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Indymedia and March 30th (M30) -National Strike

category national | anti-capitalism | opinion/analysis author Thursday February 26, 2009 15:36author by mickburkeauthor email mickburke at fastmail dot fm Report this post to the editors

Preparing for coverage of March 30th -National Strike

Indymedia contributors should start to think now about how this site will report the strike called for March 30th. There is no certainty that the strike will go ahead, some deal may yet be done to avert it, but if the stoppage does go ahead we need to report it in a way that befits the occasion. A national strike would have profound significance both nationally and internationally. Up to a million people will be involved one way or the other, the world will be watching Ireland.

Indy reports of demos marches and strikes have up until now tended to be written by valiant individuals and written as well as can be expected by any one person. But how can any one person working in isolation be expected to reflect all the complexities, contradictions, all the excitement and energy of the mass movement now taking shape in Ireland?

To publish a serious report for M30 will mean upping our game, bringing in new people, widening our base and changing the way we report mass events - from a largely individualistic approach to a more collective one. It will entail planning and preparation, the setting up of groups of reporters, photographers, audio-visual and lay-out people in advance. An ah-hoc newsdesk/news centre for the day itself should be considered with telephone links to take in reports from across the country.

We could prepare background and research for a feature in advance. Here are some proposals for the day itself . They are my own views and not the Indymedia collective’s.

To do it properly we'd need :

A bank of reliable correspondents who would agree to be contactable by telephone to live-update on what's going on in their workplaces, localities etc. It shouldn't be left up to these people to contact us on the day, they may forget.

A group of people to staff telephones throughout the strike -high-pressure work that would have to be done in a real space, not on-line, so as to rotate both the work and the telephones. These telephone people would write down reports quickly without worrying too much about grammar, spelling etc, to be sub-edited on-line.

A group of sub-editors and proof-readers to then put the reports, as well as reports that come in online, directly onto the newswire with a rough linking narrative which can be fine- tuned as it goes along.

A group to work on visuals and audios.

A lay-out team .

We have to put a call out to all indy contributors - anybody who has ever posted a report or comment to the site to help on the day. We shouldn’t be afraid of seeking advice from professional journalists or from indymedia sites abroad that may have had experience in dealing with big events like this. Many of indy's regular contributors will of course be on picket lines, rallies etc on M30 and not in a position to post to this site. But a group of volunteers should be in contact with reliable correspondents by arrangement throughout the day by telephone.

Workers are planning and mobilizing for the strike itself at this very moment indymedia Ireland must mobilize its resources too.

We should act on the assumption that the strike will be going ahead, but, in my view, even if it is for any reason cancelled, the nature of the times will bring mass forms of struggle over the coming period. Indymedia should start thinking about how to develop in such a way that it can reflect such struggles. This site can have a very important impact for the times ahead and in the process develop itself in a big way.

author by dunkpublication date Thu Feb 26, 2009 19:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There has been well co-ordinated and very good coverage of events before, mayday 2004 and Bush visit probably best examples...

Mayday: 'The Ruck at the Truck’: Noise Protest Echoes Continue: All The News That Fits: Final Edition

But could imc-ie improve? if so, how? i offered my 2 pence on that lastly here at collectives last birthday bash:
printflares, imc-ie physical space, training, streaming, radio station, global network

Also, heres an interesting essay on an activists views on how the imc-network has to grow far more than the space/ system that it now exists at:

Seven Resolutions for 2009
Geert Lovink


heres 7 resolution summary, click link to read full piece from Inter Activist Activist Exchange

1. Radical makeover of Indymedia into an irresistible network of networks
2. Renaissance of theory, radical texts that appeal to young people and help them to dream again
3. Dismantling the academic exclusion machine.
4. Overcoming media genres and expertise prisons in order to productively connect our knowledge and experience.
5. Squatting the overlooked ruins of the 2009 crisis.
6. Global crackdown of the corporate consultancy class.
7. Opening channels for collective imagination. It’s not enough to say that another world is possible

author by mickpublication date Fri Feb 27, 2009 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No ,I’m not actually a member of the collective dunk ,just an occasional contributor . I wasn’t criticizing Indymedia in itself which I regard as a great resource and the best source for left news in Ireland , but the unprofessional ,uncoordinated and individualistic way in which people have tended to report mass events on the site . March 30 will be huge if it goes ahead. We should make some sort of a plan (not necessarily mine ) on how best to cover it.

What I outlined above would mean planning ; working as a group so as to go after the news actively , with a previously arranged network of correspondents in place on the day . This is better than waiting passively for people to write posts after the strike is over or hoping that somebody on a picket line will have a lap-top with them .It also gives a chance for people who don’t have third level literacy skills to involve themselves with the site .

