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Indymedia asks: &quot;Who took our servers?&quot;

22.10.2004 12:18

Indymedia asks: "Who took our servers?"

Two weeks after the hard drives of two Indymedia servers were seized from the London office of a US-owned web hosting company called Rackspace, Caroline Flint, UK Home Office Under-Secretary, answered parlamentarian questions by stating that "no UK law enforcement agencies were involved." (1) The seizure shut down around 20 Indymedia websites, an internet radio station, and other projects. The servers were returned a week later because "the court order had been complied with", but still no information is available to Indymedia as to who seized them and who now might have copies of all the public and personal information they contained.

An FBI spokesperson originally suggested to Agence France-Presse that the FBI issued a subpoena to Rackspace, but that it was "on behalf of a third country." Later he denied that the FBI had any involvement whatsoever. (2)

A few days after the seizure, a senior federal prosecutor for Geneva, Switzerland, also confirmed that she had opened a criminal investigation of Indymedia. - But that she had not asked for the servers to be seized.

A Italian judge from Bologna confirmed that she issued a request to U.S. authorities for the server's IP logs concerning certain posts published on Italy Indymedia. - But she says that she did not request the seizure of the server hardware, either.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), who is representing the interests of Indymedia, has contacted all the likely suspects in the U.S. - including the FBI, the State Department, and the Federal District Court in Texas - that could have issued the subpoena referenced in Rackspace's public October 8 statement concerning the Indymedia server. But none of them did claim responsibility for the seizure.

"Were our servers abducted by aliens?", asks Clara, an Indymedia volunteer from the Netherlands. "Two weeks have passed and we are no step closer to knowing who took our servers, why, or even on which continent they were."

The only thing that is known is what Rackspace volunteered in their statement: that they received a court order in the U.S. Efforts are now underway by the Electronic Frontier Foundation to unseal that court order.

Meanwhile, the international outcry continues. 5,000 individuals have signed on to Indymedia's solidarity declaration (solidarity.indymedia.org.uk), and numerous others continue to contact Indymedia offering their support to help insure that secret court orders and mysterious government agencies don't shut down Indymedia's websites ever again.



Indymedia's hardware is returned, but many questions remain

21.10.2004 12:00

On Wednesday, October 13th, Indymedia's seized hardware was mysteriously returned in the same way it disappeared -- without any information provided as to who took it or why, and on whose orders. An employee at Rackspace, the U.S.-based web hosting company that handed over Indymedia's disks to the U.S. government on 7 October, emailed an Indymedia volunteer to say that the disks were returned and that "the court order is being complied with... I will pass along any more information that becomes available and that I am allowed to." read the entire statement

background information | solidarity statement



20,000 march in Tahiti for parliamentary dissolution

21.10.2004 07:12

20,000 rally in Papeete for fresh elections In French Polynesia the pro-independence "government of Oscar Temaru has just been deprived of its electoral victory of 23rd May with the benediction from Paris." according to a communique from the Europe Pacific Solidarity Seminar. "The corrupt and mafioso system of Gaston Flosse is going to be put back into the saddle in order to cover more than 20 years of wasting public funds and of corruption of elected people." said the statement.

On Saturday, 16 October, the biggest rally ever in Papeete gathered to support Oscar Temaru and demand the dissolution of parliament and fresh elections. According to a tahitipresse report "An estimated crowd of more than 20,000 people peacefully marched into downtown Papeete on Saturday, calling for the dissolution of the French Polynesia Assembly so that new elections could be held."

[Melbourne IMC | Aotearoa IMC | European Centre on Pacific Issues | La Polynésie, c'est loin ?(fr)]



European Social Forum closes with demonstration and actions

19.10.2004 14:15

The European Social Forum has ended on Sunday, with a large demonstration and a number of autonomous actions (Clowns actions and Pro-capitalist block). The demonstration had a clear anti-war character and attracted a large number of people who did not attend the ESF. Reports and photos [1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6].

A group of activists from the anti-capitalist block were detained at King's cross station in an attempt to prevent them from joining the march [1 | 2 | 3 | Global Project]. They were eventually allowed to leave and when they finally arrived at Trafalgar Square some tried to get to the stage in what some describe as storming the stage. The police possibly in cooperation with the organisers made several arrests including an Indymedia volunteer and member of the ESF organizing body.

