Talk:Lavender Hill Mob (gay activist group)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject New York City  
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject New York City, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of New York City-related articles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Robinson's death[edit]

Contaldo, you were bold and added the fact that the founder of this organization died in 1993 of AIDS. I then deleted it, explaining that it was not relevant. The article is about the LHM, not Robinson. You then reinserted it without any explanation but instead included an implied threat, presumably against me. I still contend that it is not appropriate to include the date or circumstances of the founder's death and have not heard any arguments in favor of including it. It would be more appropriate in an article about Robinson. For that reason, I have removed it again. I remind you the BRD encourages you to take it to the talk page instead of edit warring. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 16:40, 21 April 2019 (UTC)

I remind you of WP:HOUNDING. The guy died of AIDS - the issue he was protesting about because of the harmful teachings of the Catholic Church. Contaldo80 (talk) 22:32, 25 April 2019 (UTC)
You still have not shown a nexus between his death and the history of this organization. Again, it is information better suited for an article on him, not the LHM. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:42, 26 April 2019 (UTC)
A nexus? He formed an organization that challenged the Catholic church's position that banned condoms in all instances. He argued that the use of condoms reduced the transmission of AIDS. He died of AIDS. I mean seriously you think you still a need a "nexus"? I don't think there's enough material to create an article about the man. But if you want to do that then please do. Likewise if you want to get a third opinion on whether the material should be included then please do. But you have failed to show why the inclusion violates guidelines and therefore it can stay in until we establish otherwise. I can see that you have a personal preference that it comes out but that's not how things work. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:41, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
"He formed..." "He argued..." "He died..." All those statements talk about the man. This article is about the organization. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 13:35, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
You have added this information again without a consensus to include it. Please stop. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:13, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
The man is the founder of the organization. That really is enough. We're not going to wipe his death from the article on the organization he founded--at least Contaldo80 and I are not going to let that happen, I think. I changed his redirect as well. Drmies (talk) 04:32, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Why should it be here, instead of in an article about him? --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:49, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree it should be here, unless someone can write an article on him, when it would more logically belong there. Absent such an article, it's part of the story of the group. Sources also credit him with coming up with the "zap" concept and term, so I've added that, making the article focus a little more on his role than it had previously. Yngvadottir (talk) 17:11, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
I have no problem talking about him and his activities as they relate to the group. That he invented the zap that was used by the group is totally relevant. Where he was born or when he died, however, is extraneous trivia. If someone really wants to include that information in WP, they should create an article on him. I have seen enough to believe he would meet GNG. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 17:45, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Then write the article. And in the meantime we'll just try to overlook the callousness of someone trying to remove the AIDS-related death of a gay AIDS activist from the article of the gay AIDS activist group he founded. I wish you would stop going on about this: there is obviously no consensus for your erasure. Drmies (talk) 20:17, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Including the fact that the founder of an AIDS activist organisation died of AIDS is completely appropriate to include in the article of the organisation. Agree with Drmies, well said. Hughesdarren (talk) 21:01, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── OK. I created the article. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:58, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

