Thursday, June 30, 2005


Where Journalistic Privilege and Crime Collide - Literally

Bristol UK Indymedia's server was seized by police and they are mad as hell about it.

According to their statement:
"We are outraged at the actions of the police. They have completely disabled the entire Bristol Indymedia news service. By their actions they have undermined the principle of open publishing and free access to the media, thereby removing people's opportunity to read and report their own news. This situation has serious implications for anyone providing a news service on the Internet. We do not intend to let this stop us from continuing the project."
And what was the news being reported?
This police action relates to an article posted on 17th June in which persons unknown claimed to have damaged cars being transported on a train.
The whole story was previously reported here. The damaging of cars (interestingly described as "an action") was - dropping missiles from a rail overpass - occasionally fatal behaviour) and the Police (quite rightly) wanted to put a stop to it.
This article was considered by Bristol Indymedia to have breached the guidelines and was hidden.

On Monday 20th the police contacted Bristol Indymedia with reference to this posting. Bristol Indymedia informed the police that they were in the process of instructing a solicitor to reply on their behalf. On Tuesday 21st the police contacted a Bristol Indymedia volunteer requesting the IP logs. Bristol Indymedia considered that the system was journalistic material covered by special provision under the law.

A solicitor from Liberty faxed the police explaining this provision. The police then contacted Bristol Indymedia to request a meeting which Bristol Indymedia agreed to. Ten minutes before the arranged meeting DI Bennett of British Transport Police cancelled the meeting and asked to postpone it.

The next police contact was the seizure of the server and the arrest of a Bristol Indymedia volunteer. The seizure of the server was carried out under a search warrant (police and criminal evidence act 1984, ss.8 and 15), not recognising the journalistic privilege.
I'm unfamiliar with journalistic privelege in the UK, however would imagine the police request to be reasonable. I note they did ask nicely at first.

In the minds of some however, basic law enforcement has something to do with "undermining the principle of open publishing and free access to the media"...

I am touched by the good working relationship between Indymedia activists and the English police. No really.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


Of Burning Flags and Bulldozers

I have recently been discussing flag burning (in this case by idiots rather than enemies) and bulldozers

As such, it's worth reading Mark Steyn's piece on flag burning and Rachel Corrie.

Monday, June 27, 2005


Another Indymedia Server Seized by Police

Bristol Indymedia's server was just seized by police.
The background to this situation is that on approx 17 June an anonymous post to the Bristol Indymedia newswire reported an 'action' in which objects were dropped onto a freight train carrying new cars somewhere near Avonmouth (I think).

The action was contextualised as highlighting climate change/car use/over-consumption etc in the run up to the G8 summit.
Rumours suggest the action caused around 100k damage. One regular poster to Bristol Indymedia, and expelled ex-collective member, Mark Watson (of Zaskar films) then posted a comment saying he morally disagreed with the action, that the post breached BIM guidelines, and that he had contacted the police & advised them BIM kept IP info (since denied by BIM).

There was then a period of dialogue between BIM, Liberty & the police, in which Liberty/BIM argued that any info on the server was in any case subject to special rules covering journalistic info, and the server could not be seized using a standard search warrant (see BIM press release 24/6/05). No links to Bristol Indymedia are included here as the site is presently down!
Gotta love those "contextualized actions" don't you?

If this is the sort of person who uses Indymedia, why would any normal person wish to be associated with it?


Wiki becomes Indy

An article on several Indymedia sites including Sydney Indymedia has linked to a Wikinews article concerning the recent conviction of an Israel soldier over the shooting death of ISM Activist Tom Hurndall.

The Indymedia article says:
A former Israeli soldier has been convicted of the murder of a British student while he was acting as a human shield in the Gaza Strip in April 2003
However, according to numerous references, the conviction was for the lesser charge of manslaughter, a marked difference given the circumstances surrounding his death.

Many months ago, I asked "Is Wiki the New Indy?". It seems, Wiki, like Indymedia is not free of distortion or bias against Israel. I say this because the Wikinews article links to several formal news sites, all of which clearly specified manslaughter which was distorted in the Wiki version. This was no accidental error.

The Wiki article was the source of the 'mistake' and Indymedia has faithfully reproduced it. However, Wikinews is subject to editing in real time, whereas Indymedia is not. Therefore, while the Wiki article will inevitably be corrected, the Indymedia article, which is wrong, will not.

Update:The Wiki article has already been corrected although this correction has been undone and redone as well. It seems someone really wants to change the story...

Saturday, June 25, 2005


An Open Question to the International Solidarity Movement

Robert Mugabe is presently responsible for the bulldozing of homes belonging to Zimbabwean nationals. So far, this activity has included crushing two children to death.
Police have moved across Zimbabwe's urban areas, armed with bulldozers and sledge-hammers, destroying shacks and informal markets.
United States State Department deputy spokesperson Adam Ereli described the crackdown as a "tragedy, crime, horror - that the government of Zimbabwe is perpetrating on its people".
A few days ago, I commented on the hypocricy of the "International Solidarity Movement" who had used Indymedia as an outlet for wholly biased, one-sided and factually incorrect material (read: lies).

This organisation became famous for the death of one of its members, Rachel Corrie, killed opposing an Israeli bulldozer attempting to demolish terrorist smuggling tunnels. Obviously its members don't mind going toe-to-toe with bulldozers.

Or do they?

I would like to ask the ISM an open question:

Do any of the International Solidarity Movement's members plan, in the spirit of International Solidarity, to stand in front of Robert Mugabe's bulldozers?

