By Repost, submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 27/06/2005 - 13:16
The servers at Bristol Indymedia have been seized by Police from a collective members' house. This from an email offof a listserve. " Have just been informed that police visited the home address of a member of the Bristol Indymedia Collective (BIM) late this afternoon (approx 5.30pm) armed with a search warrant. They seized from the property the persons personal computer, as well as the Bristol Indymedia server. The member of the collective has also been taken into custody, although his partner was told this was just for a 'chat' and he'd be home soon!? LIBERTY, who have previously been involved in this matter have been advised of the situation, and action is being taken to contact a local solicitor to take on the immediate case. As at 7pm Avon & Somerset police, specifically the Trinity Rd police station custody suite, have stated that the collective member is not presently in their custody. It is possible he is being held by Bristish Transport police? The background to this situation is that on approx 17 June an anonymous post to the Bristol Indymedia newswire reported an 'action' in which objects were dropped onto a freight train carrying new cars somewhere near Avonmouth (I think). The action was contextualised as highlighting climate change/car use/over-consumption etc in the run up to the G8 summit. Rumours suggest the action caused around 100k damage. One regular poster to Bristol Indymedia, and expelled ex-collective member, Mark Watson (of Zaskar films) then posted a comment saying he morally disagreed with the action, that the post breached BIM guidelines, and that he had contacted the police & advised them BIM kept IP info (since denied by BIM). There was then a period of dialogue between BIM, Liberty & the police, in which Liberty/BIM argued that any info on the server was in any case subject to special rules covering journalistic info, and the server could not be seized using a standard search warrant (see BIM press release 24/6/05 http://indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/06/314820.html). No links to Bristol Indymedia are included here as the site is presently down! Whatever the legal case, the cops have now gone ahead and seized the server. This differs from the recent instance when UK Indymedia's servers were seized from their 'host' Rackspace, as BIM have their own stand-alone server. This poster sincerely hopes they have some mirror servers to back it up! This poster is also trying to contact the rest of the BIM collective to discuss/find out what action can be taken to defend Indymedia. As the G8 summit approaches, threats to our freedom of expression, and action, appear to be increasing rapidly. "