Nettime mailing list archives

<nettime> PolyMediaLab: access denied
Martin Hardie on Tue, 9 Dec 2003 17:24:06 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> PolyMediaLab: access denied


WSIS? WE SEIZE! PolyMediaLab: access denied
 by denise brennan Tuesday December 09, 2003 at 12:50 PM

Geneva Police intervention impedes PolyMediaLab events

WSIS? WE SEIZE! PolyMediaLab: access denied 
 denise brennan 12:25pm Tue Dec 9 '03 

 Before it even begins, the parallel Media Workshop event to the WSIS is in 
danger of being shut down. The PolyMediaLab event is intended as an 
opportunity to learn and share technical and theoretical skills promoting 
independent media production. 

 Around 10 am this morning, participants in the PolyMediaLab event of the 
WSIS? WE SEIZE! assembly received an unpleasant suprise. The owner of the 
building that they believed they had been given legal permission to use 
arrived on the premises and demanded immediate evacuation under threat of 
police intervention. According to the owner, he was not informed that this 
event was taking place. The participants explained that they had in fact been 
provided with a key, and had obtained a verbal agreement to occupy the space, 
and refused to leave. Apparently, the permission was granted and the key 
provided by the tenant of the building, who was unaware that he had no legal 
right to do so. The tenant has now also requested the PolyMedia Lab to 
 Subsequently, ten members of the Geneva police force arrived, outfitted in 
riot gear, demanding identification papers from all participants. At this 
time, the approximately fifteen participants inside the location have been 
informed that they will not be permitted to leave unless they bring all of 
their equipment with them. The locks of the building are currently being 
replaced, and no re-entry will be allowed. 

 Participants are currently in discussion as to what action should be taken, 
and are seeking legal advie. As of now, information indicates that, as the 
entry was presumed legal and not forced, the PolyMediaLab cannot be forcibly 
evicted. However, if they leave the premises, they will not be allowed to 
re-enter. The police will remain in the building until everything has been 

 Several other WSIS? WE SEIZE! participants, who were present to attend the 
S-Conf open conference event have now assembled outside of the occupied 
building to contribute to the decision on what action should be taken. 
Essentially, WSIS? WE SEIZE! will take the most appropriate measures 
available to ensure that the Lab can continue as planned. Legal counsel is 
being consulted on the implications of an official political occupation. 
 "We are discussing what the best course of action will be", explains one of 
the participants inside the building. "We are only a few people here, and the 
decision of what to do next should be made collectively and 


"Mind you, I am not asking you to bear witness to what you believe false, 
which would be a sin, but to testify falsely to what you believe true - which 
is a virtuous act because it compensates for lack of proof of something 
that certainly exists or happened." Bishop Otto to Baudolino in Umberto Eco's 

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo {AT} bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime {AT} bbs.thing.net