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anti-swp posting is killing indymedia

a revolutionary | 18.10.2004 13:42

i cant find any real information on indymedia any more.
all that is reported from the UK aree stories where an anti trot angle can be found.

i have tried to find good reports of the ESF/Beyond the ESF/The ESF march on Indymedia.
instead all i can find is what appears to be an editorial obsession with anti-trot stories.
i have followed the well advertised and central column links to the Beyond the ESF at:
and as far as I can tell nowt much happened.

I have searched for reports and photos from the tremendous international demo (70,000?)
against war and privatisation and all the other shit and for the things we stand for (peace and love and struggle and fredom and stuff).

But it got lost in a big story about a group of people who wanted to speak but couldnt because of....well you know (think trots and not being allowed to). where was the real story?

i am sorry people on the demo got nicked. i have been arrested a few times. i aided the freeing of another demonstrator elsewhere on sunday (although some poor guy got nicked-which you havent reported). bvut you are becoming delusional and egotistical only ever focussing upon yourselves.

NOT the job of reporters. You are NOT the story.

can't you (indymedia) and the anarchists begin to realise that the poison that you are swallowing is killing an important part of our movement? By not reporting what actually happens (big demo, quite big ESF), and only focusing on increasingly smaller and smaller parts and tiny groups of people people involved you are acting in an antidemocratic, dishonest and essentially possesive way?

that the "beyond the esf" was really quite small and the thing you MOST REPORT from beyind ESF is the disruption of the big and diverse ESF?

face facts. It was always going to be hard to hold an ESF in Britain. It is hardly Florence in the year of Genoa. It is a cold expensive place on the edge of Europe. But it was fairly big and had a tremendous spirit. It was diverse, young, angry, beautiful, gentle, progressive, poetic and hopeful. It wasn't small, bitter and divisive.

By obssesing about your small part of this huge movement you are killing part of it's spirit. You are behaving in a narrow control freak manner and it does not become indymedia.

By all means report everything. But that means big as well as small (hey even tiny)

But most please realise importantly YOU cant swallow poison and expect SOMEONE ELSE to die.

a revolutionary


Hide the following 15 comments

YOU miss the point

18.10.2004 15:28

Indymedia even what is in the middle column comes from what YOU post. There isn't some dictatoral body deciding what's news and what's not. Don't complain about the content unless YOU are posting good quality posts (and good quality excludes anything promoting some particular party)

Want to see stuff in the middle column about other things that happened at the esf? Well some posts about it on the newswire would be a start, YOU know how to do that.


Where is your report?

18.10.2004 15:32

Indymedia is a DIY project -- there is no point in moaning that something hasn't been covered, you can either cover it your self or try to convince someone you know who was on the demo to cover it and post about it.


You are indymedia

18.10.2004 15:51

You have the time to write this article. Had you spent that time writing a report on ESF then you would have improved indymedia reporting in the way you suggest.

everyone is a witness
everyone has a story
everyone is a journalist
we are all indymedia


some answers

18.10.2004 16:10

"You are behaving in a narrow control freak manner and it does not become indymedia."

Anyone can post or be an Indymedia reporter. I think that there are few reports on inside the ESF are for several reasons. I went there for a short while and it seemed pretty dull.

It was like a vast supermarket where you could buy into whatever brand of politics you felt suited your lifestyle. You could listen to famous speakers rant and go on and feel angry with them and then go home, feel better, and carry on as normal.

A good slogan for the ESF would have been: A Similar World is Possible. Everything about it was remarkably similar to the world we already have. Low paid staff, rented buildings, Nestle products for sale, people selling stuff, corruption at top levels.

By comparison the autonomous spaces were really different. No entry fees, interesting art spaces, no security and food (often just for donation). And pretty much all the actions originated from these spaces not the ESF. And reading about actions - what people are doing - is always more interesting than merely reading about what they're saying.

Finally another reason you might not see so many reports is that the ESF cost £30 to get in. Not surprisingly many people chose not to go at all. Why bother when there was so much great free stuff going on elsewhere. There was actually so much great free stuff that it was totally impossible to go to anything but a small fraction of it.

"By obssesing about your small part of this huge movement you are killing part of it's spirit."

Actually the autonomous spaces are the spirit of this movement - if you're talking about the misnamed anti-globalisation movement. Neither Ken Livingstone or SWP had anything to do with its birth or its creation in this country. They didn't go to the first anti-G8 street party in 1998 or J18 in '99 and it was only after Seattle that they decided to jump on the bandwagon.


yes but

18.10.2004 16:41

I somehow agree with you that the reporting on the IMC has had quite a focus on the actions of the organisers of the ESF, and not enough about the event itself - or even the events at the autonomous spaces. This is a pitty: indymedia collectives and other groups self-managed for 4 days quite a huge building (Camden Center), with two major conferences (Communication rights, Schnews), and other quite notable speechef from the Mothers of Carlo Giuliani and Tom Hurndall, as well as detainees of Camp X Ray in Guatanamo. These events were trully fantastic! Aside from that we had tens of conputers, internet access and a cafe/bar where lots of other collectives were able to report news + events to the whole world.

