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« NAMII | Main | This old town »

Feb 13, 2013


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Account Deleted

I'm fascinated by the June 20, 2011 exchange (pg. 20 of MKA dox) where she replies to Finch that she is "slightly nervous" ... I wonder who the "she" is that MKA is requesting pictures of?

David Boyd

Never realized the confidential informant bar was set this low. Potential new hobby for me if I ever morph into a busybody or decide the GPD is too incompetent to sign up for email distribution lists.


Jeff - I caught that too and thought it odd. David - you said what I was trying to say on the earlier thread on this. These emails are hardly expose her as an informant, but rather as someone who obsessively forwards emails. Still curious who the other "informants" are that Eric said he found. I still think his reporting is incomplete. Why just post the email exchanges between Finch and Marikay? Outside of the so-called "infiltration" of Occupy, how does one example of someone forwarding emails indicate some sort of massive overreaching surveillance by GPD? The denials by Marikay - if true - are of some interest, but the rest is just blown out of proportion. And, yes, Ed, I'm sure some people have different opinions of Marikay after all this. Me? I have a different opinion of Eric.

David Hoggard

Just clicked on several of the hyper linked emails in the documents to see if they were live. They were. I'm guessing some people will be closing down some email accounts pretty quickly. Apparently redaction of cell phone numbers is all that is required to "protect privacy" by Yes.

I've known Tim Hopkins for many years. Actually a very nice and personable guy if you can keep the conversation away from anarchy.

As for MKA's political future... I'm thinking crispy toast. She would have been fine, I think, had she not denied the correspondence ever occurred.

Account Deleted

From my limited perspective I find it all the more compelling since Eric is the one doing the story. What I know of his background comes from a brief involvement I had with a social justice movement two years ago.

My impression then was that he was associated with the activist community in Greensboro stemming from Guilford College. His subsequent reporting on Occupy and his op-ed columns amplify that view.

I can't imagine he would cut MKA off at the knees as part of some strategy on behalf of the establishment. I could more believe he would go to the mat to protect her if she deserved protecting.


Well, Jeff that would be true if we knew what the nature of their acquaintance was prior to the story. (I don't.) What I'm saying is that he is holding up MKA as some sort of indication that this the surveillance is widespread and that she is one of several informants and that she has been a CI "for years." No basis for those contentions was supplied in his original article. If she is an indicator of the depth and breadth of the use of CI's, I'd like to see some additional reporting on that.

sal leone

Well I can say that this will hurt Marikay in the upcoming election, how bad I don't know. I still say the City is at fault here and threw Marikay under the bus, don't blame Yes Weekly, its their job to tell a story and I expect that from the media but the City started the ball rolling.

John D. Young

Who organizes a peace/anti-war demonstration, a civil rights demonstration or a Palestinian rights demonstration, etc., etc. can affect in some ways who attends, and the level of the demonstrations commitment to non-violence. I think generally when faith communities are involved with the initial organization of the demonstration then often families and baby strollers are part of the scene. Thich Nhat Hanh or Bayard Rustin would agree that if "peace with every step" is part of the initial organization then that will generally be the outcome.

Certainly Greensboro should be well aware of the strong commitment to non-violence that was a central part of the Woolworth sit-ins. While on the other hand the 1979 Death to the Klan March was organized by individuals who had basically rejected any commitment to non-violence. In fact they were actively using the language and practice of armed self defense. Guns, tension, hate speech and anger were in abundance.

Event organizers certainly cannot control all that unfolds but a demonstration can start with an edge and tension or it can be rooted so strongly in non-violence and a commitment to peace that the tension is generally defused from beginning to end.

Perhaps MKA thought that she had a handle, from past experiences, on how to read the level of tension and she felt that communicating that information to the GPD could prove helpful and keep additional tension at bay.

I can certainly add that at a couple of Palestinian rights events I attended around Guilford College that there was already a lot of tension created by some individuals driving by, yelling very hateful speech. In such an environment it become more important than ever to absorb the anger rather than respond, but certainly different people holding their candles or signs have different experiences, responses, and therefore different reactions.

Ed Cone

Thanks, JDY.


