Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

About SC-IMC

Indymedia emerged from the clouds of tear gas that filled the streets of Seattle in 1999 as a tool for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of truth. Then and now, the stories told through Indymedia come from the hearts and minds of people on the frontlines of the struggle for justice against tyranny. Since 1999, Indymedia has grown into a network of nearly 150 Independent Media Centers (IMCs) all over the world by means of a commitment to equality, decentralization and autonomy.

On Santa Cruz Indymedia you can easily publish articles, audio, photography, and video. Your stories and analysis go right up on our newswire. You can even add comments and additions to other stories posted on the site. Santa Cruz Indymedia has dedicated itself to improving coverage of local issues and events.

Santa Cruz Indymedia is an IMC for the Monterey Bay Area. Indymedia activism can take many forms, but is rooted in the Indymedia Principles of Unity which profess that the open exchange of and open access to information is a prerequisite to the building of a more free and just society. The Santa Cruz Indymedia principles of unity (see below) are based on this document. Santa Cruz Indymedia is not a membership organization; it is a tactic, a concept, and a movement that can be effectively utilized in many different ways.

The Website

Like all IMCs, Santa Cruz Indymedia hosts a website with an open publishing newswire to which anyone can post text, images, audio and video using the online publish form. Unlike a newspaper or other form of media, content uploaded to the website using this form is published directly to the newswire without being approved or edited. The articles that are featured in the center column are taken right from the newswire, thus highlighting original content and reporting. This system empowers anyone to become the media for the purpose of sharing information and views that are blocked out or misrepresented by the corporate media; that is, to stand with the oppressed against the oppressors.

Working Groups

Santa Cruz Indymedia's structure is not derived from a centralized bureaucratic process, but from the self-organization of autonomous working groups that recognize the importance in developing a unified approach. These groups can be centered around a set of tasks (e.g., web design, tech, editorial), a type of media (e.g., video, print, web radio), an activity (e.g., promotion/outreach, reporting), or some other project. Santa Cruz Indymedia working groups can organize themselves in whatever fashion they find most appropriate to their needs (e.g., frequency of meetings, method of communication, open or closed listserves, etc.) as long as they stick to the Santa Cruz Indymedia principles of unity (see below).

General Meetings

General Santa Cruz Indymedia meetings occur regularly to foster cooperation among individuals and working groups, and are open to people who are interested in supporting Santa Cruz Indymedia projects or starting new ones. Currently, meetings are held the second Sunday of each month at 7:00pm at the Resource Center for NonViolence located at 515 Broadway in Santa Cruz.

Occasionally, people who gather at these meetings might collectively address an issue that affects more than one of the working groups. In such cases, decisions shall be made by consensus, which requires open minds, active listening, and mutual respect. "Blocks" or the threat of a block to an idea presented at a meeting should not be made lightly.

"I block" means "I feel that the group has compromised its own values with this choice," or "If we move forward with this idea, I cannot personally continue to work with this group." The individual making a block should balance their opposition to the idea with their willingness to continue working with the group. Instead of blocking, an individual may also "stand aside" from a decision.

To address the individual making the block, the group will go around the circle to see if anyone else agrees. If no one else does, the blocker is asked if s/he wants to stand aside. If not, the individual needs to give another, new reason to block. Going around in the circle like this can happen up to three times. The individual making the block is then asked if they are choosing to stand aside or leave, and the idea passes.

Santa Cruz Indymedia Principles of Unity

* All Santa Cruz Indymedia working groups are not-for-profit. All contributions to Santa Cruz Indymedia are on a volunteer basis and no money shall be paid for Indymedia work.

* All working groups recognize the importance of process to social change and are committed to the development of non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian relationships, from interpersonal relationships to group dynamics. Therefore, they shall organize themselves collectively and be committed to the principle of consensus decision-making and the development of a direct, participatory democratic process that is transparent to those involved.

* All working groups recognize that the contribution of an individual's labor is a prerequisite for participation in the decision making process of a working group or at a Santa Cruz Indymedia general meeting. Individuals who are not committing tangible labor to a Santa Cruz Indymedia working group are encouraged to share their views but may not "block" a consensus.

* All working groups are committed to caring for one another and their respective communities both collectively and as individuals and will promote the sharing of resources including knowledge, skills and equipment.

* Whenever possible, all working groups shall be committed to the use of free software and open source code, in order to develop the digital infrastructure, and to increase the independence of themselves by not relying on proprietary software.

* Openess: All working groups shall be committed to the principle of human equality, and shall not discriminate based upon race, spiritual belief, gender, age, class or sexual identity. Working groups are committed to the ideal of building diversity within their activities.

Related Global Indymedia documents: [ Indymedia Principles of Unity | Indymedia Membership Criteria ]

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