Contributors wanted for DSEi newspaper
With DSEi 2005 only one month away, this is a proposal and a call out for help putting together a special newspaper for distribution around the estates near Excel one week prior to the event...
The idea, as it stands, is to produce a newspaper for distribution to the people living in immediate proximity to the Excel area of docklands. It would aim to inform local people about the DSEi exhibition and arms trade in general, plus what to expect from the protests and how it might effect them. It would also detail publically advertised events around the protests and outline possible ways to get involved.
It is hoped that the newspaper would act as a significant piece of education and outreach, help to mitigate against romour and ill feeling towards protesters when disruption and inconvenience is experienced. It may also help to actively engage new people in the protests or in providing assistance and support to those engaging in actions.
The paper should help to provide valuable outreach at a level not often achieved during mobalisations in this country but if no help is offered the idea will obviously have to be shelved before commiting to printing. There are many plans and groups working on many things for DSEi so if people are too busy or commited elsewhere then the paper idea will be a non-starter.
The contents of the paper are currently being created from text taken from the websites of Disarm DSEi and CAAT plus various other sources. It is however hopped that people will contribute orginal articles and art work. Additionally a letters page is envisioned which would aim to reflect local voices in relation to the arms fare and protests both past and planned.
To make this happen several things are required:
1.contribution of content 2.money to print 3.people to distribute
There is little time and content and layout will need to be finalised and go to the printers by by about the 18th Aug in order to be printed, collected and be ready to distribute the first week of September.
Quick distribution is essential, there is no point in still having stacks of these after DSEi is over. The priority would be to distribute the bulk of them door-to-door around the estates in the area. Additional distribution could be done at shopping centers as well as any info stalls and public events prior to DSEi itself.
Volunteers are needed now to pledge their help in distributing, especially door-to-door (in a coordinated way) during the first week of September. (so far we have 5 volunteers in just 24 hours of annoucing the project). If there are less than 20 people commiting to at least two hours of door-to-door we'll have to abandon the idea as there will be no point in having thouands of papers and nobody to deliver them. Door-to-door is the best possible outreach and a great way to build links.
We need contributions of articles or artwork THIS WEEK. The more people contribute, the better and more diverse the paper may be. However, production of the paper is not dependent on contributions as the whole thing can be put together from existing articles found on campaigning websites and indymedia.
More important are donations or pledges of money ASAP. Hopefully one or more of the large groups working on DSEi will make a donation to cover the bulk of the printing costs and then a benefit event will be held at the rampART to help cover outstanding costs after DSEi. If there are people with contacts with businesses in the area then perhaps taking paid adverts would be an option although there is not much time to go around the local shops pushing the idea.
The money required to print the paper will depend on both the desired print run and the size of the paper. The print run will be at least 5,000, possible 10,000 or 15,000 depending on the available funds and the number of people to volunteer for distribution. The paper will probably have only 8 or 12 pages (2 or 3 tabloid size sheets). No quotes have yet been obtained yet but it would be expected to be between 600 and 1,000 pounds depending on final spec.
We'll get proper quotes for the print job this week but if we aren't certain of at least having half the required funds before commiting to print in the last week of August then we'll have to forget the whole thing.
The idea and initial efforts are the work of a small group of hamsters who have previous produced a one-off news paper called the Troubled Times (see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2003/04/64260.html) and a leaflet critique of the mainstream called Media Mogul Ate My Hamster (see http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2002/10/43830.html). Please note that Hamsters are not affiliated with any politcal party or any specific campaigning organisation.
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