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Following the successful World Forum on Communications Rights held in Geneva in December, communications activists including the APC aim to bring together those working at different levels on communication rights – from grass roots activists working on practical projects and street level campaigns, to those engaged in lobbying and advocacy, to researchers and academics for a European Forum on Communication Rights.


European Forum on Communication Rights

Thursday 14 October 2004

9.15am – 6.30pm

The Camden Centre,

Judd St

Near Kings Cross,

London WC1

FREE / donations encouraged



The European Forum on Communication Rights (EFCR) takes place the day before the start of the European Social Forum, and tackles one of the most important questions we face how to bring together those working at different levels on communication rights – from grass roots activists working on practical projects and street level campaigns, to those engaged in lobbying and advocacy, to researchers and academics.

Starting the day a series of keynote speakers, presentations and open-floor discussions will establish what is at stake in the information revolution who owns what, who has the power, and what it means for us all. Focusing on the global issues of Security and the Surveillance State, Migration and Borders, and the Corporatisation of our Communication spaces and knowledge, the afternoon aims to find common ground that links these varied strands together to produce vibrant, relevant and powerful campaigns.

The EFCR is the first of four days of discussion, practical collaboration and media making, based at the Camden Centre, next to Kings Cross in the Bloomsbury area (one of the two major ESF locations).


Keynote Speakers Include:

Dr Cees J. Hamelink

Dr. Hamelink has published over 250 articles, papers and numerous books on Communication Rights, and initiated the People’s Communication Charter movement.

Sean O’Siochru

CRIS Campaign Ireland (Communication Rights in the Information Society) and Coordinator, World Forum on Communication Rights, Geneva December 2003.

Dr. Claudia Padovani

Dept. of Historical and Political Studies, University of Padova and CRIS Campaign, Italy.

Roberto Verzola

Currently the secretary-general of the Philippine Greens, Roberto Verzola was one of the founders of the progressive information and communications technology (ICT) movement.

Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng

Director of Isis-WICCE, (Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange) Uganda. Ruth Ochieng is also a member of the International Coordinating Committee of Women Human Rights Defender (WHRD) and WSIS Africa Gender Caucus.

Participating panel speakers and organisations include:

Supinya Klangnarong, Secretary General of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform in Thailand Simon Davies, Privacy International Gus Hosein, Privacy International Mark Littlewood, No2id Campaign Hagen Kopp, IOM campaign Steve Buckley, AMARC Karen Banks, APC Arun Kundnani, Institute of Race Relations Ben Hayes, Statewatch

And speakers from Defy-ID, Indymedia Estrecho (madiaq collective), with more to be confirmed.

The European Forum on Communication Rights and ongoing four day programme has been developed to counteract the lack of content addressing communication rights within the European Social Forum programme. As thousands of participants from diverse movements gather to meet and discuss, the urgency of Communication Rights issues and the freedom to communicate must be at the core of any vision of another society.

The venue will also house an ongoing Indymedia centre (IMC) to facilitate DIY reporting and media production, and all attendees are encouraged to participate. There will also be a bar and cheap food available, as well as social events and film screenings.



The European Forum on Communication Rights Thursday 14 October 2004

9.15am – 6.30pm

9.15 Doors open

9.45 – 10.00 Welcome (MCCRN representative)

10.00 – 10.45 Keynote Cees Hamelink (with response speaker)

10.45 – 11.45 Framework on Communication Rights Defining Key Issues in

the European Context Speakers Sean O’Siochru and Claudia Padovani

12.00 – 1.30 Communication Rights Grassroots Experience and Social

Realities Speakers Roberto Verzola (Philippines) and Ruth Ojiambo

Ochieng (Uganda)

1.30 – 2.30 Lunch Break

(cheap food is available from the venue and there are many pubs and

shops in walking distance)

2.30 – 2.45 Introduction to the Afternoon (MCCRN representative) The afternoon focuses on three global issues and aims to find common ground that links these varied strands together to examine how to produce vibrant, relevant and powerful campaigns. Each panel will have short contributions from speakers, followed by an open floor discussion.

2.45 – 3.45 The Security State and Technologies of Control As civil liberties crumble under the wave of repressive anti-terrorism legislation being introduced across Europe, the UK is becoming a testing ground for new levels of surveillance and control. While migrants will be tagged with satellite tracking devices, the general population will be required to carry ‘Biometric Microchip Identity Cards’ to access healthcare, welfare benefits and local services like transport, with all data being stored in a vast national information system of linked databases accessible by thousands of government departments and other ‘interested’ parties.

What are the latest developments, what are the strategies of different campaigners, how are they working together to form broader coalitions to prevent this repressive wave from obliterating fundamental human rights and freedoms?

3.45 – 4.45 Migration Freedom of Movement and Free Communication Despite increasing tendencies of global governance directed at the flow of migration and communication through databases like the Schengen Information System, biometric controls etc, people continue to move and communicate. This panel will explore the connections between free movement and free communication, looking at institutions like the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) as well as the movements against these types of global governance and the ICT tools they are using.

4.45 – 5.45 The Corporatisation of Our Communication Spaces and Knowledge The growth of corporate power in europe is reflected in increasing concentration of ownership in media and communications. Safeguards to preserve pluralism have been insufficient to keep in check the big corporations unaccountable power over public life. This panel looks at the rise of corporate power in Thailand and Italy and its base in major communications corporations. It asks what measures are needed to counter the corporate communications hegemony and asks "is another communication possible?", as well as drawing parallels with other areas such as Intellectual Property.

5.45 – 6.30 Closing Session


The Media Culture and Communications Rights Network includes:

Article 19, the Association For Progressive Communications (APC), volunteers from Babels, Community Media Association UK, Computer Aid International, members of the CRIS Campaign (Ireland, UK, Italy), E-Hippies, APC member in the UK GreenNet, GreenNet Educational Trust, volunteers from Indymedia Centers in the UK, France and Germany, Privacy International, World Association of Christian Communications (WACC), World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters



Links and Contacts:

EFCR website

EFCR contact

Official ESF website

Unofficial ESF website

ESF Autonomous Spaces and Initiatives

Indymedia UK Network

IMC Media Centre organising wiki website


Author: —- (APCNews)
Source: APCNews
Date: 09/29/2004
Location: LONDON, UK
Category: Democratising Communication
Members involved