The Narco News Bulletin

"The Name of our country is América"

-- Simón Bolívar


June 9, 2000 12:00 noon San Diego Time

The Narco News Bulletin congratulates the Groundwork and Burn collectives on their taking of victory -- rather than waiting for it to be given -- and stands alert, as always, to defend the free expression of information and ideas throughout América.

Here is their statement, uncensored, of course:




Groundwork Books
La Jolla, California
June 9, 2000

After seven years online, the UCSD Communication department chair Carol
Padden has censored the project hosted at She has made
her decision against the wishes of the majority of department faculty
and graduate students and without consulting or even informing any of
the department faculty or students involved with the project, reportedly
under pressures from the UC president Richard Atkinson. No explanation
or justification for the shutdown was given, nor was any opportunity
for a hearing or reconsideration of the decision. Host records were
simultaneously removed from campus DNS servers, rendering
nonexistent. Only a few hours advance warning was given to BURN! project
representatives, leaving them no way to even contact most system users
to inform them of what had happened or to arrange for moving to another
address. When students retrieved the server hardware from the department
chair's office, the CPU board no longer functioned and the Master Boot
Record on the primary hard drive had been damaged. After ordering the
machine offline, the department chair left on a trip to Finland for two
weeks. The other faculty and graduate students have spent the last week
debating what to do.

From informal communication with people in the department, and from
statements by UCSD's campus spin doctors, we know that the University had
received some complaints about BURN.UCSD.EDU from right-wing elements in
Colombia, who objected to BURN's publication of information on the FARC-EP
(Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia-Ejército del Pueblo), and
found in this an excuse for censorship. The university also claims that
they didn't know who was responsible for the server, and therefore had no
place to direct these complaints. This is patently false. More than ten
BURN! members attended a department course-group meeting late last year,
where they formally designated one student to be their official liason
with the department. Last fall, a memo was also sent to the current
department chair reminding her of who this designated representative
was, and providing contact information. Both paper and email copies
of this memo were also given to each department faculty member. Also,
the BURN! main homepage had a large disclaimer explaining that BURN is
a student project and that the university and communication department
are not responsible for its contents. E-mail addresses to contact the
BURN! project appeared prominently in several places, as well as hyperlinks
to a web-based "corkboard" for public comments. In addition, the standard
e-mail addresses and
have always functioned and were monitored. By making these claims,
university administrators are trying to obscure their eager complicity
with right-wing Colombian elites in censoring the views of the FARC-EP
and denying everyone access to the many other unique and hard-to-find
resources published on BURN!

Because The Groundwork Collective opposes censorship, we have decided to
publish the materials formerly hosted on when it had its
home in the UCSD communication department. The Groundwork Collective does this for two reasons: first and foremost, we are opposed to censorship
of any kind and it is dangerous to allow anyone get away with it for
any reason; second, the Groundwork Collective has been a registered
student organization at UCSD for over 25 years and has a binding legal
contract with the university. As such, the university cannot possibly
claim that it does not have a place of contact to direct complaints
against the site. There should now be no reason for censorship of any
kind as the Groundwork Collective has formally responded to all official
concerns supposedly created by the previous publication of the site. If
they now try to censor the Grounwork Collective, it will be interesting
to see how the university's excuses change.

In the event we are censored, there are webpages maintained at

which will always contain current information on where BURN! can be found.

Yours in struggle,

Groundwork Collective