Talk:Brandon Darby

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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Brandon Darby:

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I cleaned out some of the "debate" that was in this article. This is not a platform for debating controversies or self-justification. This entire article should be deleted. The orson (talk) 03:47, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


God, this article sucks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 17 April 2011 (UTC)


Surprised nobody started it. Here's the utter rudiments - feel free to tear it up and fix my feeble attempt! --Steve (talk) 19:19, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of this article[edit]

I would like to suggest this as an Article For Deletion due to notability of the subject. Being a member of Common Ground Relief and then an FBI informant does not seem to meet Wikipedia criteria. (See discussion on Scott Crow of Common Ground page) --User: Ransdy 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I disagree. Non-notability does not, in and of itself, meet the criteria for speedy deletion. As to Mr.Darby's notability, I can attest to that. A google search of his name produces a number of results including this recent article from the Austin Chronicle. You can also find his appearence on Tavis Smiley from 2007, an anti-Brandon Darby site, with links to other news stories, and a YouTube of him "dropping knowledge". The list can go on, but the guy is very notable, at least with-in the sphere of American political activism. --Leodmacleod (talk) 01:57, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Disagree. This is definitely notable. The scale of what's involved is massive here and it's rapidly becoming a historic moment in (radical) politics. Darby was a notable figure well before this and was, for a time, a go-to person for commentary on New Orleans and Common Ground and he's been a controversial figure for some time. There are far less notable activists with Wikipedia entries. Another rationale for keeping this page is that his personal history has been cited for a huge motivation for his working with the FBI, so a wikipedia entry that documents that would immensely valuable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:49, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Deleted Slugsite link, added Austin Informant Working Group[edit]

I deleted the slugsite link. It doesn't have any information in addition to what's referenced on the wiki page already and all it is is a non-expert blog post with a heavily biased opinion and very little in the way of links to reference material. No judgement on the writer's views, but if you can link to that from the wiki article, you would also be justified in linking to a million different arguing viewpoints on the matter. I *did* add a link to the Austin Informant Working Group though and I feel like I should justify that: They have a very specific viewpoint, but their work on the case of Brandon Darby has gained a lot of media attention and their site is mostly copies of primary source documents. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:58, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I reverted[edit]

...the bot deletion of as the pdf is (apparently) a court document, not an opinion piece of a wordpress site, so therefore, to my mind, is different than a blog. An analogy to my mind is that wordpress here is the messenger, not the message. Have an opinion ? Peace, rkmlai (talk) 04:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Correct. I don't believe that the authenticity of this document is disputed in the debate over Mr. Darby's role in the arrests of Mr. Crowder and Mr. McKay even though it appears on an opinion blog. —Mockingbirdstooth (talk) 05:22, 21 July 2010 (UTC)
Neither law enforcement statements nor direct testimony are reliable sources. It's just a claim by one side or another in a criminal case. - Wikidemon (talk) 07:31, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Libelous external link[edit]

I am deleting the following from the list of external links:‘firebomb-plot’-on-brave-new-books-and-“suicided”-palestinian-activist-riad-hamad/

The article insinuates that Mr Darby murdered Riad Hamad. It also goes on to describe Mr Darby as having, ". . . admittedly set up two anarchist/leftists from Austin with 'molotov cocktails'.” There is no such admission on Darby's part that can be cited. In fact, this is refuted by the testimonies of the "two anarchist/leftists", David McKay and Brad Crowder. —Mockingbirdstooth (talk) 05:24, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

May 2011[edit]

So I went to tidy up a few things and ended up revising most of the article. What a horrid mess it was ... not that it's all the good now.

The following refs have dead links. Out of laziness, I simply deleted them. If you find a replacement, please restore the ref.

I've replaced that last link with a press release.

I deleted some External links which are not relevant to this article: Crowder's plea, a radio show (POV?) and a post at a conservative blog:

I've also improved the description of the Austin Chronicle tirade, as required by WP:EL and WP:BLP.

Things that the article should mention but I'm too tired to add:

  • Crowder and McKay were convicted of "firearms" charges, because the Molotov bombs count as firearms. Strange but true. Hence the title of the DoJ PR of 2009-05-21.
  • The New York Times has lied about Darby. In an 23-Feb-2011 article about the firebombing of the Texas Governors Mansion, the NYT falsely stated that "An F.B.I informant from Austin, Brandon Darby, was traveling with the group and told the authorities of the plot [to firebomb police cars during the 2008 RNC], which he had encouraged." (Emphasis added.) Darby sued the NYT for defamation and libel on March 10. The NYT finally appended a grudging and incomplete correction to the story on March 16 (without removing their lie from the body of the article!). We don't need to put all this detail in the article (and we'd want better sources), but we probably sjould say something about this lawsuit. Any volunteers?

One last note: Wikipedia's has some important rules about WP:Biographies of living persons such as this article. This article was full of breaches of those rules. (I think I removed all the obvious ones.) Clearly, too many Darby-haters have been editing here ... especially the troll who inserted details of Darby's (alleged) residence.

