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What's happening with Indymedia UK?

imc London | 09.05.2011 10:14 | Indymedia

You find it where it always was, it looks the same and uses the name, but it no longer is Indymedia UK.

On 1st May 2011, Indymedia UK had it's name and URL taken over by a number of volunteers calling themselves the ‘Mayday collective’. Although the site looks and feels like Indymedia UK, it is no longer the same project. It is now under the sole control of a faction of Indymedia UK admins. The volunteers from Indymedia London, as well as Bristol, Northern England, Nottingham, and other Indymedia UK volunteers, no longer have any access to it whatsoever, including some people who have helped maintain the UK site for the past 11 years.

Imc Notthingham article:

Quick intro: What is Indymedia?

Indymedia UK is two things: It is a website, this is probably the part that you are most familiar with. It is also an organisation; the Indymedia UK network, which organises on email list and at network meetings, and makes decisions in consensus. The Indymedia UK network includes local collectives as well as unaffiliated volunteers, who all contribute their time and effort to the project. The UK in Indymedia UK stands for United Kollectives.

What the fuck happened?

On 1st May, the Mayday collective took control of the Indymedia UK url,, and set up an identical copy of the Indymedia UK website (i.e. all the articles, images, everything that you see when you
look at it or publish something) on a different server, against the wishes of the rest of the Indymedia UK network.

In spite of this, it looks exactly like the Indymedia UK site and uses the name of Indymedia UK. Members of the Mayday collective have said publicly that it is their project and they do not wish the rest of the Indymedia UK network to be involved with it.

The United Kollectives are no more. To use some potentially loaded language: Indymedia UK has been hijacked.

Some clarifications:

The Mayday group is not Indymedia UK. They include a number of Indymedia UK volunteers. The largest part of Indymedia UK has been excluded.

Neither Indymedia London, nor anyone else who is participating in the BeTheMedia project left Indymedia UK. We are all part of Indymedia UK.

Contrary to how the Mayday collective presents their version of the story, we did not 'plot to shut down Indymedia UK'. Together with the Mayday collective, we agreed to archive the site and 'fork', split into two separate projects. We were not happy about this agreement. It was not what we wanted. It was a compromise. With the help of Seeds for Change, the only compomise the network could reach, after long lasting conflicts about how to run Indymedia UK.

The Mayday group claims to defend Indymedia UK. In fact the Indymedia UK website was up and running when they stole the url. In spite of the deadline of 1 May, Be The Media announced that we would wait another week before archiving the site, to try and figure out a way forward.

There was never any kind of agreement or consensus for Mayday to take over and run Indymedia UK. The compromise clearly stated that neither side would be allowed to use the url or name of Indymedia UK.

At Indymedia London we will continue to work locally, and with other Indymedia collectives in the UK and globally. We hope we will be able to focus all our energies back on the actual media production soon, to bring you news from the streets of occupied london...

We'll see you in the streets!
Imc London

imc London
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Hide the following 11 comments

Full story?

09.05.2011 10:53

The terms of the Bradford agreement were proposed by a member of imc London.

They included the provision that:

We agree that it's great that there is a national site, and that goes
through new imc with a different site and name , and others go on with
their projects

The group that they proposed would continue to run it were the Mayday Collective. What didn't happen was Mayday getting through new IMC so there was no different name to give the site. Mayday Collective members were against the idea of the newswire having several URL moves.

IMC London say:

"In fact the Indymedia UK website was up and running when they stole the url. In spite of the deadline of 1 May, Be The Media announced that we would wait another week before archiving the site, to try and figure out a way forward."

Yet IMC London sent an email to the global process list which stated the project had forked and that open publishing would be disabled in a week :

"Therefore we will wait another week before disabling publishing to the
UK Indymedia site, or any point before, when Oxford inform us that they
have their own site set up."

So the decision to leave it open was in order for Oxford to be able to sort a site out - in a week or less!

IMC London do not seem to say what would happen to the national newswire after the week was up.


We don't trust either of you...

09.05.2011 12:59

I think most people have read the comments in the feature thread and understand the situation, and personally I don't trust either faction in this hissy fit over website hits.

Whoever thought that people weren't smart enough to understand things like the IP filters, (after having it spoon-fed to them in a way that even a 3 year old child could understand), then you don't deserve to be the self nominated "journalists" of the Indymedia site!

You had a solid gold news story which could have fucked NETCU's meddling permanently and instead you suppressed it's existence with lies until a completely different radical publishing collective blew the story wide open for you!

And you think the readers trust any of you?

People just choose to use an open publishing wire where they can publish relatively anonymously, with relative impunity, (even if they are publishing shite), and have both a platform and an audience for their views. The trust in IM-UK admins was gone long before the announced "fork" because the filters were an open secret in activist circles anyway, despite more and more ridiculous denials from IM-UK.