Yes, thanks for coming to the defense of a proven liar.

Ed Cone

Not how I read it, not what I'm thanking him for.

sal leone

I like to remind all that we live in America and we have to give Marikay a chance to defend herself. The emails are now out and she can read them and knows if she sent them or not, then she can explain why she sent them if she did. The public has a right to know and Marikay has built a career on the public so time will tell what she does or does not do.

All I know is that the City is keeping quiet, no word on who sent the papers and if that person is still employed. I say we should all wait and see what Marikays official response will be and let her speak to the charges of being a CI. I like to remind people that this is serious and there are lots of people upset and could take things out on her for something she did or didn't do, her personal safety is important to me and should be to all because after all is said and done, she is still human.


Palestinians have necessarily abrogated their commitment to non-violence.


By supporting the Palestinians, the Quakers of Guilford College have abrogated their commitment to non-violence.


And now the councilwoman has abrogated her commitment to the truth.


The pacifist cowards use the Palestinians to oppose the Zionists by proxy. As such, Abuzuaiter is nothing more to these hypocrites than cannon fodder.

sal leone

What a big mess the City made, goes to show we need change, and it all starts with a new City Manager.

James Gibson

Is someone drinking while typing?

"By supporting the Palestinians, the Quakers of Guilford College have abrogated their commitment to non-violence."

"The pacifist cowards use the Palestinians to oppose the Zionists by proxy. As such, Abuzuaiter is nothing more to these hypocrites than cannon fodder."

Ed Cone

I was going to suggest that Fec look into the subject a bit more to see if he really thinks non-violence equals cowardice.


No, I had not been drinking and using the Greensboro Four and a Nobel Prize winner do not counter my argument that subborning a desperate tribe of displaced refugees to achieve your political ambitions is an act of cowardice. I was raised a Quaker and have made some specific allegations. Address them or STFU.

Ed Cone

Sorry for the misunderstanding, but your allegations were not clear to at least two readers. Glad you are not writing off non-violent social change as a general concept. Could you drill down a bit on your intended meaning? If you are saying that people who espouse non-violence cannot support a political cause advocated by others who use violence, then I would disagree. If you are saying that college kids often take well-meaning but not-deeply-informed positions, I would agree. If you are saying something else entirely, I would like to understand that, too.


I really do not know how I could have been clearer. I am specifically accusing Guilford College of using the Palestinians to oppose Israel. Is that clear enough for you? JFC!

Ed Cone

Well, it's clearer, thanks.

But by Guilford College do you mean the institution in a formal sense, or students there, both, neither?

And I am confused by "using the Palestinians to oppose Israel." Oppose Israeli policies toward the Palestinians? A good thing, in my book. Oppose Israel's right to exist? Much less good. Also, if it's the first one, how is it "using" Palestinians to support their cause?


Never mind. I have a blog where I attempt to explain such things.


In parting, feigning ignorance is disingenuous, as you attended a Quaker college and are up to your neck in this intrigue, knowing much more about it than I ever will.

Peggy Hickle

How in the world is what Guilford College does with Palestinians against Israel germane to whether or not MKA was a CI or whether or not she lied about sending the emails that YW purports she sent or whether or not her career is now in shambles because of the perception of any of these allegations?


You are welcome to ignore the back story.

Ed Cone

People are doing the opposite of ignoring the back story, we're asking you to fill us in on it. We may all be as obtuse as you find us, but I think there's genuine curiosity here about what you are saying.


I find the back story compelling because we care about Marikay and why she got into this unfortunate situation.

She's married to a Palestinian and has a history of social activism.

Ginsburg is Jewish and a graduate of Guilford College with a history of social activism.

Neither of these things has anything to do with the fact the city accidentally released emails confirming her as a CI or that she subsequently decided to deny it.

However, Guilford College enjoys a rich history of enrolling and graduating Palestinians, some of whom have acted violently toward other students.

I merely pointed out that the Palestinians are forced to be violent for their very survival, which is inconsistent with the Quaker commitment to non-violence. As I said on my blog, this unfortunate circumstance may have attracted other local social activists such as the anarchists, who are not necessarily committed to non-violence.

