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(en) Britain, Bristol Indymedia server seized tonight

Date Wed, 29 Jun 2005 17:47:52 +0300

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

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.

Friend of BIM


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