Ulla’s Amazing Wee Blog

April 28, 2004

Dublin mayday

Filed under: General — @ 9:14 pm

[ from the dept. ]

Just got over to Dublin. Am Qqite exhausted as yesterday had an Avid Editing course and a community activist training on communication keeping me busy from 8 am till 10 pm. Anyway, we managed to make 2 nice clips, one is not yet finished. They need to be compresseed to be uploaded to the Internet and to Indymedia, as now nearly every minute is 350 MB.
Anyway it was good fun and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Today luckily I got borrowed out a camcorder, so I can do video footage at the protests, if i feel like it.
Unfortunately the accomodation did not work out as planned: the 10 places for Indymedia people by Ireland Indymedia seemed not to have been obviously arranged, and the squat for the activists to stay in was raided yesterday night and three people arrested. There is a whole load of media hysteria, and when we came into the city by bus, the police had sealed of the area where the squat was with army and machine guns – due to a “bomb threat”.
Anyway some of the activists who have been in Genoa are reminded of the situation there, but don’t think it would be that serious.
Anyway am quite exhausted and have bad stomach pain as usually when coming to new places, but all will be fine.

April 26, 2004

weekend in manchester

Filed under: General — @ 7:52 pm

[ from the dept. ]

Uha, I am so tired! Really I am. Friday was quite an exhausting day, with seeing my parents off and then rushing to the irc meeting which was unfortunately not particularly enlightening, as the locals were missing.
Then there was the lecture about “Radical and Alternative journalism” at Napier University, with one of the SchNews people talking, the journalist type of the collective, as they are on tour celebrating their tenth anniversary.
Then later, they had their political cabaret in The Forest. Anyway it took ages till i was home, and then the next morning gettig up early to go to Manchester.


But, unfortunately I was a bit crap on Friday and fell out a bit with the Schnews people, at least with one. Not that I intended to, just was a bit sensitive, and was having my period and when this journo guy was hyping how wonderfull their project is and how super accessible they are “in contrast to other alternative media collectives which are just run by 1-2 volunteers, who actually would not want anybody else to take part”, then i just exploded a little bit, my hungarian side was just getting up on the roof again. Maybe i should not have come to the lecture, but i was a bit pissed off, first as they seemed to avoid liasing with me in general, and instead published on indymedia uk: “we have heard from all places back except from Edinburgh”. Anyway we were already being pissed off by SchNews, and not only me but also others, firstly for advertising the “Scottish Seperatist Group, an extreme nationalist group in Scotland, which supports the SNLA, the Scottish National Liberation Army, which is a banned terrorist organisation, being responsible for a variety of bombings and mailed letter bombs in the 80s with one of the aims to reverse imigration to Scotland.” see their website if being more interested.
Anyway in my opinion we should stay clear of these, aeh, people and their opinions.

Then also, SchNews has been repeatedly publishing articles with links to far right organisations, for example Bilderberger articles which link to the American Free Press, whose magazine is banned in Britain, because of incitement to racial hatred. Or e.g. been linking to “National Anarchist” organisations.

Amongst all the other wonderfull work they have been doing, though. But in the end what was angering me was that it seemed as if the more people involved, the better is the project, and in my opinion that is not necessarily true. Even if we in Indymedia Scotland only seem to be 2 persons at the moment, at least we are accountable, and open. Our email lists are open, our decision making is open, our meetings are open, and even our publishing is open. And with the new Indymedia Scotland website, even the editorial will be open to the users, when we apply a rating systems to the articles. And we are also accountable to the global project, and at the moment also to Indymedia UK, as we are also a collective there, and of course, to the people who run the server.

With Schnews, on the contrary it seems they are not accountable or open at all, on how they make their editorial decisions. And now they have picked up the Camcorder Guerilla films which make it seem as there was a hostile take-over by me and spacebunny about indymedia scotland by showing how great it worked in the 2 weeks where we actually did not take part in setting up the indymedia centre at the Big Blockade. I want to say that was not the case. When we first got the password after the technical session, it was over 30 people who had it. But they did not do anything with it. And because of the physical seperation between Edinburgh and Glasgow meeting weren’t just happening regularly anymore. And then spacebunny worked out how to use the system and I started writing, which I have always liked. And because I was the only one writing then my articles got promoted to the middle column, which made me writing them even more in depth and spending more time on them. And then, because me and spacebunny were already working with the uk collective, it was just natural to stay with them and build up the scotland subsection. The admin got more and more complicated and when I tried to teach people the admin lots of them were impatient enough not to learn it or refused to engage with the other uk people. Also everybody wanted an independant Imc Scotland homepage and so it only seemed as a short term solution to have the subsection up and running. Who knew in the end it would take nearly 2 years instead of the 2 weeks promised.