Looking through my archives I can see this isn't the first time they've chosen their fights inconsistently.

I have emailed the ISM via the link on their webpage and await an answer.

Update:Unsurprisingly, the ISM have not responded. One of their lackies has however via the comments and I shall respond here in turn.
Hmmmm, as someone who has been to Palestine with the ISM,
Where? I wasn't aware of any such country or state at this point in time. Have you been to Never-Never land as well recently? How can you be taken seriously when you are so flawed in your basic political knowledge?
but who, like other ISMers cannot speak for ISM
It is interesting to see the ISM censors your opinion.
here are my thoughts as an individual.

Firstly, it seems that "Indy Media Botch" is none too rigorous in his sleuthing work.
Indy Media Botch? My how very witty. Jay Leno look out!
Thus, when he writes:

"Firstly, the group is called "International Solidarity Movement" yet their domain, suggests a rather one sided approach to "international". I'll come back to that thought."

You'd think he'd at least bother to go the URL, where he would learn that:

"The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles. Founded by a small group of activists in August, 2001, ISM aims to support and strengthen the Palestinian popular resistance by providing the Palestinian people with two resources, international protection and a voice with which to nonviolently resist an overwhelming military occupation force."

which would have saved a whole load of belly-aching about 'neutrality' - especially from one who so clearly is not a 'neutral'.
I did go to the URL. My question stands. If it is the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, why doesn't it call itself as such? Because people might infer bias there perhaps? The organization wouldn't be biased now would they?

AFAIK Zimbabwe is not an occupied land anymore, and the Zimbabweans have not asked a bunch of Internationals to go and be involved in non-violent direct actions against a non-existent occupier.
AFAIK, you don't know much about the situation there at all. Google for Robert Mugabe and see if the Zimbabweans, who have not blown themselves up by the way, deserve what they are getting. If your only concern is "occupation", then I wonder why your energy isn't directed towards China or Syria to name but a few occupiers who seem to have slipped right under the radar whilst Israel earns so much of your enmity. My question was also aimed at ISM members (such as yourself) and not neccessariily the organization itself. Do you plan to protest Mugabe as vocally as Israel, a democratic government that follows rule-of-law? [crickets chirping]
I have to say that I feel less than comfortable gracing this sad blog with any kind of answer at all.
Didn't stop you though did it? So I shall call you on what you wrote. I wonder how you even came across this posting. Did the ISM webmaster email you?

The ISM is grossly hypocritical. First, it is dishonest in its very name. Secondly (as it seems to ignore other countries), I refer you to an old post here where the Palestinian Authority was destroying Jewish homes. The ISM didn't stand in front of those bulldozers, and yet we hear so much about Rachel Corrie, who as I said earlier, was sent to her death by an organization you represent.

I wrote in another expose of the ISM's nefarious agenda
ISM co-founder George Rishmawi, a Canadian-Palestinian communist, gave the rationale for why the ISM recruits internationals "When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."
In other words, dead students make for good anti-Israel PR... Nice work by a Communist group. Your posting nickname "ISMista" tends to suggest a similarly foolish view. You really should do some sleuthing of your own and find out about the real effects of Communism. Try Hungary for starters. You should be warned however, there's no trendy Che t-shirts.

I don't know how you could have anything to do with such a group, unless, like some of the terrorists, you look forward to your own death with joy.

Unfortunately, you have drunk the ISM Kool-Aid. Like the very incident upon which that expression is based (Jonestown Massacre) I fear your naivety could ultimately result in your own harm. I would pity you, however it's really hard when you are so filled with hate. I will try however. If you simply loath Israel or Jews, at least be honest about it like Hamas or Al-Quaeda. If you are genuine about improving human rights however, the ISM (and Indymedia frankly) is not the answer you seek.

Friday, June 24, 2005


Police Officer Dies at Protest

The Environmental Republican has very kindly linked to an earlier post of mine discussing protester violence.

Indirectly, this has now become fatal.

Philadelphia Police Officer Paris Williams suffered a fatal heart attack during a police skirmish with protesters. Williams collapsed near the end of a brawl between protesters and police that lasted for several minutes near 12th and Arch Streets.

NBC's report suggests he was not directly involved in the scuffle however the Environmental Republican makes this interesting point:
Whether or not the protesters intended for a cop to die, the fact is that he did indeed die as a result of breaking up a scuffle that the protesters started and the police were forced to attempt to break up.

These are not college kids protesting the Dean because he decided to shut down a frat house. These are trained protesters who travel to every event and they have the goal of creating anarchy. They are worldwide as was evident in Genoa, Italy.

By inciting violence, they had a direct impact on a police officer's death regardless if the man was pumping sludge through his arteries and needed a quadruple bypass. It is not murder and [Philadelphia District Attorney] Lynne Abraham is not prosecuting for murder, but they were criminally responsible.

Keep in mind that these "professional" protesters have a goal of forcing the police to act so that they can hurt cops
And over on Philly Indymedia, some contributors are dancing on his grave...
i don't really appreciate people discussing allegations against one of our comrades who is still locked up, or using words like "melee" (which sounds like an actual fight) to describe a bunch of testosterone charged maniacs indiscriminately assaulting a bunch of peaceful protestors. i saw volunteer legal observers getting kicked in the face and helped a middleaged woman escape from a bike cop who was repeatedly bashing his wheels on her over and over again while she was trying to back onto the sidewalk.

bet you we aren't going to get any fucking letters of condolence from the philly cops about any of that!
Apparently you can't talk about a matter to go before the courts, or use certain words. I'm sure "war criminal" (and Nazi) George W. Bush will be thrilled to learn of this new set of standards for Indymedia.