In the midst of all this bullshit there's one thing that the two sides agree on and that's "consensus decision making", but what about the readers/publishers consensus? Did anyone even ask the users what they wanted? Has anyone asked the readers what they want yet, even after all that's happened? Do any of you even realise how ridiculously your behaving?

You're fighting over who gets the users, (website hits), but you're not even considering what those people want even though you're expecting them to come to your website. Mayday are the defacto winners because, despite a withering lack of trust from the users, they have the reliable website that people at least know and use....but if the BeTheMedia group had made a better, more inclusive, open publishing newswire then I suspect many people would have migrated because this site is old and tired, (although well built and functional, hence why people publish here).

If you think about the users, rather than your egos, we might actually all get what we want. Now wouldn't that be a good idea?

A. User

Re: We don't trust either of you...

09.05.2011 13:49

A. User posted:

You had a solid gold news story which could have fucked NETCU's meddling permanently and instead you suppressed it's existence with lies until a completely different radical publishing collective blew the story wide open for you!

I totally agree, the Mayday Collective is made up of people who wanted to publish the story for years but were blocked from doing so by IMC London and IMC Northern, I explained this in an email on 19th April 2011 in this manner:

UK Indymedia hasn't been "spying" on it's users, in this case the only people we can be accused of "spying on" is the UK Government -- this is the "user" that was being tracked and clearly they don't count as a legitimate user.

UK Indymedia has been using filters to track posts from specific UK Government IP addresses which activists in the UK knew were being used by the Police to attempt to disrupt and derail activists campaigns -- it was due to several reports on activist web site about abuse from and that filters were put in place to flag up any comment of article that originated from these addresses.

This was done in self defence -- the police in the UK have used articles and comments on UK Indymedia as evidence against activists in court cases and to justify Indymedia server seizures and raids on activists homes.

Sheffield Indymedia, Birmingham Indymedia, Oxford Indymedia and the Mayday Indymedia collective all argued that the 302 and 303 posts, which are made up of attempts at divide and rule, gloating about sentances for activists and classic agent provocateur postings seeking to incite illegal activity, should be made public. Nottingham Indymedia also too this view:

Indymedia admins had a responsibility to share the information they had collected with the wider activist community. To fail to disclose the strategies of systematic disruption, smearing and incitement that had been connected to one particular government gateway would have been to fail the very people who rely on Indymedia.

However telling activists about the posts originating from UK Government IP addresses was blocked by London Indymedia, London Indymedia is still involved in the admin of the UK Indymedia site. London Indymedia wanted to keep the abuse by the police a secret and also to remove the ability for the posts from these IP addresses to be tracked.

It was a relief when SchNEWS, in effect, broke the block (which didn't in any case apply to them) with the publication of their article:


Once the story was public, Birmingham and Sheffield Indymedia took the view that there was no point in continuing to respect the block to the story from London Indymedia since it no longer made any sense -- the story was now public -- it wasn't a secret any longer.

Birmingham Indymedia published the feature article about the police abuse that London Indymedia were and still are, blocking from being published on the UK Indymedia front page:

Advocating Domestic Extremism - Cops on Indymedia - An Exposé

Later that day Sheffield Indymedia also published a feature article about the case:

Gateway 303: Police Disinformation on UK Indymedia

And the following day the full list of articles and comments that the filters had flagged up as originating from gateways 202 and 303 was also published:

Full list of Gateway 303 and 202 posts to IMC UK

This was done because we believe it is important that activists are aware of the extent of disinformation and attempts at on-line disruption that originate from the state. It is nice that there has finally been some limited coverage of this aspect of the information war in the corporate media, for example:

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda
The need to protect the internet from 'astroturfing' grows ever more urgent
The tobacco industry does it, the US Air Force clearly wants to ... astroturfing – the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums – is on the rise. How do we stop it?

And in a further email on this matter that day I said:

The UK Indymedia site has filters in place to flag up posts that originate from the secure geteways, there is a list of these here:

We don't consider that the UK state, with it's long history of conspiracy to perpetuate it's class based rule, hierarchy, participation in imperial genocide and ecocide amoungst a massive litany of crimes against humanity, constitutes a legitimate "individual, group or organisation" as far as UK Indymedia is concerned -- they are one of the enemies in our struggle to "to work for a better world".

To regard the UK state as a legitimate contributor to the site, one who's anonomity should be protected, when they have a documented history of disinformation and the employment of agent provocateur tactics would clearly constitute a betrayal of the pupose of Indymedia.

We are not trying to "bury the past" and the only breach of trust of the legitimate users of the UK Indymedia site has been in the on-going attempts to keep the story about the state abuse a secret -- London Indymedia are still blocking the publication of a UK feature about the government posts to the site dispite the fact that it has been run as a global story:

UK Police Agent Provocateurs Exposed

The Mayday Collective has only been in existance a short time, it was originally constituted as the IMC UK Collective in November 2010 [1] and renamed following the December 2010 UK Indymedia meeting in Bradford.

