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  • CAMPERSpeak: You can call me an info-activist... if you like --Patrice Riemens (Nl) | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    the core of what social or political activism has always been about information exchange for social change Incidentally that was one of the two mottos of Antenna nl beside communication for progress not for profit The Dutch Antenna was founded in 1986 as an independent foundation to support NGOs local government and educational institutions by introducing ICT It has since become an ICT partner for around 500 organisations in the fields of labour women s emancipation environment development social change education human rights peace and fair trade Naturally the Net has made information exchange faster easier and much more comprehensive So there is surely a quantitative and one may hope also a qualitative jump here FN Do you define yourself as an info activist Why or why not I usually refer to myself when forced to I do not like self definitions as a cultural or sometimes Internet activist You can add info activist if you like that FN This history of colonialism was the history of info activism but for a different purpose Would you agree How do you rate the contemporary Dutch abilities in info activism Isn t that a bit cutting sharp thru the bend as we say in Holland Or do you mean colonialism was based aot among other things on closely managed information gathering and retention In that case I can refer you to our Basel Hippie from Hell friend Barbara Strebel who always describes the Dutch and especially one of their current manifestation as an alternative cultural arty progressive new media scene as pirates FN From Free Libre and Open Source Software FLOSS to info activism What do you see as the link between these Are they just fashionable labels d jour Or is there more of a consistent thread running through all of them I d say the link is as obvious as was for me the transition from the squatters scene in Amsterdam to the hackers scene Squatting is the act of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied space or building usually residential that the squatter does not own rent or otherwise have permission to use Squatting is significantly more common in urban areas than rural areas especially when urban decay occurs According to author Robert Neuwirth there are one billion squatters globally that is to say about one in every seven people on the planet Wikipedia Freedom and Justice do not just happen but must be brought about F OSS Sorry FN I know of your preference for using the term FLOSS is one of the vehicles Info activism is another They have a lot in common FN If you were to describe one episode of info activism in your life that made you the most satisfied and feel less powerful in a cruel world what would that incident be I see trends rather than episodes or incidents The world is cruel and where it is heading to is uncertain The worst is not guaranteed but remains possible But I have seen

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/61 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Information is oxygen for human rights activity -- Nurul Alam Masud (Bd) | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    social justice Information must be provided to the people through the print and electronic media video email website face to face meetings and every means possible In this way they have a better chance to claim their rights FN Noakhali is important in South Asian history and the independence movement We learn of it in textbooks But as you say the area is lacking research civil society activism information technology Does such a description holds true for many rural remote parts of South Asia Can info activism help Yes Noakhali is a significant place in South Asian history It has had a remarkable contribution to our independence movement socialist politics and indigenous culture But at the same time we lack info research and people s activism I agree that such a description holds true for many South Asian remote parts The history of growing cities and expansion of the market economy of this subcontinent was very fast but it is limited to the big cities and capitals only Statistics say the rich of this area are becoming richer and the poor poorer These are some areas where access to government service is never seen So information holds out a hope of making lives better Of course at the same time relations between center and rural area also will have to be improved FN Please tell us more about your work in participatory video for social justice Video is one of the most powerful communication tools that exist right now Participatory video is as a social and community based tool for individual or collective community development Video mostly gets done by professionals not members of the community But participatory video involves the community itself in managing the operating script making acquiring the interview community presentation and feedback collection At the same

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/60 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Martus has revolutionalised human rights reporting in Kenya -- Kipp | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    An informed society is a knowledgeable society This allows access to pertinent information by all social groups Documentation and archiving knowledge from all levels of the community will help strengthen civil society Our work focuses on More transparent public resource management Clear information channels developed on local governance policy and locally formulated Active citizens participation in decision making Specially through ICT enabled tools maps SMS systems web based and other traditional media Monitoring and evaluation systems for social audits and citizens scorecards An integrated and interactive social movements platform Further document knowledge local content and information from civil society and social movements in the form of an digital repository and knowledge base Improvement of access to health services specially access to treatment for HIV AIDS and other opportunistic ailments tuberculosis and malaria through a health portal http opengovernance info Steps to poverty eradication and economic empowerment through an small and medium scale enterprises SME portal Strengthening the capacity of civil society and encourage dialogue with academia and private sector through an online open university Dialogue platform for social movements with policy makers Regional integration systems developed for visibility of social movements in East Africa on social and economic development issues http opengovernance info An ICT enhanced rights based approach to the work of civil and its engagement with issues of economic and democratic governance through Martus an open and accessible human rights monitoring system FN When you talk of analysing and developing technologies that empower communities in the area of participation in governance what do you mean Could you spell that out please This means simply looking at the problems issues and opportunities at hand existing or accessible technologies and connecting the two In a way that it creates platforms through all accessible mediums with reference to the day to

