[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 11, 2003Our space is open. At last, after a long search, Daily Summit tracked down Polymedia, renegade media outfit, evicted from their first home, but now resident in a Genevan cinema/theatre.
Harassed, harangued, haunted, but happy at last! And (there's no better way one can put it) these guys are weird...
First thing you notice: no telephones. But lots of computers, all set up to disseminate what they believe to be real information, the sort that should matter to people.
Polymedia has strong links to Indymedia - a group that has been in the thick of protest against the world order. Seattle, Evian, and now Geneva - the group has a record of reporting from the heart of the action.
Now, they have been forced to relocate to two bases. The Palladium is a brown building, from which thick black and blue smoke belches off the cigarette sticks of our famous journalists. A unused projection screen lies unused, and everywhere there are computers. Close by is the Theatre de la Usine - a larger space.
The Polymedians are busy - but not too busy to speak.
First, Annie, an academic: "We use the Usine for conference talks, discussion, and debates. And in the Palladium, we are experimenting with free software, sharing knowledge and experiences, and updating Polymedia web sites. Ours is a do it yourself movement, which is why I can't tell you my second name: I don't want to sound special. Here at Polymedia, people are simply trying to escape from the rat race. We simply want the freedom to live on our own terms. We are not worried by our problems with the police. We are used to being troubled. Its our sacrifice for a freer world.."
Then American, Sasha Chock: "We do not feel free with 2,000 military and 700 police at the Palexpo. To inform the people, we do not have to go through metal detectors and checkpoints every 200 feet! We do not want to be in a space of controlled information, where they held me up yesterday and divided my papers and leaflets into two piles. The ones I could take in and the ones I couldn't."
Chock's fellow country woman, who identified herself simply as Dee Dee concluded: "The difference between our world and yours is that this space is open. Yours is not."