Protesters are having a jail support vigil for their arrested comrades. I wonder if any of them sent flowers to the policeman's family?

According the Philly Indymedia Legal Situation Update Page,
As of 5:48 on Thursday afternoon, June 23rd there were still at least 7 activists known to be in jail in Philly. It is unclear who exactly is still in jail at this time, as several individuals are practicing jail solidarity.
What the heck is jail solidarity? It continues taking the high ground:
Keep in mind that there well over a million in American prisons, these are simply some of the most recent signs that the American Justice system is hardly just.
...or just a sign that over a million people did something bad.
Later this evening the arrestees are due to be transferred to a Philadelphia city or county jail(unclear at time of writing). If you have ever been in jail you are well aware that there is a world of difference between a few hours or a night at the precinct and being held in a general population prison.
Sorry, I can happily say I have never been in jail, for an hour or a night. I hope I haven't disappointed you.

I have said it before. Some people are asking for trouble.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


UK Indymedia Scaring Americans

Via reader Annie, comes this piece on UK Indymedia - IS ISRAEL PREPARING TO USE US TROOPS AS HUMAN SHIELDS?

Long answer: No.

That did not stop the article linking to all manner of 'authoritative' blogs, conspiracy websites and other dross to try and scare concerned moms and pops in the US of A.

Another article on UK Indymedia which Annie pointed out - CIA REPORT - War Criminal Ariel Sharon a Brutal Pedophile suggests (ahem) someone on that site may have a particularly unsavoury point of view, and they are frequently using UK Indymedia to air it.
It seems, from a secret CIA evaluation, now circulating here at the White House, that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon, in addition to real estate swindles and the butchery of Arab civilians, is also a well-known pedophile with a penchant for sweet young Arab boys!
etc. etc. Yawn! Is rank antisemitism really the level of discussion on the Middle East?

In fairness, UK Indymedia have hidden that article, however it is quite clear they have a serious problem which requires an appropriate solution. Looking at what's still flapping on their newswire, fouling the air I doubt they have found it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Indymedia Supporting Terrorists... Again!

A few days ago I reported on Indymedia UK's rather 'interesting' account of the 'abduction' of some Israeli tourists. Summary: Nothing much happened to them, but an article inferred torture and illegal activity by the Israeli police.

The plot thickens... According to,
On June 14, three ISM "volunteers" were arrested by the Israeli authorities after Stop the ISM advised the police where they were living in Jerusalem in violation of their visas; two were deported. More surprises await ISM volunteers in Israel. Of course, the ISM internal announcement spiced things up claiming the internationals were taken to "a place notorious for torture and the bloody screams that emanate from its basement"
And how did ISM release the fraudulent announcement? UK Indymedia, as reported here. And my suspicions were correct as well:
The next day these two victims were seen eating their lunch unsupervised on the grass in front of the torturous hellhole.
The horror!

And what were these 'tourists' doing in Israel? Photographing the wildlife perhaps? Hanging around pubs and bars? Eating bagels? Not exactly... They were members of the ISM. The article continues:
Last summer, exposed the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) as a front group that works closely with the PLO and Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist terrorist group.

The ISM exploits international volunteers as cannon fodder. Posing as "peace activists," these volunteers aid terrorists by interfering with the anti-terror operations of the Israeli army. In doing so, they often transform themselves into "victims." A case in point: the famous young anarchist student named Rachel Corrie, whom ISM recruited at Evergreen College in Washington State. Corrie was killed when she sat in front of an Israeli army bulldozer to block it from demolishing a weapons smuggling tunnel hidden behind a bush. A young British man named Tom Hurndall also returned to the UK in a coma after his turn waging war against the State of Israel.

ISM co-founder George Rishmawi, a Canadian-Palestinian communist, gave the rationale for why the ISM recruits internationals"When Palestinians get shot by Israeli soldiers, no one is interested anymore. But if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice."
In other words, dead students make for good PR...

This piece in Front Page Magazine suggests the three "tourists" were in fact members of the International Solidarity Movement, in Israel to support terrrorist activity and use 'useful idiot' foreign students as cannon fodder. Read it all and learn about the activities of this odious organization, and another group Stop The ISM which has been set up to expose them.

On June 14, three ISM "volunteers" were arrested by the Israeli authorities after Stop the ISM advised the police where they were living in Jerusalem in violation of their visas; two were deported. More surprises await ISM volunteers in Israel. Of course, the ISM internal announcement spiced things up claiming the internationals were taken to "a place notorious for torture and the bloody screams that emanate from its basement," where the next day these two victims were seen eating their lunch unsupervised on the grass in front of the torturous hellhole.
And how did ISM release the fraudulent announcement? UK Indymedia, as reported here.

This is certainly not the first time Indymedia has been used as a PR tool for terrorists. See here and here for starters.

Monday, June 20, 2005



An article on Melbourne Indymedia discussing (what else) Israel resulted in the following 'cheat sheet' for anyone unsure of who's evil and who isn't.

Reposted in full:
Editorial Policies
by Horace Greeley Thursday June 09, 2005 at 08:54 PM

Crack A Book -- and many others seem to be genuinely unaware of the editorial policy of "Independent" Media.

So, for the sake of everyone, let me explain the policy again.

