An Open Letter to the City of Portland: The Time has Come to Hold PTU and Margot Black Accountable
Updated: 2 days ago
*UPDATE: This post is being republished through this blog after being reported down from Medium. com. The original post contained screenshots of conversations with Margot that supported a number of the victims statements below. These pictures and screenshots will be added to this document by 10am on 05/19/2020. It also says that it is written by Lilith Sinclair, but instead, was reposted by them as a means of solidarity.*
There is no doubt that Margot Black has been a fierce advocate for many people impacted by the housing crisis in this city. However, many believe that the positive impact of Margot’s work is marred by her own toxic behaviors, which have generated a significant number of grievances and complaints over the years.
Many individuals have chosen to share their stories in an effort to illuminate the harmful impact of working, and being in community with Margot Black. We are taking this action because other methods of raising our concerns, including (but not limited to) professional mediation and facilitated dialogues, have failed. Margot Black has proven herself to be vehemently resistant to criticism or disagreement in any manner.
Why now? Because it’s time. Survivors have waited long enough, and need justice and acknowledgement. This is not primarily about the election — if it were, this letter would have been delivered earlier. This is about resetting the expectation for accountability for Margot Black and Portland Tenants United (PTU) towards a community-driven model, rather than systematically silencing concerns. Now is not the time for Margot Black and PTU to lead the conversation, but rather to listen, reflect, and make amends to the individuals and communities they have harmed.
Based on the scope and severity of harm, we issue the following demands:
PTU Should Withdraw their Endorsement: Given the seriousness of the harm outlined below, and regardless of the outcome of the 2020 primary election, PTU should withdraw their endorsement of and support for Margot Black’s campaign for Portland City Council Seat 2 immediately.
PTU Should Disaffiliate with Margot Black: Margot has resigned from PTU leadership in the past, but this action failed to adequately address the impact of the harm she has caused. As a result, PTU Organizing Committee should vote to remove Margot Black from leadership per section 4.24 of the PTU Bylaws, and make it clear to the community that Margot Black no longer speaks on behalf of the organization or is affiliated with the organization.
Margot and PTU Should Commit to Zero Retaliation: Survivors should never be punished for telling their truth. That’s why we demand that Margot and PTU commit to zero retaliation, and make this pledge in a public statement directed to Hold PTU and Margot Black Accountable. Margot and PTU should also urge their supporters to make a zero retaliation commitment as well. Please be aware that screenshots of retaliation via unwanted communications, and character attacks that avoid addressing the issues raised below, or otherwise threaten those who have come forward will be published on this site. This applies to Margot Black, PTU organizers, and community supporters as well.
Margot and PTU Should be Subject to Community-Led Accountability: The individuals and communities that Margot and PTU have harmed should direct and lead the accountability process, not the other way around. By perpetuating harm to the community over time, Margot and PTU have revoked their rights to lead and/or direct the terms of this process. We believe it’s possible to resolve conflict and move past harm when the accountability process is community led. Relationships can be rehabilitated. That is why we welcome others, including current PTU members, to join in this process as it is a crucial step in building a resilient and just tenants rights movement in this city.
Organizations and Community Members who have past and current relationships with Margot should reflect on the patterns of behavior evidenced below and identify how their own involvement, from direct participation and engagement, to turning away in the interest of avoiding conflict, may have contributed to Margot’s continued ability to inflict harm on our communities for as long as she has.
Given Margot’s choice to maintain a public presence, and pursuit of elected office, she is subject to public scrutiny. The State of Oregon has some of the strongest Anti-Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation law (Anti-SLAPP) in the country. We hope that voters and community members in the City of Portland will recognize these rights, and feel emboldened to participate in a level of critique and scrutiny that she herself has deemed of vital importance to the democratic process.
Hold PTU and Margot Black Accountable
Please direct inquiries to Hold PTU and Margot Black Accountable @ HoldPTUandMargotBlackAccntable@gmail.com
Submitted by Alyssa Pariah — Portland DSA
I don’t want Margot Black in public office. On the morning of January 11, 2019, Margot Black made a transphobic comment that I cannot abide.
She did this in the presence of [two other organizers]. In response to me sharing my experience and perspective, Margot Black proceeded to explain to me how women get ‘gaslit by men.’
Dumbfounded, I asked [the other organizers] if they had heard her correctly. They said they did.
