Spoof aimed to inform locals about protests

I am one of those responsible for the East London Adversaries and
refute Malcolm Starbrook’s claim that we have attempted to “pass-off”
our paper as the Advertiser (16 September).

While it is true that
our paper used a similar masthead to that of the old Advertiser, in
fact the Advertiser abandoned that masthead several weeks ago and now
uses an entirely different font and colour scheme.

The “Jona
Smith” by-line on the sports page is taken from the source article
posted on Indymedia in 2003 and has nothing to do with the Advertiser’s
sports editor John Smith.

There are several inaccurate statements
which we would like to correct. We are not an “anonymous organisation”;
we are Hamsters Press and that is stated clearly on the rear page of
the paper by the bar code.

Additionally, our contact details,
which were also printed on the paper, are not false. Nobody from the
Advertiser has tried to contact us via either email or phone.

I
am appalled at Starbrook’s careless use of the term “anarchy” and the
accusation that our publication has somehow called for the “possibility
of violence” during protests.

The East End Adversaries is one in
a long line of spoofs printed over the last decade. All have been
produced to address the monopoly of the media (including the so-called
“local” paper)n by corporate interests.

This particular paper was
intended to ensure that local people were aware not only of the
likelihood of disruption during the protests but also the motivations
behind the protests.

It was felt that the local papers had not
been addressing the issue apart from unquestioningly repeating police
propaganda – for example, The Wharf (8 September 2005) “Police fear
that illegal protests could cause carnage around ExCeL London next
week.”

The editor of the East End Advertiser is welcome to take
legal action, although no other political spoof that I am aware of has
lost such a case.

Charles O’Leary editor Hamsters Press

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