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/59 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Alternative media is alive and well all over Latin America. -- Marie Trigona (Argentina) | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    hold a lot of values dear so it s hard to narrow them down Yet Freedom in my personal professional and political life Freedom to decide what I write how it is presented and of course fighting for freedom from exploitation and oppression Revolutionary perspectives and gender balance You d be surprised a lot of people believe revolution is necessary and possible Self managing parts of my own life and researching self management in a utopia all media and aspects of life would hopefully have elements of self management FN Do journalists as a community recognise the power of info activism I don t know if all journalists even consider activism or social change when reporting From what I read hear and see on the news I would say no However there are some journalists even in mass media reporting on interesting stories but I would say they are the minority There is a large community of journalists and media makers developing alternative media They certainly see that media can be used as a political and organizing tool for social change Even the anarchists from the beginning of the 19th century used info activism with their own newspapers theatre performances and literature FN Can there be information without activism What s your view I mean can information be without value or wholly neutral Most journalist schools teach objectivity Objectivity is a misnomer and myth Even if you are writing a straight up news report you are being subjective because you omit and purposefully include certain elements of the story To me the most honest media and information come from a subjective perspective someone telling their personal story and experience Luckily I never went to journalism school so I missed out on the objectivity lesson FN Of all the diverse media you worked in what do you see as the most powerful Why Definitely video has been the most effective and far reaching I participate in a video collective Grupo Alavío we create materials that are artistically journalistically and cinematically adept yet at the same time produce a new working class subjectivity One myth that surrounds alternative media is that even though videos are distributed in informal circuits with small budgets they can t reach a massive audience In Grupo Alavío s experience this has been the case tens of thousands of people if not more have viewed our materials After screenings it is common for political debates and organizing efforts to take place FN What s your advice to activists wanting to get a sympathetic hearing from the mainstream media Is it possible Does it happen often A remote chance Just luck Of course if you have an issue or struggle you are trying to win you have to rely on the mass media That s why we need to produce savvy press releases and do actions to catch the media s attention But we can t always count on the mainstream media to paint a sympathetic picture This is

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/58 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Australia has done some great work in info-activism -- Andrew 'And' Lowenthal | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    to inform my work Making your work more effective is critical so therefore any tool that helps you whether it s software or a concept is very important FN Tell us about the progress made by EngageMedia org and what role does it play which other commercial ventures say YouTube or Google videos cannot EngageMedia has been slowly building for almost four years now I co founded it actually after being inspired by Asia Source in Bangalore in 2005 where I d met a lot of interesting people who d started up their own initiatives The idea had been in my head for a long time but Asia Source was the catalyst This project itself has really just started to hit it s stride Webspace is growing a place for people in the Asia Pacific to access and publish video about social justice and environmental issues The software Plumi is being increasingly taken up as platform for people to build their own video sharing spaces The role it plays that other commercial ventures cannot are multiple I think Firstly we allow high resolution downloads which YouTube for example is only just starting to allow We use open content licenses like Creative Commons Besides we re ad free independent and committed to the security of our users We also release our platform freely under the GNU GPL so anyone can make their own independent video community Mostly importantly perhaps is that it convenes video makers and campaigners from around the Asia Pacific to create their own space We re building media with a purpose that is a tool for movements working on social justice and environmental issues to enhance their work FN Of all your work in Tactical Tech itself which was the most exciting Why The camps I think Because

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/57 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Independent media are a crucial factor in social change and democratisation -- Hapee de Groot (NL) | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    In principle I think the Dutch people have a sharp understanding of what is justice and what is not and act upon it Besides their fluency in another language mostly it s English also helps FN Tell us about the Digital City What do you see as its main achievements The Digital City was the first public and free internet supplier in the Netherlands It opened up the public domain and guarded that space As pioneers the DDS was web2 0 and even info activism even before the concept existed Its main achievement lies in the fact that it opened up the internet for a lot of people Long before the gmails and the hotmails the DDS offered free email addresses and downsized the threshold for a lot of people The other side of the coin is there in this case too If you really interested in this subject take a look here http www nettime org Lists Archives nettime l 0101 msg00085 html FN How does Hivos look at the world of info activism Is it something especially important to you ll Why Hivos was one of the first donor agencies which developed a ICT policy and took a position on the digital divide issues We raised the issue of access to the internet for example in Hivos first ICT program Access for All Equal Opportunities in Cyberspace This was started in 2000 It focussed among other things on access to ICTs capacity building of ICT usage and rights in the cyber space Hivos Media Information and Communication MIC programme which was developed in 2004 aims to empower citizens in development countries specially the poor and the marginalized and the organisations that support them to express their voices and make them heard In the last program the focus was on tools But as in addition to tools the general approach of info activism add up several aspect that produces more quality FN When you say Hivos promotes the strategic use of ICT by providing training and financial assistance could you be more specific The global ICT explosion will not end poverty and inequality of its own accord even in the virtual world That is why Hivos works with partner organisations to formalise human rights and freedom of expression on the Internet Independent media are a crucial factor in social change and democratisation Citizen journalism for example is an instrument for giving voice to other views Hivos offers partner organisations in developing countries active assistance in the following areas the strategic use of ICT knowledge exchange new media the use of the possibilities offered by e mail and the Internet for advocacy and networking the use of the economic opportunities offered by ICT campaigns for cyber rights e governance and freedom of expression on the Internet and research and innovation Such programme are largely carried out by providing direct financial aid to partner organisations For example Tactical Tech is a very important partner in this programme We together with OSI