I reminded Margot that despite being trans, I am a woman. To this, she scoffed and she continued on without apology. To this date, I have yet to hear one.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Alyssa Pariah 05/14/2020
Submitted by Lynn Hager — Former PTU Organizer
I used to be proud to be both a PTU member and organizer from about 2015–17. I found the organization at a time when my housing felt extremely precarious, and I felt I had exhausted all other resources to keep myself and my son housed. I was elated when I first met Margot. I thought to myself — finally, someone who was willing to represent and speak to the needs of poor people, struggling parents, and the disenfranchised. I felt empowered to speak up and advocate I never had before. I also found a sense of comradery, belonging and purpose that was completely new to me.
Everything was great until I started to raise questions about some of Margot’s behaviors that I found problematic. In countless PTU meetings, I directly observed Margot centering her own feelings. On numerous occasions, people who organized with and alongside PTU would attempt to give feedback to her on this — the way she would minimize other people’s concerns about mis-gendering or racist microaggressions.
These concerns were typically met with copious amounts of shaming, like the complaints themselves were a distraction and a major inconvenience in the struggle for renters rights. In reality, these complaints were coming DIRECTLY FROM the renters she claimed to represent. This feedback was offered in an attempt to create an inclusive environment within PTU.
There was a faction of staunch Margot supporters that enabled her. When it was clear I had some criticism of her style of organizing and communication, I was iced out. At times I even found myself being the butt of her cruel “jokes”.
After taking time to reflect, I realize that despite the support I received from PTU, I left the organization feeling exploited. It was like the help Margot offered me was contingent on co-signing everything she does, being available to come to her defense at a moment’s notice or otherwise never challenging her.
I see how this pattern has continued and it’s completely disheartening. PTU seems like it’s a shadow of what it used to be. It used to be about renters, now it seems like it’s about rehabilitating fragile Margot’s public persona.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Lynn Hager 05/14/2020
Submitted by Zerath Brightsong — Former PTU Organizer
I met Margot in mid-2015 when I was active on a Facebook page for Portland renters. She approached me and asked me to join a new organization that was forming, PTU, where I remained involved until 2017. I attended the first meetings in December 2015 and eventually voted for the official organizational charter, and then was involved in the 2016 Bylaws. I was an inexperienced organizer at the time, and I was attracted to the organization’s fiery language and will to make change.
In time I came to realize that the organization wasn’t the radical organization I had thought it would be, but I thought I could advocate for more radical approaches. I bottom-lined the IT and Web working group(s) and the Intelligence working group (landlord/corporation research, legal research) for most of my time at PTU and recruited several organizers. By late 2016, many of the early and very active organizers were quitting the organization and expressing serious concerns around PTU’s ethical behaviour and Margot Black’s behaviour.
I saw, up close, very racist treatment of a Black organizer who wanted to bottom-line the Equity group that was being formed, but Margot told the committee she wouldn’t want it because of being a single working mother, so the role went to a white male. The Black woman organizer produced a case study after discussions with Black and other POC organizers, then gave a presentation which included material proposals to make PTU a less white-centered organization. Those proposals were never really followed up on and the behavioural changes suggested were ignored. I eventually talked to the organizer privately about it and found out Margot had lied to the Organizing Committee, and that she in fact wanted the position but was told she didn’t get it by Margot. This caused me to question many things I had accepted as true up to this point, only to find many instances of lies and unilateral decisions that were sold as though they’d been democratic, or else dismissed as unworthy of notice.
For instance, the very first tenant case PTU took before it chartered was an elderly Black immigrant woman and her granddaughter. We’d been told that Margot had worked with them and negotiated some leeway from the offending landlord and that they were okay. When I checked in with the granddaughter, she informed me that Margot had actually just written them off and left them to their own devices, and they were evicted. The family was understandably not a fan of PTU or Margot Black.
I began to ask more critical questions in meetings and met evasions or increasing resistance. Margot and her inner circle at the time — I came to think of them as her “muscle” — began marginalizing my contributions and being dismissive of me, and Margot became increasingly demanding and controlling over private messages to me, to the point I realized it was abusive and manipulative. I received literally hundreds of aggressive messages from Margot during this time, often going into the wee hours of the morning. I resigned from the Organizing Committee on December 19, 2016 citing generic reasons, and received pleasant emails from many PTU organizers including Margot wishing me well and thanking me for my contributions. I had still thought that the work was more important than my concerns and I didn’t want to damage the work. Looking back, I realize that PTU’s abuse and lack of ethics impede the work. Tenants don’t need to be gate-kept by a single organization to fight for their rights.
