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Italian police have seized computers used by Indymedia in many cities in Italy, claiming they are aiming to seize audio and video evidence about what happened during protests in Genoa in 2001. This is an absurd pretext, since all such material present on Indymedia's computers is accessible to everyone through the web.
During the protests, police killed a protestor; later they violently attacked a building where protestors were peacefully sleeping, gravely injuring some unresisting people and then arresting them and making them salute a picture of Mussolini. There is evidence that many "violent protestors" were actually police auxiliaries. If Indymedia has any evidence of police attacks and prosecutors want to use it against the police, they would only have to ask for it (or view it through the web). One must suspect that the purpose of these raids is to seize and then lose such evidence. (Police in Sweden have "lost" evidence that would exonerate protestors falsely accused of crimes in the 2001 Gothenberg protests.)
But there is another possibility. Italy's ruler, media magnate Berlusconi, owns all the major private TV channels; now, through the government, he controls public TV as well. But he does not control Indymedia. Perhaps that he has sent the police to cut off a source of video he does not control.
PRESS RELEASE - INDYMEDIA ITALY ITALY INDYMEDIA UNDER ATTACK
This morning around 7.00, police knocked at the doors of a few social centers: Gabrio in Torino, Cecco Rivolta in Firenze, TPO in Bologna, as well as those of the Cobas offices in Taranto. The huge mobilitation (a lot of cars, vans, and riot cops) was due to an order from Genova's attorney.
The attorneys Andrea Canciani and Anna Canepa ordered to seize audio and video material referring to Genova facts, focusing on what could deal with the police raid at the Media Center and the massacre at the Diaz-Pertini school.
The search warrant explains that such material would have been collected through the Italy Indymedia website, and would be situated in the social centers Gabrio, TPO, Cecco Rivolta, and in Cobas offices in Taranto, and in other places (using an aleathory form which allows them to search and seize at their pleasure).
Searches are still going on. Police is seizing computers, archives, and all of the stuff that hundreds of italian activists need for their daily cultural and political activities.
The search warrant locates these places as "Indymedia offices". Italy Indymedia states that Indymedia has no offices, but works through the thousands of people who contribute to the website, and commit themselves to produce a free and independent information. Italy Indymedia decision making and project processes take place over the internet, through open and publicly accessible mailing lists and chatrooms. A daily and cooperative effort carried on by hundreds of people, who won't be threatened.
This morning, an attack has been struck against freedom of information. A few places have been targeted, to exercise a political pressure on a complex and manifold subject as Italy Indymedia.
The material seized in Bologna, Firenze, Torino, Taranto, just like all of Indymedia stuff, is freely viewable on our website. And so are the archives of our mailing lists, of our chats, and of all our activities.
Indymedia has nothing to hide.
Italy Indymedia, a network of independent media, reports a severe attack to free information. We take note that minister Scajola, after speech, is turning to facts. And Genova gets back under public attention. After partial and smoky investigations which were supposed to find proof of police violence, and while the dynamics of the murder of Carlo Giuliani haven't been cleared yet, while the officals responsible of the public order during those days are still holding their seats, and in a few cases even got promoted.
We invite everyone to join Italy Indymedia at the demonstration called in Rome for March,16th by Radio Onda Rossa. For a free and independent information.
http://italy.indymedia.org Independent Media Center Italia - the italian media revolution -
Contacts: italy [A/T] indymedia [D/O/T] org
Please send comments on these web pages to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright (C) 2002 Richard Stallman
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