I Iiked your suggestions about printflares, imc-ie physical space, training, streaming, radio station, global network etc dunk . E C has also made some sensible and workable suggestions about improvements to the site on the list .For my part , I’d like ultimately to see Indymedia user groups set up around the country ,but that’s another story. Indy editors have been kind enough to allow me to slightly stray into editorial matters for the purposes of this post . I have promised not to over indulge .

author by dunkpublication date Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:53author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address BCNauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Nice to see your call mick is moving a bit. Being out of ireland, im not sure how well the physical world of imc-ie is? pre 3 years ago, there was not too much, still very much a virtual entity, apart from mayday centre which was great. i think, though, that the imc-ie, and indeed the wider global imc project, has to take its next big step, that would be, as you suggested mick, local physical groups, training, spaces (does dublins seomra spraoi have imc-ie training days: writing, editing, html work, audio, photo editing, film, web navigation...?) and from that an improved overall process... and all that that might unleash!

When imc-uk decentralized, i was part of the oxford node and we did engage with above things in our local area, im not sure how its doing now, but it was a core driver of the project: out of the digital ghetto, into the streets, communities, libraries....

The current feature includes your call:

Indymedia Reporters Group:
Mick Burke and the Indymedia Collective are trying to set up a dedicated reporters group to report on the (potential) strike on March 30th. Read about it here.

A first step, might also look at going out with stuff on the big day, M30, maybe an A3 double side 4 page PRINTFLARE, like was done before. there has been much critical articles posted on imc-ie, as well as some great audio and films. A suggestion might be for a good few of these going out, with a rake load of small flyers, 20 per a4. How many of the 120,000 marchers of last saturday are aware of imc-ie? how many read it regularly? how many contribute to it? how many want to participate in some way?

Im on for collaborating for printflare if anyone else is, but page edit paper is not my strongpoint, but on for learning more...

So in summing up, what i think im trying to say (again) is:

Indymedia Ireland, off the computers and out into the streets


Indymedia.ie Taken Offline & to the streets! (Moore Street, Dublin)

Printflare Issue 5

Indymedia Ireland, off the computers and out into the streets- moore st, mayday 04
Indymedia Ireland, off the computers and out into the streets- moore st, mayday 04

Indymedia Ireland, off the computers and out into the streets- PRINTFLARE, Outputs as well as inputs
Indymedia Ireland, off the computers and out into the streets- PRINTFLARE, Outputs as well as inputs

author by Indypublication date Sat Feb 28, 2009 13:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with Mick but I would go a step further and make the argument that users of the site need to reclaim Indymedia from the handful of anarchists who now control the site. The same thing happened in a few other countries and various activists got together to take back the editorial board. We need to do the same here if Indymedia is to realise its potential as an alternative news source.

author by 1 of indymedia.iepublication date Sat Feb 28, 2009 14:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well there has not exactly been a long line of ppl wanting to do the editorial work necessary to keep the site running.

Those who run it at present are a mixed bunch. Some are wsm members but the majority of active editors are not. The majority are not aligned with any political grouping.

Who should 'reclaim' the site?

The easiest way for any group or alliance of groups to take over indymedia is to publish a substantial amount of original material on it and propose that any and all of it be featured.

Some groups - Shell to Sea, FEE, ShannonWatch, WSM - actively use the site to communicate. Others don't. I think that is the important difference and that is reflected on the front page.

The above comment is little more than trolling. Maybe a more useful series of questions might be - why don't the unions use indymedia? Why don't they encourage their members to use it? If there is a better alternative in terms of an open, democratic media model in Ireland - where is it?

Why do civil society groups like AFRI, Debt and Development Coalition, IPSC, not use the site more proactively?

People or groups who are interested in helping to run the site can get in touch with the editorial team here: https://www.indymedia.ie/contact_us

author by dunkpublication date Sun Mar 01, 2009 19:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

hi "1 of indymedia", not sure whom im talking to

Can you give us an update about the non digital world of imc-ie at present. Are any of the examples above happening, if not, might there be a possibility of them happening soon, especially now with the re-opening of the dublin social centre, seomra spraoi? Now that its crisis time, there is the HUGE opportunity for the imc project to really bloom...

You state "Why do civil society groups like AFRI, Debt and Development Coalition, IPSC, not use the site more proactively?", id suggest that you and mick byrne, and anyone else who wants to contact those, and all related groups, prior to M30, offer a workshop and short film in THEIR gaf, office, etc.

- Id suggest showing "i of the storm" trailer, only 12 minutes and a great thing to show again about origins of the imc project and what happens when it is used to its full potential, ie, argentine time of crisis.
- from that have a little chat about the project and what people there want from imc-ie now that ireland is in crisis.
- then lastly do a half hour workshop about the basics. All in all, an hour and maybe an ever growing audience...

And from that there might be a few more "ppl wanting to do the editorial work necessary to keep the site running." Yesterday i did such an informal imc workshop which focused on imc-peru, i often offer these informal workshops, whether or not im officially part of IMC, or not.

I plan to be in Cork in a few weeks, if anyone can suggest more places, groups etc where this idea might be realised, please offer them...

i , the eye of the storm

N30: The day the political landscape changed forever

"Every crisis contains in itself an opportunity"

Muralismo @ the Peoples Republic of Cork, Boy!

IMC_IE´s opportunity to bloom in irelands time of "crisis"
IMC_IE´s opportunity to bloom in irelands time of "crisis"

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