For a few months afterwards, I had a neutral relationship with PTU, but eventually I began to process my trauma with vague posts on my Facebook wall which didn’t name PTU or Margot by name, but were general insights on organizing and staying accountable. Margot jumped on one of these posts and made it about her and PTU, followed by her inner circle posting aggressively attempting to silence me. Sometime after this, I met with a group of other ex-PTU organizer friends mostly to catch up on our friendships and do a little processing together. Some current PTU organizers came in and saw us, then reported back to Margot we’d been seen together. Margot (according to one of the organizers that saw us and a couple of others that later left the org) decided we represented a conspiracy to take her down, and asked one of the organizers to infiltrate our group. That organizer refused, and soon resigned as well.
Soon after this, a couple of concerned mutuals on Facebook sent me screenshots of Margot’s posts on a Facebook page I was not on, wherein Margot repeatedly misgendered me (I am Trans Nonbinary), in basically a Bathroom Panic styling of me as an aggressive, hulking and dangerous male, and even speculates about my genitals and my body shape/size.
I’m including part of that extremely Transphobic post by Margot, and also her email when I resigned from the organization. As you can see, the picture she paints of me being a hulking threat are quite different than what she and other OC members said when I left the organization. A few clarifications: I always used they/them pronouns with PTU. And I have never once seen Margot Black face to face since I resigned from PTU.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Zerath Brightsong 05/14/20
Submitted by Bobbi Zaman — Former PSUSU Member
I have worked peripherally with Margot Black, but have chosen to keep my distance because of the many accounts I have heard from community organizers and friends about her toxic behavior.
I first heard about Margot between 2016–2018 when a lot of post election organizing was happening with and alongside Portland’s Resistance. On many occasions, friends, and trusted organizers have warned me to stay away from Margot. It’s been so many people over the years…
Say all you want about “gossip”. But chalking up all of these experiences, stories, and very real sentiment as a “smear campaign” is nothing more than victim blaming. The sheer number of voices telling a similar story demonstrates a pattern. It’s important to recognize that sometimes a reputation is very much earned.
For the better part of a year, she has been directing her intense and toxic behaviors towards a friend of mine. The unprompted vitriol that Margot has been sending my friend is extremely hostile and totally unacceptable. This isn’t an isolated incident. Many people have experienced her verbal onslaught and rages. I see nothing to suggest that Margot is capable of recognizing her own role in attacking, agitating and provoking the very people she calls “haters”.
It is unfortunate, but the history of Margot’s unresolved conflicts, and erratic behaviors continue to be present in organizing spaces over time. Nothing has been resolved. On several occasions, I have even observed that just saying her name was enough to evoke an anxious response.
This disturbing pattern of behavior needs to be addressed and it is beyond vague community “concern.”
— Permission to post publicly granted by Bobbi Zaman 05/14/20
Lilith Sinclair — Founder of Activism, Actually
The following is my own personal perspective as to why I would like to support this public letter and it’s sentiments. I have shared this perspective, when relevant, with groups that I have been organizing alongside and am happy to make my perspective more widely available.
Recently, an opportunity to collaborate and organize with PTU came up for a group I am a part of, and I had to advocate strongly against that collaboration.
I made this decision because of the many reports I’ve heard from victims [whom I will not name] about personal issues with Margot Black’s behavior including multiple allegations of emotionally abusive, harassing, and transphobic behavior.
I refuse to spread rumors or things I don’t know as fact, but I do believe survivors and will consistently speak up on that. Beyond those who have been directly targeted by Margot, I know of a significant number of community members who quietly refuse to engage with Margot on organizing efforts in any capacity.
I urged the group to have conversation around this as I felt cautious about aligning with an initiative that Margot, in my opinion, would ultimately taut as an idea of her own or directly align herself with because it came from PTU and her history there. I worried about an effort to bolster the appearance of community support for the purpose of advancing her campaign.
