Germany Closes Indymedia Web Site

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Germany Closes Indymedia Web Site

by Stephen Lendman

Without unobstructed free expression, no matter how contentious or offensive to some, all other freedoms are threatened.

On Friday, Germany shut down linksunten.indymedia.org, a disturbing pretext saying it was for “sowing hate against different opinions and representatives of the country,” according to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, calling material on the site a “criminal offense.”

German authorities unacceptably consider the site an “association,” not a news outlet, irresponsibly circumventing constitutional protections of free expression – now banned by Merkel’s right-wing regime.

The action followed what began as largely peaceful demonstrations last month at the G20 summit in Hamburg. Police blocked participants from marching through the city as planned.

Violence they provoked turned Hamburg into a battleground. Numerous arrests and injuries followed.

Demonstrators expressed opposition to what G20 leaders support, including predatory capitalism, globalization adversing affecting billions worldwide, neoliberal harshness, ecocide, and endless wars of aggression, among other issues.

Days ahead of the summit, a NoG20 International Coordination press release called the politics of the G20 repugnant to most people everywhere.

Along with shutting down the Indymedia site, federal and local police raided homes of individuals connected to it, confiscating computers and other material.

Democratic socialist party Die Linke spokesperson Ulla Jepke denounced the site’s closure, calling it an “illegitimate act of censorship, and a willful cut in the freedom of speech and press freedom.”

Using G20 violence, instigated by police, as a pretext for suppressing free expression and opinions critical of state policies is the hallmark of police state governance.

Unaffected de.indymedia.org called it a “serious attack on the left-wing movement and press freedom,” adding:

The site was “the most widely circulating platform for left-wingers in Germany, where articles could be posted by anyone and were minimally moderated.”

Indymedia’s roots date from the late 1990s global justice movement, establishing a platform “to make independent reporting on summit protests possible.”

Hundreds of Indymedia sites now operate worldwide, platforms for uncensored independent news, information and analysis.

Shutting linksunten.indymedia.org represents a slippery slope toward suppressing free expression across Germany and in other Western countries – what tyranny is all about.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.