Rather than a left vs. right struggle, what Abuzuaiter appears to be dealing with are threats from some of those left wing social activists.

Guilford College may have nothing to do with this particular story, but there is a history with the Palestinians and Marikay may be suffering the effects.

It would be better if she spoke to this rather than relying upon Roberto and JDY to come to her defense, but so far all we have gotten are denials.


Furthermore, I see no reason to believe charges made by her and others that her email was hacked in order to incriminate her. GPDCID may be many things, but there is no evidence or motive for conspiracy theories that Marikay has been framed. We will deal with the city in our own good time base on the evidence and not on fantastic theories. As always, Occam's Razor shows us the way to truth.

Eric Ginsburg

I've read this thread with interest and wonder if everyone participating in it has read the article that goes along with the documents: http://www.yesweekly.com/triad/article-15522-abuzuaiter-denies-e-mails-public-decries-police-surveillance.html

Fec, I don't know why you brought up that I am Jewish or graduated from Guilford College (I, too, only understand some of your comments here) but I hope that you don't assume you know my stance or beliefs on Israel because I am Jewish, and I really hope that you don't think that had anything to do with these articles. I wrote these articles because I uncovered the information and the public has a right to know.


Eric, I have not made any substantiations toward your stance or beliefs. However, I feel the best way to refute conspiracy theories is to get everything out on the table.

Again, I believe it is an accident the city provided you with emails concerning Marikay. But it would be nice to know if you had any prior relationship with Marikay, given that you both traveled in similar circles.

There are simply too many coincidences to ignore.

Ed Cone

Thanks for engaging, Fec. I did read your blog, but didn't really follow it all. And thanks for coming by, Eric.

I don't see the relevance of Ginsburg's religious or tribal heritage, and in any case would guess that there's plenty of support for the Palestinians among lefty activists who are Jews. And as I said earlier, a group or individual can sincerely and consistently espouse non-violence while supporting a political cause that inspires violence, although obviously things get complicated on that front.

All that said, I agree that the fabricated email angle seems far-fetched -- some evidence and a motive would be nice -- and that it reflects badly on Marikay, an admirable person and public servant in many ways who seems to have muffed this thing royally.

And I agree, any relevant personal history between Eric and Marikay is fair game for discussion.


You're welcome. Lest we forget, this whole thing started because of Eric's curiosity about surveillance of his activism during college. For him to decry the mention of those facts now gives clues to his own obtusiveness. Perhaps rather than suggesting we read his articles, he would do better to put down the bong and re-read his own stuff.

One way or the other, we're going to get to the bottom of this. It can be messy or straightforward. That's up to you. I don't mind messy.

Eric Ginsburg

I have no problem being open about my history with Marikay. I believe we met when she was campaigning for city council in 2009, but I could be mistaken. We did travel in similar circles and prior to this have always had a very positive relationship. She has always been the most responsive council member to our calls, even for things like the pop quiz that some council members really dislike. I would generally hug her when I saw her and I can't remember us ever having any political or personal disagreements, and certainly not any falling outs.

Regardless, I still trust the information I was given in the public-information requests and see it as imperative that the media acts as a watch dog and reports information even when it doesn't line up with a version of reality that we may wish were true. Maybe people are too used to reading the Rhino Times and that's why this comes as a surprise. Yes, Marikay and I have always had a positive personal and professional relationship, but that doesn't stop the pursuit of accuracy or the public's right to know.

And since you threw it out there Fec, I don't smoke weed and never have (but can we legalize it already? Maybe that will be the $1 million economic development idea that will get Greensboro back on its feet. I'm joking, but really, it should be legal). People are bigger and more complex than the stereotypes you might like to conjure, and as the trail of emails show, Marikay is a good example of that complexity.


Ask your editor about the provenance of the bong crack.


Tell that to the N&R on the Wray story. The Rhino got that right, the N&R reported on an alternate reality. See also YES! reporting on Jorge Cornell, portraying him as a victim. The jury didn't agree.