Israel = Nazi Germany

PLO = Valiant, peace-loving freedom fighters
Hamas = legitimate political party, dedicated to democratic prinicpals

George Bush = The most evil man every conceived by woman

Saddam Hussein = Benificent and kindly leader of a peace-loving country

Judaism = A vile, hate-filled, mysognistic superstition based on domination of the entire world

Islam = The religion of peace, dedicated to diplomacy, religious tolerance, the rights of women and above all -- peace in our time

American Prisoner of War Detention Centres = Gulags

Kidnapping and Beheading Women and Children = Moral equivalent of freedom fighters

If you have any doubt about what is considered to be acceptable here -- just apply the following guidelines

Jews, Christians, Western Civilisation in General = Evil
Anything Else = Good

I hope this clears it up for you
It does. I think I get it now.


More on Polls

My recent comments on useless web polls reminded me of this entry a while ago.

Returning to BC Indymedia's poll page, we can see there have since been over 750 votes and to the question "Indymedia is", the clear winner seems to be " a waste of bandwidth... why am I here?" with 53.7% of the vote.

Note: Poll is not very scientific...


Youth Against Intelligence

Via BC Indymedia comes an invitation to the Youth Against Hate conference.
The conference is slated to take place in downtown Toronto, and promises to be attended by hundreds of anti-fascist / anti-racism activists from across Canada, Quebec, the First Nations, and the United States.
Sounds interesting.

Topics include:
Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Advanced Research and Monitoring Techniques: Part 3,Righteous Violence: Revisiting the Baldies, First Nations vs. KKKanada, Tackling Sexism and Misogyny Within the Left, Trans Issues and Realities in Canada, Neo-Fascists & The State, Prisoner Justice and Solidarity, U.S. War Resisters in Canada, Confronting and Organizing Against Police Brutality, The Struggle for Palestinian Sovereignty and Liberation, White Privilege 101, and much more!

Forgive my cynicism, but why do I get the feeling there's going to be just a wee bit of hate coming from this anti-hate meeting?

Sunday, June 19, 2005


BBC Gets a Dose of The Reuters?

Some time ago, many bloggers including myself pointed out Reuters' royally offensive screwup which reported a Tel-Aviv bus bombing as breaking news, causing many a heart to skip a beat, despite not actually happening.

The bombing in question appeared to have happened years earlier and somehow Reuters screwed up.

I had a feeling, the BBC was suffering from the same problem.

Rusty Shackleford over at the Jawa Report has linked to this BBC report
A Buddhist man has been found beheaded in the majority Muslim province of Pattani in southern Thailand.

A note found next to the man's head claimed the murder was carried out in response to last week's arrest of a prominent Muslim student leader.
I thought it sounded remarkably similar to a beheading in the region of a Buddhist rubber farmer by Militant Islamists and searched for the original piece.

It turned out I was wasting my time. The current article is not a repeat and yet another poor soul has had his head sawn off by murderers.

What is interesting of course is that unlike beheadings elsewhere, this time, there is no foreign occupation, no US, no Jews and no convenient excuse for anyone to call the 'root cause' of this violence (besides simple Islamist terrorism).

What the hell have Buddhists ever done to anyone?

My prayers are with the victim's family. Forgive any misunderstanding of Buddhism, but may he reach nirvana.

Yes, I know none of this has anything to do with the BBC but I am now too upset to delete it all and start again. Anyway, the BBC is The Devil.


Indymedia as PR Tool?

An Irish PR firm has suggested Indymedia is a useful tool for public relations practitioners. This is on the basis that companies can monitor what activists think of their product, and perhaps modify their activities to avoid grievances before bottles are thrown, their windows are smashed, property set on fire or vandalized and other such (ahem) non-violent activism occurs.

I came across the PR blog entry via my referrer logs as someone had posted to it using my name and linked to my site. It wasn't me although I generally endorse the person's comments.

Nevertheless, I also agree with Piaras Kelly (PR blogger) that companies should actively watch websites to find out what various activist groups think of them. In theory, this can only help society improve.

I do not however believe Indymedia is entirely useful in this regard as genuine political, environmental and human-rights activists have long since left and as for Indymedia's achievements in social improvement... Well, read this blog. At least Mr Kelly isn't promoting Indymedia as source of free advertising, something some PR flaks could learn from.


Simply Apolling...

I have long been cynical about online polls hosted by major news websites. More often than not, these serve to do little more than drive more traffic to a site, particularly when it's on a hot topic (cough...Israeli/Arab conflict) and both sides start emailing their friends and ballot stuffing.

Currently, there is a large debate in Australia concerning freed hostage Douglas Wood who was recovered from Iraqi captors a few days ago. The debate largely surrounds leader of the Australian Muslim Community, Sheik Alhilaly who has claimed partial responsibility for Wood's discovery. This is at odds with other accounts, including one suggesting the Iraqi soldiers stumbled across Wood by accident rather than after a tipoff. Tim Blair has plenty more.

Meanwhile, Australian newspaper The Age, who really should know better, apparently can't make up its mind in the absence of facts from the captors, captive and various governments. Therefore....

You decide, they'll report.

Update: Incidentally, of the poll options The Age provides as to who was most helpful in Wood's release, "America" was conspicuous by its absence. This is interesting given that Douglas Wood himself was reported in The Australian as saying:
he was "proof positive" that the policy of having US troops training Iraqis was successful, "because it was Iraqis that got me out."
You have got to admire a man who uses the word "Arsehole" (Aussie spelling) in a press conference!

Saturday, June 18, 2005


To hide, or not to hide...