Solidarity actions were called, and a number of Clowns invaded Charing Cross police station (Video). Those arrested including a Greek activist are due in court on Monday. The ESF organisation, and the events during the demonstration, have been the subject of a lot of controvesy [In depth: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Previous: 1 | 2 | 3]. Some also resented the lack of coverage of actual ESF events [1] on Indymedia and the mainstream media [1 | 2 | Don't hate the media - just publish on indymedia].

[More: Timeline | All UK ESF reports | ESF daily coverage: Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Other languages: German | Dutch | Dutch and French | Català | Castellano 2 3| Hungarian | Portugese | Russian]



pResedential Debate Coverage, What You Didnt Hear About

18.10.2004 22:55

The United States is a very odd country. The politicians and "leaders" feign strength and freedom, even democracy. But, as we can see from the Presedential debates and history in general, that is simply not true.

The debates started in Miami, Florida. This first meeting was fairly uneventful, but did raise the question of whether pResident Bush was wired his responses. The First Debate: An Inside Look | Pictures | Audio

The second pResedential debate was held in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis October 8th Coalition planned a full day of workshops and protests to the debates, and a good number of people came out. Presedential Candidates, Michael Badnarik (Libertarian Party) and David Cobb (Green Party) engaged in civil disobedience and attempted to enter the debates to let the American public have some kind of choice when they go to the ballot box. Discussion Thread | Audio 1, 2 | Video

The last debate, in Tempe, Arizona, organized by the October 13 Alliance brought out nearly 1000 people to march. Audio | Coverage and Pictures



DEATH AND DESTRUCTION IN GAZA IN THE AFTERMATH OF ISRAELI ATTACKS

18.10.2004 10:22

Dozens of Palestinian men, women and children have been killed and hundreds wounded in the massive Israeli army attack (named "Days of Penitence" by the Israeli Defence Force) in the northern area of the Gaza Strip.

More than 130 Palestinians have died since Israel began the operation over two weeks ago. At least 30 of the dead are children under the age of 18.

The Middle East peace quartet of the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia remained SILENT in face of brutal Israeli attacks on densely populated areas of Gaza!



Increase in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

17.10.2004 19:54

Measurements of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are worrying climate scientists. Dr Craig Wallace from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research said "If it's the start of a real trend then this potentially is very serious indeed. The time for halting climate change actually went and passed in the late 1980s. What we can do now is hopefully slow down climate change, mitigate climate change by following the precedent set by the Kyoto Climate Agreement."

With the Russian Government giving the green light to the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty is set to become international law in 2005. The USA and Australia are the only two industrialised countries refusing to ratify the treaty which places quotas on carbon dioxide production, a major contributor to global warming.

[Melbourne Climate Change Features | The Discovery of Global Warming]



Indymedia supporters to dump defunct disks on feds

17.10.2004 09:05

Activists angered by the multilateral seizure of Indymedia hard drives last October 7th will be turning over piles of old drives to intelligence agencies across the world this week, in symbolic protests against what many are denouncing as a serious violation of communication rights. The Global Action is called Operation Hard Drive-By.

The first of wave of solidarity actions took place last week in the Netherlands, where activists delivered symbolic old hardware to the Italian consulate in Amsterdam. The next day, activists in San Francisco, USA handed over hardware to the FBI. In Houston, members of the IMC delivered a letter to the Swiss consulate.

[ Netherlands Hard Drive-By | San Francisco Hard Drive-By: Photos | Video | Action in Houston: Audio ]

The protests will happen all week, beginning Monday October 18th, to coincide with Media Democracy Day. Operation Hard Drive-by are already planned to happen in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Perth, Australia.

Indymedia supporters promised that Operation Hard Drive-by would escalate and spread until their demands are met. A Statement of Solidarity signed by more than 2000 people calls for the full disclosure of the names of organizations and individuals involved in the seizure, a copy of the court order, and an independent investigation into any violations of due process.



Children's Rights in Poland - the Alimony Fund

16.10.2004 14:05

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On 1st May 2004, the Alimony Fund in Poland was closed down. For situations in which the courts (bailiffs) were unable to obtain alimony (child support) from the absent parent (usually the father), the Alimony Fund had provided the necessary funding for the children.

