea of independent bodies of people assembling on Sept 17

and thereafter.

 

The question remains, if that is actually what the NYC GA was from the

start or is now.

 

A question we publicly questioned in meetings, on our site and have

tried to protected from the beginning. Just ask ppl about my one

block. Then ask me for a comment on why I block what I blocked.

 

On Sept 17 US Day of Rage had people on police scanners monitoring

police movements and were on the ground verifying reports and rumors,

including several ridiculous ones from @occupywallstreet saying "Riot

Police were coming" and "Cell Phone Service was being cut at Bowling

Green" or from various GA members who are probably provocateurs saying

things people were being kettled.

 

Further I have been on or around the plaza almost everyday since the

occupation, except when I crashed with a 101 fever on Wednedsday. See

that visqueen keeping people dry, US Day of Rage donated that. See

those ponchos, we donated those. We have handled out socks, sleeping

bags, and clean socks and T-shirts.

 

On a personal note. I have given my home, cell phones, and a place to

crash to people here for the action to support US Day of Rage or who

were GA members or just PEOPLE who don't care about the idea, "One

citizen. One dollar. One vote." but who support the First amendment.

 

I am not sure if you actually research, fact check, or provide context

but US Day of Rage did not endorse the GA's original occupation

tactics on commercial property, because we felt it put people who did

not have affinity groups and who were inspired by digital outreach at

risk and also perverted the idea of independent assemblies of people,

who one would think would vote on their own process.

 

In fact, you would think that a sign of independence of an assembly is

the group's ability to actually vote on the process they use.

 

We were nevertheless sympathetic to not disrupting actions in the heat

of a tense situation that day by creating a pissing match in terms of

tactics.

 

Have you spoken to people not participating in GA meetings but on the

ground at Zuccotti or actually organizing the occupations

sustainability about how they feel about the GA process? Or do you

just slander people and other participating organizations with out

conscience?

 

I have been using every waking spare moment to make this action happen

since we originally endorsed the call to action. Who cares? I don't.

But I will not allow you to put down my work or the work of others in

such a disrespectful and frankly irresponsible manner.

 

Some of our supporters brought carpools and showed up on Sept 17, or

are there now.

 

What were you and your unnamed 'main organizer' doing?

 

Certainly not smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee, or organizing Sept

17, which is about the extent of every available waking moment of my

life and other US Day of RAge organizers and supporters since early

July.

 

Please learn to respect your craft and actually research your articles

or seek comments from those for whose work you slander publicly.

 

Something I failed to mention is the immensity of the role of social

media and tech in spurring and growing the actions of Sept. 17 or that

will help sustain it. That is a discussion you an I could have if you

actually showed the capacity to talk to me face to face and start a

conversation.

 

Best Regards,

 

Alexa O'Brien

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