So, anyway, I had a bit of a go at them and now I feel like i definitely destroyed the good vibe of the lecture. I am sure the lecturer is pissed of with me, too.
Well, in the evening there was the cabaret on, and i counted at least 60 people. There were quite a lot whom i haven’t seen lately at events we have been putting on, such as the Green Party persons and the other environmentalists, and quite a lot of Forest people, who usually “disappear in the woods” if any other radical event is on.
Lots of people liked the cabaret, and the funny films they were screening. Anyway I had seen quite a lot of these before, and could not really get some of the jokes, cause i was too distracted to listen and the dialect made it a bit un-understandable.
Anyway lots of the 60, 70 people disappeared when it came to the discussion. I wonder if it is the same everywhere at political events, if the events have such a big audience, but people avoiding the discussion and starting to duck when it comes to it. I can understand it, firstly because my brutal honesty doesn’t go down well in polite Britain, but also i was quite the same at the time when I became political, that i wanted to figure out things for myself and not being told what to believe or being preached at. I was reading lots of articles and newspapers then to think about politics, rather than engaging in discussions. And imho I think there isn’t the right publication out yet in Edinburgh to get people into politics. Harry writes good stuff, and “easy entry stuff”, but unfortunately it has no explicit local context.

Then i quickly needed to sort out travel arrangements, and at least Harry joined the travel on the spot, and so did the Bilston Glen guy Andi, otherwise I would not have gone probably, and guess Willie would not have made it alone down there either. So we decided at 11pm on Friday night that we would be travelling down to the meeting.

We also passed by Talamh and invited them, but unfortunately they weren’t quite as spontaneous and so we stayed to be four. I should have contacted them earlier, I am sure Roz and Mark would have come, but it would have been a bit too complicated maybe to arrange it on the spot, also due to the fact that Roz uses a wheelchair and am not quite sure if there would have been a problem with the organisation of the meeting. Anyway, we made our way down and it was incredible hot and sunny. No impression of the storm, wind and rain the weather forecast had promised. Instead we were already sweating close to exhaustion, cause the ventilation of the van was broken, so to cool down the motor we needed to have the heating full on. No wonder everybody fell asleep in the back, and nearly the driver and me, too.

Arriving in Manchester, we got a cup of tea and joined the meeting, which seemed to be quite a whole load of theory. Luckily we got there in time for the tea break. And afterwards I got missing to snooze in the van, cause I was extremely tired. I can’t actually recall what was said or discussed cause i also had a headache which was incredibly strong.

Anyway i remember pissing off some more people over the weekend and nearly falling asleep in the van whilst travelling back, only having one eye open because the driver also fell nearly asleep and i saw us nearly crashing into other vehicles at least three times. Damn heating!!

Saturday evening was good, with a political cabaret and a great band, which i can’t remember what they are called at the moment. BEyONdTV screened some funny films and animations and also did a kind of political cabaret. There was a lot of beer and a lot of food which tasted of coconut.
Because of drinking quite a lot – comperatively – I went out like a light and so did sleep well.

Anyway, to give a bit of an evaluation of the meeting in case anybody is ever reading this,(the logs are not suggesting this btw.) it was quite a nice change and always good to meet people and see and hear about other projects. Somehow i got the feeling of being trapped a bit within a big crowd of environmentalists, and, have to confess, that environmentalism is quite low down on my list of priorities. Maybe it was only because we met in the environemental resource centre. Hopefully the group can work out a way to cope with its diversities and different priorities. I wouldn’t want to be converted to be an environmentalist, I would rather leave the group.
Don’t wanna end up e.g. like the german green party people.

April 23, 2004

DIY, shelves, left hand column and bicycles with good food

Filed under: General — Ulla @ 7:38 am

Yesterday was a really nice and happy day. Though I was quite worked out at the end of it. The last thing I did till late in the night was sorting out my parents holiday pictures of when they went to Russia to build up a dance club there. I should definitely post some pictures here when i figured out how to include these in the blog. So this took at least several hours.
Also we finally managed to put up the curtain rails. It actually wasn’t too bad, just a bit more self-confidence and I could do it, too. And some more tricks and also it helps if you are not up to fixing the curtain rail on the ceiling on your own, as you need somebody focussed and accurate to help. And I had immense problems with drilling the holes, but now I know, I should start with the small drill sizes and work the way up. When I tried it I just couldn’t get a size 8 hole into the ceiling, and my drill from poundstrecher for amazing 6 pounds just did not have the power. That’s what I blamed it for at the start. But now, we even managed to drill the holes with these immense cheaply drill, and it helps if you have got some people to hold the curtain rail for you, and also to drill in the holes acctually not straight but “askew”.

