People’s Guide to the RNC

A shipment of this nicely illustrated full-color map, handbook and directory arrived at our IMC this week. It is unbelievably chock full of very useful information like what to do if arrested, lists of cheap eats and public toilets, hints for getting around, an event calendar, and much more. A lot of care and organization clearly went into it.

The amount of informational organization going into the RNC protests is amazing. Radical Reference is really taking off, and even got a mention on NPR’s Morning Edition today, albeit somewhat patronizingly, in a story about NYC Activists’ preparation to welcome protestors.

Ellen Knutson, one of the radical reference librarians, will be a guest on the radioshow this Friday at 5:30 PM (archived on the radioshow page thereafter).

Tools and efforts like these demonstrate the growth and maturation of the Indymedia movement (even if they aren’t strictly IMC-sponsored) and of the overall radical and participatory media and information movements in the last five years. One of the strengths of these efforts is that they don’t have to be sponsored or subsumed by any organization–that they can exist as cooperative endeavors that live as long as their useful, and not necessarily for their own sake.

Information and knowledge will make all the difference on the streets of NYC in a little more than a week.