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Freedom of speech and censorship...

Kai Andersen - One of the censored, denied freedom of speech! | 15.05.2004 17:00 | Repression | Social Struggles | Liverpool

So someone mentions the local elections in Liverpool article on "ALTERNATIVE VOTES", and we inform one another of who's standing where ie the non-mainstream parties, ie the ones without megabucks or media/press backing. Yes so now I know there is a Communist standing, people know there are 6 not 5 SLPers standing, then of course we know there is Democratic Socialist Alliance, then we know there is a party called 'Liverpool Labour Community Party', OK so it's taken off the main page, which I disagree with, then it's taken off the Liverpool Newswire as if it didn't exist, so tell me something what makes Indymedia any better than the capitalist/establishment media/press who deny working class people coverage of our daily lives and struggles, like Thomas McKay who's facing eviction, who deny working class organisations fair and balanced coverage.

The article "Alternative votes", so tell me what makes Liverpool Indymedia any better than the Liverpool Echo / Daily Post, or the BBC or ITV? One of the fundemental UN human rights is the right to freedom of speech, providing it doesn't encroach on the rights of others, ie racist propaganda, anti-muslim, anti-catholic or anti-protestant, sexist, homophobic, ageist, or even that one our wonderful bourgeois (middle class) society chooses to overlook "CLASS PREJUDICE", so tell me Liverpool Indymedia, you block, censor and deny freedom of speech to parties who aren't part of the capitalist system, sure they're hierarchical, just like the family is heirarchical, ie a mother and a father, head of the household. Just like Indymedia is heirarchical, at least I can complain to the press complaint commission if I'm bothered, I can complain to the Liverpool Echo's editor, or I could organise a protest and encourage the press/media to give a issue coverage. So tell me Liverpool Indymedia who are the shadows in the dark deciding what postings get censored, and which one don't get censored??? Who do I appeal to, what's his/her name, etc...

Fundemental UN human right, is the freedom of speech...

By the way a few months ago a news item on 'Flouridation of Water' was also taken off Liverpool Indymedia, fortunately I got the email contact of their campaign. So it's not heirarchical parties that get censored and blocked is it?


Kai Andersen - One of the censored, denied freedom of speech!
- e-mail: You know it...
- Homepage: http://Yeah you know it...


Hide the following 12 comments

Sorry Kai

15.05.2004 18:17

"Free Speech" is an important right, but Kai buddy, in order to use this right you gotta bring along your own soapbox. Somebody kicks the soapbox you brought out from under you, you have a legitimate beef about your free speech rights being infringed. Somebody doesn't feel like lending you THEIR soapbox, that's their business --nobody OWES you a soapbox.

NOW -- if you want to complain that some IMC site is operated by liars -- that they CLAIM to be willing to publish all comers but in fact are refusing to publish your stuff -- why then go ahead and complain about that if you can get anybody to pay attention. But even if your acusation were true, that's not a violation of your free speech rights.

Your speech rights do not..........
1) Obligate anybody to listen to you. You are not being denied "free speech" if we tune you out.
2) Obligate anybody to provide you with the means to publish. Free speech measn that you are allowed to publish whatever material you want IF YOU CAN. Nobody has to lift a little finger to help you and you are not being denied "free speech" if they don't.

mail e-mail: stepbystepfarm

Two Points

15.05.2004 18:23

One UK IMC is not a free speech web site and never has been, two this is not the place to raise this -- it's a matter for the email lists, in this case I guess imc-liverpool:

Or perhaps the main UK list for this stuff:


Hidden Article Address

15.05.2004 18:39


hiding articles

15.05.2004 20:33

>>So tell me Liverpool Indymedia who are the shadows in the dark deciding what postings >>get censored, and which one don't get censored??? Who do I appeal to, what's his/her >>name, etc...

it's written in large type in the editorial guidelines:

"articles and/or comments may be hidden for the following reasons:
Hierarchy : The newswire is designed to generate a news resource, not a notice-board for political parties or any other hierarchically structured organizations."

you might be frustrated that the article's been hidden but you can't be surprised. IMCUK is not run to promote political parties of any shade. that's just a fact. there's a lot of discussion on the features list about what constitutes 'promoting' and what is 'news'. get on the features list or go look at the archive to see some of what's said:

my argument is that it's important to get the news out about what's happening in communities regardless and you can do this on IMC if you cut the party advertising and stick to the guidelines.

