[Fsfe-ie] Invitation to participate in Indymedia Ireland Conference

Chekov Feeney chekov at indymedia.ie
Sun Mar 28 15:17:08 CEST 2004

Hi folks

I am writing to you on behalf of Indymedia Ireland in order to issue an 
invitation to participate in an upcoming conference that we are 
organising. This conference will consist of a few large forums and a 
large number of practical workshops with the aim of educating the public 
about the potential for using new media technology as a means of 
distributing information and democratising the media.  

As part of this conference, we would like to hold a few sessions which 
concentrate on free and open source software as well as a forum on 
access to the information society. In particular we intend to hold a 
workshop on free software alternatives in the field of multimedia (eg. 
gimp, linux video capture software, staroffice, etc).  If anybody in the 
IFSO/this list would be able to help out in the organisation and 
planning of such a workshop, that would be great.  Although we do have a 
certain number of techies within indymedia, we prefer to offer space for 
dedicated groups to host such workshops rather than us doing everything 

The conference will also include an exhibition space where participating 
groups can mount information stands and the IFSO or other similar groups 
would be welcome to have a stand in this. The participation of the group 
would also be welcomed in our community media forum, which will be an 
open forum on the problems of uneven access to the information society.  
We will consider any recommendations that you might have for panellists 
in this forum.

As part of the conference preparations we will be putting together a 
network of computers with public access to the internet.  We intend to 
use open source software for all of this and are aiming to construct a 
network of disk-less linux workstations.  One of the technical problems 
that we face is the lack of an ADSL connection to the conference venue, 
so we are investigating the possibility of using wireless and satellite 
solutions for the provision of internet access.  If any members of IFSO 
are interested in helping out in this technical side of things, their 
assistance would be much appreciated.  If you would like to get involved 
and help out, just reply to this email and let me know.

Although I'm sure that some of you are probably aware of indymedia (and 
hold strong opinions on it!), I will explain a little about the 
background of the indymedia project and the aims of this conference in 

Indymedia Ireland is part of the global indymedia network, a global 
network of non-profit, volunteer-run, autonomous media projects.  The 
Irish node was originally formed in 2000 and since then has become a key 
resource for Irish activists.  Among other things we were responsible 
for breaking the news about the Dame street police riots in May 2001, 
which has been partly responsible for a widespread and unprecedented 
level of public scrutiny about the role of the police in our society.  
Perhaps most importantly, we were responsible for publicising the role 
of Shannon airport as a military base for the US airforce, fully 9 
months before any of the mainstream media decided to cover the story and 
we continue to document the fact now, when the rest of the media has 
once again consigned the story to the memory hole.  You can view our 
website at www.indymedia.ie to get a flavour of the project.

On the first of May of this year, as Ireland currently holds the EU 
presidency, Dublin will host the ceremonies to mark the accession of the 
10 new member states to the European Union.  The ceremony will bring all 
15 EU heads of state to Dublin, as well as the heads of state of the 10 
accession countries and it is anticipated that it will be marked by 
protests from social justice groups who are opposed to various aspects 
of policy that is being pursued at a European level.

In the week before the accession ceremony, Indymedia Ireland will be 
hosting a week long conference / festival entitled "Another view of 
Europe".  This conference will run from Friday the 23rd of April until 
Friday the 29th of April. Thereafter the Indymedia centre will mostly 
concentrate on dispatching news from the events in Dublin to the global 
indymedia network. The conference will focus on gathering together 
material from the European Indymedia network for a series of 
exhibitions, including a photo exhibition, a series of video showings 
and a series of practical workshops intended to educate the public about 
the potential of new technologies as a means of distributing information 
and escaping the corporate domination of our global news media. Much of 
the material that will be used in the exhibitions will be sourced from 
the Indymedia Centres in the accession countries.

The major focus of this conference will be on running practical 
workshops to asst local community groups and disadvantaged groups in 
using new technologies to distribute information and connect with wider 

However, as a means of raising publicity within the mainstream media 
here and attracting new people to the Indymedia project, we are hoping 
to hold a public meeting which will feature high-profile figures who are 
critical of the news media as it currently operates.  This event will 
have the theme: "What's wrong with the media and why we need an 
Independent Media."  In addition to prominent media critics, the meeting 
will include speakers from Indymedia Ireland and indymedia UK who will 
describe the history and aims of the global Indymedia project and why we 
think such projects are important.  Vincent Browne will be one of the 
keynote speakers.

We will also hold several other general forums.  One of these will look 
at access to the information society and will include various media 
rights campaigners, and reports from attendees at the World Summit on 
the Information Society (WSIS) conference in Geneva as well as the 
We-Seize counter summit.  Others will concentrate on issues arising from 
EU integration and the events planned for Mayday in Dublin and examine 
the coverage that they have attracted in the mainstream media (pretty 
sensationalist to say the least!).

I apologise if this invitation is at rather short notice.  We have only 
recently definitely secured a large premises in a city centre location 
for the period in question and, although it has been in planning for a 
while, we felt it was best to hold off on issuing invitations until the 
venue was definitely confirmed.

Yours Sincerely
Chekov Feeney
(Secretary of the Independent Media Support Group Ireland)

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