Please improve upon my edits. Cheers, CWC 18:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

(3 weeks later) I found a replacement for one of the dead links: Social activist, organizer ... and RNC informant, Pioneer Press, Twin, Jan. 1, 2009. I've edited the article to use it. I also corrected the article to say that Darby started working with the RNC in 2007, and worked in an explanation of bombs=firearms.
Still to do: mention the NYT libel thing.
Cheers, CWC 05:35, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

CWC- Although you have a done a good job of cleaning this up. Your personal bias seems to come through in the choice of articles left in as well as what is quoted from those articles. In the first section, media coverage of them during a historical disaster , that was followed up by a seemingly controversial case is not notable. That in and of itself is not of historical achievements. Secondly, the hyperbolic use of the words 'Planned attack' as a header for the second section seems very sensationalized. These two issues combined with the seemingly overtly conservative slant (as well as your comments below) i n the second section leads me to believe that it is not NPOV. According to civil court filings in Texas , New York Times and Brandon Darby are still in a lawsuit. Say the Times 'lied' is a bit strongly worded and not NPOV. People can sue the media for anything they want, it happens all of the time. That said I do not have the time or ideas at the moment to change the sentences. I wanted to bring it to your attention, in case it was just oversight. Thanks~~Mockingbirds Tooth

Libelous and unsourced[edit]

The libelous allegation that Darby was an agent provocateur sources indirectly, through a Chomsky like trail of breadcrumbs, to McKay, who recanted in court of the allegation. The libelous allegation that Darby "infiltrated" the left is unsourced. I therefore amended these allegations. James A. Donald (talk) 02:08, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

And then someone changed it back.~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)


The question is: Is left wing terrorism real, or a fantasy of right wing republicans?

This question is a major hot political issue, and the Brandon Darby case is central to it.

If Brandon Darby is an agent provocateur, then left terrorism unreal. If he is a non violent leftist, then left terrorism is real.

Thus, notable. Google News provides six hits today. Anyone who generates six hits in google news many years after the events is well and truly notable. James A. Donald (talk) 22:19, 28 August 2011 (UTC)


Not only is the entire article littered with POV, but it's just horrible written. From the very beginning of the second paragraph we get things like "by his fellow leftists." And then, the second paragraph doesn't even make note of exactly the case we're talking about. This thing reads like it was written by a middle schooler. It'd be best for it to be deleted, altogether, and then someone with some writing chops can come back and give the page the treatment it deserves. The thing is just ridiculous all the way around. --Criticalthinker (talk) 03:33, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Substantial text supported by citation, added[edit]

I have voted by spending my editorial time, that this article is indeed one that belongs in wikipedia. Violence at a national political convention leading to convictions of two college age radicals and the continuing evolution of policy and public perception of the war against terror both make this series of events worthy of record.

Otherwise, the controversy associated with the article, here, seems a bit puzzling. The current article makes clear that two protesters / bomb-makers were convicted on firearms charges associated with the RNC protests. As well, all reasonable evidence seems to support mixed motivations on the part of Darby in his infiltrating the RNC bound groups, and in subsequent actions. When are motivations by non-professionals in such situations ever not mixed? Hence the article does not seem to me to be imbalanced or otherwise of lower quality than many on possibly controversial subjects—unless one is viewing it through a lens that is decidedly "pro-" one or another of the parties involved.

Note, accurate history is very reasonably more than the court records and Department of Justice and related public releases. The POV documentary and the web pages cited, however slanted they might be, include interviews with jurors at the first McKay trial and with a Darby girlfriend at the time that can reasonably be deemed as accurate—they are entirely valid historical sources.

As well, attributing the fact that someone accepts a plea deal and retracts an earlier statement to do so, monotonically, to a pure admission of earlier falsehood or lack of veracity is to present a very naive view of human nature and motivation in the interaction of an accused with the US criminal justice system. In this case, state-recorded conversations between McKay and his loved ones that were played in the documentary make clear that McKay's motivation was in significant part pragmatic, rather than evidence of an admission of true earlier guilt. (McKay may in fact be guilty of the earlier obstruction, as the judge addressed in sentencing; all that is clear from the historical record, is that McKay stated under oath he had been entrapped, retracted in same fashion that statement, yet seems in private to continue to believe his earlier testimony, and so appears, reasonably, to have be recanting to avoid what he and his counselors perceived to be a certain eventual conviction and long sentence.)

Finally, even if the prima facie nature of the skill required of an undercover agent (professional or amateur) with regard to dissembling is not fully appreciated as relevant, the documentary evidence coming from others whose freedom was not at stake—other RNC protestors, the Darby girlfriend, etc.—make clear that Mr. Darby was something of a challenging character to understand vis-a-vis his veracity. This matter was adjudicated formally in the first McKay trial, where half of jurors voted to acquit, with one interviewed juror indicating that its was questions about the veracity of Mr Darby's testimony that was a primary contributor to the split in the decision.

Feel free to edit these POV documentary- and web-sourced contributions, but I will look for evidence that the citations were consulted (read), and the documentary viewed, before these moderating historical edits are changed. Prof D. Meduban (talk) 06:39, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Encourage further article development regarding subject, apart from RNC trials[edit]

For balance, events other than Mr Darby's role in the RNC protests and subsequent trials should be developed early in the article. Cheers. Meduban (talk) 06:46, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

From what I can tell, (just from some quick googling and having seen "Better This World" Brandon Darby isn't really notable for any other reason than his role as an FBI informant. So he was an organizer for Hurricane Katrina relief. So what? So are tons of college students all over the nation. But betraying his fellow protesters and leading to the felony convictions of two young men? Kind of takes the cake. Obviously this article is going to become a fountainhead for the left for no other reason than that. (talk) 20:31, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
I've added some references and a bit to the intro but what's currently missing are articles, or at least stubs, on David McKay and Brandon Crowder. Could someone please get to work on them? (talk) 20:31, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Clarification on B Darby's role at CGC[edit]

A brief search will clarify that Mr Darby was named "interim director" of Common Ground Collective. Founder and longstanding director Malik Rahim took a sabbatical following the end of the Woodlands project following the infamous Christmas eviction in December of 2006; Brandon was asked to step in by Mr Rahim as a historically trusted member-at-large of the collective. Sources from that time period refer to Mr Darby in this regard, whereas articles after this time period - I believe - reference back to this wiki article. Appalachiahoman (talk) 13:44, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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