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Seattle Indymedia: a retrospective

Though the global indymedia netwok has failed, we can learn from it

What do we need at Seattle Indymedia?
Indymedia must be run in
an open and democratic way
What do we need at Seattle Indymedia?
Indymedia must be run in
an open and democratic way

No racist trash fewer crude, thoughtless and malicious
comments on the newswire a higher signal-to-noise ratio
(ie: be more like Portland Indymedia)

democratic rights for activists
to discuss events and politics on the newswire
(including the politics of Indymedia itself)

an editorial collective which is responsive
and accountable to the progressive community

1. introduction

In the beginning

I observed the birth of Indymedia in 1999 with guarded optimism. I understood the immense need of the progressive movement for a web-based news service to which anyone could contribute (and had proposed that activists take action to create such a news service in the first installment, in May 1997, of my "Party of the Future" series):

... by combining web database and collaborative filtering technologies--and
the vast amounts of free labor to which the progressive community will eventually be able to lay claim--we have an opportunity to exploit to the max a huge vulnerability that will be opening up in regard to the bourgeois control of the news. Progressive news services will use this technology to select and summarize from bourgeois news sources and place matters in a perspective revolving around the interests of the working class. Furthermore, such efforts will likely tend to merge into a single, common copyright-free distributed database to which all have access and which will serve as the fundamental technical form of both cooperation and competition among the various warring trends on the left.
-- Chapter 1, paragraph 112 (emphasis added) of How to Build the Party of the Future --

I also understood that many obstacles would need to be overcome in order for a news service like Indymedia to fulfill its potential to become, for many millions, a real alternative to corporate news.

Indymedia grows up
... along with its problems

Indymedia has been a striking success -- with more than a hundred locally controlled branches throughtout the world and a section of IMCistas (ie: indymedia activists) working to create a news service which is not controlled by the bourgeoisie. But the obstacles which stand between what exists now -- and the goal of a news service which provides a real alternative to millions -- remain. These obstacles will not go away overnight. More to the point, these obstacles will not go away without struggle.

The obstacles which block indymedia's development are related to (and similar to) the obstacles which are holding back the antiwar movement and other mass resistance movements: a lack of consciousness of the irreconciliable class antagonism which determines everything else in our society. Indymedia will develop as a result of the same social and class forces which will push forward the development of all the mass resistance movements -- for it is these movements which gave birth to indymedia. And the struggle for a news service that can effectively challenge corporate/bourgeois news -- is one front of struggle among many.

homepage: homepage: http://newsrefinery.com/indymedia/seattle/index.htm


Great article! Timely! 11.Feb.2019 23:58

thumbs up

Keep it coming!

rewind 12.Feb.2019 00:12

to

-Lets rewind and remind the kids what IMC was supposed to be about: DIY open publishing tools, accessible and understandable for the average activist -without needing a tech degree from MIT.

It Needs A Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL) 12.Feb.2019 01:15

blues

"Indymedia must be run in an open and democratic way..." No! Obviously not.

Just what do you think always happens to assets that are "run in an open and democratic way?" THEY GET CO-OPTED AND SUBVERTED OR DESTROYED BY PSYCHOPATHIC VANDALS EVERY SINGLE TIME! This is truly a law of nature.

An independent truly progressive media website simply must report progressive content. That's all.

It certainly does not require "democratic" meetings where NAZI psychos sit around and TAKE OVER!

LOL at Blues 12.Feb.2019 09:04

seriously?

"THEY GET CO-OPTED AND SUBVERTED OR DESTROYED BY PSYCHOPATHIC VANDALS EVERY SINGLE TIME!"

Are you the same Blues who's played apologist for the coopting of this very IMC almost every single time there's valid criticism?

"This is truly a law of nature. "

No it's not. It's sleazy people exploiting inexperienced naive activists and playing on their idealism. The most extreme local example is Tim Calvert and Roger Noeren(?), founding Laughing Horse Books as a left radical space--all the while being closet Holocaust Deniers. FROM DAY ONE. Another word for this is fraud. They played an entire community for 25+ YEARS. And the fuckers still haven't payed.

Indymedia didn't start as a scam, but got taken over for the same reason: exploitation of naive inexperienced activists and excusing obvious bullshit as "free speech".

>>>"It certainly does not require "democratic" meetings where NAZI psychos sit around and TAKE OVER!

