Indymedia Ireland was 20 years old this month, on Oct 10th in fact. It has been a long road to here and at times debateable whether it would survive in the latter years. This short article gives a quick overview of its history and where it is now.
Back in 2001 the big anti-globalisation demonstrations of Seattle 1999 were still fresh in people's minds when the first Indymedia centers were setup and the network was still rapidly growing. In Ireland back then there was a great need for an alternative voice and there was no central site that could been considered Left leaning.
It was against this backdrop that Indymedia Ireland took off and soon become the focus and general hub of the Left in Ireland. All the traditional Left parties initially embraced it but then backed off to try and develop their own sites because they had no control over Indymedia but could control their own sites. It attracted a diverse range of volunteers who help build the site technically and editorially and numerous individuals wrote excellent articles for it. It's main attribute in those days was that it was self publishing [and still is] as it came out of the free speech milieu in the USA and the desire not to engage in censorship which it accused the mainstream media.
However that soon became impractical for a wide variety of reasons and over the years became accused of the same thing and not without reason as many have noted over the years these tendencies within the Left psyche. Nevertheless Indymedia Ireland definitely set itself apart as a Leftwing hotbed and that is unsurprising given the political make up and activist background of the people running the site. At the time it provided the much needed voice for the airing of many issues.
The site tried to model itself as a website for news whether that be activist news or more general and to not be a discussion forum like a bar room and this has worked reasonably well especially in the early years and it lead to many firsts in terms of breaking stories. The archives cover all the big issues of the last 20 years from the Reclaim the Streets to the Iraq War to the Ploughshares action at Shannon airport to the transport of US troops through Shannon and the associated protests and then onto the Bin Tax campaign, coverage of Palestine conflict, NICE & Lisbon referenda, the EU, various local issues around Ireland like ESB Pylons, the M3 motorway, corruption to the really big campaigns like Shell To Sea which went on for years.
The popularity and number of articles and comments grew from inception to a peak around the year 2006 and then started a slow but steady decline ever since. There were many reasons for this and this ranged from the novelty wearing off, to the increasing censorship, people leaving the Indymedia Collective and the whole media landscape itself changing. Many of the Left outside of the Libertarian wing fell out of favour with it. At the same time other things were happening in the world like the rise of technically advanced and slick commercial alternatives with massive resources behind them. Facebook being the obvious one. Simultaneously taking place was an insidious campaign to split and divide the entire global Indymedia network. The deep state saw the indymedia network as a threat to their control of the media and quickly set about trying to destroy it in every country using proven techniques that work well, through disruption, division and reputational damage while maintaining a level of deniability. In some countries it was more overt as in the case of the UK, where the Bristol IMC servers were seized by the police. At peak there were probably well over 140 Indymedia websites all over the world. Today it barely stands at 20 and most of them are limping along. In parallel engagement and readership of the Indymedia Ireland website fell massively too.
What started out as an effort to create and control our own media making use of our own resources and talents fell apart and worldwide activists of all kinds flocked to Facebook and the likes to setup their campaign pages and in the process yielding full control to the Big Tech corporations that now truly have global power. At the same time the broad technical skill set within the activist community has withered.
There was some valid reasons for turning to these platform because they were simpler to setup and plugged into bigger audiences but as we see today this embrace with the corporate giants has come at huge cost. Now these giant firms like Facebook, Twitter and Google can shut groups and campaigns down with little warning and years of material lost. Censorship by Big Tech is now rampant and blatant. De-platforming has become the norm for those not in favour and the list is ever growing. The rules of the Internet are being re-written as the power has increasing concentrated in their hands and there is a very real threat and danger that you will have to have a "license" to use the internet. Control is the key theme here. And control is what the Left and activists in general gave up when they starting using not their own resources but those of Big Tech.
This brings us to the present. What is surprising is the complete collapse of the Left as any sort of opposition or alternative voice. They have abandoned the class war that is raging stronger than at any time in history and instead they have embraced identity politics and cancel culture. They have been totally co-opted by the system and the giant corporations that grow ever more powerful eclipsing governments and usurping the power of politicians through their immense power and control of social media and insight into the very thoughts (via Apps like WhatsApp etc) of the great mass of humanity in real-time. It seems the Left is content to be given the power to cancel individuals as a substitute for real power. They no longer fight tyranny and for bodily integrity and choice. It does not need to be spelt out that they are not only fully behind the tyrannical polices of the Covid scamdemic but what is peculiar is that in every country they have been proponets of stronger and longer lockdowns, with zero-Covid nonsense and are fully behind the medical apartheid and medical fascism with their support of these dangerous gene therapy jabs that do not deserve to be called vaccines. They clutch to the absurd idea that vaccines are some sort of example of socialism in action.
So what has this to do with Indymedia Ireland? Well it started out to the Left and is still Left in spirit in a general sense because it sees through the lies, can recognize the inherent class war of it all, the attack on our freedoms and follows the real science as opposed to ideology. These are things the Left was actually quite good at one time. Throughout the last 18 months Indymedia has published many articles exposing the hoax, contradictions in government narratives and a lot more. It very quickly became apparent this Covid thing was a scam that in fact is a controlled demolition by the financial elite, of our economy and society so that they can rebuild a fully totalitarian system with 100% absolute control of everyone and everything. The series of feature articles published on Indymedia back in April 2020 came to that conclusion which is now fully evident for those with eyes to see. But what is more important is that the central reason and mission of any of the Indymedia sites when they were first setup was to get around control of the narrative, censorship of what was happening in the world, provide an alternative view and most importantly to voice some of the actual truths. Never has this been more important than now. And that is exactly what we are still trying to do today.
How ironic then that 20 years later Indymedia is needed more than ever as Ireland along with most other countries has entered a new period of global corporate tyranny in the guise of a medical emergency and that the population remains trapped in some kind of hypnotic spell after months of constant propaganda and fear mongering by the mainstream media. They along with the complicit politicians both in power and the opposition including the Left parties have together prevented any opposing view to the government narrative penetrating the public sphere. The situation is far beyond the worst case scenario anyone could have imagined back in 2001.
It is time people stopped being cowards and stood up and took back their freedom.