Appeal from Tao collective

Tony Tracy tony at
Mon Apr 30 13:24:03 MDT 2001

On Mon, 30 Apr 2001, Les Schaffer wrote:

> > What does 'Heavy on-line footsteps' mean?
> lots of people knocking on their web-door ...

yup. in the time surrounding & after the demos in quebec city, there have
not only been several times more "hits" on our various TAO-hosted
websites, but also TAO users have required increased usage of our
system(s) for their political organizing, which has added stress to the
apparently-already-failing hard drive.

> i.e. their web server(s) was getting a high hit rate from their
> network connection. and tao is speculating that the large resulting
> number of web hits translated to large numbers of disk requests for
> info from their hard drives, which could have caused a hardware
> failure of same, especially if the disk was already oldish.

the disk wasn't necessarily oldish, but current info seems to indicate
that it was suffering some problems that led to a bit of a meltdown at the
point at which it was overly stressed by increased usage.

> > We hope you have backups. Most of our backups were destroyed, as the
> > hardware failure happened, yesterday, Sunday, when we were trying to
> > install a new drive.
> hmmm.... from this its not clear that the failure was related to hit
> rates, or something more convulted happened during the disk change.

the drive melted on us with the data -- upon installing a new drive,
toronto-based TAO workers discovered that the backups were not in
particularly good shape either -- although backups were being done
regularly, there appear to be serious problems with the backups

TAO provides a good deal of the "technical/communications infrastructure"
for the broad left in Canada (hosting the websites of grassroots groups /
several hundred email lists / providing email & other technical resources
to individual activists & groups on a "pay what you can" basis / etc.),
and operates entirely on small donations from our members & supporters
(TAO receives no grant funding, no government funding, etc. -- our
already-broke members provide all of TAO's financial resources out of
their own pockets).

Here in Vancouver, the TAO local opened and continues to operate a
public-access media lab in the Downtown Eastside (Canada's poorest
neighbourhood), with donated computers networked via highspeed bandwidth
to the net for activists and local residents to check their email, print
off resumes, work on leaflets & posters, etc. -- although this is an
entirely volunteer operation, TAO-Vancouver has managed to have regular
office hours from noon to 9pm daily for the media lab (called "The Victory
Project" in reference to the park, Victory Square, across the street, as
well as our hopes of progressive victory against the rightwing and
capitalist forces).

For more info on the politics/structure/etc. of TAO, check out

In Solidarity,

Tony Tracy
(currently on leave of absence as a TAO worker in Vancouver in order to
facilitate work on several other political projects in which I am heavily

More information about the Marxism mailing list