This is what Brooke Lehman once said

This is what Brooke Lehman once said

Last week, Brooke Lehman denied the validity of Salon magazine’s quote that she was “not against property destruction,” and this newspaper considers letters’ research to be rumor and innuendo. So, I’ll let Ms. Lehman speak for herself — in person and in context.

This is what Ms. Lehman says in her presentations to build the Occupy movement. In the first video, “2011, 1999, 1968-and 2012? The History of the Left and Occupy” (www.vimeo.com/39412877), you can see Ms. Lehman comfortably describing these turbulent times and embracing “low scale property destruction,” though she breaks off mid-sentence when about to offer some graphic examples. It is in the “Direct Action” (Seattle ’99 era) history that she speaks of the “diversity of tactics” employed: “I think what we, what people, you know, meant back in the day without saying it was from sort of like very, very safe, peaceful, nonviolent actions to low-scale property destruction. You know, mostly property destruction that was either de- [big pause here, I think to redirect the conversation] ­— and also doing active self defense in the street....”

Further along, under “strategy,” Ms. Lehman says, “We’ve got this project of direct democracy ... and this sort of lofty revolutionary vision that we’re very committed to, and unwavering in our commitment to ... revolutionary values, anti-capitalism, direct democracy, horizontal politics....”

When was this proclaimed? On March 18, 2012, at the same time she was pursuing Mt. Riga Farm.

 If you haven’t grasped Ms. Lehman’s unwavering commitment to revolutionary activism, here is her basic perspective and exhortation to others: “Finally, we need to clarify that due to the incongruity between capitalism and life on a planet, real solutions to climate change can only be achieved though the gradual dissolution of capitalism and the immediate reversal of the neo-liberal agenda. And given the real likelihood that this will require no less than a global uprising to achieve, we must continue to build alliances and coalitions....” (www.current.com/community/91589931_10-yrs-after-the-battle-of-seattle-re... bal-justice-movement-1-of-2.htm).

I believe these quotes, the essence of Ms. Lehman’s past and present activism, speak to her intended use of the Mt. Riga Farm. If people understood that Ms. Lehman is involved in “movement building,” they would see why vans of people are necessary — large groups are needed for interaction and training. That is a different and much more burdensome use to the property, with increased effect to neighbors and town, than what usual classes and retreats are.

Lastly, Arun Gupta opines Occupy’s need for secure space to train others: (www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/on/2012/05/2012521151225452634.html).

“The big question for Occupy is how it can build a dual system of power ... this ... gets back to the question of space ... people need secure areas where they can take the time to share stories, to listen and debate, create bonds, forge trust and take action.... Occupy’s future success is based on finding [space] where it can reproduce itself.”

How about the Mt. Riga Farm? What a perfect fit!

Barbara Schlesinger
North East and Malvern, Pa.

Individuals, businesses supported Lions Club golf

The Amenia Lions Club would like to thank the following individuals and businesses for helping make our 21st Annual Co-ed Day of Golf a huge success.

We would like to offer a special thanks to Associated Lightning Rod (our Gold Sponsor) and Jack’s Auto Service (our Silver Sponsor) for their special contributions both this year and in the past. In addition to the scholarships and assistance provided to individuals throughout the community, we continue to look for projects that will benefit the local community. It is only through these generous donations that we are able to make things happen. Thank you all!

Bank of Millbrook; Barnes Insurance; Berlinghoff Electrical Contractor; Cascade Spirit Shoppe; Copake Country Club; Copperfield’s; CPA Services; CROP Production; Darlene S. Riemer, Architect; Delango Automotive; Donald B. Dedrick Agency Inc.; Downey, Haab & Murphy PLLC; Dunkin’ Donuts (Dover Plains); Dutchess Oil & Propane Company; Duxbury & Hermans PLLC; Ed Herrington Inc.; Four Brothers Pizza; Harold Morford; Haven’s Real Estate; Hufcut Funeral Home; Jiffy Promos; Judge Manning Horse Transportation Inc.; Karmann Auto Body; Kildonan School; Law Office of Bethany  Ralph; Little Professors Preschool (Maplebrook School); Marshall & Sterling Inc.; McEnroe Organic Farm; McLean Ford; Michael Hayes; Northwest Lumber & Hardware; Premiere Dental Care; Salisbury Bank; Sharon Auto Body; SPA Nails; Sunday in the Country; The Pines Restaurant; Webutuck Teachers’ Association; Welsh Sanitation.

