Monthly Archives: November 2003

More anarchoblogs

Rabble has got a blog, too. And he even links to mine! Isn’t that nice. I would really like to rss feed, because he does really cool articles, especially about latin america, but unfortunately I haven’t figured out how to rss- feed headlines of news only. As soon as I find out I will try to rss-feed imcuk audio and imc uk middle column and lots of imc bloggers rss-feed.
And I am very happy that Lord Rich, the author of the famous spoof BBC i-can’t website, is commenting here, too.
Cheers! :-)

Opensourcecms- Mambo

On Monday me and my friend actually installed Mambo, an open source cms.
Initially, the solution was intented to be used for the Peace and Justice Centre in Edinburgh and temporarily hosted under Moving Pages, but now the whole project seems to collapse, from my point of view.
The Peace and Justice Centre mainly consists of elderly volunteers, not very tech

Edinburgh Linux User Group

[ from the dept. ]

On Sunday, there were Linux install days, organised by the Edinburgh Linux User Group, called edlug. To give some sort of statement, I have been reading their email list in the archive, but unfortunately they are quite tech and geek based. There is hardly any political or philosophical discussion, and most of the edlug members seem to want to stay away from activists as far as they can without leaving their computer.
At first I just went because of my friend, but once I got there it was actually quite nice. After drinking lots of tea, I found some places on the computer and just tried out different Linux systems. One I haven’t seen yet was fedora, another one Xandros.
Look at Distrowatch to find out more about the various systems.
Another amazing thing was: I actually was of good use! Totally unexpectedly , i could actually help people and talk them a bit thourgh the various Linux systems.
The most amazing experience for the edlug members was probably Elisabeth, the Peace and Justice Centre volunteer, who is at least about 60, if not older, with white hair and some walking aid, coming to the edlug install days to find out more about Linux.

Community Media Association AGM

[ from the dept. ]

On Saturday I went to the Community Media Association, see AGM. I blacked my way in as I said I would be from Indymedia. So there were all the professional community media makers trying to make decisions, and most of them had only one aim: give more money and give a frequency. Both main objectives seem to feed primarily into one: Secure my job! Sadly enough, actually rarely anybody seemed to be concerned with Community Media as a tool for change, as a tool for empowerment. There was hardly no practical approach, and so much infighting over power which doesn’t even exist yet.
As well as the CMA seems to be a rather dull lobbyist club. They honestly believed that it would be their 20 years of lobbying which brought the change to community media, and NOT the internet.
Believe me or not, but in my opinion, if the internet wouldn’t have come along there would still be only commercial media and mainstream media which would try to secure and controll the media output and the release of news.

I left a pile of counterinfo and it was nice seeing somebody from Variant.
Less nice was the speaker of OFCOM, the licensing authority for frequencies for community radio. He sees one of the major criterias as being “excellence” and “quality”.
More revealing were the questions at the end when well-suited business men were mobbying and lobbying for “their” project, kind of “we have done so fantastic things, give me a frequency, give me some money”.
The other revealing statement certainly came from a London radio for the blind. “What are you doing against the pirates”.
And that was the secret main aim of the day. Selfishness.
Other underlying messages:
– Give me an archive, but I won’t share my content.
– I won’t help or cooperate with you. I want a frequency only for myself and you are a competitor.
– Lobbying is the most important issue at the CMA; we don’t probide any other service, but uselessly slime around politicians.

Actually I was quite dissapointed of the AGM. I hoped to find more lefty political people there as in Germany, who are cooperating with each other to make the best of programmes, the best of funding, the best of their resources.
I hoped people come together to change cuircumstances together for the better.
Instead there was so much competition. The scottish media workshop was a waste, even more. Everybody seems only want to gather more power.
Actually it is really rather sad. Maybe it is just evil capitalism which always and everywhere destroys our lives, our relationships.
We all want to have nice work and community media seems the best work ever to be in. But there are so many competitors as in every job which is fun, and exactly this takes so much fun out of the job, because then starts the infighting, then starts the emotional blackmailing and the secret backstabbing.
It was a very formal meeting, hardly any practicalities.
At the end of the day I felt like going back to Germany and taking up veterinary medicine again.
Not because of the joy of it, but at least the AGMs were nicer.

Peace and Justice

[ from the dept. ]

The last days were rather uneventfull, if it would not have been for Edinburghs Peace and Justice Centre. A couple of older quakers run this resource situated in the lower part of St.Johns church in Edinburgh. Committed to non-violence, their mission is to change the world. Their favourite groups are Scottish CND and Trident Ploughshares, as far as i know.
Anyway, as I am on the computer course our final project is to build a website for a client. As i did not want to be too embarrased, choosing something political but non-controversial, the Peace and Justice Centre asked me if i could do so when I tried booking the room for indymedia.
First, I expected to battle alone through this project, but amazingly many people showed intrest and now we work with quite a big team, and totally to all expectations it goes quite well.
Only I am the total chaos-head, but the rest of the team is great.
Hilary is the perfect project manager. She has a lot to do to keep me on track. No wonder she gets big rings under her eyes, she is really working hard. Anne is already weeks before the schedule, managing 2 projects the same time. Quiet and reliable and hard working, never ever saying anything bad. Steven as usual is brilliantly working away. Given the same tasks he actually produces results whilst I am still evaluating what to do next, coming up with ideas Hilary has already distributed some days ago. He is great and chirpy and always in a good mood.
Will add more links about the experience with Peace and Justice later, it is getting quite late now.

Before I forget just wanting to drop a link here to Gwens Blog. Gwen is the girlfriend of Alastair, who happened to have a big fall-out with me on the question of “women-only-groups”. It totally split the anarcho scene here in Scotland, but I think although it might seem as it hindered the widespread unified distribution of the anarchist ideology in Scotland, the community could not have grown in a healthy and tolerant and empowering or encouraging way as in the state it was then.

Sometimes it is really really hard to know when to be tolerant, when to try to change or influence a decision and when it does not matter.
I find it really really hard, particular with indymedia, as my heart and lots of time and work lies into this project.