Last week's seizure of Indymedia's servers, which follows on the heels of recent attacks on Indymedia by Diebold, Inc. and the U.S. Secret Service, as well as a government clampdown on community radio stations around the world, has far-reaching implications. |
Web-hosting providers may now be reluctant to offer their services to media organizations outside of the mainstream for fear that the latter's sites might be taken down and all their other clients with them. Similarly, individuals may think twice before posting stories critical of their respective governments for fear of reprisal. What happened to Indymedia sets a dangerous precedent of intergovernmental action to suppress independent journalism. Using international cooperation frameworks to obscure due process undermines civil liberties and erodes communication rights, and it must be stopped.
Members of Indymedia are now calling upon media activists everywhere to take action.
1. Solidarity Statement
Sign a solidarity declaration denouncing the hard drive seizure as an unacceptable attack on press freedom, freedom of expression, and privacy. We are demanding a full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals involved in the seizure, a copy of the court order, and an independent investigation into any violations of due process.
2. Operation Hard Drive-by
Take action on 18 October, Media Democracy Day, or later that week. Collect a pile of junk hard drives and deposit them on the steps of intelligence agencies, consulates and other symbols of media repression. (Similar actions have already taken place in the Netherlands and San Francisco, California.) Consider pasting a large graphic on the hardware and/or holding a press conference to register our concern over this egregious intergovernmental violation of communication rights. See http://solidarity.indymedia.org.uk/drive_by.php3 for details.
3. Get Involved
If you're not already involved with Indymedia, consider being an Indymedia volunteer. Join a collective, publish your stories, pictures, audio or video, or help translate articles. Or, if you can't volunteer your time, donate computer hardware, media equipment, or even money to an Independent Media Center near you. Don't allow the Government's attempt to censor us intimidate us into self-censorship.
We will never be silenced again