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I knew James Lee and worried about him


I knew James Lee, the one the media is calling an environmental extremist, and who walked into Discovery Channel's HQ yesterday with a gun and some explosive devices. He came to many Washington Peace Center and Code Pink protests and events, and he liked to go by his last name only.

In November 2008, he posted a video of the now late William Thomas (at his 24-hour anti-nuke vigil across from the White House) in a drunken state on the Washington Peace Center's blog (at that time it was open to the public). This video certainly did not help Thomas or his wife Ellen. He also posted extremely random and outrageous posts, clearly stating that he had the answers for world peace (drastic population reduction was a central one) and all of us at the Washington Peace Center should follow his instructions.

It was a bit of an ordeal. He protested the small Washington Peace Center office for three or four days with a bullhorn, and then we entered into an informal mediation with him. Not much came of that mediation, except that he claimed he did not need help or medication. I had claimed he needed professional help, other board members were not as sure. But he then stopped harassing us and our two staffers, and returned his attention to Discovery (which I honestly did not know about) as he was working on at the beginning of that same year.

Here is an e-mail exchange I had with Lee. As you can clearly see, as is now being reporting in some media outlets, he wanted to be heard -- to get his message out far and wide. I guess in the end, he attained this goal.

------

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 09:47:12 -0500
From: pete4peace@gmail.com
To: misterfifteen@hotmail.com
Subject: I removed the post

Hi Lee,

I am a member of the WPC board and a friend of Ellen Thomas. I removed your post, as it was totally unrelated to peace and social justice issues. Thomas is struggling with severe alcoholism, and his friends and family are afraid he will drink himself to death. I do not think his troubles need to be spotlighted on our Web site.

A couple other board members saw the post and were highly concerned. The Peace Center Web site is not a place to embarrass people and distract from the good work that we are trying to accomplish. I hope you can understand.

Regards,
Pete

>
reply

___ Lee
to me

No, I do not understand. This is the TRUTH, man! This is your OPINION that the arrests were unrelated to peace and justice issues. William and Ron didn't seem embarrassed at all in court and wanted some attention to their cause. Now you want to give them a media blackout in their own HOME? Then shut the hell up about the media blacking YOUR cause out. I'm going to give you some time to think about what you are doing and reconsider that post.

So stop being so damned bias let the post be where it may. Otherwise, you're just another politician controlling the media in a different suit.

TRUTH and Justice.

Lee

>
Reply

Again from
___ Lee
to me

Don't think that you're the ONLY media outlet either. I can post this video link all over the place. I can send links to the Washington Post, Washington Times, Craig's List, Facebook, Myspace, Indymedia, and the list goes on and on. You can only control that little, tiny, website is all.

Now I'm making this a mission BECAUSE OF YOU.

>

Again from
___ Lee
to me

I'm going to prepare of list of TV Stations on where I can send this video link to. I think they will be interested in this little film. Who knows? Maybe they won't black it out like you did. I might just get very lucky and the whole world can see this.

Wish me luck, asshole.

Lee

>

Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2008 13:04:13 -0500
From: pete4peace@gmail.com
To: misterfifteen@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: I'm going to prepare a list

Hi Lee,

I was hoping you wouldn't resort to insults. You are free to send the link of the video to any and all news organization you like. But I am curious, why? What's your motivation? To embarrass Prop. 1?

You have been extremely disruptive during coalition meetings. I don't know if you are emotionally disturbed or cointelpro. But myself and WPC staff feel uncomfortable around you. I felt you should know this.

Pete

>

reply

___ Lee
to me

What's embarrassing about the video? It looks fine to me. Why would ANYONE in the peace movement be embarrassed by this? You should be PROUD of what happened and tell it to the world. It's the TRUTH, what's wrong with that?

I don't think I was that disruptive during the coalition meetings. I was speaking my mind. Should I have just shut up instead of 'Shout Out?' Does an asian speaking his mind make you uncomfortable? Do you want me to be a quiet little asian and do your laundry and not say anything while the white people are talking? Am I the only one who you feel 'uncomfortable' around?

You have not seen the tip of the iceburg.

Lee

>

from Pete Perry
to ___ Lee
date Sun, Nov 23, 2008 at 2:32 PM
subject Re: I'm going to prepare a list

Lee,

Again, Thomas is struggling with severe substance abuse. His life is in danger because of this. There was no point to his arrest, other than him constantly goading police with "Arrest me, I need it." And "You goddamn dumb monkeys." That was his message. What's the point?

Lee, you make me uncomfortable because you have talked about using violence. You also have said just plain old mean things. Sorry, brother man, I don't care if you are white or purple you make me uncomfortable because of your BEHAVIOR. A couple other people have said the same thing to me. Maybe your behavior will change when you are around others, or maybe it won't. I believe that's up to you.

We do want the Peace Center Web site to be used by activists actually organizing, and sharing their thoughtful comments about the peace and justice movement. We don't want to embarrass our friends and allies for no apparent reason.

peace,
Pete

------

What happened at Discovery is all very sad, and I think there are folks you just can't reach... Be at peace now, Lee. A peace you couldn't find in this world -- a world you had already, in some ways, became disconnected from.

Note -- This reporter actually spoke with Lee's brother who said he probably wanted to die: ABC News, Sept. 1

Comments

Anonymous said…
I'm really glad that nothing more came of this and that everyone you worked with didn't come under further attack.
PeteinDC said…
Thanks Bill. Not claiming to be a psychic, but my "spidey sense" would seriously go off when this guy was around me. The two wpc staffers handled it well, they even offered him lunch a couple times (there's mini kitchen in this small place). The whole experience was scary for them...

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