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The Mutu network : the revival of French radical media

samedi 30 juin 2018, par Atelier médias libres

Des membres du site anglais Libcom.org ont assisté aux 10es rencontres du réseau Mutu. Ils en ont tiré un article enthousiaste présentant cette expérience originale, réunissant des sites locaux, participatifs, et anti-autoritaires. L’occasion aussi de faire un point sur la situation des médias radicaux au Royaume-Uni. En voici quelques extraits en attendant une traduction.

Last month, two of us from the libcom group were invited to take give a talk about our project to one of the Mutu Network’s biannual gatherings. Set up in 2013, Mutu brings together fifteen radical news websites across France and Switzerland some of whom are longstanding and very well-established like RebelLyon.info, set up in 2005, and Paris Luttes, set up in 2013, while others are newer such as the website collectives in towns like Rouen, Grenoble, Dijon and Nancy which have all been set up in the last year or two. The conference itself lasted three days and saw locals from across the network come together to report on their activity, share various technical skills and infrastructural know-how as well as discuss how to take the network forward. (…)

During the conference itself, we heard reports from delegates representing about a dozen collectives within the network. Some, like Paris Luttes, publish about ten articles a day with readership fluctuating between ten and twenty-five thousand readers a day ; other sites are smaller, often reflecting smaller local populations or movements. (…)

One issue which came up throughout the conference was the negative effect of social media on radical publishing in France, with collectives lamenting the over-reliance on Facebook and Twitter for communication by student occupations or local union branches. Speaking to one comrade from the La Rotative collective in Tours, he described a situation with student occupations who "set up Facebook and Twitter accounts and considered their communication work with the outside world done.(…)

When we started libcom.org, our aim was that our news coverage would be something like the Mutu Network (as well as maintaining a library of historical and theoretical texts, introductions to political tendencies we felt close to or concepts we thought were useful for people new to our politics... we may have spread ourselves too thin !). But rather than start with local sites networking into a bigger national/international structure (as Mutu have) we thought we could create the structure with our tight-knit collective and local groups would then fill in the gaps. This hasn’t happened and perhaps never will.

Yet it seems without doubt that something like the Mutu Network would be a huge boost for radical politics in the UK : local websites where people can share information and reports on the various struggles and movements going on in their area, rooted in local communities, yet could, like Mutu, gradually create a network from the bottom up that covers significant parts of the country. It feels like a pipedream ; but then, perhaps they said the same in France five years ago as well.

L’intégralité de l’article à lire sur Libcom.org

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