Indymedia at the RNC - Update and Callout from TC-IMC
With the RNC in the Twin Cities less than a month away, the propaganda machine of electoral politics is shifting into high gear. For months, corporate media in the Twin Cities has been trying to divide activists into "good" and "bad" and and to justify the ridiculous police rhetoric about possible violence on the part of activists. If past conventions are any indication, we know that independent media will be critical for the defeat of disinformation, and that thousands will look first to the Indymedia network for the first updates straight from the street and the passionate telling of the truth from the Twin Cities.
We of Twin Cities Indymedia have been starting to get questions from around the country about what's up regarding Indymedia at the RNC. Unfortunately, right now the Twin Cities Indymedia collective has a core of only four people, all of whom are also involved in multiple other radical projects in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This means that in order to pull this off, and to become a sustainable resource for the local radical community well beyond the spectacle of the RNC, we are going to need help both from locals and from Indymedia activists nationwide.
First, here's what we've been working on:
--This summer, we launched TC-IMC 2.0, replacing a klunky, spam-overridden, 20th-century relic of an interface with a smooth, (mostly) spam-annihilating one! We're busy promoting the site and creating a comprehensive calendar of RNC-week actions and events, which with luck will be live soon.
--Plans are in the works for an IMC dispatch phone line, a hotline to which activists can call in updates from the street, feeding an up-to-the-minute ticker on the IMC homepage, beginning with Critical Mass on A29 and running all through convention week.
--We're also scheming to provide multiple decentralized IMC infopoints around the Twin Cities with computers and breaking news bulletin boards - at the St. Paul Convergence Space, Macalester College in St. Paul, Arise! Books in Minneapolis, and elsewhere.
Now, here's what we need:
Specifically, TC Indymedia needs:
--People who can take shifts staffing the dispatch number and the infopoints, and pass out cards en masses with that information
--Trusted IMC activists to help with editorial admin and tech support - especially if/when the site crashes
--Donations (either temporary or long-term) of good quality, internet-ready computers and printers
--Tech help - calling all proud anarcho-geeks! We've got a wishlist, but if you've got a great idea for the site during the RNC, let's get started now.
More generally, we ask friends to autonomously do the following at will:
--Come to St. Paul and Minneapolis early (for housing, contact us or visit www.nornc.org/stay), armed and ready with cameras, videocameras, audio recorders, paper and pencils
--Publish your original reporting, interviews, photos, updates, and other content to tc.indymedia.org
--Steal and republish as much content from tc.indymedia.org as possible, and decentralize the flow of information!
About those moving pictures
Many folks have asked us about video in particular. Video footage could play a more important role at the RNC than at any other recent event in the U.S.
Twin Cities activists in particular have recently been schooled in the importance of video; after the police riot at the Critical Mass before the pReNC spokescouncil one year ago, it was great video footage that helped prove riders innocent of politically-motivated charges and the police to be liars - and shabby liars at that! The NLG is busy training videographers to be legal observers, and we also know of several documentarians who will be producing films during convention week.
Additionally, we're in touch with a video collective spearheaded by, among others, Franklin Lopez of submedia.TV. The collective has secured a space in downtown St. Paul less than 7 blocks from the Xcel Energy Center, with multiple rooms of high-speed pipelines and video editing software and equipment, and has access to another video editing space almost "a stone's throw away" (to use the insurrectionary phrase of SPPD commander Matt Bostrom) from the Xcel!
Here's the basic plan of attack for videographers:
1. While letting the cops know they're being watched worldwide, and activists know they're being heard worldwide, capture some radicool footage.
2. Edit your video. Although anyone taking part in actions should assume they're being caught on tape by the police or by St. Paul's new security cameras, it's nonetheless a BAD IDEA to post footage of your comrades engaging in high-risk activity when they could be identified. Use common sense.
3. Upload your video to blip.TV. blip.TV is considerably less evil than, say, youtube, and it has cool features like being able to....
4. ...Tag your video with NORNC, which enables anyone to subscribe to an RSS feed of all "NORNC" video.
5. Then embed your video on tc.indymedia.org. If it's particularly compelling, write an article that links to it, and we'll compile the most relevant videos on the front page.
If you live in the Twin Cities: consider becoming a part of TC-IMC, both for the RNC and beyond!
Minnesota is a hotbed of alternative and independent media, but Indymedia's strength is as a decentralized resource for and by activists. Instead of relying on sources outside the movement, activists can turn to Indymedia for up-to-the-minute action updates, be it in the city council chambers, at the jail, or in the streets. And open publishing means that your local IMC is what YOU make of it. If you're local and interested in working with us for the RNC and beyond, get in touch and get plugged in with other people who know that media is simply one tool in the toolbox of radical change.
A few days before the convention, we'll have a check-in in St. Paul for both local and visiting media activists to figure out shifts and responsibilities, put faces to names, get the info you need, and make sure all systems are go! Email us for more details and with any and all of your questions, ideas and dreams: IMCatRNC@gmail.com.
Until next time,
the crew at Twin Cities Indymedia
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion