Freedom must be saved

Freedom must be saved

The potential closure of an iconic publication such as ‘Freedom’ is an absolute travesty, and would be in whatever circumstances that it may have arisen. However, the reasons for which it found itself in such a perilous financial state makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach.

Freedom was founded in 1886 by a group of volunteers, and despite format changes, is still in publication today, 125 years from when it first appeared. Freedom has been written and edited by some of the most legendary figures in the movement, and has a well-deserved reputation.

I am no expert of the finances at Freedom, but clearly those finances are limited. Any substantial or unexpected cost was bound to put a spanner in the works. What you would not expect is an allegedly ‘left leaning’, anti-fascist, photojournalist, to near bankrupt the newspaper over the accidental use of a photograph in a book.

David Hoffman, a well-established photojournalist, took issue with a photograph used in the 2009 book, “Beating the Fascists”, that didn’t have his permission. Rather than just accepting an apology for a genuine mistake, the rat bastard decided to go after Freedom and threatened them with legal action. Ultimately they have had to hand over £4,000 to the cunt, which has left them in dire straits.

Freedom is launching an appeal for donations and subscriptions. If nothing changes then it will cease to exist in its current printed form in October.

I started writing the international news pages a few months ago, which has given me an insight into the hard work and commitment of all those involved. They really do bust their asses every month to ensure the paper is finished.

Freedom has given so much to the movement for well over a century, I really hope the movement can pull together for a really worthwhile cause.

***Please click on this link for more detailed information and how you can help***

Posted By

working class s...
Jul 19 2012 00:52

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Harrison
Jul 27 2012 18:24
lzbl wrote:
I really don't think they're the answer to anything

they get more cash for the movement surely thats an important thing (although i don't think private members would earn enough to make this point valid). especially when considering something like Freedom was never run financially sustainably but instead working off a single large donation. but agree with the other points about bars and thanks for posting them.

re: the online payments options, the most important thing is to have the online option most people are on (paypal...). i know i get really annoyed when i have to sign up for a new payment option everytime i bought something.

also make a huge subscribe button (and donate button) and stick it on the very top of the web page.

Choccy
Jul 30 2012 08:54

since everyone's up on this INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY shit, I'm calling out DSG, and Laurie , Penny for their use of the FULL meme.

DSG probably got paid millions for that Guardian interview. They owe me and Partybucket £4,000 cos it seems that's the going rate.

Choccy
Jul 30 2012 08:55

oh and if any of yous use it again don't think I won't come for you and bankrupt your entire families, I'm not interested in the money, IT'S THE PRINCIPLE

the button
Jul 30 2012 09:45

Plus there's the tshirt royalties. There must be tens of people with a <Admin - snip: all rights reserved> tshirt.

working class s...
Aug 1 2012 15:58
working class s...
Aug 1 2012 15:58
Steven.
Aug 1 2012 16:16
working class self organisation wrote:
A response by David Hoffman

http://northernvoicesmag.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/tales-of-hoffman.html

well he shows himself to be a disingenuous prick.

But he seems to be saying that freedom were aware of the potential copyright claim before they published it, and decided to publish it anyway. Is this true? Or did the potential issue only come to light after the book had already been printed?

Choccy
Aug 1 2012 16:22

since Hoffman is being fairly fuckin brazen in his email responses there, what has happened with the suggested joint statement by anarchist organisations, sympathetic groups and beyond? Did anyone begin drafting something? Seems like it's still an important thing to do while Hoffman's putting out shite like:

"You might mention the Freedom have £1m plus asset squirrelled away in a holding company just like any City fat cat. They don't need an appeal for money, they're just greedy. But you won't. You might mention that Freedom used stolen pics for the (rather crap) book ['Beating the Fascists']. But you won't."

rat
Aug 1 2012 16:47

A statement from anarchists seems futile. He'd probably quite enjoy it:

Quote:
If a handful of armchair anarchists want to be rude about me then I expect I can take it. I've had my teeth knocked out by cops, had my life threatened by genuine BNP murderer (and by a dozen others from '70s NF [National Front] to 2012 EDL [English Defence League] ) and I've survived every major riot in the U.K..
Croy
Aug 1 2012 18:42
zero wrote:
A statement from anarchists seems futile. He'd probably quite enjoy it:
Quote:
If a handful of armchair anarchists want to be rude about me then I expect I can take it. I've had my teeth knocked out by cops, had my life threatened by genuine BNP murderer (and by a dozen others from '70s NF [National Front] to 2012 EDL [English Defence League] ) and I've survived every major riot in the U.K..

