[Boston-video] Re: [IMC-Boston-Discuss] Last night's meeting- a
note to all
pstidman at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 8 16:05:51 PDT 2005
Thank you for clarifiying that Andrew, I appreciate it
very much. Mainly because my mother did not raise me
all by herself to be a sexist.
I would like to introduce the idea, however, that the
situation might be the reverse of what you assume. I
did not attack Sofia. I did not bully Sofia. Yet
boundless evidence in this month's email archives
shows very clearly Sofia attacking me, accusing me of
everything under the sun, while I sat quietly, taking
Is it in a bully's repertoire to turn the other cheek?
Have you practiced good journalism and been skeptical
of the source of all these complaints?
I assure you and everyone listening here, if you were
to talk to me, to ask me questions or even to monitor
my daily activities you would find that I am a
community member with a strong sense of egality in all
respects, gender, race, economic, disability, age, you
I am opinionated, I do speak up when I disagree, I do
come from a background different from many of you, but
opinionated does not equal bully. In many many cases
in the meetings I have changed my opinions based on
the opinions and information brought by others, even
by Sofia. Not everytime though, and I have come to
suspect that that fact lies at the heart of why I have
been singled out for abuse.
It takes only a glance at the stories I have written
for indymedia and for the JP Gazette and also the
relationships I have built in my personal and
professional (eww I hate that word) life to see that I
have integrity, honesty, generosity, empathy, and a
strong connection to, almost an identification with,
those who, for whatever reason, have experienced
discrimination in any shape or form. Why else would I
be here working alongside all of you?
Do not forget that I and Petrina are the ones who
originally talked the group into accepting Sofia back
in after she publicly attacked the entire collective
on our own website. It took some doing. This fact is
also there for all to see in an email of thanks from
Sofia in the archives.
If folks are making a judgement on this issue without
reading the archives I strongly urge them to do so. I
am also open to talking to anyone who has not had much
personal experience with me. Mike B, Svea, Sharpie,
others whom I have always considered my friends and
new folks too, please do not judge me only by one
Just as we would not report a story about anything
using only one person as a source, we should not judge
this situation by one. Always, always in journalism,
we try to give the accused a chance to defend him or
her self. Do not make the mistake of libel against
anyone, and especially not a member of your own
call or email me with questions please. Let's keep
--- andrewmcleod2000 at aol.com wrote:
> Hello Brother Pete:
> In regard to leaving the meeting early, I thought I
> was clear. If a meeting is called at 7:00PM I
> should feel comfortable in departing by 8:45PM In
> this case, I waited an extra half hour to make my
> points and I made it clear I needed to go when I met
> before the meeting and when I departed. Other
> people had already left before me. Do they not have
> a say either in the parts of the meeting that they
> did not attend?
> My statement regarding sexism was the following:
> "Perhaps she feels like a victim of sexism?" This
> statement had no inference to you nor was it
> mentioned in regard to any one person. In fact, the
> statement was an attempt to raise the consciousness
> regarding how someone else my feel. Put yourself in
> her shoes. You are quite aware that she is a woman
> coming from a more conservative society and she is
> dealing with mostly men in this group. You are
> correct though that by connecting you and her in the
> same paragraph it could be taken that way so I'm
> sorry, I wasn't referring to any one person or you.
> "My personal opinion is if anyone feels threatened,
> intimidated, or bullied it should be dealt with
> harshly." This statement should of been conveyed
> better. Maybe I should of said that "......if
> anyone feels this way it should be taken seriously.
> If there is group consensus that someone is out of
> bounds and refuses help then what are we to do?"
> If you do not think this could be a fair description
> of how someone 'could feel' under the past
> circumstances then we will have to rehash
> everything. I'm not saying you did anything
> intentionally but rather how someone else could see
> it and it should not be taken likely by the group.
> I'm trying to be positive though and think about we
> and us instead of you(s), me(s), and I(s). I
> suppose that's the risk you run in writing about
> these disputes in an attempt to help. The risk that
> words and feelings don't come out right.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pete Stidman <pstidman at yahoo.com>
> To: andrewmcleod2000 at aol.com;
> imc-boston at lists.indymedia.org
> Sent: Mon, 8 Aug 2005 14:17:19 -0700 (PDT)
> Subject: Re: [IMC-Boston-Discuss] Last night's
> meeting and the future
> Thanks for the positive email Andrew.
> However, I wish you had stayed for the last agenda
> item instead of running out. I'm curious what
> evidence you might have of the "bullying" of Sofia
> are accusing me of, assuming you mean incidents that
> occured in the last month.
> Please explain with specific examples.
> I would also request that you back up your
> that I am a sexist with other specific examples and
> evidence, or retract the statement.
> Making accusations without evidence, especially
> things as grave as these, is really vicious. I know
> you may not mean it this way, but I think you are
> basing alot of your opinions on words from one
> mouth without considering other sides of the issue-
> true evidence.
> Sexism is like- a woman says something and is
> a man says the same thing and is listened to.
> I do not do that, and never have.
> The fact that I sometimes disagree with Sofia or any
> woman, on issues that are already known to be
> controversial, does not mean that I am a sexist.
> Please reconsider your choice of words.
> --- andrewmcleod2000 at aol.com wrote:
> > Hello all on this warm and sunny Monday.
> > I've just got to pipe up again. Maybe I think to
> > much ( : My last post mentioned constructive
> > communication. There are some loose standards for
> > conduct but that's part of the problem here too.
> > Whatever standards are in place are loose and not
> > easy to clarify or obtain.