You created the article with such brevity, notability was in doubt, causing me to drop other tasks and rush to expand it a little. Not even any categories or the years of birth and death in parentheses. And you took the text and references from this article without attribution, unless the attribution was left with previous edits to a sandbox? Yngvadottir (talk) 04:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Well done Yngvadottir for helping clear up the mess at short notice. Frankly I don't think it is acceptable for other editors to put you in this position. Slugger - I think this is yet another example of disruptive editing - why were you so keen to rush ahead and create this new article with the sole motivation of avoiding mentioning Robinson's death of AIDS? And then doing such a sloppy job? What is this really all about? Contaldo80 (talk) 22:30, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I was not keen on creating the article. I had hoped you would. I did so, however, as a gesture of good faith and as a compromise measure following the suggestions of Yngvadottir, Drmies, and Hughesdarren. It was certainly not a complete account of his life, but I would hardly call it a sloppy job. It was a stub, to be sure, but also had six citations. There is no ulterior motive here, despite your attempts to cast aspersions. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 00:58, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
What was your motivation for creating an article on Marty Robinson? Please clarify. Contaldo80 (talk) 01:33, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
As stated twice already above, it was at the suggestion of Yngvadottir, Drmies, and Hughesdarren to create a space where details of his death "would more logically belong." --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 01:55, 17 May 2019 (UTC)
With all due respect, User:Hughesdarren didn't say that. They said "including the fact that the founder of an AIDS activist organisation died of AIDS is completely appropriate to include in the article of the organization". So you've just misrepresented another editor. I'll leave it to Hughesdarren to comment as to whether they think that's ok or not but strikes me as hugely disrespectful. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:46, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Correct, my statement of Agree with Drmies was more centred around Drmies comment in the meantime we'll just try to overlook the callousness of someone trying to remove the AIDS-related death of a gay AIDS activist from the article of the gay AIDS activist group he founded. I wish you would stop going on about this: there is obviously no consensus for your erasure. Slugger then cherry picked to suit his argument while ignoring the sentiment of the overall statement. I certainly do not appreciate the misrepresentation. Hughesdarren (talk) 11:26, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I recently made a series of edits where I very carefully and deliberately culled, added, and reworded text. The edit summaries explain why: the previous information is not included in the sources, sentences were duplicated, multiple sentences said the same thing in different words in the same paragraph, etc. I also replaced some text with other copy and sources that could be verified. Contaldo came in, however, and undid all that work. He restored text and sources that don't match up. Some, like the New York Times source, don't talk about the LHM at all. Further, he did all of this with no edit summaries and without coming to talk. I am going to roll back his three most recent edits and would encourage him to review WP:NOCON, WP:V, and WP:BRD before trying to make similar edits again. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:50, 26 April 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Slugger. Why don't you raise your specific concerns here on talk first and we can decide how to best address the issues. I am not yet convinced that the changes you made were necessary and were the right ones. Can I encourage you to discuss and debate first so we can work on a compromise rather than ramming through your preferred version (mindful that you came to this article after not getting your own way on another article and are perilously close to WP:HOUNDING). I know that you have a very specific viewpoint on issues relating to Catholicism but I'd rather we try and collaborate rather than edit-war. Thanks in advance! Contaldo80 (talk) 00:38, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I have already raised my concerns in the edit summaries, but will do so again here. First, WP:V says that everything that is included must be attributable to a reliable source. It also says that "Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source." You have repeatedly included information that is not supported by a reliable source. The two following statements are attributed to a New York Times article that does not mention the LHM at all, much less these particular claims:
  • "At its peak the Mob included no more than a dozen radical activists, but they were able to mobilize larger engagement"

"The "radicals persuaded 3000 people at a Sheridan square rally to block traffic" (Winter War p6)

  • "The group participated in the organisation of a protest of between 1,200 to 6,000 people against the US Supreme Court's rule on sodomy."

"The "radicals persuaded 3000 people at a Sheridan square rally to block traffic" (Winter War p6)

The following statements are attributed to page 8 of AIDs, The Winter War. I have read page 8 of that book and none of them are included there.
  • That Henry Yager was a member.

It's on page 5. Fine you have a point that it's the wrong page number but I find it disingenuous that you went to the trouble of reading the book and limited yourself to one page. I don't think this is constructive.

  • That they led a parade of 7,000 in Battery Park.

See above.

  • That they disrupted a charity dinner in October 1986.
  • That they distributed leaflets and shouted.
  • That the protest in question received coverage on television networks.
  • The obituary talks about Robinson gaining national attention, but does not say the LHM did.
  • To say that Bill Bahlman and Yager were "leading" members is a "WP:Peacock term.

They founded it!

  • There is no need to say that the Lavender Hill Mob "was the name given to a" gay activist group. We can just say they were a gay activist group.


  • By simply reverting me, you removed the hatnote differentiating this article from others with the same name.
Now you have my concerns laid out here for a third time. I also remind you that you seem to have things backwards here.