There are about 500 thousand children in this situation in Poland. Their situation has become more dramatic day by day. Official state bodies have refused to carry out lawful court orders, justifying their refusal by "various objections". Children are paying a very high price for these "various objections", they no longer have the child support payments which they need for basic living expenses.

Related links : women's network website (pl) | protest 01.05.2004 (pl) | photos | [ video 19Mb mirror 1 | mirror 2 | subtitles (en) | soustitres (fr)] | Convention on the Rights of the Child



Cancer deconstructs Derrida

15.10.2004 11:21

Philosopher of language and political thinker, Jaques Derrida, has died of pancreatic cancer at age 74 in a Paris hospital last week.

The charismatic French-Algerian philosopher was the founder of Deconstructive philosophy , the idea that the language of modern western thinking undermines the principles on which it purports to rest. Derridas methods would look at the internal contradictions of notions such as gender, race and sexuality to show that these concepts where never natural, but infact constructions to be questioned as readily as any other work of fiction.

Derida was also active in many political fields. Starting from resistance to the Vietnam-war, Czechoslovakia, apartheid and continuing to support of Palestinian intellectuals, immigrant voting rights, and against the death penalty , particularly in regard to Mumia abu Jamaal. He was an opponent of the Iraq invasion and wrote extensively on issues of justice and authoritarianism.

Links: Original story | Derridas Deconstruction of Authority | Saint Derrida and the Ghost of Marxism | Derrida article in Wikipedia
Interview in Dutch: PDF-format | text-format
Interview in English: text-format
Interview in French: text-format
Interview in Spanish: html



FBI seize Indymedia for Italian Judge?

15.10.2004 00:27

fbi seizes imc servers

It was confirmed today to Italy Indymedia that the order for the seizure of Indymedia's hard drives, in London's offices of Rackspace, originated from Bologna.

Marina Plazzi, the judge in charge of investigations upon FAI (Informal Anarchist Federation) and "bomb-threats" delivered to the President of the EU Commission Romano Prodi, was ordered to acquire information about posts published on italy.indymedia.org

The FBI took "extreme" action in seizing the logs, going beyond the court order. As the prosecutor did not not validate the seizure the hardware was returned to Rackspace.

The papers of the US orders have as yet not been sited, but have been demanded for clarity. Indymedia is slowly beginning to find out the truth of the incident and will continue till they recieve full disclosure, as stated in the list demands outlined in the [solidarity statement and petition].

[original story ]



Media emergenC - Emergency and Emergence

13.10.2004 15:24

Media activists from across the United States converged in San Diego last week for Media EmergenC, a convergence focusing on issues of corporate consolidation of the media as well as ways to build and strengthen the emerging independent and alternative media movement. The four-day event, hosted by the San Diego Independent Media Center and radioActive sanDiego incorporated speakers and panels of representatives from various independent media outlets including: Indymedia, Guerrilla News Network, Pacifica Radio, Prometheus Radio Project, Global Peace Solutions, Political Storm and several independent journalists.

Throughout the week, radioActive sanDiego provided live radio coverage, broadcasting from the location of the Saturday conference, taking calls from the street and interviewing media activists around the country. With the help of the Prometheus Radio Project, a number of radioActive journalists went into the NAB conference and interviewed industry executives and FCC officials.

Photos: Conference | March 1 | 2 | 3 Audio: Opening Night | Vinny 1 | 2 | 3 | March on the Media 1 | 2 | 3 | FCC Interview | NAB Attendees | Prometheus | Conglomco



Funeral of fair Australia

13.10.2004 14:05

Funeral of fair Australia protest The Howard conservative Government of Australia was re-elected to Government on Saturday October 9 with a slightly increased majority. Most disturbing to many is the increased power of the conservatives in the Senate (Upper House of Federal Parliament). The right-wing christian Family First party elected a Senator from Victoria on Labor Party preferences to the Upper House. He is likely to have the balance of power and will support much of the Coalition Government's neo-liberal (what Australians call 'economic rationalist') reform agenda as a trade off for conservative 'family friendly' initiatives.