I hope you agree that the responsibility of reporting events is shared: imc volonteers have no special priviledges when it comes to publishing news, since everyone can do that. So we have to also ask ourselves why no one else did? Part of the answer is simple: ESF organisers (yes again ... sigh) did not consider that alternative and participatory media was a priority at all, and consistantly undermined proposals to have open public access terminal in Alexandra Palace. The other part of the answer is that imc volonteers were quite busy running a huge space, and therefore focused quite a lot on 'news' stories, instead of going and covering talks. I am also worried that such ideas of newswothiness are creeping in independant collectives ...

Since I take your post as a genuine request for places to find accounts of the ESF I would point you to: (english and french)
I saw them working all day at the Camden Center covering the essence of the ESF - and they have done a fantastic job!


100% in agreement

18.10.2004 16:46

Couldn't agree more with this poster. Haven't really been bothering to read indymedia for quite a while now and will probably call it a day completely after this ESF.

Basic problem: not much news but lots of people flaming each other.

The ESF coverage is particularly dire. Whatever indymedia think of the organisation/process of this year's ESF, it would be hard to deny that this was an event attended by huge numbers of people from all over Europe, with great diversity, energy and inspiration. But reports on the site are basically limited to some coverage of the demo and the moronic 'action' of a few people in black hoods who thought that 'storming the palace' would deliver a heroic blow against the capitalist system.

It's upsetting that something which could have been such a great resource for everyone struggling to make the world a better place has degenerated into this.


oh brother

18.10.2004 17:14

You are obviously blind. The newswire is littered with reports of the various actions and marches, many of which do not mention trots once. It is hardly a surprise that many of the reports mention the SWP, as they exercised considerable control over the events and you must surely know that we should question those with power.

Also, if you can't find something that you like on the newswire, write it yourself, you ninny. Your bleats are worthless.



18.10.2004 19:39

Lack of coverage of the march and rally is particularly odd. Indymedia people were wandering around the square handing out thousands of leaflets to people (especially those with cameras) which explained exactly how to post your own news reports. Couldn't afford to get into the Palace myself, although I heard that some free passes were available at the autonomous spaces, so couldn't report on that. The coverage does seem to have concentrated on things that were actually happening! Which is not exactly surprising for a news service. I saw IMC people covering all the actions I went on, which involved police repression, especially of foreign brothers and sisters (quite newsworthy?), and when posting images at the IMC saw people running off to follow stories.


Non 'Action' Coverage

18.10.2004 21:45

The coverage you want?

I happen to be one of the people who spent a rather large amount of time collating reports for the the indymedia mid-column reports for the esf. You will find there /are/ reports about sessions in the reports (mainly the first two days). That is because people posted them on the Newswire. These if I remember are all at Beyond ESF

As an individual I was interested in the politics, and the solidarity at the ESF. I am interested in what was discused. I would *love* to be able to do more with it! The only 'main' esf session I was able to do anything with was the Iraq related session which had someone from the Iraqi Trade Unions. Unlike all the other sessions at the main ESF we actually had two reports - they are linked.

I would love to see activists posting more. Give more infomation about the discussions. But us volunteers can't make something out of nothing! I think it would be good for people to write lots of articles about what happened. Then someone, not me at the moment (because I am now working my arse off to pay for the last 6 days I spent off work), *you* reading this, could collate them, think about them, and write a good balanced piece (using info from them) and linking to them. If it's any good propose it to imc-uk-features - at - indymedia dot org dot uk for the ESF Features page!


PS: Indymedia does get top reports from actions. I however am not holding my breath for reports from the more 'organised' left, because from my (too long experience) of involvement in the 'organised' left except for a minority people will only turn up sometimes, vote if really motivated; and to actually research and think about it, to compose individually and act differently well that would be too much! And lets face that's what is required in posting a personal report that is not from central office, that might not support the line, and doesn't promote the party.

imc'ista aka a bod who didn't go to sessions as they were helping people report


18.10.2004 22:38

" I however am not holding my breath for reports from the more 'organised' left"

Perhaps you might consider that one reason for that is the constant attacks we get here on Indymedia, you even manage to have a dig yourself immediately after that comment.

It's hard enough being a lefty without getting called a "bourgois sellout tosser authoritarian stalinist" by people who are supposedly on the same side.



19.10.2004 00:17

I attended the ESF on Friday, as a volunteer. It was, from my perspective, chaotic and overun by a mass of leftist stalls. I purchased a T-Shirt from the SWP stand with Fuck Capitalism on it. Purchased. Fuck Capitalism. Socialist. Irony?

The Beyond ESF movement drew my attention for saturday and sunday. Corporate Games, Selfidges, urban climbing... I was one of the "Pro-Capitalists" fighting the CIRCA at the Jonny Depp premiere. I've never seen such creativity and excitement.