Joseph Fontaine
Amenia Lions
Co-ed Day of Golf

But the Lehman facts aren’t just rumors

Brooke Lehman’s supporters continue to insist that proven facts about her are just rumors. A nonsensical, childish letter from Mary Murfitt in last week’s Millerton News ridiculed the meticulous research done by Lehman’s opponents. For Ms. Murfitt’s information, the Internet includes many sources generally accepted as highly reliable. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal maintain an online presence. Less well known and alternative sites can be helpful too, if used intelligently.

No doubt Ms. Murfitt knows that countless sources on the Internet provide accurate information, but was just making a poor attempt at being clever. I found her contrived way of trying to connect Barbara Schlesinger’s name to the concocted sleazy scenarios of Ms. Murfitt’s own imagination shamefully insulting and nasty.

Competent research includes evaluation of sources, detailed fact checking and cross referencing, which Lehman’s opponents have done. Many of our sources are well-known mainstream online publications like Salon.com, the Progressive online and others Ms. Murfitt may have visited herself. Murfitt’s letter was snide, and her argument just plain silly. Was it motivated by her close relationship with the Osofsky family? For the past eight years Murfitt has been part of the Hammertown staff. (Joan Osofsky, mother of Lehman’s partner, Gregg Osofsky, is the owner of Hammertown.) (www.linkedin.com/pub/mary-murfitt/a/26b/656)

Through a process of careful, diligent research, I have established that Brooke Lehman, in her capacity as owner of Bluestockings radical bookstore, has been a supporter of arsonist eco-terrorist Daniel McGowan. McGowan has been named by both the Department of Justice and the FBI as a “number one domestic terrorism threat.” (www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-mcgowan/tales-from-inside-the-us_b_212632....)

Here are the facts: Lehman bought Bluestockings bookstore in 2003. (www.publishingtriangle.org/newslettermarch03.html). Lehman owned Bluestockings until November 2011 (www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=34471656&targetid=profile). See the bottom of the page and note the date of the cached article.

During Lehman’s ownership, Bluestockings has supported McGowan in various ways. Check the following evidence for yourself: 1. A vigil was held at Bluestockings to await McGowan’s sentencing (www.breakallchains.blogspot.com/2007/06/daniel-mcgowan-to-be-sentenced-m...); 2. Bluestockings offered updates on McGowan’s legal battle (www.villagevoice.com/bestof/2006/award/best-jumping-off-point-for-the-bu...); 3. An information session on McGowan’s case was held at Bluestockings on July 7, 2006 (www.supportdaniel.org/fundraising/); 4. Bluestockings sold raffle tickets for McGowan’s support (see the Nov. 18, 2006 entry) (www.supportdaniel.org/news/). All of these events occurred while Lehman owned the store.

Lehman’s supporters, who seem comfortable with her radical connections, packed the Aug. 16 Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing. They appear confident that most residents of North East, other than people who live near the proposed site, will raise no objection to the center. I hope they’re wrong.

Maybe you think this won’t affect you. It will be too late when our streets are blocked by chanting activists on a Monday morning when you have to get to work, or worse. The next ZBA hearing is on Aug. 28 at the library’s Annex. The board still says it cannot consider your concerns about Lehman. Show up anyway. Flood the town of North East’s Planning and Zoning office with calls. This is too important to ignore.

Roger Wolf