resolving the concerns about
the Seattle Indymedia newswire

I sent the following email to the woman who controls
Seattle Indymedia.

She never replied.

I also sent a copy of this email to the seattle-editorial list
which used to be used for discussion of editorial issues
and to which I have been subscribed since October 2003.

This email was blocked from the list. List readers are
unaware it has been sent.

-- Ben, May 1, 2006

From: Ben Seattle
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2006 8:13 PM
To: xxx
Cc: seattle-editorial at indymedia dot org;
Subject: resolving the concerns about the Seattle Indymedia newswire

Hi xxx,

In the current situation I believe that the progressive community
expects me to write a calm email asking for clarification about
the following two items.

(1) Is there an editorial policy which prohibits me from posting
the url to the page at: ?

One of my comments which linked to this page was deleted while
two others appear to have been edited to remove the "http" and
render the link non-functional.

Someone posting under the name "David" ( ) suggested
that this issue may simply be user error or database glitches.  I
know the issue is not user error and it is unlikely to be
database glitches.  And it appears to me that "David" may be you
(and if so, I do not understand why you would not write under
your own name).

So the simple and straightforward thing to do -- is to simply
write you directly and ask: is it now Indymedia policy to
prohibit me from posting a functional link to ?

If this is the case, then from this point forward, I will post it
without the "http" in front of the URL and save you the trouble
of removing the "http" from my link.

My thinking is that whether your policies are well-considered or
otherwise -- you are in charge and it is best for everyone if
your policies are clear -- that way there will be no confusion.
You will not need to monitor my posts so closely and I will not
be left wondering what is going to happen to my posts and whether
or not you will edit them or delete them.

If you _are_ David and it is your intent to eliminate what you
call "self-referential discussions on process" -- then I believe
it would be better if you were to make that clear.  Again, this
can reduce uncertainty and unnecessary friction.

(2) After noting that the recent center-column post on the
actions this weekend was authored by the person who signs herself
"./" it occurred to me that this person may be you.  This would
make sense in terms of many other things that have happened.
However it would be irresponsible for me to make such a claim
without first giving you an opportunity to confirm or deny this.
So I am asking you to do so.

         *         *         *         *         *         *

Finally -- I will note what David said concerning my efforts to
supposedly start a "flame war" or create an "anti-Seattle IMC

I have seen many kinds of disagreements.  I believe that everyone
who recognizes their responsibility to the progressive community
will act calmly in their actions.  I have made, and will continue
to make, every effort to treat you with courtesy and respect as a
person and as someone of significance within the progressive
community.  It is my intention to act in such a way that I will
earn your respect.

I intervened in the controversy that erupted as a result of a
number of neo-nazi posts and comments after others (whom I did
not know and still do not know) spoke out on a matter over which
which I, and many others, have very strong feelings.  I
repeatedly asked the indymedia editorial collective to make their
policies clear.  If this had been done then much of the so-called
"self-referential discussions on process" would never have taken
place (because there would have been no need to discuss process).

It is not too late to put things on the right track.

I am clearly not a threat to you or seattle indymedia.  I am a
political writer with a small audience.

I respect your work, which I know is often hard and thankless.  I
have criticized your work only because, in my view, criticism was
necessary in order for indymedia to address the concerns of
progressive readers.  Since you are clearly paying more attention
to the newswire at this time -- then I can conclude that some of
my concerns have been addressed.  I doubt that I am going to see
very many neo-nazi posts on Indymedia in the near future.

What remains to resolve things may not be very difficult: a clear
and believable statement regarding your editorial policies.

Also -- if you have been posting as "./" or "David" or many other
names -- I am going to ask you to reconsider that practice.
Ultimately this kind of thing makes readers feel manipulated.
You are in a position of trust within the community and I and
many others believe that your actions should reflect this.

Ben Seattle