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IndyMedia UK is an evolving network of media professionals, artists, and DIY media activists committed to using technology to promote social and economic justice. It is our goal to further the self-determination of people under-represented in media production and to empower people by seeking to encourage self publishing in all formats.
We seek to generate alternatives to the biases inherent in the corporate media space controlled by profit, and to identify and create positive models for a sustainable DIY media network in the UK and beyond.
Our first project is the reporting of Mayday2000, with an emphasis on inclusion. While many people will be reporting for IndyMedia UK, we seek to open out the reporting structures to allow Mayday participants themselves to contribute directly to the website. Bypassing the corporate media machine, removing agenda filters, creating our own media, for the people, by the people.
IndyMedia UK is also part of a growing international alliance and takes it's name from, and in solidarity with, the American DIY networks which were formed around the anti-WTO demonstrations in Seattle 1999.
Read our Press Release (22/04/00) here
The global anti-capitalist protests on June 18th 1999 saw the first co-ordinated attempt by DIY media groups to provide rapid reporting of large scale events both in London and across the globe. With London acting as an international media hub a mixture of pictures, text reports, audio and video from around the world were posted to the j18.org website, painting an inspiring picture of grassroots action in over 40 countries.
It was in London that reporting was most impressive, with the kind of raw direct coverage that the corporate media dreams of being speedily relayed across the planet. While the site suffered from a lack of still images, video and audio coverage was streamed live out over the Internet throughout the day, with corporate websites like ft.com (financial times) relaying the stream directly from their frontpage. The reaction from corporate media was one of astonishment, with networks like CNN contacting the London Media Centre to ask just how it had all been achieved.
This DIY media reporting concept was taken a stage further during the huge protests against the WTO in Seattle last November. While the protests were again global, the 'Seattle-Independent Media Center' (IMC) concentrated on providing a wealth of Seattle reports in all formats through the innovative use of an open publishing system. This allowed anyone with Internet access to upload either text, still images, audio or video files directly to the reporting website. With the protests spanning several days there was ample opportunity for people to spend the evenings sending their experiences and recordings in to the website, building not only one of the most complete records of a protest ever, but also providing a valuable voice amidst all the chaos and smoke. The Seattle IMC site received over 1.5 million hits during the WTO protests.
Since November and the anti-WTO protests several other Independent Media Center's have been established in America using the Seattle IMC as a model. These groups are working together, building new alliances and are well on the way to building their own sustainable alternative media network.
More recently, from April 16-18th, the same model was used in Washington to provide extensive coverage of the anti-IMF and World Bank protests. Again while the protests were global the scale of the coverage provided by the Washington Independent Media Center of events in their own city was astounding. While many corporate news networks were reporting the restraint of the police, visitors to the indymedia.org website could both see the images and hear the sounds as peaceful protestors were teargassed, beaten and attacked with pepper spray.
With the reporting of Mayday2000, IndyMedia UK is seeking to widen the participation out, to create a true street media project, were those present really are empowered to put across their own views and experiences, undiluted, live and direct.
For more information on DIY and Independent Media see our links section.
To contact IndyMedia UK see our contact section.
Bookmark www.indymedia.org.uk now for the most complete, accurate, honest and non-corporate coverage of Mayday2000 - starting 28th April 2000
Selected Links: RTS | Guerrilla Gardening | Mayday Conference | London Mayday | Primal Seeds | PGA | IndyMedia USA