UK Indymedia goes out of its way to demonstrate that an article has been hidden, using garish backgrounds and explanatory notes detailing why a particular article was considered unworthy of its newswire. One example here. Their editorial policy which quite reasonably prohibits (for starters):
  • Discrimination : posts using language, imagery, or other forms of communication promoting racism, fascism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia or any other form of discrimination.
  • Inaccurate : posts that are inaccurate or misleading.
apparently doesn't apply to posts critical of Israel, howsoever inaccurate or misleading.

A piece, entitled Internationals Abducted by Israeli Security Forces is a textbook case in distortion, bias and flat out old-fashioned BS. I will provide an executive summary:

  1. Tourists overstay their Visa
  2. Israeli police arrest law-breaking tourists and release them on conditional bail pending deportation (some "abuduction"!)
  3. Tourists are not beaten, tortured or subject to anything other than due process
  4. Article written on Indymedia implies heavy-handedness, makes allusions to torture (screams) and suggests covert spy activity for what is ostensibly a simple case of law-breakers who resent being arrested for... Breaking the law.
The article was thoroughly fisked by commenters so I do not need to repeat why it is completely wrong. However, was it hidden? Of course not! I mean that would just be responsible wouldn't it and responsible reporting of Israel just isn't acceptable.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Why we were arrested

Boston Indymedia features a report from a protester detailing Why he was arrested.
To my surprise, after being frisked, we were allowed to proceed onto the Common. I found myself on a path that passed the stage from which the Secretary of the Army, a poor 11 year-old boy whose father had recently been killed in Iraq, and others would be speaking. Just to the left of the stage I stopped and stood with my protest sign. I wasn’t blocking anything, but I could certainly be seen. Others saw and joined me. Then the first of several soldiers and police came up to me. We would have to move. We would be blocking the way for one of the muckity mucks to lay a wreath at a monument.

I responded that I was a resident of Cambridge. This was a public space. I wasn’t doing anything more than peacefully protesting a criminal war, and I was not about to move.
And then they removed him.
Soon I was thinking of the statement I wanted to make to the judge. Once in court, he refused to allow it – leaving me little to do by to cry out “illegal war” and “Nuremburg.”
Yawn. Perhaps a bit of "hey hey, ho ho" in a court of law as well?

One of the respondents:
I am honestly ashamed and disgusted by the way these so called peace activists conducted themselves. Attacking a child in the name of peace? Refusing the rights of others to assemble peacefully in the name of peace?
And speaking of peaceful protests, here's a picture being used on San Diego Indymedia to attract people to a forthcoming anti-G8 Protest in San Francisco.

Can you feel the tranquility?


Politics of Criminals Idiots

In Politics of Criminals I noted protester claims that support for convicted arsonist and vandal Jeff Luers:
...has continued to grow and strengthen.
According to a photo on Scotland Indymedia, it has swelled to well over four people! Flag burners naturally.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Bicycles. Naked.

DC Indymedia is reporting on the local participation in International Bike Naked Day.
A group of roughly ten scantily clad individuals celebrated International Bike Naked Day on June 11th, 2005.
World Naked Bike Ride Day was celebrated in DC by a cheerful crowd of scantily clad activists.

Reasons cited for not going fully nude include the "law," sunburn, and chafing.
...And thank heavens they didn't.
Afterwards, the bikers transformed themselves into "Naked Dykes on Bykes and Friends" and joined with the DC Dike March event.
Grab the nearest bucket and check out the photos.


Sunday, June 12, 2005


Violence towards Police

NYC Indymedia is promoting Cop Watch under the pretense of defending the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Against what? Evil NYC Cops of Doom of course...
The Puerto Rican Day Parade has faced illegal brutality and repression for too many years.
Given it's presence in the most democratic country on earth, where one can protest or celebrate virtually anything, it's unsurprising the article doesn't specify what exactly this "illegal brutality and repression" by the police actually was all those years. Never fear however,
This year we plan to change things. We have organized in a short time a mass grouping of community activists and concerned individuals around a structure of education and video documentation.
And who are these "concerned indiduals"?
In collaboration with The League of Pissed Off Voters, The Interests of Justice, and The National Hip-Hop Political Convention, we bring the problem of police brutality and misconduct into the public eye.
Riiiiiiiight.... The "education", according to "The Organization" (its name) will include:
self defense training.
No doubt useful for all those occasions when New York's Finest start 'randomly' beating people walking down 5th Avenue...

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Religion of Baking?

I checked the date again and again and saw no reference to April 1.
I therefore cannot figure out what to make of this article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

A former Qantas baggage handler who compiled a book outlining "short and wise" rules for fighting jihad on his computer in suburban Lakemba dedicated it to the "martyrs of Islam".

Yesterday the bizarre and often violent text was handed over to Sydney Central Local Court, where its 35-year-old editor, Bilal Khazal, faced a charge of making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts.
The wide-ranging chapter on assassination, attributed to numerous scholars, debates not only setting up hit squads but explains how mujahideen fighters in Palestine and elsewhere can protect themselves against being hit by the CIA and Mossad.

Among the assassination techniques used by Western intelligence, the book says, are letter bombs, snipers, car bombs and "cake throwing", which it adds, "is well known in the West".

