actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words


DIY MEDIA

Did you know that just five companies own at least 85% of UK newspaper sales (News International, Mirror Group, Associated Press, United Papers and the Telegraph). With that ownership comes censorship, in the form of owners with their own political agendas.Many people wondered why it was only after Maxwell's death that he was revealed to be such a crook.

The answer is simple: Censorship thanks to deep pockets and libel laws. What goes for the printed media, also goes for the TV - a realm into which Transnational Corporations such as Murdoch's News Corps (which owns News International) are incresingly making inroads on top of his B Sky B satelilite channel. Murdoch seems set to achieve a 25% share of the UK digital TV market.

Thankfully there is another way - DIY media. The long tradition of "Free media" has been blossoming once again. As the TV becomes increasingly restricted in the range of information it transmits, so alternative "channels" have been opened up - the radical video news groups such as Undercurrents, Small World and Conscious Cinema. Likewise in the print media with regular newspapers such as Squall and the weekly freebie Schnews. The internet is now a very efficient tool for distributing information between international groups, and is being used extensively.

    "The underground media is produced by activists - bored of not being given a platform we create our own, bored of being miss quoted, we quote each other, bored of going on actions and then rushing home and finding the news either disregarding us, or distorting our deed and words."

    (Jamie- Small World Media)

Why not make a newspaper yourself? The newspaper you are holding took two weeks to make with 4 volunteers without only the barest media skills and a total print cost of 900.

Undercurrents - video - 01865 203661
Squall - magazine - 0171 561 1204

actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

 economics DIY ECONOMICS

Britain is starting to see a revival of DIY economic action on a potential scale to match the civic action of the nineteenth century. Local economic initiatives, ranging from community enterprise in the Scottish Highlands, community banks in Birmingham, food co-ops in Bristol and local currencies in London represent a response to the powerlessness felt by communities in the face of unemployement and economic decline. They can also be seen as a celebration of the enduring values of local action and self help. A recently published short guide, Community Works, sets out 34 initiatives aimed at helping communities transform their local economy. More than one million people are already involved in these schemes. Our lives are increasingly affected by the mood swings of the global eceonomy has little chance to get going. Banks in poor areas, for example, may reinvest locally only 1 in 8 of savings deposited by local residents.

Supermarkets provide one job for every 250,000 spent, compared with the one job for every 50,000 in a corner shop. Half of our spending goes only 250 companies, all with a global reach.

Community economic initiatives find ways of plugging these leaks, so that a local a local economy can thrive, ways which empower those traditionally without economic power, allow them to control their own destiny. This may sound unrealistic but it is very practical. Communities that take on and develop these initiatives to their potential are also those that succeed in transform own situation.

Association of British Credit Unions - 0171 582 2626
Lets Link UK - 01985 217 871

actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

PROTEST

Protest is the dance of freedom opposing oppression, the endless embrace that created history itself - from Trade Unions to the vote, from women's rights to environmental awarness its results surround us Protest is the "questioning or challenging of the status quo, the dominant, the misanthropic forms of power in society". Or is it?

Defining what protest is, is less important than discussing its content and direction. Protest in itself is not necessarily a good thing. It's value comes from the issues it tackles and the methods and tactics it uses. Protest if it is not to merely recreate prevalent forms of power, must have means equal to it's ends. It's at it's best when it involves as many people as possible.

When it builds movements from below and increases participation. When it forms links with other groups both nationally and internationally. When it supports and uses methods of communication that operate outside the mainstream media and when it is aware of the processes that nullify, and bring dissent back into the fold. The result is no more important than the method. You might want to stop your local hospital being closed down. Do you contact your M.P and write to the minister of state for health or, do you organise a mass public meeting, link up with staff at the hospital and occupy the wards.

One method legitimises the status quo and even if successful leaves power unchallenged. The second involves a community in shaping it's own destiny it prioritises morality and action above the law. Protest can be inside or outside the law, it can even use it , but ,if we want genuine change we cannot let the law set the its limits or contain it.

Freedom Network - Action Info line - 0171 793 7343
Reclaim The Streets - 0171 281 4621

actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

communities DIY COMMUNITIES

Most of us think in terms of 'myself'. Despite an instinctive urge to care about each other, all too often we are forced by circumstances to care more for ourselves than for others. When we act together, the excitement of sharing a common purpose binds us and gives us strength. DIY community action is the result of individuals, wise or needy enough, to realise that if we are really to put our own interests first, we must work together and build a better future.

A future which promotes the development of people both as individuals and members of a social community, is a future that should produce good things for all people. The world out there is not friendly to community action. The dangers we face are that all the trappings of authority no longer act on behalf of communities. This particularly applies to the Police, the schools, the politicians, the planners and even sometimes the church.

The ultimate challenge is to transform these disagreeable features of authority by converting the very individuals who are forced to act against the interests of the people, so that they realise and embrace the power of community action.

Real positive and inclusive community action has the potential to inspire the many and the many is what is needed - social and ecological problems we face call for a movement of all people. The groups listed on this page are examples that there are alternatives. They contradict the prevailing negative attitude that we must compete against each other because such is human nature.

Exodus Collective - 01582 508936
This Land Is Ours - 01865 722016
The Power is in Our Hands - book - 01608

actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

democracy DIRECT DEMOCRACY

Elsewhere in Europe, there are campaigns to develop democratic practice beyond the apparent full stop of a ballot every five years or so. In Germany especially, the movement to create institutional structures for Direct Democracy, has been active for over twenty years. Although various groups differ in their aims and strategies they share a common end to make a 'citizen's vote' a part of daily political life.

'Citizens vote' is essentially referendum from below, the enshrinement in law of the right of any group of citizens to call a referendum when, and whatever subject, they wish. The first realisation of this system was in Bavaria in October 1995, and in the year that followed over 100 citizen's votes were organised on issues ranging from opposition to a mariner to a proposal for building new kindergartens. It has had profound impact on people's participation in the running of their villages, towns and boroughs.

Next time you are asked to sign a petition against the closure of your local library, imagine how it would be if you knew that over 10% of the people in your ward or parish signed the same piece of paper, a vote could be called on that one issue. A date would be set, the issue properly debated in the local press, a ballot taken and the result - hopefully against the closure of the library - was legally binding.

Platform - 0171 403 3738


actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

There is no such thing as a free lunch? The Conference

Want to find out more about DIY culture? Want to meet people involved in alternatives? Want to be provoked and inspired?


We invite you to an extraordinary event this Sunday 13th April. A central part of the "Never Mind the Ballots - Reclaim the Streets" two day festival of resistence will be a day long conference, with workshops, debates, music, children's activities and more - everything is FREE including lunch! The convention will take place at a phenomenal location, which will remain secret until 2pm on Saturday 12th April - ring 0171 281 4621 for more info and the mystery venue.

actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words
actions speak louder
than words

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