In the wake of a misinformed interest rate scare campaign; blathering the myths of terrorism; sellouts by unions; and general suburban apathy, the Howard years continue. Despite the continual support for human rights abuses in Detention Centres around the nation; the deaths of 15,000 Iraqis; the neglect of Indigenous peoples; destruction of the environment; disfiguring Medicare, voters decided 48% to 52% to keep George Bush's "Deputy Sheriff" for a few more years.

[Melbourne IMC | Perth IMC | Sydney IMC | Brisbane IMC Adelaide IMC]



Statue of Columbus Toppled in Caracas, Venezuela; Solidarity Actions World-wide

13.10.2004 08:48

On October 12, various popular movements Venezuela gathered in the center of Caracas to celebrate a "Day of Indigenous Resistence" (previously Columbus Day) beneath a bronze statue of Christopher Columbus. Protesters first covered the statue with banners and graffiti, and then climbed to the top to attach a heavy fishing rope around Columbus's neck. Hundreds of protesters easily toppled the statue, even bringing the marble boat that served as his base along with him. The statue was dragged through the streets of Caracas, hung from a tree, and finally broken into pieces. The "Revolutionary" Police of Caracas (under the authority of "revolutionary" mayor Freddy Bernal) arrived, firing tear gas and ammunition into the air. Despite heavy resistence, the police managed to seize the pieces of the statue and arrest five people. The protest then moved to mayor Bernal´s office building, demanding the release of the prisoners.

As part of a global day of action in support of the autonomous Bolivarian movements of Venezuela and "Pachamerican" (continental) resistence, solidarity events were held in London, Amsterdam, Athens, Puerto Rico, and Zimbabwe. As part of what has been termed "Revolution within the Revolution," revolutionaries in Venezuela are hoping to carry out further autonomous, civil actions in the future, in solidarity with other movements throughout the continent and around the world.

LEGAL UPDATE:Five people remain in jail. The authorities are offering to release them in exchange for the "organizers." Up to 30 people are prepared to claim responsibility for the action.

Read more at IMC-Puerto Rico
More Links: Hands Off Venezuela | Aporrea.org [es] | Venezuela Analysis



Indymedia to U.S., U.K., Swiss and Italian Authorities: &quot;Hands Off Our Websites&quot;

11.10.2004 20:56

Evidence is beginning to mount that the authorities of at least four countries (Switzerland, Italy, U.K. and U.S.A.) are involved in last week's seizure of two of Indymedia's servers that brought down more than 20 of the Indymedia network's web sites and several internet radio streams. Indymedia has yet to receive any official statement or information about what the order entailed or why it was issued.

An FBI spokesperson, Joe Parris, confirmed to Agence France-Presse that the FBI issued a subpoena to the provider who hosted the Indymedia servers in the U.K., but that it was "on behalf of a third country." (1) Daniel Zapelli, senior federal prosecutor for Geneva (Switzerland), confirmed that he has opened a criminal investigation into Indymedia coverage of the 2003 G8 Summit in Evian. (2) Zapelli will provide details of that investigation at a press conference on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutor of Bologna (Italy) Marina Plazzi stated that she is investigating Italy Indymedia because it may "support terrorism." (3) Plazzi says she will provide more information on Thursday, October 14th.

Meanwhile international journalist associations have come forward in support of Indymedia. "We have witnessed an intolerable and intrusive international police operation against a network specialising in independent journalism," said Aidan White IFJ General Secretary. (4)

Indymedia is consulting with the Electronic Frontier Foundation on how to retrieve its servers and prevent further government attacks on free speech. "EFF is deeply concerned about the grave implications of this seizure for free speech and privacy, and we are exploring all avenues to hold the government accountable for this improper and unconstitutional silencing of independent media.," said EFF Staff Attorney Kurt Opsahl. (5)

As of Monday, October 11, five of the downed websites have been restored, including Brasil, Euskal Herria, Poland, UK and Nice. Indymedia volunteers are working around the clock to restore the remaining sites, however at least four of them - Uruguay, Italy, Western Massachusetts and Nantes - have suffered data loss as a result of the governments' action.

"This FBI operation gives us even more reason to continue with what we have been doing for several years," says an activist from Italy Indymedia.

"Uruguay has a long history of media repression. We don't have the money to pay for web hosting, and so we rely on the solidarity of other countries. Actions like the seizure of the servers make the whole world insecure for free media," says Libertinus, an Indymedia volunteer from Uruguay, one of many Indymedia web sites that was caught in the FBI actions as a bystander. "Uruguay's national elections will take place on October 31st. It's a bad time for this to happen."



