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Despite the big number of information sources and mass media that showed up in the recent decade, the social movements kept seeing their fights either distorted or silenced. The constant need for direct and free information, with the new technological possibilities (Internet) acting as a catalyst, began giving birth to further new ideas and efforts for new communication formats. And while the corporate media had superficially conquered every inch of the social environment, an underground websites' network of anti-information and direct communication simultaneously spread.
The "outburst" took place in November 1999, when hundreds of media activists gathered in Seattle, USA, aiming at creating an Independent Media Center (IMC), through the Internet, for the coverage of the demonstrations against the World Trade Organization (WTO). The website was called Indymedia from the words "independent" and "media" and it received over 1,5 million hits during the demonstrations. After that followed the creation of another IMC in Boston, in February 2000, while in April 2000 a third one showed up in Washington DC for the coverage of the demonstrations against the World Bank and the International Monetary Foundation (IMF). Since then, the applications for the creation of local IMCs from all over the world began flooding in. During the Genova demonstrations, the IMC was the protagonist in free and full-fledged coverage of the demonstrations and therefore it was brutally attacked by the italian police. Two and a half years after the creation of the first IMC the global network of Indymedia counts 89 IMCs.
The Athens IMC was created in October 2001 by an open group of people, inspired by the idea of independent, collective and non-commercial information. The idea of the effort is simple and already tested: Instead of being passive receivers of information, worked out by the "experts" according to their bosses' interests, we can all become both senders and receivers of a horizontal and rich sort of information. Instead of settling before our TV screens, to watch the TV version of events we experienced ourselves, we can share our personal authentic views of them. Instead of wasting our energy on hating and resent the corporate media, we can take the information in our hands!
The collective that started IMC Athens, doesn't claim the "ownership" of the means. There's place for everybody in Indymedia, as persons, so long as they accept the anti-hierarchical structure and operation, both in terms of their beliefs and in terms of their equal participation in the operation of the means and in the taking of decisions. In the IMC Athens website everybody can publish texts, photos, video, audio for free. Whatsmore, everything published in the IMCs is free for use by everybody (no copyright).
At the same time, open and non-hierarchical working groups are being formed and deal with updating the home page, technical matters, translating texts etc. These teams e-communicate, while once a week there is the open meeting of the whole IMC Athens collective. For anybody wishing to get in touch the e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We believe that information can be the raw material of both manipulation and truth. We want to create a networking area of anti- information and horizontal communication, a field where, after all, the activity of the social movements will be shown together with the real identity of everyday life, a tribune for the expression of each and every opinion against global Power.