[Imc-thunderbay] Welcome Indymedia volunteers!!
chickpeacurry at yahoo.ca
Sat Dec 16 18:36:02 UTC 2006
Greetings Mike, Kate, Michael, Brodie, and Gab,
First off, thank you for getting in touch with Thunder Bay Indymedia. As a participatory, grassroots, and citizen-run and operated media network, we rely heavily on volunteers in the day to day operation of the website, and equally, in providing content for the website (d.i.y. journalism), doing fundraisers, film nights and other activites. This is perhaps even more urgent as the Thunder Bay Indymedia collective is going through somewhat of a transition phase at the moment, having lost many committed members to other cities and projects throughout the world (myself, for instance, I'm writing from England).
But, here's a very brief summary of our origins, accomplishments, and activities over the last 5 years.
Thunder Bay IMC started up about 5 years ago, in the aftermath of the anti-FTAA demonstrations in Quebec City in 2001. A small collective of locals felt that one of the best ways that we could contribute to the increasingly large and diverse social movements pressing for social justice was by linking up to the global Indymedia network and publishing the alternative news and views from Northern Ontario that were completely ignored or covered very poorly by the big media. In April 2002 the website went live, after several months of collective efforts and discussions about our principles of unity and outreach through a democratic, consensus-based decision making process.
Over the last 5 years Thunder Bay Indymedia has provided coverage of strikes and industrial disputes in the region, various protests and community events; even covering events outside of Canada, like the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in Brazil and the anti-FTAA protests in Miami. Of note is the coverage of the ongoing logging blockade at Grassy Narrows First Nation; Thunder Bay Indymedia easily had the most indepth and comprehensive news coverage of any media outlet in the world on this issue. This is just one example of an issue that we've covered that has spawned other initiatives and solidarity campaigns worldwide. Others include the exposition of the proposed petroleum coke plant and the infamous LU land swap - both were publicized by Thunder Bay Indymedia, and both were defeated by an active, informed public. Like the Zapatistas say, "The Word is Our Weapon".
We've also hosted several events, like out of town speakers who wouldn't otherwise have a venue or audience in Thunder Bay (covering topics from the Zapatistas to Palestine); held fundraisers and independent film nights, notably, the New Years Masquerade Party which we organized 3 years running.
At our peak we published a monthly publication called The Mill: the magazine of independent media and politics, as well as holding an office space in downtown Port Arthur, equiped with computers and multi-media tools, where we held our meetings.
Again, we're going through a bit of a transitional period at the moment, but there are still experienced, local independent media people around who need a boost of new blood and enthusiasm in the network.
For the time being, the best thing to do (if you haven't already) is sign up to the Thunder Bay IMC e-mail list, introduce yourselves, and keep up with what's going on in the collective with meetings and whatnot. You can do so by following this link: http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-thunderbay
As far as how you can constructively contribute, the sky really is the limit. As I mentioned, our activity in the past has spanned social events, independent publications, grassroots journalism, and everything in between. As a participatory network, the level of committment and activity depends entirely on the membership.
If you'd like more detailed information about our activity, how we operate, or anything else, please don't hesitate to e-mail me offlist chickpeacurry at yahoo.ca or on the general TBay IMC list.
Good luck - and don't hate the media, become the media!
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