Margot uses strong, progressive political rhetoric. However, character really matters. When we pretend it doesn’t, and we organize with people and organizations based on their rhetoric alone, we expose ourselves (and the work we do) to controversy and drama — two things that seem to follow Margot Black wherever she goes.
Based on the long history of conflict and concerns I’ve heard, I voted no on this endeavor. It was a split decision, but ultimately the whole group voted no on collaborating with PTU for all of the reasons outlined above. Unfortunately during an appeal made by PTU for us to reconsider that position, I directly and personally witnessed behavior from someone who has aligned themselves with Margot’s campaign which continues to be inexplicable in regards to untrustworthy behavior.
As I urged in these conversations, I would be interested to see a community wide conversation about accessible and transparent mediation efforts that are built on victim-led, restorative justice practices and a non-biased mediator willing to ensure that both parties (especially those accused of harm) are engaging in good faith. This writing can be considered my personal recommendations for any and all groups I work alongside: to coordinate with victims and work towards true accountability for harm and allows for the necessary step back and personal growth needed to make real change.
**Addition to this post made by me, Lilith Sinclair, as I repost this public call for accountability from my own page as an act of solidarity with victims: Today, May 18, 2020, I've witnessed multiple people allied with Margot make claims that "no mediation was ever attempted" in addition to calling this message a "call out train" and "hit piece." As recently as a month ago, I spoke with this same person on a conference call about a number of these issues and the reasons why I did not support any endorsements for PTU because of this. We communicated our no to the request and why.
If nothing else, seeing today's responses from Margot's supporters that aggressively tone policed and discredited survivors IN ADDITION to the way this piece was reported down from Medium immediately, I have no reason to believe that Margot or PTU have any interest in allowing space for community conversations about their harm, let alone have capacity to engage in mediation in good faith.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Lilith Sinclair 05/17/2020
Submitted by Emily von W Gilbert — Portland DSA
I’ve experienced both the benefits and the drawbacks of organizing with Margot since we first met in 2017. One good example of this combination was when organizing a coalition against the increased policing of the houseless community in the Central Eastside.
Margot is a very sharp strategist and was willing to use her connections to help put the issue in front of decision makers, help organize the asks and demands, and gave substantial time to the project. These were real contributions that I want to acknowledge. The difficult part was that several other equally talented organizers stopped participating because Margot got involved.
As a facilitator I found that people were unwilling to speak up about their reasoning for stepping back due to Margot’s history of conflict; a history of unwillingness to accept criticism by actively listening and changing her behavior and instead engaging in drawn-out patterns of defensive escalation. People deeply invested in this project simply didn’t feel they had the bandwidth, either organizationally or emotionally, to engage in that type of back and forth.
As facilitator I failed to mitigate this lopsided participation, leading to the effort somewhat becoming one of advocacy rather than one driven by those directly impacted, which I regret. I’m thankful to the participants who took time to share their experiences and observations which hopefully makes me a better organizer going forward.
Some gate-keeping efforts are overt, but some are silent, driven by dynamics that are never spoken out loud. Because Margot is now running for City Council I think it’s necessary to state this observation publicly, because a movement candidate for office can’t be a gate-keeper to the organizations who are working in the community.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Emily von W Gilbert 05/14/2020
Submitted by Matilda Bickers — STROLL PDX
I’ve directly observed the impact of Margot’s harmful behavior towards others. I have seen the way she fixates on a person and sends endless streams of hateful messages. It’s impacted people in my community.
I am thinking of one person in particular, who is a friend and a black woman. I’ve read them. The messages hit nearly every racist trope I can think of, all while accusing my friend of “dehumanizing her” for calling Margot a white woman.
Also, this wasn’t a two way conversation… It was a one-sided rage dump that went on for 8+ months before my friend finally blocked Margot.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Matilda Bickers 05/14/2020
Submitted by Sam Scott — Former PTU Organizer
I was on the Executive Committee (EC) of PTU for a while, and involved more generally for about a year between 2016–2017. I was the one who championed (and made PTU pay for) the initial conflict transformation facilitation. PTU hired an outside mediator to do a mediation.
During the course of the mediation — in which some folks chose not to show up at the last minute, others were dis-invited by Margot completely — I saw Margot shift the focus of the mediation to her own comfort every single time. At one point, someone was going through a serious trauma response. The mediator was addressing the person having the dissociative episode — an episode, incidentally, that was precipitated by rehashing Margot’s past behavior with that person- and Margot literally said “But what about me?”
