Monday, 16 March 2009

Conference in Retrospective

The organisers of the Internet for Activists conference will get together over the next few days to look at what was good and what was imperfect. Meanwhile, we welcome your views: here are blogs from UCL Computer Science MobBlog and speaker Laurie Penny and lecture notes from Kevin Gillan to help your memory! Just in: three other speakers have posted: Karin Robinson, Richard Seymour and Sara Hall. Interesting reads!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Free Our Books online. Campaign launch

We at The Internet for Activists head office (communal computer room at SOAS!)are pleased to announce the details of the launch of this very important campaign. We have re-arranged our timetable to accommodate the move of people from SOAS to IOE (just across the road. See you all there. This is the power of effective, combined online/ground activity.

Launch time: 1pm, Saturday 14th March 2009

Logan Hall, Institute of Education, University of London
20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL.

Free Our Books – announcement (version 0.1)

Academic work is publicly funded. Both Research Councils UK (2005,2006) and a parliament commission (2004) recommended that all “Ideas and knowledge derived from publicly-funded research must be made available and accessible for public use, interrogation, and scrutiny, as widely, rapidly and effectively as practicable.”

Two universities have already implemented a version of such policy, through mandatory online open access self-archiving: Stirling (UK, 2007) and Harvard (USA, Feb 2008).

This campaign calls for this recommendation to be fully implemented across all academic institutions.

We believe that all academic research output has to be available online for public use free of charge through institutional mandatory self-archiving policies.

Most theoretical and ideological commitments to equality can not be implemented easily, this one can.

We call upon all academics and students to support this call for action by both putting their own work online immediately and by taking decisive further steps to make their departments and universities implement mandatory online open access self-archiving policies that would make all academic research outputs available online free of charge – this includes both books and journal papers.

Get involved: start a campaign at your institution, let us know about it, use our action pack to build the support and implement institutional policies.

Free Our Books: Make citizens' books and research papers available to them.

Toni Prug (student, Queen Mary) and Clare Solomon (student, SOAS)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Our conference is based in the main building of the Russell Square campus of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). The rooms will be signposted on the day.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Our speaker Hicham Yezza has been charged and sentenced to 9 months.

I have just received a call from his agent who has given me the small bit of information above. Of his nine month sentence they expect him to be incarcerated for 4 1/2.  The charge is “securing avoidance of immigration control using deception” and comes under the Immigration Act.

This is an absolute outrage. What sort of civil liberties do we have when a well known activist and columnist is charged with this farce of an excuse? 

We would like to send a message of solidarity to him and thank him so much for going out of his way to find time for us for our conference.

Please also send messages to:

Read Lenin's Tomb comment HERE

Friday, 6 March 2009

Booking Enquiries

We've been getting enquiries from people wishing to book a place at this conference. This is just to note that there is no formal booking procedure necessary: just turn up at SOAS to the sessions you wish to attend and we'll have a sign-in sheet with the option to leave your email address for occasional future updates to the project.

However, please turn up early to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Provisional Conference Lineup

Provisional Line up for conference

Room G2

Room B104: workshops




Opening plenary: On the political uses of the internet

Speakers: Hicham Yezza. Ex-Nottingham student and Guardian columnist

Fiona Osler of Red Pepper and author of "The Activist's Guide to the Internet"

Dr. Kevin Gillan, Sociologist,

Activists Stewart and Patrick of video Blog: The Road to Gaza return and report back.

Chaired by Clare Solomon of Solomon's Mindfield




Internet Security

Speakers: George Danezis, Microsoft Research Security Group

Rep from the Open Rights Group

Effective online organisation:

Widgets, live and micro-blogging & co-ordination

Speaker by live link-up from Egypt: Hossam el-Hamalawy of Arabawy blog


IN LARGER VENUE - LOGAN HALL, Institute of Education

Free Our Books Campaign Launch:

Speakers: Toni Prug and special guests tbc.


Workshop: Using Humour Effectively Online

Speaker: Kate Smurthwaite, Cruella Blog


Lunch. Available in common room


Blogging for Building Campaigns

Speakers: Richard Seymour of Lenin's Tomb

Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads

Laurie Penny of Penny Red

Please bring plenty of your own examples and questions as we will have plenty of time for discussion and sharing tips.

Workshop: Video Activism

Speaker: Ady Cousins

Bring equipment if you want to get started straight away




Effective Online Campaigning - Success Stories

Rep from Encyclopedia Dramatica on the anti-Scientology movement

David Semple from ThoughCowardsFlinch and Liberal Conspiracy

Karin Robinson, Political Consultant, blogger and regional director of the Americans Abroad for Obama campaign.

Sara Hall from the successful "Stop the Deportation of Guy Njike" campaign.

Workshop: "Be the Media"

With members of Indymedia UK.

Laptop surgery will be run all day in SOAS JCR.

Please bring your own equipment to participate in the workshops and your own experiences or questions to participate in the plenaries.


Entertainment, Ugandan food and networking in SOAS bar

Stalls and bookshops all day

Friday, 27 February 2009

Speakers confirmed so far:

There is a distinct lack of female speakers. Does anyone know a wonderful woman who c/would speak or run a workshop?


Opening plenary speakers: 

Hicham Yezza. Ex-student from Nottingham Uni who was arrested and threatened with deportation for downloading  reading list material . Regular columnist for the Guardian.

We have more very exciting speakers lined up, and we'll let you know as soon as they're confirmed.

George Danezis on internet security.

Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads. Topic tbc.

Richard Seymour of Lenin's Tomb. Topic tbc.

Representative from Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Rep from The Open Rights Group.

Ady Cousins, video activist. Ady will be speaking and later running a practical workshop showing you all the latest tips and tricks.