The World Summit On Infomation Society (WSIS) takes place in Geneva from the 10th - 12th December, 2003. While the official agenda of this UN/ITU Summit talks about free access to information, the digital divide and equality of opportunities, in reality its doors are closed, its discussions exclusive and the agendas of those who attend it concealed [dissimulé]. What is more, the right to demonstrate and protest has been suspended in Geneva at this time as the usual parade of despots and tyrants fly in to Switzerland to define policy for their own citizens, and the rest of the world, based on the agendas of corporate multinations, media conglomerates and infrastructure owners.
Geneva03 considers it critical to show, during such a display of media power and control. that independent groups and people have the ability to create their own media, to share media, self publish, build networks and communicate freely and autonomously. That is why we have titled our events during this time WSIS? WE SEIZE! We do not consider that negotiation and supplication before the alter of the UN will produce information autonomy for all. Instead, we are taking our autonomy now, using the means and technologies at our disposal: the Internet, peer to peer networks, Free and Open Source Software, community wireless infrastructures, pirate television and radio and streamed media. Beyond questions of communications technology, We Seize! seeks to open a wide-ranging discussion on the new social conditions that constitute today's world about which the WSIS has little or nothing to say: media concentration, expansive intellectual property regimes, casualised and immaterial labour and migration.
We insist that this urge to speak, to hear and be heard, is irrepressible. The Geneva03 collecitve returns to Geneva following major attempts at repression during the G8 this year, in which the collective were targetted by police whilst running an independent media centre. No charges were brought against the collective, because- whatever the establishment would like to believe- it is still lawful to freely express ourselves. We must, however, continue to exercise this ability, to expand and test it in diverse situations, if we are not to lose the freedom and potential that defines us as people.
Communication, language and information are essential to understanding both control and liberation in this new millenium. They are simultaneously the site of the most repressive and totalitarian suppression and disciplining we have seen since the 1950s and, we believe, the basis of a powerful, growing autonomous movement. Ultimately this movement must cut to the very heart of communication: for what we are able to articulate, we are able to create. We must speak of a new world without fear, and with all the creativity, energy and commitment we can find.
A press conference will take place on monday 8 december, 09:30 in the studio4 (4th floor) at the Usine, 11 rue de la Coulouvrenière, Geneva.
WSIS? WE SEIZE!
Strategic Conference (S-CONF)
9th, 10th Dec Le Theatre de L'Usine
Two days of open discussion etc.
11th, 12th, 13th Dec
Le Scratt, Artamis (Workshops)
Studio4, Usine (Media Lab)
High Noon / Geneva 03 LiveStream
9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th Dec
Geneva03 is a temporary network of groups and individuals set up to carry out agitational, educational and communications work during both the G8 and the WSIS.