Making Free Speech History

One week to go until most of the activists in the UK converge on Scotland for the G8. Yesterday evening police seized the Bristol IMC server. Anyone spot a coincidence?

Indymedia is one of the only truly independent open-publishing news forums where anyone can voice their opinions and post news as they see it, as it happens, without fear of censorship. When the world’s mainstream media almost completely fails to cover the real issues behind protests, and regurgitates police press-releases in the face of the brutal oppression we’ve seen at previous G8 protests, an outlet for real, grassroots coverage from the people on the ground is vital to preserving free speech. Like I said, anyone spot a coincidence here?

The main UK Indymedia site seems to be buckling under a slashdotting of this story, so here are the details:

On Monday, June 27th, Indymedia Bristol’s server was seized by the police. An Indymedia volunter was also arrested during the raid. Last week, police demanded access to the server to gain the IP details of a posting. The alternative media outlet is receiving advice from civil liberties organisations and the NUJ. Before being legally forced to hand over the server, Indymedia Bristol stated: “We do not intend to voluntarily hand over information to the police as they have requested”. A further statement from Bristol Indymedia volunteers is expected soon.

This is the second time that law enforcement authorities have attacked Indymedia servers in the UK in the run up to a major event. Last October, just prior to the European Social Forum, Indymedia servers in London were seized in an international law enforcement operation – prompting a wave of protests and solidarity statements from a wide range of organisations [report]. This time, events are unfolding one week before the G8 Summit begins in Scotland.

In order to provide grass-roots non-corporate coverage during the G8 protests and events, Indymedia UK needs additional http mirrors to help decrease bandwidth costs. If you would like to help, you can donate here.

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