Jihadists are warned to be alert to couples pretending to be joking before attacking the target with cakes. "This could lead to his eyes, nose and mouth being plugged and [he] loses the ability to breathe. Few would suspect the fatal consequences."
Weapons of mass dessert?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Call to Alms

One of my favourite scenes in Monty Python's Life of Brian:
EX-LEPER: Alms for an ex-leper. Bloody donkey owners. All the same, aren't they? Never have any change. Oh, here's a touch. Spare a talent for an old ex-leper?
MANDY: Buzz off!
EX-LEPER: Spare a talent for an old ex-leper.
MANDY: A talent? That's more than he earns in a month.
EX-LEPER: Half a talent, then.
MANDY: No, go away!
EX-LEPER: Come on, Big Nose. Let's haggle.
BRIAN: What?
EX-LEPER: All right. Cut the haggling. Say you open at one shekel. I start at two thousand. We close about eighteen hundred.
EX-LEPER: Seventeen-fifty?
MANDY: Go away!
EX-LEPER: Seventeen-forty.
MANDY: Look. Will you leave him alone?
EX-LEPER: All right. Two shekels. Just two. Isn't this fun, eh?
MANDY: Look. He's not giving you any money, so piss off!
EX-LEPER: All right, sir. My final offer: half a shekel for an old ex-leper.
BRIAN: Did you say... 'ex-leper'?
EX-LEPER: That's right, sir. Sixteen years behind the bell, and proud of it, sir.
BRIAN: Well, what happened?
EX-LEPER: I was cured, sir.
BRIAN: Cured?
EX-LEPER: Yes, sir, a bloody miracle, sir. God bless you.
BRIAN: Who cured you?
EX-LEPER: Jesus did, sir. I was hopping along, minding my own business. All of a sudden, up he comes. Cures me. One minute I'm a leper with a trade, next minute my livelihood's gone. Not so much as a by your leave. 'You're cured mate.' Bloody do-gooder.
BRIAN: Well, why don't you go and tell him you want to be a leper again?
EX-LEPER: Ah, yeah. I could do that, sir. Yeah. Yeah, I could do that, I suppose. What I was thinking was, I was going to ask him if he could make me a bit lame in one leg during the middle of the week. You know, something beggable, but not leprosy, which is a pain in the arse, to be blunt. Excuse my French, sir, but, uh--
MANDY: Brian! Come and clean your room out.
BRIAN: There you are. [Hands him a coin]
EX-LEPER: Thank you, sir, tha....Half a denary for me bloody life story?
BRIAN: There's no pleasing some people.
EX-LEPER: That's just what Jesus said, sir.
Via Indy Media Watch reader Brandon, it seems Urbana Champaign Indymedia is raising money and getting itself in all sorts of strife over its role in the whole Global IMC 'movement' as one of the wealthiest members of this Online Leper Colony.

The more money they make, the longer they can keep bringing us fine content such as Try this new simple 10 minute IQ test for Everybody! which features a 1.6Mb downloadable PDF of 'questions' such as:
How ignorant have average middle-class Americans been? How far can under 1% of the world's population push the rest of us?
The answer to all of the questions (of course) is "The Illuminati", that mysterious ancient group of Neocon Jewish bankers and politicians who keep refusing to let me join their cabal (shh, there is no cabal).

The 'quiz' is sponsored by "We The People Group, c/o and". Money surely well spent.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Indymedia Embezzling Money?

A comment on Houston Indymedia has made this rather astonishing claim:
As one source who attended an IMC meeting in Seattle told me by email, “Indymedia is funneling money from foundations like Soros and Ford to be used in their campaigns against democracy, capitalism, and the US government. They are receiving donations from organizations like Mercy Corps. … .money …initially donated by Nike and Microsoft for charity in Africa, ( which IMC Brazil) will use for (its own) purposes, without their consent.’


Politics of Criminals

Milwaukee Indymedia is reporting on the five year anniversary of "political prisoner" Jeff Luers.

What was his political crime?
Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on attempted arson charges. Jeff set fire to SUVs to call attention to climate change and to protest oil wars and environmental destruction. Jeff was motivated by compassion and a desire to protect life, not to harm it, despite what some might think of his tactics
His compassion for the motor vehicle dealer is unending...
Prior to his arrest, Jeff was a popular community activist in Eugene.
Popular with what sort of "activist"? Let me guess. The non-violent kind?
On June 12, 2004, social and environmental activists in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Russia participated in an "International Day of Action" with Jeff by organizing non-violent protests
Excuse me, why do you need to organize a specifically "non-violent" protest? Is violence assumed unless otherwise stated?
Since the June 12, 2004 Day of Action, support for Jeff has continued to grow and strengthen. People all over the world see Jeff as a political prisoner and acknowledge that his sentence is meant as a deterrent to increased resistance to oppression.
Err, no. I think you'll find it's a deterrent to arsonists.

Bloggers in Iranian prisons are political prisoners. Dissidents in China are political prisoners. Idiots that set fire to things are not political prisoners and calling them as such is an insult to people who genuinely did nothing wrong except think. Sadly, it was the lack of thinking which got him into prison in the first place. Maybe Luers can think about it now (perhaps in the showerblock).
During the weekend of June 10-12th, 2005, social justice activists from across the world are called upon again to organize and show their outrage about Jeff’s imprisonment and the continued abuse and isolation of dissident prisoners across the globe.
I'm confused about what to wear. Is the "outrage" meant to be violent? Or non-violent? Protest Details include:
A wide range of eco-defense techniques and issues, such as guerrilla gardening, monkeywrenching, Gandhi to guerrilla tactics, gentrification, the importance of direct action, permaculture, the FBI stealing Judi Bari’s fiddle, and more! We will be featuring speeches from inspirational speakers such as Craig Rosebraugh (former ELF spokesperson), Judi Bari, Julia Butterfly, [convicted Cop Killer, inspirational] Mumia Abu-Jamal [presumably given day-release from Death Row to attend and inspire - ed], Derrick Jensen, Alan Watts, Helen Caldicott, Jane Doe, and others.
With friends like these...

