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The Radical Left's "Cyber-Grapevine" By: Michael P. Tremoglie
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, November 26, 2003


In the wake of the anarcho-socialist invasion of Miami to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) meetings, it is important to understand how such events are organized. Independent Media Centers (or IMC or Indymedia) are the “cyber-grapevine,” the “CNN,” and the “Clear Channel,” for just about every lunatic leftist fringe group dedicated to eliminating capitalism from the world. Indymedia is the institution developed so the anarcho-socialists can communicate with each other and coordinate their activities. In fact, no less an authority than Mother Jones magazine paid tribute to IMC in their November 17 edition, observing that, "The global antiwar protests that surprised the world on February 15 grew out of the networks built by years of globalization activism, from Indymedia to the World Social Forum.”

Officially the IMC states – rather unctuously - that it is “a network of collectively run media outlets for the creation of radical, accurate, and passionate tellings of the truth. We work out of a love and inspiration for people who continue to work for a better world, despite corporate media's distortions and unwillingness to cover the efforts to free humanity. “

However, as one source who attended an IMC meeting in Seattle told me by email, “Indymedia is funneling money from foundations like Soros and Ford to be used in their campaigns against democracy, capitalism, and the US government. They are receiving donations from organizations like Mercy Corps. … .money …initially donated by Nike and Microsoft for charity in Africa, ( which IMC Brazil) will use for (its own) purposes, without their consent.’… One IMC activist said, ‘These companies are either too stupid, or we are not yet considered a big threat to world capitalism!”

If one has any question about the purpose of IMC all one needs to do is read this quote from the Austin Indymedia Center - published November 11,2003. The article - about the FTAA protests - proclaims, “Miami is the setting for one of the most important mobilizations of the global justice movement since 9/11. In the defiant spirit of Seattle's 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests, a broad coalition of grassroots activists, trade unions and non-governmental organizations are planning large-scale demonstrations to derail the trade meetings and map out alternatives to corporate globalization. From anarchists to family farmers, Miami will be overflowing with people who know that another world is possible.” (italics mine)

An article published by the Pittsburgh Indymedia declares the same objective. It states, “The government expects 20,000 to 100,000 people to attempt to derail the summit and we see no reason to disappoint them…. The diverse range of events already planned include: forums… trainings, a massive outdoor concert by the AFL-CIO, a steelworkers rally, a mass march and rally, a padded contingent to shut down the meetings… There will be a wide variety of tactics employed by groups opposed to the FTAA meetings. Some of these will likely involve the possibility of arrest. ” (italics mine)

Yet, for all its invective about corporatism – the Great Satan of the anarcho-socialists - it is corporatism that created IMC. Independent Media Centers were conceived during the 1996 Democratic convention in Chicago. However, it was not until 1999 that Indymedia was actually founded in Seattle during the WTO protests.

The founders were Dan Merkle, a Seattle lawyer and Sheri Herndon a professional protester. Merkle was the ideal person to lead this effort. His law partner, Bob Siegel, is the current president of the Seattle National Lawyers Guild -  a communist front organization dating to the 1930’s. Merkle founded other nonprofits in the Seattle area. Merkle and Herndon possessed the finances, organization, expertise, and ideology to create the Seattle IMC.

Donations to Indymedia became tax deductible by using a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is an organization - the contributions to which are deductible for federal tax purposes by the donor – which then funnels the donation to another organization that does not have tax-exempt status. The fiscal sponsor for Indymedia was Jam for Justice – a Seattle nonprofit established by Merkle. Currently the fiscal sponsor is the IMC of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, which is now a tax-exempt organization.

Ironically, one of IMC’s first donors was the Glaser Foundation. Rob Glaser is the founder of RealNetworks and RealPlayer - a very profitable Internet corporation. So although Indymedia claims to eschew corporations and financiers it is these very institutions to which they owe their existence. He is enamored with Indymedia.

The IMC is, paradoxically, the nexus of capitalist technology wealth and anti-capitalism. Yet, then again maybe it is not so paradoxical. The fact that Indymedia was created and financed by wealthy individuals such as Soros, Glaser, and Merkle is emblematic of the Vanguardism of Lenin. Lenin’s philosophy was that a vanguard of educated, talented people was needed to lead the workers into paradise. Indymedia is part of that vanguard.

The true paradox of the Independent Media Centers is their name. They are not independent although they delude themselves believing they are. Quite the contrary, the IMC’s are indeed very dependent on the leadership of the communists, anti-capitalists, and anti-Americans. People whom Thomas Sowell termed the “anointed.” People who believe that they are in possession of some special wisdom that will make the world a better place – if only the rest of us have the good sense to listen to them.

The people who operate IMC are the modern version of those who created, over a century ago, the International Workingmen’s Association (IWA). The IWA, or First Internationale, was created in London in the late 1800’s. The purpose of this organization was to create a classless and stateless society that would bring happiness and peace to the world.

The results of the efforts of this communist international were the deaths of 100 million people and the poverty of billions. It was a bad idea then, and is a bad idea now.


A former police officer, Michael P. Tremoglie recently published his first novel, A Sense of Duty. His work has appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, Human Events, and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has a Master of Science degree from Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia.


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