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/56 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Sectarianism can be a challenge to info-activism... people believe what they believe --Rebecca Saade (Lebanon) | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    His strategy is high profile advocacy i e walkathon in 2007 and Draw the Line campaign in 2008 and altering national and regional policies i e regional workshop for policy makers in 2008 Soumar Dakdouk works on the protection of biodiversity i e intercepting illegal exportation of endangered species and such in addition to an advertising campaign that aimed to raise awareness about animal skin trade and its brutality Farah Salka works on a youth project called IndyYOUTH which aims to provide young people 13 18 years old with sufficient training and any tools they may need to be able to start campaigns on their own Nadine Moawad has launched the Banat Akhir Zaman campaign a feminist campaign that focuses on the bodily rights of women in Lebanon On January 15 Nadine and a group of feminists started the feminist collective which will be a platform to allow different feminists to work on different groups in one office I take pride in being one of the founders Kafa or kafa zolm wa istighlal كفى عنف واستغلال tr enough violence and exploitation is an NGO made of mainly of lawyers researchers They work on the care for beaten women in Lebanon they have social worker s coaching emergency support shelters and such services for women that were victims of violence This year after four years of extensive research they have prepared a draft law to incriminate family violence such laws lack in the Lebanese law At the moment the law is still passing through bureaucratic procedures but so far it seems that it will pass I was wondering why didn t you ask me about Meem which is another organization that I work with I am sure I mentioned that in the application FN Oops Missed out entirely by oversight FN I know this could open up a big issue but put briefly what were the high points and successes of your media activism during the 2006 war in Lebanon You are right it is a big issue as my political stand back then was very personal unlike mine now that I work in organizations Back then my readership was limited around 70 readers per day The highest point was when my entries was put under the spotlight by one of my regular readers the sandmonkey from www sandmonkey org and then I had a lot of exposure around 1000 per day One achievement I had not anticipated was how relieved I personally felt as I wrote down what the political minority that I was born into felt FN What exact role did you play there Eventually the role I wanted for myself was to clear things up when it comes to the unspoken history of my homeland and the unspoken yet influential forces that were on the ground To make sure that others would realize the limitations of terms like terrorist to describe Hezbollah and to highlight what I believed was the only way to deal with this peace and

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/55 (2016-04-30)
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  • CAMPERSpeak: Info-activism is of special relevance to take exiles' message through -- Phuntsok Dorjee | Info-Activism a project of Tactical Technology Collective
    Tibetan Children s Villages I also spend considerable amount of my time working with various NGOs with Internet security issues and online outreach I am also the co founder of the Tibetan Technology Centre which is now located within the premise of the TCV School Dharamsala This centre built and maintains since 2005 the Dharamsala Community Wireless Network DCWN Dharamsala which literally means Rest House is a town and a municipal council in the northern regions of India in the state of Himachal Pradesh The town is notable the Wikipedia reminds us as the capital of the Central Tibetan Administration a Tibetan government in exile led by Tenzin Gyatso the 14th and current Dalai Lama The government s headquarters are in McLeod Ganj a suburb that is also referred to as Upper Dharamsala or Little Lhasa FN Pls tell us a little about the work of TTC http www tibtec org TTC was established to harness modern technology and help the Tibetan communities in exile It built the DCWN and continues to maintain and spread the network TTC also conducts basic training in IP networking and coordinates workshops and serves as a consultant on various IT related projects within the TCV schools and other NGOs Tibetans and Indians Founding members of TTC also established the Dharamsala IT Group This serves as a platform for all levels of computer users to exchange ideas and solutions The centre also helps with solar power installations in remote locations The last project involved setting up a 2kva solar plant in one of our remote schools in Hanle Ladakh Some of our repeaters installed in remote hilltops are solar powered too FN Your grid has earned a lot of appreciation in what ways is it unique from others and where else does such an experiment exist Could you describe it briefly Honestly speaking I have always felt that any community could do or replicate what we have done here in Dharamsala We are not special or unique When we first building this network we wanted to make sure that whatever equipments we use here on the network would always be easily available here in India and that the software used is open source We did not want to end up frying a router and having to wait long for its replacement from outside Our tech team started playing with the Linksys WRT54G in 2005 and fleshing it with OpenWRT Open Source We made some antenna for testing purposes and procured tested ones from Delhi The design of the so called monkey proof boxes were all done here in Dharamsala itself by the wife of our co founder who happens to be an architect I would say our timing was perfect It came right after the Government of India de regulated the 2 4GHz frequency for outdoor use We already had a network of seven nodes working within a week We drew lots of interests from IT graduates in Dharamsala and they helped us on Saturdays

    Original URL path: https://infoactivismcamp.tacticaltech.org/node/54 (2016-04-30)
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