[Imc-london] Re: NGO's and not getting flamed
maquis at syndicate.org.uk
Mon Aug 2 12:09:11 PDT 2004
Thanks for your mail to this list, and I'll answer my personal opinions
to some of the points you raise. Hopefully some other indy london folk
will do the same.
>Over many years, through lots of wierdness, too many parties to remember,
>lots of battles at Stonehenge and with other tribes, I have found myself
>back in environmental activism in south London.
Nice one! ... but don't forget the parties .. they always help keeping
one focussed :-)
>Last year I got stuck coordinating a local Greenpeace network, and we've had
>lots of fun, putting together Greenpeace campaigns and some autonoumous
>stuff using borrowed materials.
>But we're crap at advertising things, and so I was considering putting a
>load of events and reports up on Indymedia.
Yup, please do so! .. specially if they are local campaigns or actions
(not sure what you mean with 'a load of events' though). I think,
London-Indymedia is a perfect place for news on local campaigns, actions
and other similar stuff going on.
When clicking the publish button on top of the newswire, you'll get a
form where you can fill the fields (or sections of indymedia-uk's
websites) that you feel your posting (news/reports) are relevant to.
At the moment, with the current code set up, all postings will go to
imc-uk front page, but at the same time, you can also click local imc's
such as london if the action, campaign or event happens to be in south
london (as you mention above).
There are also 'topic' pages. These are specific thematic areas of the
website ... so if you contribute with news or reports about environmental
issues or actions, then i guess it would also be good to click at the
Ecology topic box.
> However I was wondering if I'm
>going to get flamed off, due to most of those events being tied into a big
Well, regardless of my personal views on big NGO's and how they normally
operate, which I'm not going to get into that in this mil as it would be
off topic right now, I think that you would not be 'flamed off' merely
because your postings are 'tied into a big ngo'.
This is not a 'problem' .. or a reason not to post in imcuk or london
imc. Nor it would be a reason for imc volunteers to hide your posting
just because it is tied up, or refers to, a big ngo or whatever elese
organisation. For example, during the anit-war mobilistions here in the
UK, many of the reports and news imcuk received where either refering to
the STWC, or actually posted by members of what I personally would regard
as authoritarian organisations.
These reports or news items would not be hidden if they where talking
about the event or the issue (the war on iraq and the anti-war activities
in that case) ... BUT (and this is in my view a very big but!) if the
posting was basically publicising or promoting the politics or doings of
a specific ngo, political party or organisation, then they would be
hidden. Indymedia is definitelly not a place for spreading proaganda.
So, I'd say no problem if the actions and campaigns you are involved in
are under the banner of Greenpeace (as a matter of fact we've had in the
middle column Greenpeace actions in the past). If you report on these
great, and I can only encourage you to do so ... if your aim is to
publicise Greenpeace and its 'politics', then i guess yup, you would be
slightly 'flamed off' :-) and your reports would probably end up being
hidden from the front page.
>I used to be of the opinion that Greenpeace was a hierachical structure more
>interested in fund raising that campaigning, direct action not direct debit
>being an old motto.
That's a good motto! ... I'm sure it will come handy sometime :-)
>I don't really care how the organisation is structured, so long as
>individuals get to make stuff happen.
I personally differ from this view, but again, this would be an off topic
discussion now and it bears no relevance whatsoever with you 'being able'
to post or not to imcuk and/or london imc.
>But Indymedia professes to avoid news from hierarchically structured
>organizations, and whereas as a local network we do pretty much we like,
>somebody might take exception, and I can't be bothered to post stuff if its
>going to get 'hidden' by the powers that be.
Well, as I said Indymedia definitelly avoids party political proaganda
and promotion of any specific organisation and/or NGO.
It also tries to avaoid news that mainstream media already addresses ..
so in this sense, yup it could be said that Indymedia is biased towards
the stories mainstream and corporate media choses to ignore.
But as I said before I have no problem if a report or news item comes
from someone aligned to a big ngo, and even from what I consider an
authoritarian organisation (like, for example, most organisations
aligned to the Stop the War Coalition) I'm sure that many items that
appeared on the newswires about anti-war activities were from membres of
the SWP or GR for example ... Well, as much as I dislike these
organisations, their obsolete politics, and its greedy leaders, I still
would not consider hidding a posting just because it's author happens to
still be trapped under the feet of one of these archaic (and also in
many ways quite primitive) organisations. Maybe after coming into contact
with a thing such as Indymedia some of these people will eventually see
the light and be cured :-))
>and I can't be bothered to post stuff if its
>going to get 'hidden' by the powers that be.
Of course, I can totally see the point of this. And btw 'the powers that
be" in this case, are basically people, normal people that chooses to
volunteer in this project ... nothing more, but more importantly, nothing
>So is there a consensus as to whether local London Greenpeace events get
I don't think there is right now, nor I think it will be discussed as
much as to reach consensus on this. Basically because a concesus
decission making process is quite often a long and arduous road, which
takes quite a lot of time and energy. So I guess the best thing is for
you to start hitting the publish button with your reports. And I said
before, I strongly encourage you to do so ... and I'm sure most indymedia
folk would also do.
>and if so what sort? Big events (every 6 monthes or so), all events
>(1 a week or so), Action reports (every month or so), or anything goes?
Well, again, nope, not anything goes as I explained above. Nor I think it
is an issue of how often you publish (unless you do it every 5 minutes !
As for whether big or small events ... we'll I'd say that in what is
known as "activism' size doesn't matter. Sometimes two people manage to
create enough fuss and/or get 'results' ... whilst, on the other hand, 2
million demonstrating in central London didn't manage much in terms of
stopping the attack and invasion of Iraq for example. So it is
definitelly not an issue over size.
And, yes action reports and news on campaigns are very much the type of
issues indymedia newswire(s) are here for. Also, I personally like to see
analysis about the issues being reported.
But I, and most volunters, contributors and users of indymedia, wouldn't
like to see announcements about one of your meetings for example, texts
specifically promoting Greenpeace (or it's recruitng tactics) or
propaganda of any other sort.
Anyway ... I think I've gone on for far too long.
Looking forward to your postings
imcuk volunteer in london
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