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Media in Resistance: 20 Years After Seattle

November 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - November 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

Twenty years ago, thousands of young activists filled the streets of downtown Seattle in a massive protest against the World Trade Organization. They stunned business and government elites around the world with their creative tactics and their use of independent media networks to spread their own global justice message to the public, thus circumventing traditional corporate media gatekeepers. This conference will bring early organizers of the Seattle indymedia network, more recent activists from the democracy movements across the MENA region, Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Standing Rock, and other movements, together with scholars committed to a more inclusive and democratic media system to analyze the lessons of the past 20 years of resistance media and the road ahead.

The event features a Friday evening curated screening of Showdown in Seattle: Five Days That Shook the WTO, followed by a panel discussion on the history and future of independent media, as well as a full day conference on Saturday engaging media makers, activists, and academics.

Friday, November 22          6:00-9:00 pm

The historic Seattle WTO protests of 1999 were part of world-wide movement for global justice, ending income inequality and addressing climate change. The opening session will examine the birth of the original indymedia center, the actual events in Seattle, and the influence of indymedia on social movements.

Opening Remarks:  Juan González, Rutgers University SC&I & Democracy Now! Todd Wolfson, Rutgers University SC&I & Co-Director of the MIC Center, and Marisa Holmes, Doctoral Student, Rutgers University SC&I

Subcommandante Marcos Address at Freeing the Media Teach-in, 1996. Malú Huacuja del Toro, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter

Screening of the film Showdown in Seattle

Opening Panel:

Henda Chennaoui, Independent journalist, organizer, sociologist, and writer at Inkyfada
Jeff Perlstein, Co-founder of Seattle Indymedia and Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net)
Lorenzo Serna, Core organizer of Occupy Wall Street Media Working Group and co-founder of Unicorn Riot.
Rick Rowley, Filmmaker, co-founder Big Noise Films
Moderator: Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

Saturday, November 23 10:00am-6pm

10-11:15am indymedia Retrospective: Successes, Failures, and Lessons Learned

This panel looks at the history of indymedia from New York and Philadelphia to the many media activist projects that emerged in the wake of the indymedia movement.

John Tarleton, Editor, the Indypendent
Ana Nogueira, Co-founder, NYC Indymedia and indymedia network organizer
Petri Dish, Founder Prometheus Radio Project
Jacquie Soohen, Producer and director, Big Noise Films
Moderator: Mark Read, Producer on Showdown in Seattleartist, educator, and activist


Change the Narrator: Media and the Poor People’s Campaign 

Rev. William Barber, Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, often says, “In order to change the narrative, you’ve got to change the narrator!” Panelists will examine how the dispossessed are challenging systemic racism, poverty, militarism, and ecological devastation, and the uses of media to combat our nation’s distorted moral narrative of religious nationalism.

Peter Kinoy, NYS Poor People’s Campaign, filmmaker, and Co-founder of Skylight Pictures
Tammy Rojas, Comms and Media Team, Put People First! PA
James Shearer, National Union of the Homeless/Spare Change News
Dara Kell, Director, Brava Media
Moderator: Nic Laccetti, Social Media Team, Kairos Center/Poor People’s Campaign

Voices of Dissent: Tech and Media Activists Behind Bars

The last decade has been marked by the use of digital media to spark dissent. But those responsible for whistleblowing, releasing data, and documenting police brutality have been increasingly targeted. Hear from legal experts and support committees for these persecuted activists.

Moira Melter Cohen, Counsel to Chelsea Manning
Janus Rose, Organizer with Chelsea Resists
Sister Shirley, Organizer with Staten Island Against Racism and Police Brutality (SIARPB) and Free Ramsey Orta
Moderator:  Natasha Lennard, The Intercept

The Battle for the Real: Winning the Narrative War

Innovative uses of social media have transformed mainstream culture and narratives in the past decade. This workshop takes an inside look at how activists from #OccupyWallStreet, #BlackLivesMatter, and the #NoDAPL movements utilized platforms to advance their messages. It will also map out the media landscape that continues to further concentrate wealth and allow platforms for far right actors.
Lorenzo Serna, Co-founder of Unicorn Riot

Technology and Revolution 

What role does information technology play in our work? What parts of our program and objectives relate to it? The Technology and Revolution series of convergences have brought together more than 1500 activists in the United States and Mexico to talk about the intersection of technology and fundamental social change — and the place that intersection and work should have in our movement’s practical agenda.
Alfredo Lopez, May First Movement Technology

12:45-1:45 LUNCH

Organizing Media and Tech Workers in the Gig Economy

In a world with increasing numbers of part-time, contingent and contract employees and with giant goliaths of the so-called sharing economy, how can workers organize to defend their rights?

Bhairavi Desai, President, New York Taxi Workers Alliance
Justin Molito, Director of Organizing, Writers Guild of America East (WGAE)
Nicole Cartagna, Organizer with the Tech Workers Coalition
Representative from the Freelance Journalists Union
Moderator, Sarah Jaffe, Type Media Center

Seeking Social Justice in the Age of Algorithms 

When big tech is consolidating power and collaborating with the state to surveil and detain people, it is necessary to build resistance. Hear from organizers working on building grassroots power to change algorithms, and demand divestment from ICE.

Katie Schaffer, Organizer for decarceration
Aiha Nguyen, Project lead, Social instabilities in Labor Futures, Data and Society
Representative from Close the Camps & Movimiento Cosecha
Moderator: Todd Wolfson, MIC Center Co-Director

Staying Safe Together: Threat Modeling and Holistic Security

Threats are everywhere all the time! But we still need to be able to function in our lives and our organizing. This workshop will give an introduction to threat modeling, exploring tools we can use to make safe space for discussion of threats in our work, and building stronger, more resilient communities and groups.
CyPurr Collective

Counter-surveillance Strategies: Inside Copwatch Patrol Unit

Through documenting police activities, knowing your rights, and doing outreach to the community, you can become a successful Copwatcher. Learn best practices from the CPU.
Jose LaSalle and Kim Ortiz

3:15-3:30 COFFEE BREAK 
3:30-5:00 Integrating Lessons Learned and Future Strategies 

Panelists and conference participants look ahead at the next 20 years of indymedia efforts for radical social change.

Henda Chennaoui, Independent journalist, organizer, sociologist, and writer at Inkyfada
Juan Carlos Dávila, Independent filmmaker
Tatiana Cozzarelli, Co-Editor of Left Voice
Moderator: Juan González


After party begins at 7:00pm at the Starr Bar: https://www.facebook.com/events/551111798956423/

And the AFTER After Party starts at 10:00pm at the Starr Bar: https://www.facebook.com/events/532083907559234/ 

Email briar.smith@asc.upenn.edu with any questions.

Thank you to our cosponsors: Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and Democracy Now!


November 22, 2019 @ 6:00 pm
November 23, 2019 @ 5:00 pm