Epitaph

7 Apr 2017

After almost a year of silent freeze, Indymedia UK has published its own epitaph, publicly acknowledging that activists had utterly abandoned the site and that maintaining and moderating it was no longer worth anyone’s time.

Open publishing was disabled on this site in mid-July 2016 as there was a very low volume of original grass roots news reports from activists being posted and the collective running the site was dwindling as people were working on other things.

At the time of writing there is still the possibility for site admins to publish to this site, but the intention is to remove this functionality before the end of April 2017 — from May 1st 2017 onward this will just be a static archive.

May 1 is, fittingly, exactly six years to the day after the Mayday wrecking crew took over the site and began the process of destroying it from within, a process that is now complete. Now, finally, it is to be what Mayday had initially promised hands-on-heart it would be in 2011: a static site. They just didn’t mention in 2011 that they were going to have to kill Indymedia in the UK first.

By coincidence, the topic of anti-Semitism on the left has exploded, again in the Labour Party, and again because of Ken Livingstone’s twisted version of history. It’s interesting to note just how clearly this Guardian editorial explains the problem, and it provides a surprisingly accurate and interesting parallel. Neither Corbyn’s Labour nor Indymedia UK could ever get past the anti-Semitism issue because they have refused every opportunity to do the only thing that would make it possible: recognize and cast out the promoters of anti-Semitism in their own ranks.

In modern times it is not Labour’s normal practice to belittle the views of those who say they have been victims of racial prejudice, to query their motives and to reject the premises of their complaint. For good reasons, the party’s default position has become a determined readiness to define racism as its victims would like it to be defined. But there is arguably now an exception to this basic ethos of sensitivity: Jews. When the allegation is antisemitism and a Labour politician is being accused, the dynamic is often reversed. A presumption can take hold that the offence cannot have been committed because the left is opposed to all racism.

Warped logic then unfolds: anti-racists cannot be guilty of prejudice against Jews, so it follows that Jewish complaints about prejudice are dishonest. The offence is pushed back on to the people who thought they had been offended. It is reconfigured as a plot to discredit political foes; part of a hidden agenda connected to Israel-Palestine. This argument then feeds the idea that an accusation of antisemitism is a weapon deployed by Jews (usually for decorum’s sake recast as “Zionists”) for nefarious purposes. Thus the ancient racist narrative of kosher conspiracy and shadowy machination thrives even among those who imagine they are policing racism.

Sounds exactly like what Indymedia UK became, and exactly the excuses Roy Bard et al. proffered for failing to do one damned thing about it.

[Edit, Mar 6] Atzmon is currently on a US tour to support a new book; a few days ago he held a heavily protested “conference” in NYC, and today (Mar 6) he speaks at the Holocaust denial organization “Institute for Historical Review” again.

With the closure of Indymedia UK and the all but universal acknowledgement of the now openly alt-right Atzmon’s anti-Semitism, this blog is now closed as well.