The narrative further below, written by John Fridinger who was the sole Administrator of the Unofficial HRC Discussion and Resource Facebook private group for the past year, is his recap of what transpired just before July 3, 2022 and immediately after that day. It shows clearly his different attempts to assuage the owner of the FB page to leave things as they were, and to let him continue to serve the 38,000 members it had accumulated. It also shows the fallout when these attempts to reason with Bec Kemp all failed. You can read the details and see exactly how devastated John was by Bec Kemp’s actions; how angry this absolutely unnecessary and selfish takeover made him, and how it shattered his hopes and vision for the group.
In the narrative John shares some of those hopes, efforts and personal understandings that kept him continually putting in so much time, effort and energy into our beloved group over this past year.
No decent person would take over a group of 38,000 on a whim and essentially, destroy it. No reasonable person would assume that after 2+ years of inactivity they could step in and claim multiple other people’s work as their own without repercussions. No one else in our group would even think to attempt to narrow its focus to only their own agenda. The group was a unique, intelligent touchstone for many, many people. John worked hard to develop it in such ways, and he fought to prevent a hostile takeover. In the end, he lost.
His words reflect his anger and the complete lack of respect he now has for the person that inflicted this wound, not only on him, but on the groups moderators, on its pre-approved members, and most especially on all of the group’s general members and contributors.
In 2015, many of us saw the danger our country was heading into, as political campaigns began. The media danced around that danger for at least 3 years. Some of us spoke up, some of us screamed and shouted. And in hindsight, many of us decided we would never call a lie an ‘alternative fact’, we would never call ‘incompetence’ anything other than what it was. And we would never knowing witness an epic disaster from the sidelines again.
The reality on July 3, 2022 is that a person who is “technically, according to FB rules,” the owner of the UHCR page, decided to take it for herself. She cast aside John, all the moderators, nearly all our pre-approved members, and also additionally blocked all of us from the group.
We have no recourse and so are beginning to rebuild that community. But this is definitely the wrong time for us to have had our collective and shared voices, that were so instructive and informative to each other, silenced. This is no time for us to have lost a place where we were able to better understand, through our coming together, what is happening all around us. We have so little time left to save this planet and perhaps, with much more immediacy, so little time left to save our Democracy.
John’s journey with Bec Kemp, like the interaction that the previous Admins, Mark & Rana, had with her, are painful to recount and difficult to describe with any level of civility. It’s often like that when you’re confronted with an adversary who will lie, cheat and even steal (in this case the group itself), and do whatever else that is “required” to get his or her own way. Authoritarians and dictators are like that…..impossible to reason or negotiate with.
John’s journey, as raw and awful as it was, is described below, in his own words, less than 48 hours after the coup.