Italy and Switzerland Requested Indymedia's Server Seizure

09.10.2004 00:40

Today, October 8, 2004, Indymedia has learned that the request to seize Indymedia servers hosted by a US company in the UK originated from government agencies in Italy and Switzerland. More than 20 Indymedia sites, several internet radio streams and other projects were hosted on the servers. They were taken offline on October 7th after an order was issued to Rackspace, Inc., one of Indymedia's web hosting providers.

The reasons for the court order or who actually holds the servers now are still unknown to Indymedia.

According to Italian news agency reports and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) interview with FBI spokesman Joe Parris, the FBI acted on Italian and Swiss requests. "It is not an FBI operation," Parris told AFP. "Through a legal assistance treaty, the subpoena was on behalf of a third country." (1)



FBI Seizes IMC Servers in the UK

07.10.2004 22:00

Thursday morning, US authorities issued a federal order to Rackspace ordering them to hand over Indymedia web servers to the requesting agency. Rackspace, which provides hosting services for more that 20 Indymedia sites at its London facility, complied and turned over the requested servers, effectively removing those sites from the internet.

Since the subpoena was issued to Rackspace and not to Indymedia, the reasons for this action are still unknown to Indymedia. Talking to Indymedia volunteers, Rackspace stated that "they cannot provide Indymedia with any information regarding the order." ISPs have received gag orders in similar situations which prevent them from updating the concerned parties on what is happening.

It is unclear to Indymedia how and why a server that is outside the US jurisdiction can be seized by US authorities.



FBI took the hard drives of IMC servers in the UK

07.10.2004 18:10

The FBI issued an order to Rackspace in the US (Indymedia's provider with offices in the US and London) to physically remove one of our servers. The order was so short term that Rackspace had to give away our hard drives in the UK.

The servers hosted numerous local IMCs. If you find a site is down: that might be the reason

The reason why the hard drives were taken are unknown. check here for more (and regularly updated) background information.



Lesbian activist murdered in Sierra Leone

07.10.2004 10:56

SIERRA LEONE, 7 OCTOBER 2004 - Prominent lesbian activist, FannyAnn Eddy, was murdered while working late in the offices of SLLAGA (Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association) at the end of last week in what many fear it was a homophobic hate crime.

Eddy, 30, was found dead on the morning of September 29. While she was working alone in the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association’s offices the previous night, her assailant or assailants apparently broke in to the premises and killed her.

FannyAnn Eddy had founded the Sierra Leone Lesbian and Gay Association in 2002. The group provided social and psychological support to a fearful and underground community. Eddy herself, however, was a visible and courageous figure, lobbying government ministers to address the health and human rights needs of queer people.

More info at Behind the Mask, Human Rights Watch and Indymedia South Africa.



Europe-wide against the neoliberal agenda

06.10.2004 03:06

Following 10 weeks of Monday demonstrations, the political temperature is being raised as the long-planned Autumn days of action begin. On Saturday about 50,000 Berliners took part in a big national demonstration against the dismantling of the welfare system (pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8), which also witnessed a heavy-handed police response. Trade unionists and journalists were amongst those beaten and arrested (reports: 1 | 2 | 3). On Sunday another demonstration was held with around 5,000 people taking part (pics). Protests were also held in Erfurt during the "Festival of Germany" (pics: 1 | 2).
During the build up to the protests the media turned on the movement claiming it was finished, by publishing false figures. Meanwhile, the Monday demos continue.
Hundreds of thousands also demonstrated in other European countries - more than 250,000 in Amsterdam alone (pics: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14), where a subsequent ESF organising meeting resolved to make the 2nd of October a European Day of Action. The implementation of the "Lisbon Agenda", formed in 2000, is not merely restricted to Germany's "Hartz Reforms".
Social movements in other European countries have been considerably stronger and more active compared to Germany (e.g. : Italy, Spain, France, Britain...), general strikes, blockades und mass protests are a frequent occurrence.

Indymedia.Netherlands | Indymedia.Paris
Monday Demonstrations - Figures | | Monday Demonstrations Feature
montagsdemo.info | Citizens' Portal | Labournet Germany




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