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<nettime> WSIS? WE SEIZE!
geert lovink on Mon, 22 Sep 2003 06:27:42 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> WSIS? WE SEIZE!


(thanks to diplomatic efforts of deedee halleck and others there is a new
wsis declaration drafted by the groups that will organize parallel
counter-activities during the world summit on the information society in
geneva. the text--a compromise after lengthy debates--was written and
discussed during the next five minutes conference last week in amsterdam.
there is a lot more to said about this. the main stumbling block was how to
frame the free-of-communication-freedom-of-movement demand into the larger
picture. anyone who would like to say more about this? geert)

WSIS? WE SEIZE!

Over the past months, activists and artists with different backgrounds
ranging from indymedia centers to the noborder-networks, from the Free
Software movement to community media, from grassroots campaigns to hacker
collectives, have been discussing how to intervene in, outside of, counter
to, or as an alternative to the agenda and organisation of the World Summit
on the Information Society (WSIS) from December 10th to 12th in Geneva,
Switzerland.

WHAT IS WSIS?

WSIS is the first of two global summits dealing with information and
communications to be held by the United Nations in Geneva. But the Summit is
a smokescreen. Although it talks about the digital divide, knowledge
dissemination, social interaction, political engagement, media, education,
and health, this language is used to mystify the continuing use of
information to protect and advance the interests of global capital.

GENEVA-03

Geneva-03 is an open, loose and temporary association of groups and
individuals who are currently preparing a series of events around the WSIS.
Its common goal is to create autonomous physical and network spaces for
diverse tactical, grassroots, activist and community media actions and
discussions in and around the WSIS meetings.

The issues at hand are many:

* Shaping and subverting the information technologies that are now part of
everyday life.

* Refusing both war and infowar.

* Countering the exploitation of immaterial work and informalized labor.

* Resisting border management and digital rights management.

* Defending our commons of ideas, including indigenous knowledge, scientific
data, free software, educational systems and creative expression against the
immense pressures of privatization.

* Fighting for freedom of movement and freedom of communication for all
people, not just those who promote and benefit from capital. The actions
taking place at WSIS? WE SEIZE! will seek to promote new ways of
communicating, what is communicated, by who and for whom: to create new
social formations that can address the systems of domination that surround
and inform our world.

The struggle takes place from the local, regional and global infrastructure
(radio and TV spectrum, wireless frequencies, cable rights of way, satellite
orbital paths) to the content that traverses those structures. These
networks should be for the benefit of and use by all the world's people,
organised to nurture and sustain social cooperation.

WSIS? WE SEIZE!

The event will work around these areas:

* A strategic convention before the UN summit in Geneva, comprising
discussions, panels and presentations.

* A polymedia lab to share tools, skills, experiences, and knowledge.

* A three day netcast which will follow the revolution of the earth,
streaming independent media activism and community media projects from
across the globe.

Geneva-03 is asking all interested people to get involved with this
initiative. We are working to establish venues and schedules, as well as
options for accomodation and general survival in the expensive city of
Geneva.

There will be a further preparation meeting at the European Social Forum in
Paris in November. For all people interested in the Geneva-03 project, this
is the open working  list: http://lists.emdash.org/mailman/listinfo/prep-l
and the website: http://www.geneva03.org/. The Geneva03.org website is an
open publishing forum where you can post your proposals, ideas and
contributions.

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