Monthly Archives: June 2006

Repression in Oaxaca, Mexico

So just today I finally managed to compile a feature for Indymedia Scotland and Indymedia UK about the police attack in Mexico, Oaxaca, which was said to have killed 11 people on Wednesday. The mainstream media here in Britain hasn’t reported one bit of it, as usual. Compiling the feature today took about 4 hours, but without translating anything, just reading across several websites, emails and texts and trying to compress the most important facts. Yesterday it also took some hours to find all the original texts, about further 2-3 hours. At the moment I actually don’t really have the time any more to do this as frequently as some years ago, but I still would want to spend more time on it, as it is something quite meaningfull.

I wish I could spend some more time translating the most important additions.

A friend of mine has been forced into one of these horrible “You too can become a valuable member of society!” courses for unemployed people. The time is wasted sitting around starring holes in the ceiling. These courses are a mixture between prison and Big Brother – they do not only want to controll your physical movements, but your thoughts as well. Most of the entertainment for people on the course is actually bitching about each other. These courses actually don’t help most people at all to improve their situation.

NUJ freelance meeting in Edinburgh

Yesterday, I went to the NUJ (National Union of Journalists) Edinburgh freelance meeting, which included a talk of Napier University’s Journalism senior lecturer Rob Brown. The NUJ always supported Indymedia UK, when we got into trouble, so I looked forward to meet some of the individuals behind it, and had probably high expectations.
At the end of the evening I left quite disappointed, and wondering if the progressive libertarian lefty forces of the NUJ are all accumulated in London.

Rob Brown’s talk was quite good, if you like his style. I always have a bit of problem with his style and find it a bit boring and structured like a rant, and yesterday, I suddenly realised why: he actually seems to talk like a written feature. He has nice quotes in there, interesting tales and funny incidents, some thoughtfull, intelligent, provocative statements and draws logical conclusions. For the first time I also yesterday realised that he makes quite expressive hand gestures and signals during his speech, and I only found it out after wondering why the photographer seemed to take a picture every 10 seconds, which led to me considering on what has changed in between.
Anyways, the freelancers had organised a meeting and provided crisps and wine and water for the guests. I found it quite interesting to talk to the different people present: one person was an international athletic and has founded a sports news agency, another person is proud to be involved in the allmediascotland website. One woman seemed to have just returned from Cuba, and I seemed to get on well with a former medic, now turned freelance journalist.

What I was a bit shocked about, was that there do not seem to be actually workshops for knowledge- and skillsharing for each other happening. There seemed to be a lot of underlying fear of competition flowing around each other, which is a bit sad.

We also talked a bit about the Scotsman and the Herald being forced by its owning companies to return a 20-30% profit margin, which squeezes the quality of journalism to the limits in benefit for quantity.
Finally, it was quite interesting to have a look and to know who identifies with the NUJ freelance branch in Edinburgh, and how it is organised, but I don’t think it makes much sense going there regularily, as the underlying fear of competition seems to minimise the cooperation, enthusiasm, motivation, organising and struggling for a better and fairer society.

The great unknown local mystery

The whole North Edinburgh community seems to be keen to discover the secret behind the anonymity of the “Piltonsucks.com” webmaster. At the last Muirhouse Community Council meeting on Tuesday, even I was suggested, which is a bit of a bummer, but because of not wanting to destroy my reputation, I just answered “Haeh ?”.
But now I got curious, too, and so had a bit of a look at the website, and it seems to be registered pretty anonymously at an address in New York in the Whois records. Half of the people slagged off on the website I don’t even know, and sometimes I do feel it is an unnecessarily harsh critique, but then I actually don’t seem to have a clue what the guy is talking about half of the time.

I am still not sure how to stand towards this website. The person who is running it seems to walk on a slim thread between slander, intelligence, depression and the power game of backstabbing, but also with a spice of relevant criticism. But because of not suggesting on how to improve things or make them better, it might in the end be a pretty worthless contribution to our community.
I rather prefer the honest way of going out and doing things to improve the world and this community, rather than sitting behind the computer slagging everybody off, though that could also be quite relieving and revealing sometimes.

Updating the gallery

Wildhunt may like the pictures of Rosslyn Chapel I just uploaded, a mix between pagan green men and Christian religion stonemasonry. It is situated south of Edinburgh near Bilston Woods Protest Camp, and is the most beautifull and unique church I have ever come across, I would predict even world-wide.
I try and get most of my previous protest and other pictures of Scotland and similar now online, but will try to stick to the best one. It also dependes on how I can access the old Windows partition.
I am absolutely tired today and the last days. My friend has gone to see his little nieces, so I have dropped him at the airport early this morning.
I am currently trying to get some work experience whilst doing this full-time course.
Also, I will try to pick up the fish tank today, I want to start to get experience in aqua plants, “aqua-scaping” and keeping some coldwater fish.

In my life, I want to experience most common pets as an owner.

It has been a while since I have participated at some political protest or event. At the moment I am usually just dropping in for half an hour or so at events, if I can be bothered to turn up. Not that I lost interest, but at the moment it seems all rather pointless, oops. I am looking forward to the NUJ – National Union of Journalists – talk though next week, and the Edinburgh Chiapas event. Of course, both events are on the same evening, as is to be expected!