imcista uk | 13.10.2004 00:44
Since Ahimsa, one of the main European Indymedia Servers, was seized by the FBI on October 7, many groups and organisations have issued statements of support. Imc volunteers have collected some of them. Read the imc press releases and the imc updates to find out what happened.Indymedia Press Releases: [IMC Press Release 8 Oct | IMC Press Release 9 Oct | IMC Press Release 11 Oct]
Local IMC Press Releases: [Uruguay]
Civil Liberty Organisations
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
The EFF is representing indymedia volunteers regarding the seizur of Ahimsa. On Oct 12, EFF "contacted the FBI to demand Indymedia's illegally seized servers be returned and is preparing for legal action in the event that negotiations with the FBI fail. EFF is also calling on Rackspace to challenge the government's illegal seizure."
- 12 Oct: "If Rackspace stands behind its claim of providing 'Fanatical Support' to its customers, it will go to bat for Indymedia--one of its biggest customers--and demand that the FBI return the seized Internet servers (...) Rackspace should also fight for its own rights and challenge the gag order preventing it from sharing its side of the story." (Kurt Opsahl, EFF staff attorney) EFF 12 Oct
- 8 Oct: "This seizure has grave implications for free speech and privacy. The Constitution does not permit the government unilaterally to cut off the speech of an independent media outlet, especially without providing a reason or even allowing Indymedia the information necessary to contest the seizure." (Kurt Opsahl, EFF Staff Attorney) EFF 8 Oct
- Statewatch, 11 Oct: "Was the seizure of Indymedia's servers in London unlawful or did the UK government collude?" - "A trail that started in Switzerland and Italy has now ended fairly and squarely in the lap of the UK Home Secretary to justify." (Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor) statewatch article
- Project Censored, 11 Oct: "This is an indication of the successfulness of the Indymedia network. Freedom of information is a radical idea when applied in a fair manner. Radical ideas will always be suppressed by the transnational corporate elites when ever possible. We must act on our rights to freedom of information to keep it safe, and when repressed find new channels and means to succeed." (Peter Phillips, Director) [Indybay]
Association for Progressive Communications
- Association for Progressive Communications, 12 Oct: "We are disturbed by the apparently arbitrary and extreme measures taken to silence an independent internet-based source of information,” said Anriette Esterhuysen, APC’s Executive Director. “This is a violation of freedom of expression across international frontiers." [APC article]
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
- "The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide, today called for an investigation into the action by police in Britain in co-operation with other agencies that led to the temporary closure of 21 of the more than 140 Indymedia web sites worldwide." 8 October. full text
- "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism," said Aidan White IFJ General Secretary. The way this has been done smacks more of intimidation of legitimate journalistic inquiry than crime-busting." 8 October. full text
World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC)
- "AMARC is deeply concerned by reports about the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seizure of Indymedia servers in the United Kingdom." (8 October 2004) full text at ifex
Dutch Federation of Journalists*Protest against closing down newssites*: * "The IFJ and other organisations of journalists have protested against the FBI order, on request of Italy and Switserland, to close about 20 websites from the alternative newsnet Indymedia in the UK. The BBC reports that last month the FBI asked Indymedia to remove an article about a Swiss undercover police operation. The Italian request might be inspired by a criticising article on Indymedia Italy with with the far-right party Alianza Nationale seemed to have a problem. The Flemish MEP Bart Staes (Groen!) will bring the seisure to the attention of the European Parliament. The Dutch press hardly reacts to this "scandalous infraction of the right to free speech".
Reporters Without Borders*Home Secretary David Blunkett challenged over Indymedia website closures* [[http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11579][full text]] 12 October 2004
"Reporters Without Borders has condemned the seizure of UK-based webservers, used by some 20 Indymedia websites and has written to Home Secretary David Blunkett, copied to his US, Italian and Swiss counterparts, seeking an explanation for the confiscations" "Ed Gibson, legal officer at the US Embassy in London, strongly denied to Reporters Without Borders on 8 October tbat the US federal police had played any part. However, according to a statement by an FBI spokesman to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the bureau did order the seizure of the servers but "on behalf of another country". Swiss and Italian authorities were apparently behind the decision, even though they had made no official statement on the subject." (12 October 2004)
Belgian Journalist Association (Algemene Vereniging van Beroepsjournalisten in België, AVBB)The following statement was mailed to [[http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-ovl/2004-October/1012-79.html][Indymedia Oost-Vlaanderen]] on 12 October 2004. English translation: "The De VVJ/AVBB is upset about over the censorship in the form of taking down an Internetserver connected to Indymedia.
Without making a definite statement about the eventual responsabilities, the Flemisch Journalistenbond pleads for a maximum of freedom for informationspreading on the Net.
The VVJ/AVBB joins the urgent demand of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to get complete clarity of this deplorable incident."
- "We do not know if Rackspace is under a gag order, or what legal restrictions were imposed requiring them to act this way, or whether their legal department had enough time to study the request." press release
(H)activist Collectives---+++++ ASCII Collective ( Free public Internet Space, Amsterdam) The [[http://www.scii.nl/][ascii collective]] was evicted from their squat on 12 Oct. Theiy state: * "Raise consciousness! This small eviction reflects a larger wave of repression operated by western NATO regimes, the recent FBI raid on Indymedia online servers is a serious signal of the current crackdown on freedom of speech. As of today there are no clear legal motivations for this action of censorship affecting more than 20 different countries." (Ascii Press Release, 12 Oct)