Why aren't people covering the main ESF? Because (on Friday at least - with one exception) nothing happened. People sat, chatted, talked, sold their t-shirts etc etc etc. I bought a badge.

The ESF should have been more, much more, than it was. The arrest of protestors at the Trafalgar Square demo should have been dealt with by the organisers, or the info spread via the tannoy system. I don't know what the Conway Hall fiasco was about, but someone from the ESF should perhaps explain or refute the accusations that it was never booked...

In my opinion, no one reported the main ESF stuff because... nothing happened. What's to report? People had a chat. Nice.

Here's a really radical idea.

"Social" is not just Socialism. Facists have social policies, Anarchists have social policies. Where were they? How great would it have been to have allowed debate between rival political/economic viewpoints?

Christ, thread rot.


mail e-mail:

SWP making a mockery of it´s (former) self

19.10.2004 09:11

The point is that, in it´s infamous terrible urge to direct and lead, the SWP is trying to hijack and control everything - once it´s get´s going. This time it subjected the ESF and the movement to it´s narrowing party line. It´s ok for the SWP to form a popular front (historical stalinist stile) with sections of the Labour party and the TUC against the war in Iraq. It their business if they compromise - as a result of their "IIId period" stile popular-frontism - labour issues and current social struggle in Europe. To mention the most important: the struggle of Izar workers in Spain, the struggle against cuts in Holland and in Germany - where thousand toook to the streets in the last two months and which is now seeing industrial action effecting the car industry in the whle of Europe.

The final declaration of the ESF concentrates on the war - not on social struggles in Europe. This was intended as not to embarrass those who gave financial support for the organising of the ESF.

If the SWP spitlicks any politician or TUC fudging functionary who is against the war - but at the same subjects workers to neoliberal policies - or disorganizes resistance - suit your self, SWP!

To subject the ESF and the movement to the SWP party line is a crime, it´s a violation.

The ESF and the SWP got notice via the usal channels of the European Day of Action this Tuesday 19th. Why was the ESF not calling on the TUC to support this day of action why is the the ESF and the SWP not supporting this day of action? Once the German ESF delegation got news of the car worker´s wild cat strike on Friday it send a solidarity message.

The British TUC received notice on Thursday that there was to be a European day of action of all General Motors workers as a reaction to GM´s plans to cut 12.000 jobs at their plants - from Poland to Britain. The European day of action was to take part in GM plants in Poland, Germany, Sweden, Britain, Spain and Belgium. The TUC didn´t inform Vauxhall shop floor stewarts until Fridayit It was also intended to be an action of solidarity with the German workers - who are on unofficial strike without trade union support - and now face immediate sacking!

And the SWP did nothing either to mobilize for Tuesday 19th. But of course the war issue in Britain is more important than what is going on in the rest of Europe.


proposing features

20.10.2004 14:53

> If it's any good propose it to imc-uk-features - at - indymedia dot org dot uk
> for the ESF Features page!

correction - the actual address is:

imc-uk-features at


agree with first poster and it is serious for Indy

21.10.2004 13:32

>Indymedia even what is in the middle column comes from what YOU post. There isn't some dictatoral body deciding >what's news and what's not. Don't complain about the content unless YOU are posting good quality posts (and >good quality excludes anything promoting some particular party)

beautiful if any line more coherently expresses the sectarianism of some of the indymedia collective then this is it - say if a political party in this country overthrew the government and released a news statement you saying it wouldn't be news!

Indymedia had a real chance to break through to pose a real alternative to the mainstream media, and some indymedias are very good, the UK one is really a posting service for the DIY culture in this country and doesn't seem to have any interest in anything else

hence you attract the audience you get. other small DIY groups, an ever decreasing circle...

which is actually a real problem when Indymedia is coming under attack from the FBI and you need the whole movements support

for a better indymedia

Party notices vs news

21.10.2004 18:48

>>Indymedia even what is in the middle column comes from what YOU post. There isn't some
>>dictatoral body deciding >what's news and what's not. Don't complain about the content
>>unless YOU are posting good quality posts (and good quality excludes anything promoting
>>some particular party)
>beautiful if any line more coherently expresses the sectarianism of some of the indymedia
>collective then this is it - say if a political party in this country overthrew the
>government and released a news statement you saying it wouldn't be news!"

News about a party overthrowing the government wouldn't be an advert for that party: it would be the exact opposite.

And taking an editorial stance that the "the newswire is designed to generate a news resource, not a notice-board for political parties or any other hierarchically structured organizations" isn't sectarianism: it's the exact opposite.

That's why all the adverts that get pasted up here from Respect, and SLP, and SWP, and RCG, and AWL, and CPGB, and IWCA, and Green, and Labour, and UKIP, and Countryside Alliance , (insert your favourite sect here...) get hidden fom the front page.

If you do something important or see something important happen, then great, report what you did or saw. That's news. Give your view on what happened in the ESF, or what's happening where you live. That's analysis.

You've got your own web sites for talking about your own party, so use them for that. This newswire is for news. Bring some, please!



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