I hope this word is correct, I got it out of the dictionary. Hopefully it doesn’t mean something rude. Such as when my mum ordered “two balls” in the restaurant instead of “two scoops”. It was very funny, and always happens. My first language mistakes were actually refering to the drill as a “thrilling machine”, somehow people seemed to think I would talk about a vibrator! Very funny indeed. Luckily it happened to my neighbours and not anybody more embarrasing. Or the “breastholder” which native english speakers could imagine as my boyfriend instead of a bra!
Other faux pas included a “servant’s car” instead of a “service car” – wow suddenly I had a reputation which did not fit my purse at all! :-)
This was a t uni and very embarrasing, especially as it got reinforced when i turned up too late to catch a cheap flight back home and got accidently put in the business class. Of course I did not know, some classmates were on the same flight untill they passed me by, me sitting in row 1. Very embarrasing indeed. And not good for my anarchist reputation either. But to round it off, business class is not that exciting, apart from that the seats are bigger, there is more footspace, the food includes a bit more pepper and less plastic taste and the flight attandants wear more make-up. (This is actually too a thing i despise.)
Anyway i feel more comfortable in the economy class rather than the business class, and of course nothing beats Ryanair! They are just the best! Only get proper competition by Megabus! They give you a really scruffy hippie holiday feeling, along with a hitchhikers atmosphere. Anyway i drift away now from the original subject.
Just to add I like camping much more than hotels. I don’t like to be served actually. It also makes me feel embarres in restaurants. I always have got an odd feeling when being served. And I don’t like serving myself. Except if I am cooking for friends in my flat. That’s different.

Anyway, me and spacebunny have decided to drop our pseudonyms on the end of june. Now that we get over 30 it seems to be time to feel a bit more “grown-up” maybe. It seems to be time for a change.

April 21, 2004

indymedia meeting and house ventilation

Filed under: General — Ulla @ 9:25 pm

Our glorious indymedia meeting tonight saw disappointing 2 people, me and spacebunny as ever. Sometimes I wonder if it makes any sense trying to carry on with these meetings. It was good to get out of the house though and we just talked a bit about political stuff in general and went out for a hot drink, as the Autonomous Centre is a freezing fridge, and even outside it is warmer than inside, though it even is not cold enough to keep the milk fresh for the next day.
I wonder if it might make sense to size down the Indymedia scotland subsection to Indymedia Edinburgh and to develop different policies for Indymedia Scotland as an independant collective.

Anyway, my parents are here, and they seem to approach the age, where they want to get more attention from their children rather than the other way round. I find parents really difficult, particularly when they can’t understand me, nor my politics, nor my priorities in life, and i have to fake little sweet obedient kiddie all the time to get on with them as they can’t accept anything else without having a major argument. Luckily my parents are quite some funny and good humoured and helpful kind of types, but when it comes to opinions, they can’t understand me, and they don’t want to, and are quite dogmatic, probably same as I am, just in a different way. Anyway, they have now been here for a week and we did not have any argument, which is a kind of novelty in itself. Also I did not have any stomach pain as usual and i did not get too stressed out, so it is for a change quite a good experience, compared with before.

About the issues of indybloggers: I have decided to add a new criteria: compatibility with feminism. That definitely means the link to ChuckO’s blog will be definitely be chucked out, cause the pronographic sex blogs he recommends are definitely just offputting – this is the kind of stuff which definitely should not go on an indymedia website, so why should it be linked to it.
Its still frustrating to see something like that in the political scene. Would I be mean, I would state again, that only seems to be possible in the US. In Germany any lefty would get his ass kicked if doing this.

Today the electrician come round to install a new fire alarm – that’s fantastic in my opinion! and really, really needed, but also 2 ventilators about whom I have mixed feelings. The current policy in Britain does seem not to accept any open windows, instead they have book-big holes in the walls for continous forced ventilation. It seems impossible to heat the flat in winter so I decided to stuff as many plastic bags as possible in the ventilation, and then to tape up the holes with aluminium foil followed by carpet nailed over and then either a picture or a biiiig piece of furniture covering it.
A bit tricky was always the kitchen and the bathroom, now there are new ventilators in, the good side is they are electrical, the bad side is the holes are even bigger. At least its getting towards summer now, so it should not be too bad. But the wind is blowing like hell up from the see, and I am on one of the higher floors in a highrise and I feel like living in a wind tunnel instead of a flat. More tomorrow.