I agree, although obviously SF etc are not armchair anarchists it would only satisfy him. But what might be better is instead a statement stressing the need to keep Freedom going (if the orgs involve think there is a need collectively, which should be decided by a vote or similar democratic means) signed by a number of organizations and individuals.

Choccy
Aug 1 2012 22:34

It's absolutely not futile. He showed up at the Mile End olympic protest at the weekend apparently. It seems people don't know how much of a parasitic deceitful opportunist he is. They need to.

And he needs to be made aware that he is unwelcome at every radical event up and down the country.

Uncreative
Aug 1 2012 22:54
arsehole wrote:
I've survived every major riot in the U.K.

Shame, that.

Rob Ray
Aug 2 2012 07:43
Quote:
But he seems to be saying that freedom were aware of the potential copyright claim before they published it, and decided to publish it anyway. Is this true?

We were told they were free to use by Red Action, who afaik thought similarly. Certainly when the collective voted on whether to publish we all thought it was taken care of.

rat
Aug 2 2012 20:29

Red Action, friends of the anarchists.

(With friends like these — who needs enemies?)

Rob Ray
Aug 2 2012 10:58

It's not about friendship, it's about 1. Publishing a book which gives some (partial) insight into street level anti-fascism, leading to 2. Not ratting people out.

working class s...
Aug 2 2012 11:24
thegunshow
Aug 2 2012 14:32

The replies here are depressing. Particularly embarrassing are the two Irish anarchist wannabe hacks, dara & george, unusual levels of self-deception there.

The facts of this case are as follows;

- David Hoffman makes a living photographing anarchist movements primarily, he owns a nice house in Bow and made a big noise about the police removing a Class War poster from his window.

- David Hoffman professes to be some sort of anarchist, quoting Gustav Landauer in the about me section of his Facebook profile. He is also telling anyone who will listen that Freedom are not real anarchists but rich kids and has convinced himself they have £1million stashed away - which he has set his greedy eyes on. He boasted on Facebook of his plans to take Freedom down.

- Business is not booming for photographers, so Hoffman relies heavily on litigation for his income. He successfully sued the Met for £30k after being injured photographing the G20 protests. He prides himself on being a ‘litigious bastard’, earlier this year he successfully sued the now defunct drugs charity DARE for £25k, settling for £10k and established his own legal precedent that ‘innocence is no defence’. DARE’s error was to post 19 photographs of various drugs for the purpose of teaching young people about substance abuse, not knowing they were not fully licensed to use them. This is to name but a few of his court cases.

- Hoffman contacted fellow NUJ member Brian Whelan, a journalist who interviewed the authors of Beating the Fascists, threatening legal action if he did not reveal his sources (name and addresses) or hand over a £390 fee for posting the image from the book cover on his blog. Hoffman was paid £390 by Whelan who refused to name names, but went on to warn the reporter that he may still be forced to reveal his sources in court - warning about the illegal activities in the book that "the action which I intend to take will bring these serious criminal acts to the attention of the authorities. Should that happen then the emails and other material that you have which relate to those others involved may be required as evidence'. This clearly goes against the NUJ's (of which Hoffman is an activist) code of conduct.

- Hoffman has recently made a number of public appearances speaking against disclosure orders that forces photographers from having to hand information over to the police. Most people on the left and in the NUJ are unaware of his duplicity.

This matter is of vital importance to all anarchists, journalists and anti-fascists.

oisleep
Aug 3 2012 17:06
Rob Ray wrote:
Quote:
But he seems to be saying that freedom were aware of the potential copyright claim before they published it, and decided to publish it anyway. Is this true?

We were told they were free to use by Red Action, who afaik thought similarly. Certainly when the collective voted on whether to publish we all thought it was taken care of.