More on this poster-boy for arsonists and criminal 'activists' at his support website, Free Jeff Luers where you can read the pitiful excuses that "no one got hurt" and they "caused only" $40 000 damage. If you can't do the time...



Via Sydney Indymedia comes this report of a most peculiar protest:
About 50 protesters today marched backwards through
Sydney's CBD to highlight what they say are backward policies by the NSW government on climate change and energy.
Full credit where it is due however, for "a protest full of humour with people walking backwards calling for more coal and nuclear fueled power plants" rather than the usual 'non-violence' which could be expected. Hats off to you.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Political Football Part II

I previously reported on Ireland Indymedia's seething over an Israel v. Ireland Football (Soccer) match and protest aspirations.

The game was held, the protest took place. Here's what Twenty Major thought of it:
Now, we all know there's a little bit of tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians - something akin to the problems that exist between the northside and southside of Dublin but obviously not quite so intense. So anyway, these witless twerps launch a campaign with a picture of an Israeli number 10 shirt with the words 'Say no to apartheid' on it as a stinging rebuke of Israel's policies.

What Jim Bowen...spokesman of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign didn't realise is that the number 10 shirt is worn by a bloke called Walid Badir who is a Palestine Arab and one of the most popular players in Israel.

He also didn't realise that 30% of the players in the Israeli league are Palestinian Arabs, that an Arab team are the current champions and that football is one of the only things that Israelis and Palestinians do together which doesn't include plastic explosives, buses and cafés.

Displaying heretofore unprecedented levels of asinine cuntery he said "To be frank I don't follow soccer. I am not interested in individual details."

So he's making a protest about something he obviously knows something about using a medium he knows nothing about. Now that's some good thinking right there. Bowen, who obviously is studying for a degree in 'How to be a stupid bastard', went onto say the inclusion of Arab players on the Israeli team was "window dressing" and described Badir as a "token Arab".

So after admitting he knows nothing about football he somehow thinks he's in a position to comment on the make up of the Israeli national team? Arsewipe.

[Wonderfully creative obscenity deleted]

I can never bring myself to trust a man who doesn't like football.
Hmmm... Making a protest about which the protester knows nothing. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

If you are over 21 (and I mean it), grab a pint of Guinness, head over to Twenty Major and read it all.

Looking at the Irish newswire and my recent comments, it's clear Ireland Indymedia has got a serious hatred of Israel. On one of the (relatively few) non-Israel articles, you can see their tears for Saddam Hussein being shown in his underpants and get a real feeling for why some in Ireland, like new blog Ireland Indymedia Watch (no relation) are mightily unimpressed.

As for the protest itself? Indymedia Ireland is reporting on it also (with photos) here.

Israelis came to the Dame St Protest to provoke a fight

Here's a picture of the counter-protesters holding their evil Zionist weapons of death:

Israeli protesters waving flags - Free Image Hosting at
Those provocative bastards! The one on the right looks particularly nasty, but never fear, if they came to the protest to provoke a fight as the article suggests:
they got what they wanted.
When protesters attacked them with placards. Non-violently of course!

Palestinian protesters attack Israel supporter - Image Hosted by
(Hat tip: Buzi)

Update: Welcome visitors via a comment on Indymedia Ireland. Have a look around, try to see my point and failing that, there's always this option.


Vancouver Policeman says Activists Looking for Conflict

Vancouver Indymedia is reporting on a Policeman's opinion piece that activists are deliberately interfering with police operations and seeking conflict.
Activists are now cruising Downtown Eastside streets looking for conflict with the law." ...These meddlesome folk have been deliberately stepping between police officers and suspects "demanding" to inform them of their rights by handing them something "claiming it contains legal advice."

Tonner's ill-conceived and inaccurate ramblings actually contain a veiled threat: "Every officer is trained to establish a safety perimeter in such moments. Anything could be handed to a subject being checked - a razor, a handcuff key, a gun...The activist will be warned. The return tone will usually be that of someone looking for a fight."
In other words, if an officer is trying to arrest someone, someone getting near them could at best affect the outcome of the case (evidence tampering) and at worse increase the risk to the officer and bystanders (weapon transfer). Preventing this would be commonsense tactics it would seem. Evidently this isn't a good enough reason for Indymedia however the officer makes some interesting remarks as to their possible motives for this behavior.
Tonner concludes by opining that "brazen" activists are actually trying to set police up "in (the) hopes of recording a scuffle for a civil suit."
Indymedia may argue he is "ill-conceived and inaccurate" however as a site in which the Police can do no right and all activists are non-violent irrespective of what they do, you'lll forgive my cynicism.

As for interfering with potentially dangerous Police arrests? If you kick a tiger in the ass you'd better have a plan for dealing with its teeth...

Proving once again that "activists" is often code for thugs, UK Indymedia is inviting 'activists' to Direct Action Training.
A day of discussion, skill sharing and hands-on workshops with an emphasis on affinity group actions. The morning will focus on the basics of affinity group actions; the how, why, what, where and when. Find out how to form a small group and work together to take effective action. The afternoon will be an opportunity to explore specific tactics and how to get away with them. Come and share skills with others: learn to hit them where it hurts!