I've had these for the first time You were bold and added information. Good for you. I reverted those edits, citing my reasons why. WP:BRD says you should come to talk to discuss it. Instead you have just been "ramming through your preferred version," repeatedly. It was I who came to talk, and I who added material from a known good source in a gesture of good faith. Now, I am going to delete the unsourced and irrelevant material again. If you can find reliable sources for these claims, they would be welcome additions. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:07, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

No Slugger you are mistaken. You were BOLD and came to make changes to a consensus version. Under WP:BRD I have reverted your changes. I have noted the points above - which you have finally provided. I will review them to see if I agree and if there is consensus to make changes then we will do so. Thanks again. Contaldo80 (talk) 02:06, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
There was no "consensus version." The article was less than two hours old when I tagged these statements looking for citations. I have made a number of edits again, mostly deletions because the source you provided does not support the statements. All the explanations were in edit summaries. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:09, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Slugger O'Toole - I still am uncomfortable that you came to this article after checking my edit history to revert edits that I have made. This is perilously close to WP:HOUNDING, and you have been warned about this previously. Under WP:BRD you were BOLD, you were REVERTED, the next step is to DISCUSS. If you want to change the established consensus then please do through discussion. Jumping in and making edits is not helpful - particularly as many of the points you raise are ones of personal judgment. I am particularly concerned about those instances where you see a source fails verifiability. I have been through each one and content that the material in the article can be attributed to a source. I am, however, prepared to be convinced otherwise. I think the best way to do this is to go one by one - you flag why you think the source doesn't support the statement made, we look at the source and determine whether you're reading is correct or not. I know from your edit history that you often feel very strongly that your viewpoint is the "consensus" and others must fall into line. But it doesn't work like that. Why not show that you can be collegiate and collaborative so we can genuinely improve these articles. Thank you.

Contaldo80 (talk) 22:09, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

I have addressed your concern about hounding elsewhere. I have concerns both about the way you are editing this article and the content you are adding. I have addressed these concerns several times and you keep ignoring them, and simply reverting back to your preferred version. Please show me where in this source it says the LHM got national attention? Or where in this source or in Winter War it says the LHM "included no more than a dozen radical activists, but they were able to mobilize larger engagement." Please copy the text here so that we can all read it, because I have been unable to find it. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 00:06, 10 May 2019 (UTC)
These are addressed below. I think part of the problem is that you have an interpretation of the source material which is different to mine. It doesn't mean I have been wrong - rather that you are looking for a very specific form of words which I would argue are there when the source is taken as a whole - as opposed to individual sentences. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:37, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Coverage of protests[edit]

Slugger you changed "The protest received coverage on television networks" to "The protest received coverage on television during breaks in football games." Are you serious? Is this an attempt to cheapen and demean? How is the reference to football games an improvement? Contaldo80 (talk) 22:25, 9 May 2019 (UTC)

I would actually prefer to simply say "on television." It's not to cheapen it. The source simply does not speak about "television networks," which in the United States are national distribution systems. From the source it is not at all clear if this was a local, regional, or national broadcast. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 22:45, 9 May 2019 (UTC)
Well say "on television" then. I am frankly puzzled why you decided to imply it was some sort of filler between the more important focus of football. "From the source it is not at all clear if this was a local, regional, or national broadcast." Well I'll leave you to clear that one up. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:18, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
You will please notice that I did before you left this comment here. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 03:34, 14 May 2019 (UTC)


I just made an edit to clean up all of the references in the article and to give them complete citations. In doing so, I included the fact that iUniverse published "Winter War." The system gave me an error message that reads in part:

Warning: An automated filter has identified this edit as containing references to one of the following self-publishing companies: AuthorHouse, Trafford Publishing, iUniverse, or Xlibris. Please be aware that self-published sources may be vanity publishing and rarely meet Wikipedia's standards for reliable sources.

As this source apparently does not meet the project's standards, I am going to delete everything solely attributed to it. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 00:10, 10 May 2019 (UTC)

It's actually published by Temple University Press ( Contaldo80 (talk) 23:56, 13 May 2019 (UTC)

Robinson died of AIDS[edit]

In my judgement it is perfectly consistent to make the point that Robinson died of AIDS. He founded the Mob and campaigned against the Roman Catholic Church's opposition to condoms - which could have stop the spread of HIV and saved lives. I can see nothing in the wiki guidelines that suggest this sentence should not be here. If another editor - in their judgement - thinks otherwise then I suggest they take the normal route, for example asking for a third opinion.Contaldo80 (talk) 00:01, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