Why were some people who were under surveillance according to YES! not mentioned in the article?

sal leone

I understand the point Eric made about reporting a story, thats his job and I agree. The city started the mess by giving the emails up and Eric did his by seeing the story behind the emails. I have been doing some research and if I am correct, Emails are not protected under Public records laws, could be wrong.

The ball is in Marikays court and she now has to go public on what the emails are all about. This is America and she has the right to defend herself and rights also apply to the press to tell their story.

I hope people can leave race out of things, does it matter what Eric is, no. Eric to me is a reporter and I dont care he is Jewish or not.


"I hope people can leave race out of things, does it matter what Eric is, no. Eric to me is a reporter and I dont care he is Jewish or not."



I think many may misunderstand the potential for violence against the Palestinian community is some speak out against some ignored injustice of a strategic American ally, amongst a historically racially divided city, which includes a pretty large and politically powerful Jewish community, in the midst of some underemployed relatively bigoted rural areas.

How many of the churches that were torched lately, were majority African American?

Never read it anywhere other than denomination, which I can't tell what it means.

Don't know all the facts, and haven't read all that's been written, but if I was going to have my kids at a protest against a perceived majority, I would rather the local magistrate know than not.


"I...see it as imperative that the media acts as a watch dog and reports information even when it doesn't line up with a version of reality that we may wish were true."

This statement is in conflict with the general policies observed by the Greensboro News and Record, the Rhino Times and sometimes Yes Weekly.

Please believe and act upon this as long as possible Eric.

Our national for profit media is worse on this count than the local.

sal leone

Well maybe the correct word is religion and not race,lol Prell. I think people are trying to paint Eric in a negative light and make it look like he was going after Marikay on a personal attack. I think he got a story and went with it, lets put on the blame on the GPD to start with, you got to be stupid to exchange intell over a computer, anybody even heard of face to face, this way there is no public record. The old mobsters never used phones or mail, everything was done face to face to avoid a paper trial, common sense.
The City and the intell section is as sharp as a quarter, you got to be stupid to email intell.


"Why were some people who were under surveillance according to YES! not mentioned in the article?"


What article? The Yes! article in which they were mentioned?

sal leone

Well the best way to solve this issue is a public hearing on the surveilance. I think the public has a right to know what citizen was watched that was not involved in criminal conduct, and to see if any 4th Amendment rights were violated.

Ae per the marikay issue well there are two sides here, Marikay and Yes Weekly, let the news interview both parties and lets get it out before the election, if email accounts were hacked then thats a crime.


I ran into a relatively very Christian biblical literal interpretist today.

We got into the US supporting Egypt against Israel conversation, with a big emphasis on "If Israel gets eliminated..." meme

My impression was that it is crucial for Israel to exist in order for the second coming of Jesus to occur.

There are a whole lot of folks around here who believe likewise.

Public political protests against Israel in the bible belt by Palestinian activists...

Dangerous stuff.

MaryKay may very well have sacrificed her cred to keep a good chunk of people safe under various circumstances.


To the issue of how the emails got out, I spoke with Donnie Turlington, and it appears the city uses a computer to filter the text in the emails that flags certain words etc... for something that should be reviewed by staff.

I got the impression what was released got through the computer screening without the computer flagging the offending emails.
Via a conversation with a semi non-biased unknowing the details some at dinner, we agreed that Eric should not have been allowed to write the story, as he is/was a part of it.

If Eric subconsciously perceived himself as a victim or skewed etc... when writing the piece, it lacks a normal reporter's view, which puts in question how the "facts" were presented to the public.

Has all the everything been released to the public by Yes Weekly?

Was some info redacted by Yes Weekly that was released?

How many emails involved Eric?

Who else was named?

sal leone

It would be interesting to read all the emails and build a case for or against Marikay.


From the Society of Professional Journalists Ethics Code;

Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.

Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context.

Recognize a special obligation to ensure that the public's business is conducted in the open and that government records are open to inspection.

Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.

Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.

Ed Cone

You are confusing news writing with feature writing, George. The latter can certainly break news, but POV and even attitude are par for the course in alt weekly reporting. The top of this article is a first-person account of the writer's introduction to the topic, not a pyramid report of events.

Your complaint is like going to a dressage competition and bitching about the lousy horse race.

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