The first ever Independent Media Center was created in Seattle to help document the World Trade Organization (WTO) protests that shook the world from November 30-December 3rd 1999, before spawning a global network of independent citizen journalists, groups, organizations and media centers that lasted more than a decade before slowly faltering out in the late 2000’s.
We are working to reignite the spirit of Independent Media Center and Journalism Networks that were active in the late 1990’s and 2000’s. We provide media spaces for independent citizen journalism, with computers and equipment for digital recording, editing and publishing, and work to pair that with working professionals and interns who can guide an open and non-commercial media collective of programs and content creators.
We are a collective of programs working to report and provide a platform for reports from the struggles for a world based on freedom, cooperation, justice and solidarity, indigenous sovereignty and against environmental degradation, exploitation, and racism. The reports cover a wide range of issues and social movements – from neighborhood campaigns to grassroots mobilizations, from critical analysis to direct action. We also work to provide original content and provide space for organizations engaged in these actions, to magnify their impact and voices, that they may otherwise not be able to do.
The content of the website is created through a system of open publishing: anyone can upload a written, audio and video report or a picture directly to the site through an openly accessible web interface. Through this system of ‘Direct Media’, the Cascadia Underground erodes the dividing line between reporters and reported, between active producers and passive audience: people are enabled to speak for themselves. At bigger actions, Cascadia Underground volunteers extend this participatory model by establishing ‘Public Access Terminals’ on the streets, and facilitating direct access to the technical equipment that enables participants to upload to the website, as well as public reporting teams able to quickly respond and report fast acting news.
The Cascadia Underground is working to establish a bioregional network of independent media centers, members and workers throughout the Pacific Northwest. We hope you join us!