First of all, I would caution anyone to take at face value anything that Hoffman says in relation to this

All the 'offending photos' had been used in various AFA publications over a period of twenty years without so much as a peep out of Hoffman (a number of those photos are featured in the AFA back catalogue on this very site)

They had been handed over to AFA by Searchlight in exchange for information over the years, on the understanding that AFA could use them in whatever way they so fit. Something that Searchlight of course now deny, yet they cannot explain why no one in the last twenty years has objected to these same photos appearing in various AFA publications, pamphlets and bulletins

The fact that this had been done over the last twenty years without any complaint from either Hoffman or Searchlight (nor had the same pictures appeared anywhere else other than in AFA publications) in our eyes established that there was no doubt over the usage of the photos. Obviously to push this confidence to the limit and test it in court brought numerous risks and pitfalls that would have exposed both FP and the collective authorship to risks that were just not worth it, hence the ultimate decision to settle to avoid both the exposure and potential criminal proceedings (for the authors) and substantial costs (for FP) that a court case would have brought

During the course of getting the book published, there was numerous attempts to stop its publication (carter ruck etc..) which took up a substantial amount of time in combatting. So the idea that anyone involved in the book would knowingly use photos where there was doubt over the copyright is just absurd. Why after spending nearly two years fighting off attempts from various corners to stop the book being published would anyone involved with it give such an open goal to the political opponents of the book

I can also vouch for the authenticity of the quote by Hoffman (in the post by the gunshow below) showing his glee about anti-fascist militants being exposed in court and linked to criminal activities detailed in the book etc.

I was passed on a copy of that mail at the time and this cemented the view that was already held that this in essence, wasn't just a case of a narrow copyright claim by an aggrieved snapper, but something much more profoundly political & sinister - with Hoffman playing a blinder as the useful idiot

Steven.
Aug 3 2012 17:17

Thanks for the clarification. Don't worry, I didn't believe what Hoffman was saying, as pretty much everything else was clearly bullshit. But that hadn't been rebutted anywhere else so I thought I would ask.

Battlescarred
Aug 4 2012 07:30

From you? ROFLMAO!!

Choccy
Aug 4 2012 11:24

Are you serious JimClarke?
Fuckin hell, dickhead.

[edit - 'no platform' could be anything, be creative]

Battlescarred
Aug 4 2012 12:10

This dupe, who didn't bother to ask Freedom for their view, swallowed Hoffman's stories hook line and sinker
http://re-photo.co.uk/?p=1686

thegunshow
Aug 4 2012 15:53
Battlescarred wrote:
This dupe, who didn't bother to ask Freedom for their view, swallowed Hoffman's stories hook line and sinker
http://re-photo.co.uk/?p=1686

This is almost line for line written by Hoffman.

Outrageous that the admin thinks he knows best how to manage this struggle and removed the details of Hoffman's next public appearence.

Please contact the Bishopsgate Institute and ask them to reconsider letting this man speak on the growth of 'state surveillance' at their Radical London event.

Contact - http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/form.aspx?id=18

Event details - http://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/events_detail.aspx?ID=236

thegunshow
Aug 4 2012 16:00

As an aside, Hoffman is thus far trouncing Freedom Press on this issue, shame to see the bulk of anarchists (outside the collective) just roll over.

Rob Ray
Aug 4 2012 16:02

How so?

thegunshow
Aug 4 2012 16:05
Rob Ray wrote:
How so?

National statement never materialised. He has attended demos since this became public.

thegunshow
Aug 4 2012 16:25
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
thegunshow, let people organise without undermining their efforts. A statement is being circulated and will be released soon, it will be backed up with direct action which is being planned at the moment.

Moronic, your idea is to tell everyone to wait two months for a 'direct action' - against a fucking 66 year old man?

Putting the word out and getting his talk pulled is direct action. Making his peers realise how scummy he has behaved, is direct action. You are the one undermining efforts and attempting to hold a secret vanguard action on behalf of the movement.

Hoffman's current line on this is Nobody whose opinion I care about will do anything but laugh.
- the point is to change this.

Rob Ray
Aug 4 2012 16:35

Chill out thegunshow, Jim's not telling anyone else to wait to do anything, let alone acting as a vanguard, he's just saying that something is being sorted out after you accused the entire movement of not doing anything.

thegunshow
Aug 4 2012 16:44
Rob Ray wrote:
Chill out thegunshow, Jim's not telling anyone else to wait to do anything, let alone acting as a vanguard, he's just saying that something is being sorted out after you accused the entire movement of not doing anything.

He did remove posts yesterday that included details of Hoffman's public talk, so that his secret action in 2 months time might save the day.

Rob Ray
Aug 4 2012 17:05

I saw those posts, and he was right to remove them. Police are on these boards, it's a fucking stupid idea to publicly advertise direct actions here ahead of time and can get people in a lot of trouble if it implies anything like a conspiracy. Again, this doesn't prevent people doing anything or imply he thinks people should wait 2 months (?) - it's a normal security measure.