If so easy for NAzis to take over--and it is/was--the meetings are not democratic. They are one of several things:

1. Run by the aforementioned naive activists who get played
2. Run by bad actors who have an agenda to push anti semitism
3. combination of both


So the real problem is why all the experienced not so naive activists bail and move on to better things.

Oh yeah, the IMCs let themselves be played by Nazis.

TLDR: learn from your mistake and change or die. IMC chose to stick to it's "freeze peach" "principles", and is dead.


Anytime any of these points were brought up by ARA/ANtifa in the past, pretty sure "Blues" was one of the "ANTIFA/RCA has gone too far--freeze peach!" crowd. So this is an interesting development....

Indy Publishing is a Victim of Political Correctness & Security Infiltration ... 13.Feb.2019 00:58

Tracy Mapes

...this is what Destroyed Indy-Media.

The Stage is presented, and then Individual Interests, Corporate Interests, and Security Interests dissuade the Original Intent of Free Speech, Free Thought, Logical Debate, and Community.

A Stage is for the Presentation of Ideas, Ideals, and Discussion, which is surreptitiously derided by Person who would like to Dominate the Discussion with Only Their Views, or Side to be Presented, with little or no regard to furthering the conversation.

Ideas are Presented for Public Knowledge. Or, They are Presented with Pre-Conceived Agendas to Dominate the Discussion, instead of utilizing the moment for Problem Recognition and Solution Based Dialog.

Infiltration on the Publishing, Editorial and Control of the site has gone thru many fazes. Something I've noticed since I first came here during the Federal Pressure Shutdown of SAC IMC in 2003. I had no interest in this site, protest or dissent when I came here, but just wanted to share photos and video of Sacramento's GMO Conference of 2003.

I was a freelance news stringer in Sacramento, Ca at the time, and noticed the disparity and mistreatment of Independent Media by FBI and other Law Enforcement in regard to freedom of the Press, and the interference they provided like hospitality to SAC IMC and the Protesting Visitors from Oregon and Washington State.

I also noticed other things that year. I saw the first Mass Tagging of the city, prior to the GMO Conference with InfoWars.Com Ads on buildings. I noticed some TV Live Trucks emblazoned with the Anarchist (A) in paint. I wondered to myself, "Why would they do that?" - I thought the Media was the friend of the People at that point, being a news video provider and in field interviewer for about 6 years at that point.

Now, After an Additional 15 years of visiting the Portland Indy Media site, I know why those TV Live Trucks were vandalized. Because the truth is, "They are the Enemy."

And Indy Media became the last web resort for the discriminated, the disaffected, and the disenfranchised. The Misfit Island of those who would be deemed, disallowed or too dangerous to participate in the Corrupt Power Structure so beautifully modeled in the Glitz and Glamour of a Hollywood Premiere type show call the local news.

The Enemy was disguised with Red Carpet and a Best Dressed List.

Other than the betrayal of my career and Country, I saw the Indy Media Platform become altered by forces internally, from Pro-Israel omission of articles, to outsiders trying to diminish any constructive conversation. From AntiFa, to Pro-White and JBLM Influences.

I saw in a desperate moment, one of the U.S. Military's top sniper rifle providers come on to Portland Indy Media and make a plea of "Something is Going Wrong with Our Country."

Political Correctness always seems to end constructive conversations because People seem to come here pre-armed with the notion that, "If You Are Not With Us! You are against Us!" - Or participation is stymied because the participants are so damned afraid of saying what they really mean due to a fear of offending anyone, their voice is not clearly heard.

Of All of the Board participation, I have seen a move toward sniping the realities of real, and desperate human conditions that have been created by the very forces that would drive the need for an Independent Review of News, and the Sharing of Information needed to create a Great Society or Community.

So, while many will rejoice in the demise of the "Enemy" winning this struggle for an Independent Voice, the real losers in this are the American Public, and Our Nation through what amounts to nothing more than a bunch of offended, non-thinking humans reinforcing the Status Quo through censorship and omission.

Portland Indy Media may truly be the Last Mouse of Independent News, Information, Thought or Discussion. But as the Last Mouse, I Would Wholeheartedly Like to Believe it did so with a Fully Extended Middle Finger.

Tracy Mapes

THIS IS FROM 13 YEARS AGO 11.Apr.2019 22:16

indymedia has not been a striking success

> Last updated: May 9, 2006