You are edit warring on this point. I have brought the issue to the appropriate noticeboard and will not revert again until it has run its course there. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 03:32, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
And now it has. I have deleted it again. If you wish to include it, please build consensus for it first. I remind you, however, as with the discussion about national attention, there is a difference between the man and the organization.--Slugger O'Toole (talk) 04:01, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

New York[edit]

I think it is relevant that the group was founded and operated in New York. If other editors think this point is not of interest then perhaps they'd like to explain why and see if they can build consensus. That's the way these things are normally done. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:04, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

You added that Robinson was in New York. You were reverted. It is upon you to build the consensus. I will say, however, that the few words that keep getting deleted do not say that this organization was founded in New York. It says Robinson was from there. There's a difference.--Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:43, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
I can't seem to find any references to suggest that the group was active outside of New York. Are you saying that it was? That's fine but can we see the sources please. Thanks. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:55, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
The conference that they caused to end early was in Atlanta: I put in that fact, which is covered in the reference cited (Kahn?) (The source specifically says they traveled there, IIRC by air.) Yngvadottir (talk) 04:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Superb - thanks Yngvadottir. So that suggests they were active outside New York but implies that their base was New York - and looks like the group was founded there. I'm not desperate to include a reference to New York in the article for the sake of it but I wonder if it does help give a sense to readers of where the group sprang from - essentially the neighbourhoods and particular local politics of New York. But I'd appreciate your thoughts. Contaldo80 (talk) 22:27, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

National attention[edit]

An editor has disputed the sentence "The group gained national attention for the protests it led to promote gay rights and to raise concerns about lack of action to combat AIDS." The NYT source says "At the forefront, Mr. Robinson co-founded the Gay Activist Alliance and the Lavender Hill Mob. He was also active in the Gay Liberation Front and was a founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, or Act Up." and "Pressure on Dick Cavett persuaded him to give Mr. Robinson the platform of an appearance on national television. Sometimes Mr. Robinson resorted to more conventional methods, like testifying before the Presidential Commission on AIDS in 1987." It is my view that it is not possible or sensible to separate Robinson from the Mob - they are interlinked. In any case the mob did get coverage on TV, and their raison d'etre was the fight against AIDS (bearing in mind this was the height of the AIDS crisis)Contaldo80 (talk) 00:08, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

Do you have a reliable source that says when the New York Times speaks about Robinson that they are also speaking about the Mob? Because if you don't this is OR. You need to show that they are interlinked, or that the television coverage the Mob got was national in scope. This source does neither. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:49, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

At its peak[edit]

The following statement has been challenged "At its peak the Mob included no more than a dozen radical activists, but they were able to mobilize larger engagement." The source says "The "radicals persuaded 3000 people at a Sheridan square rally to block traffic". This is "larger engagement" in my view. In the spirit of compromise I have reworded to establish a clearer timeline in the run-up to the formal formation of the group and its earlier influence through individual members. Happy to listen to further suggestions to improve.Contaldo80 (talk) 00:17, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

It is not clear from the source that these "radicals" and the Mob are one and the same. More to the point, the rally took place in July and the Mob did not form until the fall, with their first action taking place in October. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:59, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
I think other editors have pointed out to you why it is legitimate to make the link. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:54, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

"Police halt right marchers at Wall St"[edit]

Contaldo, you keep adding a source with the title "Police halt right marchers at Wall St" even after I have pointed out several times that it does not discuss the LHM. Could you please show me where this source talks about the Mob? --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 02:56, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

I have added the "Finder 1986" reference again in Special:Diff/897179500/897183382, it confirms what Kahn writes. It should be quite obvious why neither LHM or ACT UP are mentioned by name. Sam Sailor 09:35, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Now I get it. Thank you, Sailor Sam. I wasn't connecting the dots between Kahn and this source and in previous versions (see this, for example) that is not how the source was being used. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:48, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
You weren't "getting it" when you thought it was just me and you could harass me to get your own way. Now we have another 6 editors supporting the same point it's helped you "connect the dots". You are seriously disruptive. Contaldo80 (talk) 00:52, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
That is simply not true. Previous versions of this article included the following statement attributed to this source: "At its peak the Mob included no more than a dozen radical activists, but they were able to mobilize larger engagement." That is a far, far cry from what is currently being supported by this source. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 01:03, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