- -


16.05.2004 11:14

I contributed to the topic of 'Alternative Votes'. So why has it been removed? Is it because Anarchists don't participate in elections, and don't want "Authoritarian Trots" talking amongst themselves?


The Author Speaks

16.05.2004 12:11

I was disappointed to see the article disappear. I had taken great care to make sure it was non party political, by being inclusive of all alternative parties, including Greens, SA, Liverpool Labour, Socialist Labour and Communist, and to list these only in order of number of candidates.

If debate follows, I appreciate it is difficult if it appears to be hijacked, but whether people are non-voting anarchists or party aligned voters, we really do need to have some discussion how we stop a racist getting elected to the European Parliament in the North West region.

Hopefully I can get an article published on Indymedia that remains uncensored regarding this, but if not there is a lot of online info at and that may be a more appropriate forum for further articles if Indymedia chooses not to display it. Ultimately, editorial content is not in our hands and I will try and stick to these rules because it is important to get the news out to local people.

I hope people click use the link to the original article. Thanks.



16.05.2004 12:53

I found the article very interesting and informative. It is a discredit to this supposedly independent list that it was deleted. I suggest the middle class anarchist types who administer it get off their high horses and stop using this list for their own little power trips.

"I despise what you say but i will fight to the death for your right to say it"



You're so right

16.05.2004 13:42

Indymedia are exactly like Mussolini: he always moved notices from the various Italian socialist sects from the front page of his web site to the unmoderated page:

I think it was Voltaire who said, "I despise what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it, in fact I'll put in hours of volunteer work every day, sort out the costs of the hardware and the bandwidth, tear my hair out on tricky content management server upgrades, debug scripts and templates, respond to requests in the night to restart the server, attend weekly meetings, read hundreds of emails, weed out racist shite and criminal threats, etc., since you proletarian vanguard are too busy leading the masses to certain victory, leaving you no time to maintain your own bloody web sites, since if you have a right to say something, you must also have the right to demand that I provide you the platform, on whatever terms you feel like at the time."

Yeah, it was Voltaire said that.

I'm going to boycott this fascist site, starting right NOW.


pingupete - why don't you raise this on the list?

16.05.2004 17:56

pingupete -- I thought it was an interesting and balanced article and if something like it had been posted to my local IMC region I would argue for it and the comments not to be hidden -- it should be possible to discuss political parties and elections even if you are of the view that voting just encourages them and absitance combined with fighting for radical alternatives to capitalism makes more sense than attempting to prop up electrol democracy from the left.

Looking at the Liverpool list archives there doesn't seem to have been any discussion on hiding this post, there doesn't even seem to be an email saying that it has been hidden:

It is common practice with many IMC's to notify a list when something is hidden for contravening the editorial guidelines, I don't know how Liverpool deals with this issue?

Why don't you send an email to the list to ask how these thing work in Liverpool IMC?

You can join the list here:

PS there is an interesting article on why young men do vote for the BNP: -- this and the material in your hidden post could form the basis of an interesting feature if you ask me...


news / promoting

16.05.2004 19:54

there was a good case for keeping the original article as news and the comments that followed it up to the 4th comment titled 'ONE VOTE FOR THE SLP! WE HAVE SIX CANDIDATES STANDING...' which is a blatant party advert.

as for the reply:
>>leaving you no time to maintain your own bloody web sites, since if you have a right to say something, you must also have the right to demand that I provide you the platform, on whatever terms you feel like at the time.

it would be interesting to see what number of private educations, university degrees and all the resource advantages they bring with them, are at work on IMC and contrast that with the resources at work in L7. people don't just have an equal right to set up a website.

- -

Yeah, lets get an education!!

17.05.2004 20:05

Unequal opportunities in education have nothing to do with it. I left school at 16 with no qualifications and I’ve just be taught what to do by people who I asked nicely.
If you want to work as part of IMC then you need to talk to people about teaching you the stuff you need to know to do that. Don’t just stand around and throw rocks. You won’t need to go to Eton or get a degree or whatever, just have some time and energy to spend and don’t shout at people.
It helps :)
and then you can help make the decisions too.


Alternative parties

20.05.2004 12:04

All parties are alternative parties.