I wasn’t present for a lot of the events leading up to it, but there was an EC meeting that was wild… I remember being in the room and listening to the Margot-faction make statements, we’d make a show of discussing and/or debating, but inevitably it would always come back to whatever Margot would want. Sometimes that was fine, but then it wasn’t — especially when one of the organizers (a young nonbinary individual with some pretty bad trauma) ended up being raged at multiple times.
Many of us were fed up with it, and with the EC as a whole — that individual had been misgendered multiple times (I think any of us who were nonbinary — there were three of us — had that unfortunate experience), and some of Margot’s behavior towards them at other events had been terrible.
Finally, another member — male — exploded, and completely lost his shit. I was sick that night — like, probably shouldn’t have been there — and I just remember thinking, “I should be backing him up and supporting him because he’s kinda on the receiving end of the wrath of Margot Black and her cronies but I can’t come up with words right now but my god he’s right” and, I know other people had chimed in, only to also get yelled at.
And of course, because it was a dude who made the remarks, and not especially tactfully… the focus shifted from the content to the tone, and basically he got written off as a misogynist…
…I’ll be the first to say that Men Yelling At Women is a problem, full stop; and, yes, in retrospect, that was probably not The Best Way to address the issues we were having — although I feel like (and this might just be the haze of memory) more gentle approaches weren’t working.
And despite all that — and the resulting fallout and attempts at reconciliation, members of the PTU organization still persisted in racism and transphobia, and resisted addressing the behavior, and dismissed the voices of queer and POC organizers. THAT is what set the tone for the ongoing shit show. THAT is also why people keep bringing up those things — because they were never addressed in the first place.
There was never an apology and attempt at doing better; instead, it became all about the person doing the harm and how they felt… At one point, and I don’t remember the exact timeline, Margot was melting down. We were both working at [Lewis and Clark] at the time — finally I just took her down to a coffee shop and was like, ‘Have it out’. And basically she told me that she was pissed because no one was considering HER feelings during the whole thing, and no one cared how SHE felt, and that SHE didn’t deserve to be treated like this.
And all I really remember from that day, having been the end of my PTU times, was that she was incredibly not sorry for any of the hell she put anyone through; and that she didn’t even consider herself responsible for any of it.
And like, I firmly believe that people are not their mistakes. I firmly believe that people can learn from their mistakes, and grow into better, more dynamic people. But, part of growth is self-reflection, and part of growth is unlearning bad habits that have caused harm in the past. Part of growth is making amends for the harm you’ve caused. I can’t speak to what’s in someone’s heart, but I *can* say that major life growth is often reflected in the actions you choose to take.
When one has been accused by many of being a power-hungry narcissist, one should perhaps reflect on that, and learn from it, and make amends for harm done, instead of seeking additional positions of power.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Sam Scott 05/14/2020
Submitted by Kayla Briggs — Portland DSA
I have witnessed Margot’s toxic, manipulative behavior in multiple shared organizing spaces.
One such instance: At a meeting of the Portland DSA Feminist Caucus in the spring of 2019, Margot, who was unhappy with the results of a recent Portland DSA Steering Committee election, submitted a request to add an item to the end of the meeting agenda. She seemed somewhat disinterested through the entirety of the meeting, but when her item came up on the agenda, she proceeded to air her concerns about a slate of organizers who had recently been elected to the steering committee (one person on this slate had run for a seat that one of Margot’s close friends lost in that election).
She accused these organizers, who are marginalized (queer, POC, trans) people, of misrepresenting themselves to the Portland DSA membership in order to get elected. She stated that none of the members on the slate “represented her, as a woman and mother.” She declared that they were sexist and anti-feminist, citing the fact that they had not asked Margot’s friend to be on their election slate.
She DEMANDED that the Feminist Caucus DO SOMETHING about this group of people. While most in attendance (some of whom may have never attended a DSA meeting prior to this one) sat aghast, and without a clue about how to proceed, some suggested that Margot should take her concerns to the Grievance Committee — Margot was apparently unhappy that no one would take up this fight with her and continued to demand action.
