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Indymedia punished for anti-police demo

26 July 2008 - Last year, activists announced an anti-police demo by putting up posters around the city as well as publishing an announcement on the Indymedia website. Now, the environmental police have fined Indymedia for posting bills illegally.

On 19 December, Indymedia received an e-mail from the Amsterdam Noord environmental police stating "at various locations in Amsterdam Noord, bills have been posted illegally with the text 'Fuck de Police Demonstratie 21-12-07, 16:00, Spui-Amsterdam'."

At the time, Indymedia said it had tried to explain to the police that anyone can post articles anonymously on the site and that Indymedia can hardly be held responsible for what people do elsewhere.

However, earlier this month, Indymedia received a 110-euro fine for posting bills illegally, to be paid by 31 July. If it fails to do so, the Public Prosecutor may take the matter to court. However, it may also decide to drop the case, a spokesperson says.

The Amsterdam Noord environmental police say that they investigate illegally posted bills all the time and that they will do anything to find the person responsible, including searching Chamber of Commerce files and the Internet.

If bills can be connected to a website, the owner of the site will be held responsible and will have to prove that he is in good faith. As for Indymedia, the website can be held responsible for content published by a third party, the police spokesperson said.

However, he could not explain how this would make Indymedia responsible for bills posted elsewhere by that same third party. The policeman who has booked Indymedia is currently on holiday.

The demo was a protest against measures including surveillance cameras, stop and search operations, razzias against undocumented immigrants, injunctions against the homeless and drug addicts, criminalising youth in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and deportation prisons.

Indymedia. Image: Fuck the Police demo (photo Indymedia)

UPDATE 27 July - Indymedia is going to appeal the fine.


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