Tuesday, 4 September 2007

The Triglav Incident

SLLU are pleased to welcome new member and blog contributor Klaatu Congrejo, who has been exploring, in diary form, how her SL experiences relate to, and intersect with RL issues and experiences. This is her first SL diary extract we are publishing here, hopefully with more to follow...


Here in Second Life, just as in Real Life, there are daily struggles for 'human' (avatar) rights, ideologies, beliefs, freedom from poverty, freedom from oppression and environmental protection issues.

A few days ago I took part in a stand-off against a group of fascist griefers who, through intimidation and threatening behaviour, were trying to force an SL citizen to remove her building structures and give up her land.
On August 28th, through the IM chatline of Arbor Project (a group that buys up tiny blocks of land and plants trees to prevent that land being taken over by advertisers), I was alerted by a panic call from a Group member:

"Help, they have guns and they are threatening me" said Meredith.
Instantly, there were half a dozen people on line asking 'Whats wrong?', 'Where are you?',
'Who's threatening you?', etc.

Another Arbor Group member from the same location sent back: "We're here (LM enclosed) surrounded by a group of people in uniform, carrying guns and claiming to be SL Police."
Within seconds at least ten other Arbor Project members and myself had teleported into a block of land at Triglav sim. We saw a young female avatar, Meredith, and a large crow avatar, Deadcrow Sands, surrounded by about a dozen large muscle-bound male avatars in blue uniforms. Some of them were carrying rifles - ALL of them had pistols.

Apparently, Meredith had recently built walls with pictures of trees on them to block out the unsightly ads floating above the land next door. One of the 'police officers', the owner of the ad land, claimed he was acting on behalf of Linden Labs and told her to remove the walls and lower her ban lines. She complied, and within minutes her land was swarming with police carrying weapons with the intention, it seemed, of intimidating her and forcing her off her land.

As more Arbor Project people arrived some of the police disappeared, but it was at least half an hour before the last of them left. When questioned about why they were there they simply replied "We're just exploring a wonderful second life and making sure all is good with everyone", and other similar comments.

While one of the Arbor Project members walked around taking pictures of what was happening, another member was making a complete transcript of the conversations taking place. We tried contacting the Lindens to invite them to come and see what was happening but, as is always the case in these siuations, there were no Lindens on line at that time!

We told the 'pretend police' that we were all lodging AR's (Abuse Reports) to Linden Labs about their intimidating behaviour and misrepresenting LL by claiming to be acting on their behalf. We also informed them that the second charge (of misrepresentation) was regarded as a VERY serious offence by LL that could result in them having all their lands confiscated.
This information soon saw all but two of the police disappear.

These two remaining policemen - 'Gandi Benelli' and 'joethehand McMillan' (I kid you not, that was his name!) seemed determined to wait around until we had gone. Then one of the Arbor Group members shouted out: "Since we have so many members here I suggest we all sit down and have a group meeting - now any suggestions for an agenda?".
As we started our meeting Gandi and joethehand soon got the message that we weren't going anywhere so they decided to leave.
We all filed our AR reports and, to date, we're waiting for Linden Labs to investigate.

I think 'The Triglav Incident', as we call it, is a perfect example of solidarity overcoming oppression - as has happened so many times throughout RL history. And it's encouraging to see that here in Second Life too a group of people standing together in peaceful solidarity can overcome oppressive and intimidatory behaviour.


Remember: if YOU have an article you would like to submit to the blog, about your SL experiences, and how they relate to RL issues, please submit it on a notecard inworld to SLUL Revolution or higgleDpiggle Snoats.

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