RfC about the details of the founder's death[edit]

Should this article on the Lavender Hill Mob include the details of its founder's death? More discussion can be found here. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 14:49, 14 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Sheesh--asked and answered, by three editors above. You're edit warring, forum shopping, and abusing the process. One can't get much more disruptive than that. Drmies (talk) 20:18, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
Oh yes they can - they also made a complaint against me for edit warring on one of the administrator noticeboards!:('Toole_) after I had raised concerns about WP:HOUNDING. I agree whole-heartedly with you Drmies about disruptive behaviours and abusing processes (it's happened across a range of article dealing with LGBT issues and Catholicism). Contaldo80 (talk) 02:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes. A quote "influential member of the seminal Gay Liberation groups",[1] helps found an AIDS activist organisation, dies of AIDS, quite relevant inclusion. Why is this even discussed, let alone made into an RfC? Sam Sailor 08:57, 15 May 2019 (UTC) (Summoned by bot)


  1. ^ Riemer, M.; Brown, L. (2019). We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation. Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale. p. 358. ISBN 978-0-399-58182-3. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  • Yes. Of course. If the founder of an anti-landmine organisation died because of a landmine, that would obviously be included in the article about the group. So why wouldn't it be in the case of an AIDS activist? Is it because of stigma? Because the argument that "this is about the man and not the organization" doesn't hold the least amount of water. The man founded a group to fight against the way AIDS victims were treated in the United States and he himself died of AIDS. How is this not relevant? PraiseVivec (talk) 15:27, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Slugger - five or possibly even six editors have indicated that the article should retain a reference to Robinson's death from AIDS. No-one - apart from you - has said they shouldn't. Despite that you've taken out the reference. Again. This strikes me as egregious edit-warring and a complete disregard for consensus and a disrespect to other editors. No doubt in your defence you will argue that you have created a separate article about Robinson and that the mention of his death is best placed there. It may be right to mention the fact just there; or it may be better to mention the fact in both articles. But the point is I can't see any conclusions in the discussion where editors have agreed together that this is the approach that should be taken. You've already been warned below about a potential topic ban. Can I ask that you please show greater regard to other editors. Thank you.Contaldo80 (talk) 01:10, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
That isn't exactly true. Yngvadottir said that "I agree it should be here, unless someone can write an article on him, when it would more logically belong there." When I replied that " If someone really wants to include that information in WP, they should create an article on him," Drmies said "Then write the article." So I did. You have reinserted the fact and I have no intention of removing it again, though I still disagree with its inclusion here. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 01:12, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
You can disagree but as you will see there is no consensus to remove the fact from this article. Contaldo80 (talk) 01:17, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Which is why I said I wouldn't remove it. I respect the consensus even when I disagree. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 01:27, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
Which is presumably why you removed the sentence again in the first place? Are you trying to wind everyone up? Contaldo80 (talk) 01:31, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I have said I respect the consensus. I have said I won't remove the text again. I am not sure what more you want from me here. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 01:41, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
But you didn't respect the consensus by removing the reference - until you were challenged. Let's hope you can behave less disruptively going forward. Contaldo80 (talk) 01:47, 16 May 2019 (UTC)

List of members[edit]

This organization only had a dozen members. Do we need to name five of them? After all, this is WP:NOTWHOSWHO. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 16:09, 15 May 2019 (UTC)

  • Are you volunteering for a topic ban for this article? This is getting tedious. Drmies (talk) 00:35, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
I am asking here before I made any edits. If the consensus is that the names should remain, then I will absolutely abide by the consensus. As I had doubts, however, I didn't see any harm in raising the issue. I am sorry if you feel otherwise. --Slugger O'Toole (talk)
  • Keep the names. Contaldo80 (talk) 01:11, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep any names that can be sourced. If there were only a few, there's no argument for not including those that sources mention. Yngvadottir (talk) 04:16, 16 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Keep all sourced, all good. Hughesdarren (talk) 08:02, 16 May 2019 (UTC)