In an attempt to move the conversation to a productive place, I offered to work with Margot to draft a document stating a commitment to inclusive, socialist feminist organizing tenets that the caucus might publish at a future date. A FULL HOUR after the meeting was scheduled to end, those of us who had been held hostage by Margot’s wholly inappropriate airing of her grievance to a group of people who had no business being involved, were finally able to leave.
Concerned about the possibility of a pattern of meeting hijacking and derailment in the future, I reached out to Margot to draft our document and received no response. I never heard from her again about this matter.
The number of trusted comrades and casual acquaintances, who have independently warned me to stay away from Margot is substantial and shocking. I have spent countless hours consoling comrades who felt comfortable enough to share their own stories about her racist and transphobic abuses, patterns of unrelenting harassment, and inability to take responsibility or honestly participate in mediation proceedings, in order to process the traumas associated with interacting with her, and to determine appropriate next steps to protect ourselves and others from being victimized by her in the future. I sincerely hope that sharing our stories will help.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Kayla Briggs 05/14/2020
Submitted by Keith Guthrie — Portland DSA
I began getting to know Margot Black starting in 2018, when I was a member of PTU and a Steering Committee member of Portland DSA, an organization she and a few of her close friends were becoming more involved in. I would describe my interactions with Margot during that time as very comradely — we had a good working relationship — though this friendship also meant I witnessed some of her interpersonal conflicts and was pulled into long, heated and typically exhausting conversations on a number of occasions.
In 2019 I became involved in a conflict with Margot when I again ran for DSA’s Steering Committee. I had declined to run on a slate with one of Margot’s close friends and instead ran on a slate with three other organizers who I had built a strong relationship with and with whom I shared a common vision. When the four of us were elected to the Steering Committee, this meant that Margot’s friend was not. For months afterward Margot and her friends accused me of misogyny, since me being elected as a cis-het white man (along with a trans woman of color, a queer woman of color and a gay white man) meant that a woman, Margot’s friend, was not elected. Margot went as far as attending a chapter Feminist Caucus meeting and asked the caucus to issue a statement calling me out as a misogynist. She told them I intentionally caused her friend to lose the election because I was afraid of powerful women and that I was a symbol of a problem that the organization must address. Since I was unaware this was happening and was not in attendance I had no opportunity to correct the record or defend myself.
After the election I had no direct communication with Margot though several months later she sent me an unprovoked private message consisting of a very long, one-sided rant against me, against one of my slate members, and against Portland DSA overall. That exchange is provided below. For context, it should be noted that her description of chapter activities, who was involved in what organizing and to what level is inaccurate (for example, her friend was not responsible for the vast amount of work that went into planning and coordinating our 2018 Summer Day School, and discussions related to the national convention — a major priority for members every other year — stemmed from finances rather than organizing capacity). This is likely because Margot was not engaged in chapter organizing at the time and had no firsthand knowledge of what myself or others on the Steering Committee were involved in or dealing with inside or outside of DSA.
Most anyone who’s done political organizing as a volunteer knows it is wrong to criticize and shame someone for being publicly honest about personal capacity or concerns about burnout. This did not stop Margot from seizing an opportunity to attack me and my co-organizers by lobbing uninformed, misguided criticism all while centering herself and presenting a self serving and false narrative.
This type of vindictive, manipulative and counterproductive behavior is, from my perspective, an undeniable pattern for Margot Black and one that she has avoided ever taking any meaningful responsibility for. She has used her notoriety as a public figure and her influence among a close circle of activists to insulate her from reconciling the harm she has done to numerous organizers and large swaths of the broader Portland social justice community.
While Margot has been involved in meaningful work through PTU, which has cultivated for her a very strong following of supporters both within and outside of the broader activist community, my experience has been that the popular narrative surrounding her activist persona in the public sphere has played a key role in enabling her toxic behavior towards others.
I was initially apprehensive about sharing my experiences because of potential retaliation, but felt it was prudent to help validate the experiences of others speaking out and I hope sharing this information will help them while also in the end encouraging long-term reflection and accountability for Margot Black.
— Permission to post publicly granted by Keith Guthrie 05/17/20
(Update: on May 24, 2020,Hold PTU and Margot Black Accountable, after receiving correspondence from an involved party, previously referred to as “A,” elected to remove two concerned organizers testimonies which were originally included here. Because of the ethical complexities, none of the parties will be named here nor will the extensive corroborating evidence be shared pubicly.)