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RE: Justin Rigby from the Sunday Times
As our first collaborative project, we aim to produce accurate and honest reports about the enfolding events this weekend, this includes an honest portrayal of the people themselves involved.
The same as Mr. Justin Rigby (?), IMC reporters have also been in direct communication with the people, groups and organisations which form the loose network behind the MayDay 2000 weekend of events . Our experience from the last weeks cannot be more different from what he describes in his ‘Anarchy’ (dis)informative piece on the Sunday Times, April 30th. Our first reaction to his piece had been one of incredulity, but the more we read on the more we felt disgust at his base level of journalism.
Our experience of RTS is that of an organisation who has been working on non- hierarchical, open way, with access for participants on all levels to become involved. We have not found any evidence at all about what he calls "the war council". As DIY media professionals, and from our experience of the numerous Guerrilla Gardening preparation meetings we also "infiltrated", we can report that "RTS has no central committee, no leaders and aims for a peaceful celebration of resistance for this MayDay".
To Mr Rigby’s early point regarding the training of legal observers, we found no evidence of his interpretation of the role of legal observers: "In reality my job is to intimidate the police", given to him by the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group. In actual fact the role of this group is essential for an event, such as the MayDay 2000 to prevent police abuses of power.
Also the tone of his piece continuously falls into the discourse of conservative establishment stereotypes. Not all the anti-capitalist protesters are body pierced, have tattoos or "red and green" dyed hairstyles. If one thing has proved truth from the last City of London, Seattle and Washington protests, is that they involved a great variety of people, form all ages, backgrounds and ethnic origins. This is precisely what makes the global anti-capitalist movement a such an inspiring and growing positive force.
Mr Rugby’s piece in the Sunday Times not only confirms how essential is a role such as ours to monitor the standards of writing in corporate press, but also provides further evidence of the extreme bias of the Sunday Times newspaper with regards to organisations and movements such as Reclaim The Streets. How can it be that in a civilised country as Britain is supposed to be, the public has to put up with this kind of pernicious journalism? Does not the British public has the right to truthful journalism?
In any case, and apart form what we said above, we would love to know how much Mr Rigby has been paid for letting his imagination run amok. We only say this because without trying to be too arrogant, we also have big imaginations and we could definitely do with some extra cash.
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