There may be police photographers outside the venue [Can't imagine why - ed]: please do not be intimidated. You might choose to wear a scarf in this warm weather.

Proposed sessions so far include:
10.30am Introductions
11am - 1.30pm How affinity groups work and how to form them • Outline of some types of action • Decision making • What happens when you get arrested • Intro to security issues • Intro to some campaigns which have used affi nity group actions.
1.30pm - 2.30pm Lunch and networking time - bring vegan food to share
2.30pm - 6pm Mass actions - padding and dearrest • Accountable and unaccountable blockading techniques • Covert and smart actions • Security and surveillance • English and Scottish legal briefings.

Check nearer the time for the full programme and let us know if there is anything else you’d like covered or can offer.
How about a breakout session called "the law - why people don't take you seriously when you break it to prove a point".

By the way, DSEI is preparing to protest at "Spearhead" - a military weapons show. In other words, getting violent to protest for peace.


Monitoring Hate

Some examples of real hate which will be largely ignored by Indymedia in deference to horrors such as Neocons, Zionists and the police. Worth reading!

Sunday, June 05, 2005


America going the way of Nazi Germany

Just in case you weren't already convinced that Bush really does equal Hitler and other Indymedia favourites, this article on BC Indymedia explains why The USA Is Going The Way of Nazi Germany.
Why a survivor of the Nazi holocaust is taking his family back to Europe where they would be safe from George W. Bush and his neocons.
Oh really?
So I heard the moving van pull up this morning. When I got home this evening I happened to spy my neighbor (he's like 85 years old
Like no way man!
I don't know exactly, but he's old, talks and moves very slowly) standing on the sidewalk next to the van. I walked over and shook his hand, and we started talking. I asked him where he was moving, and he said, "Back to Germany."

I had been stationed in Germany for two years while in the military, so I lit up, and commented about how beautiful the country was, and inquired if he was going back because he missed it.
The author doesn't specify precisely what he lit up but I have a hunch.
"No," he answered me. "I'm going back because I've seen this before." He then commenced to explain that when he was a kid, he watched with his family in fear as Hitler's government committed atrocity after atrocity, and no one was willing to say anything. He said the news refused to question the government, and the ones who did were not in the newspaper business much longer. He said good neighbors, people he had known all his life, turned against his family and other Jews
Note how carefully worded this is and how entirely likely it is the person wasn't Jewish (and therefore not a "Holocaust survivor", merely an ex-German).
grabbing on to the hate and superiority "as if they were starved for it" (his words).
His words? Sounds like an awful lot of words, carefully transcribed and well documented from a man you met that night in the middle of moving his house. Speaking of which, if the van pulled up that morning, it sure took a long time to move all his stuff! Maybe he had a lot of furniture...
He said he was too old to see it happen right in front of his eyes again, and too old to do anything about it, so he was taking his family back to Europe on Thursday where they would be safe from George W. Bush and his neocons. He seemed resolute, but troubled, nonetheless, as if being too young on one end and too old on the other to fight what he saw happening was wearing on him.

I gotta tell you - it was chilling. I let him talk, and the whole time, my gut was churning, like I had mutated butterflies in my stomach.
Are you sure that wasn't just the munchies?
When he was finished, he shook my hand, gripping it really hard, until his knuckles turned white and he was shaking. He looked me in the eyes, hard, and said, "I will pray for your family and your country." He let go of my hand and hobbled away.
Sorry. I call bullshit on this whole story.

That hasn't stopped the original source getting plenty of links from similarly 'concerned' sites. Survivor of the Holocaust (who has trouble even walking) returning to Germany sure makes a great headline doesn't it?

I do hope the enigmatic 85 year old isn't too disappointed by the massive increase in German violence against foreigners and Nazism when he gets there. Imaginary people can be so fussy these days...


Spam spam spam spam spam...

It seems, in addition to Nazis, bigots and trolls, marketing firms have now discovered Indymedia.
I have spotted this advertisement for an e-commerce startup called Greenzap on nearly every Indymedia site I have visited today. Google lists some which aren't even in English.

Like email spam or blog spam, it's free for the company, timewasting for the reader and Indymedia will presumably ignore it like far worse examples.

Whilst the ethics and morals of spammers are usually low, I must also question the intelligence of any new company that wishes to be taken seriously as to why they would associate with sites like these... This fellow casts further doubt on this company.

And now... Courtesy of Sydney Indymedia: Trolls.

(Yes, I'm deliberately picking on Sydney to prop up theory espoused here.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


Palestinian Bodycounts

The main 'global' Indymedia page is featuring a front page 'report' entitled Report: 4032 killed, 44,666 injured in Palestine since September 2000.

The article cites Yasser Arafat's "Palestinian National Information Service", a site which calls itself: the "sate (sic) information service".

In a land where words matter, the article doesn't specify how many of those killed were armed or shooting at Israelis (civilians included) at the time, or simply blew themselves up.

It wouldn't be biased or anything and I'm sure that's precisely why Indymedia has used it. The facts are too many people have died in this conflict and completely one-sided reporting isn't helping.

Thursday, June 02, 2005


Garth Brooks. Singer, entertainer, rapist...

Sydney Indymedia is reporting on the sexual assault perpetrated on a young girl by Country singer Garth Brooks at an Australian disco in the early nineties and the subsequent cover up all the way to the Prime Minister.

Sexual assualt is of course no laughing matter, but I really don't know what to make of this and I do know Indymedia lacks a certain credibility... I suspect someone will be instructing their lawyer shortly.

(Hat Tip: House of Wheels)

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