> > Probably everyone reading these discussions is
> > concerned about our world and trying to make it a
> > better place. Thank you all. My constructive
> > feedback about us is not meant to hurt morale or
> > discourage us or downplay our success. The
> > fundraiser was a great success and people feel
> > things are moving. We've started the tv. show and
> > our in house specialist on Palestine, Sherif, will
> > be interviewed by yours truly this Thursday.
> > Progress is being made on a number of fronts
> > including a newly designed and user friendly web
> > page for multimedia. We're coming along folks.
> > only friends tell friends what they don't want to
> > here sometimes. Maybe that's what Sophia has been
> > thinking and it certainly is what I believe.
> > If only there were more of us. You know what?
> > There are. A lot more. It's just a question of
> > to get them involved.
> > The first point I'm getting too is we are all on
> > same side and we are all doing our best and we are
> > all making mistakes. No Blame!!! We're all part
> > the problem and solution.
> > I believe the recent static and sparks is caused
> > more by organizational issues than any one or two
> > people. This is not too say that everyone
> > or to join should take their behavior lightly.
> > just that the lack of structure and planning
> > a vacuum for troubles like this. This gets me to
> > main points regarding last night's meeting and the
> > future.
> > The second to last agenda item last night allowed
> > an opportunity to insert my take on the situation
> > from a macro viewpoint. I made a number of points
> > but I also missed a few points that I'd like to
> > What the hell, might as well just get this off my
> > chest and hope I'm making some sense. My first
> > priority is honesty and loyalty both to myself and
> > to a group I'm working with.
> > In addition to the point above about these
> > not being about a single person or two, I'd like
> > first explain a little further. Perhaps some of
> > resentment comes from Sophia's article a while
> > Perhaps she could of phrased things differently?
> > Perhaps she could of worked harder to voice her
> > opinions internally and exhaust internal remedies
> > before exploring other options? I read it for the
> > first time yesterday and I'll reread it again.
> > I couldn't find anything in there that may not be
> > true and most of it seemed on the mark. I think
> > was Socrates who said "Truth breeds hatred."
> > So what? It's done. She's been doing a lot and
> > putting up with a lot. Perhaps she feels like a
> > victim of sexism? She's learning and growing.
> > job Sophia. And to Pete. This guy is also
> > sacrificing his life to help make everyone's a
> > little a better. Perhaps he needs to use the "I"
> > word less and use the "We" word more? Perhaps he
> > should listen more to people's advice and learn to
> > understand himself better? He's learning and
> > growing. Good job Pete. No blame. The standards
> > for behavior and conduct are loose. Who is
> > to enforce them? Again, the absence of clarity
> > regarding roles and process led to this more than
> > the actions of a few people.
> > My personal opinion is if anyone feels threatened,
> > intimidated, or bullied it should be dealt with
> > harshly. I personally do not have any tolerance
> > this kind of behavior.
> > Another point I didn't mention last night was
> > and silence. To both Pete and Sophia's credit,
> > both believe people should be speaking up more and
> > they have been encouraging communication, even if
> > their own has been less than perfect. ( :
> > Discussion last night touched upon doing another
> > fundraiser. I expressed my opposition and said
> > like to raise $500,000 not $500. My concern is
> > the few folks we have will be distracted from
> > planning by doing more doing. This is a problem
> > everywhere and I've dubbed it the Planning v.
> > Syndrome. But even if we settle on raising
> > then my point is correct. If we stop and plan we
> > will be more efficient and effective. This
> > planning meetings.
> > Matt felt there will always be challenges in
> > volunteer groups who are not getting paid. This
> > true a lot of the time but it doesn't have to be
> > that way and certainly isn't in many volunteer
> > groups. By the way, it was great to finally meet
> > you Matt! There are tried and true methods for
> > organizing. Its just a question of application
> > it doesn't matter if the group in non hierarchal
> > such as this one. Structure and discipline do not
> > necessary result in hierarchy and just the
> > could be argued as I've done before.
> > Dana felt the proposed fundraiser would have other
> > benefits such as outreach. I agree it would help
> > but by how much? If we do not have our act
> > very few volunteers will stay involved. This is
> > especially true given all of the challenges I'm
> > outlining. Indeed, the general meetings
> > tend to have different people coming in for one
> > meeting then skipping a few.
> > In any group you need morale and discipline to be
> > effective. This is a problem for us. Why? We do
> > not have a clear structure in place with clearly
> > defined purpose, mission, or roles. There is not
> > enough people involved for all the projects and
> > committees that I've discovered or yet to discover
> > that exist. There are big challenges with
> > organizational process and decision making. There
> > is no short-term or long-term plan or a budget
> > goals and time lines. Lastly, the communication
> > structure is problematic in how information is
> > disseminated internally and externally.
> > I also talked about Boston IMC reflecting our
> > community by working on diversity and I committed
> > doing a SWOT analysis and sending it out. This is
> > short description of our strengths, weaknesses,
> > opportunities, and threats. I've already
> > a number of the weaknesses.
> > I'm also going to take the liberty of initiating a
> > dialogue on all this stuff and see if we can come
> > consensus. A great step would be to list how many
> > offshoot committees we have and what their role
> > Who are on those committees? Some people are on
> > some listservs and not on others. We need to get
> > the communication problems identified and
> > For example. I thought the meeting last night was
> > at 7:00PM and I did not see the agenda posted.
> > meeting was for 7:30PM and started at 7:40PM.
> > If we don't value each other's time, especially as
> > volunteers, we will not be strong. This means
> > taking the time to plan more. I'm happy to help
> > with this process but it cannot happen without
> > people agreeing that this is a priority and
> > up and participating. Apathy and silence may be
> > of our biggest problems and love and forgiveness
> > be one of our biggest solutions.
> > Peace and Respect,
> > Andrew
> > > _______________________________________________
> > imc-boston mailing list
> > imc-boston at lists.indymedia.org
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