April 20, 2004

more Indymedia stuff

Filed under: General — @ 9:36 pm

[ from the dept. ]

Today was more or less an indymedia day. I must have written a whole load of emails about different issues from editorial policy to irc meetings to the dispatch system to slagging of the SWP, which is one of my favourite spare time activities. Followed by somebody from Indymedia Leeds stating that my “post is bollocks” . As I am clearly a women this description can only be inaccurate.
Anyway, I just wanted to calm down spanner, one of our “master hider”, who is particularly enjoying hiding socialist and other dogmatic party posts. Yes, yes, I know how that feels like I have an imediate drive to hide Mick Napiers, the SSP candidate for the Scottish Parliament Election 2003, Palestine Solidarity postings on Imc Scotland every time I see one popping into the wire, and it demands a lot of self controll and self discipline not to. The best to get it out of sight is too quickly post some more submissions, so it drops down the wire. There are enough political emails spammed – or tofued around, and in emergencies quick copy and paste jobs, such as reposts from The Guardian will do.



About slagging of myself a bit more, showing of another time the need for some cognitive behaviour theraphy on thinking more positive, I still chew on being labelled “the snide one” by Imc Irelands superphilosphist and film maker of “Berlusconis Mousetrap”. A film, which I want to state publicly here, is better not to watch (again). Far too philosophical in my opinion, trying to be too much at the same time- philospophical education, documentary, art film and activist film and news report and far too long. In my opinion they would have better made 5 different films which are more specifically targeted at the aim which is wanted to achieve and the audience. It seemed to me that the main aim just was to impress, I don’t like that approach. I would like to see the pictures and action speak for themselves rather than artificially distort them. Well, we’ll see. Am wondering what to expect from Dublin Mayday and ireland indymedia volunteers – the rumours go round they actually would be a bit influenced/crossover by the whole GR hype, but will see, and the rumours also say thats why the WSM and similar groups founded the anarchomedia. Well I guess other sources could maybe say the same about enrager, Urban75 and Imc UK.
Anyway will find out.
Stay posted if you want to learn more about the fine differences of lefty political groups getting annoyed with each other.

Ah, totally forgot, one crap article by The Scotsman, a now incredible bad daily newspaper exept for the appointment section on the fridays, which actually have some local relevance to my life, is definitely beyond being annoying, it is actually getting more amusing.
The repost here on Indymedia UK with the essence of the article:

It is not trendy anymore to be an anticapitalist!

My god, I am so happy. I never wanted to be trendy in the first place. I just hope the Scotsman can persuade the Globalise Resistance and socialist party lot to believe in that, so these lobbyists and opportunists piss off from our movement, and I would be happy for them to take George Galloway with them, ’cause there is really some doubts in his approach to feminism, the discussion about whether to hide these articles or not, took a big part of my day today. Anyway a big discussion at the moment is if to show an abortion on TV. In my opinion why not? its good to have medical programmes on TV, so people actually know that all this medical language is a bloody fraud and there is nothing godlike attached to a white coat.
The only worry is – because its mainstream media – that the report will be biased as fuck. And propaghandist, following the line of “please don’t kill the little pre-babies of single abused mums, but lets allow human cell cloning for multinational corporations”.

Anyway have missed it, so will probably read about it tomorrow on the mainstream media- if not, then it probably was a good report.

As to get cynical about this society, is that i lost all believes that it will ever become better. I strongly suspect there won’t be a worldwide revolution, and we’ll be falling into barbarism (well if that’s the 2 alternatives given.) I wish the world would be different. i wish it would be based upon people’s needs rather than profit. Every day I see the lack of humanity everywhere. I see the charities, which do good work, lacking funds, and the banks swimming in money. I see refugees on the streets and millionaires having several scottish castles, and burned out council flats, whole streets of them. I see the tea and fruit and everything in the supermarket but don’t see the labour behind it, only see the exploitation of the workers. If I look at the world and strip away any ideology and illusions, than it is a very cruel place, amd its not worth living in.
And even if i try to make it better, there is only a little I can do, it is so overwhelming the need to change the world and can’t see why not more people see, the naked truth of capitalism and realise that the emporer, and the empire has indeed no clothes, but is covered indeed with an armour, and army and nuclear bombs. So what does it matter if the emperor, even the whole empire is naked or not, if he puts the gun to your head.
Sometimes I would wish I would be strong enough to ignore that and just to keep on resisting, but unfortunately I am a scary whimp.

So is it any wonder that people get depressed living their lives under these circumstances?

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