Sarah Ketchup

Thadeaus has been a close friend of mine for a decade. We met when I was only fifteen and had very little experience, but no shortage of enthusiasm for radical community activism. He taught me about dumpster diving and publishing zines, invited me to the space he was squatting, and asked for my input on various projects. The trust, respect, and encouragement he gave me helped me to build the skills and confidence that would later be necessary for me to initiate my own projects. Since that time, we've participated together in many endeavors, including volunteering at the May Day Books Infoshop, demonstrating against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, living and working together in the squatted Casa Del Sol Cultural Center, spearheading and maintaining the 123 Community Space, organizing numerous fundraising events, and building the second Brooklyn Free Store. Thadeaus has also been a solid friend in my personal life, always willing to offer support. He is a gifted and dedicated organizer, and has been an important part of the anarchist community for over twelve years. I feel that this is the reason that his character has been so viciously attacked for the past several years by individuals concerned with self-aggrandization at best, and outright destruction of key organizers at worst.

Through all the accusations and attacks, I have strived to base my judgments only on what I have witnessed directly, and never on second-hand information. I was not a personal witness to the all the interactions between Thadeaus and Margie, so I cannot claim to have the one true story about all that transpired between them. However, I can say that while I have never seen Thadeaus defame or attack Margie or his other detractors, I have seen them engage in slander, physical assault, vandalism, arson (most likely), the violation of collective decision-making processes, and the manipulation of records to suit their agenda. I have been alienated from many radical circles because of my commitment to my close friend and to my ideals of accountability and sustainable community. In October 2010 myself and Thadeaus were at Bike Kill, a yearly public bike-themed street party. A group of people arrived with the goal of forcing Thadeaus to leave the event: David "Dave Solidarity" Segal, Margie, Sascha APS, Spanky, Christopher Walsh, and Aubrey Warden. Dave got in Thadeaus' face and began shouting at and shoving him. I stood in between them and shouted at Dave that he needed to stop. Amy Tamola convinced me that I should step away from the conflict, and I did. I assumed that she was trying to de-escalate the situation, but in hindsight, I think she was trying to prevent me from intervening in the violence against Thadeaus. The event was almost over and Thadeaus decided to leave with a couple of friends, after which Margie left with her crew. That night, the free store was also vandalized with hateful graffiti.

In March 2011, there was a suspicious fire which destroyed the Brooklyn Free Store and the adjacent house where Thadeaus and five others lived. This was traumatic to everyone living in the house, to their friends, and also to the Free Store community which included a number of homeless and impoverished residents of Bed-Stuy. The attacks continue, but we are still organizing. Besides continuing with our activism, we initiated a new accountability process for Thadeaus with the goal of reconciliation rather than retribution. Encouraging as many people as possible who have been affected by this violence to speak their truth is an important step towards this goal, and I add my voice to this website with hopes of fostering healing, honesty, and understanding.

-Sarah 'Ketchup' Quinter
co-founder of the Misled Youth Network and the 123 Community Space