The use of anti-abuse, self-defence measures by the UK Indymedia site predates the existance of the Mayday Collective by around 7 years.


- Homepage:

Re: Did anyone even ask the users what they wanted?

09.05.2011 14:04

A. User said:

Did anyone even ask the users what they wanted? Has anyone asked the readers what they want yet, even after all that's happened?

Very good question, no there wasn't time, the proposal to archive the site was made around 5pm at the Bradford meeting and there was an insistance that the fork has to be agreed there and then, the final agreement was probably made at around 7 or 8pm.

However the Mayday Collective has a public meeting at the Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair — if you are this neck of the wood please come along and air your views.

In addition the Mayday Collevtive has requested that a imc-mayday-users email list be created for users feedback etc. Hopefully this will be up and running soon.


London Indymedia's credibility is fast diminishing after latest revelations

09.05.2011 16:15

The situation of how London Indymedia is completely compromised is finally exposed! Their agneda has been to close down the UK site for years. Not being in the loop, I am surprised that there was such agreement for this across the country amongst the other collectives. I only know of what's been happening in London IMC, and the impetus for this change seems to have been coming from them for some time as I say.

Interesting to see if and how anybody from London Indymedia will respond to the revelation
provided by ftp about their email to the Global Process List on Sat Apr 30 which stated the project had forked and that open publishing would be disabled in a week :
"Therefore we will wait another week before disabling publishing to the UK Indymedia site, or any point before, when Oxford inform us that they have their own site set up."

And also, the revelation from Chris of how London Indymedia wanted to keep the abuse by the police a secret and also to remove the ability for the posts from these IP addresses to be tracked.

Beyond muckraking and accusations, and onto moving forward, I hope Be The Media will link their site to Indymedia UK. I'm sure that it will unquestiobaly be happening visa-versa.

UK Indymedia remains a popularity used site, across the whole country, as can be seen in the newswire over the last few days.

Hats off to the Mayday collective! I salute you in yr revolutionary coup for the wider good!

Bullshit Detector

trading standards

09.05.2011 17:35

SInce the site is no longer recognised as the real Indymedia, is it worth contacting trading standards as this is a mis-representation of the brand.

Surely this is illegal?


London, small town in Essex!

09.05.2011 18:52

"At Indymedia London we will continue to work locally, and with other Indymedia collectives in the UK and globally. We hope we will be able to focus all our energies back on the actual media production soon, to bring you news from the streets of occupied london..."

Problem is...that the country is a lot larger than London.

UK Indymedia means UK INDYMEDIA. Emphasis on UK. As in United Kingdom.

London can shove its Cheryl Cole right up its Max Clifford.

(Sorry, that's a bit confrontational I know, but you get what I'm driving at!)


Well done Mayday.

09.05.2011 19:00

Well done Mayday. Superb example of direct action at its best.

As a user of the site I can only say thanks to all for safeguarding the site for our continued use.


preaching to an empty church

09.05.2011 20:02

I can't be the only one finding it hilarious that the group who stole UK indymedia are now taking to posting comments and articles about their great and glorious 'victory' then referring to that as evidence of popular support.

Isn't seizure of the media and free speech the oldest trick in the propaganda book. Control the media, control the people.

I'd personally rather have no site than one run by a closed clique who judging by their mailing list do not listen to anyone's opinion but their own, and who are pretending it is an open platform and that they care what we the users think. At least before if I didn't like how things were run I could go to a meeting of my local collective. Where would I go now? Mayday? (that's a really arrogant name by the way, mayday belongs to the people, just as this site does).


I'm a user this is my POV

09.05.2011 21:27

I am a User of IMC UK,

I decided to get involved by joining with the UK-Collective in Oxford last November. I did this when I saw what was being proposed for the UK site, the cold dead aggregating of editorialised news and the Corporate liberal elitist ethos that went along with it. Why reinvent the wheel? I thought Why disrupt site users? If you don't like IMC UK and want aggregation then do it on an aggregator url with my full support.

From BTM it was all about how we 'look', image, branding, PR, the user "experience" and all that corpratist shite. It was about censorship - we can't let people see this information because it'll make us look bad. Like you're not intelligent enough to make your own minds up. Top down we 'know best dear' ethos ffs I'm an Anarchist!. It was all about keeping secrets to maintain lies.

Fuck that I thought, So I decided to get involved to defend the site. I attended the Bradford meeting and witnessed the way BTM leaders abuse the power of the 'majority' in what is supposed to be a consensus decision making process, I saw them act with hypocrisy, double standards, and aggression They used threats and the POU to maintain control, but what this 'majority' is, is mostly a bunch of authoritarian followers herded by 'leaders' they are being controlled by fear and threats and misinformation, you just have to read their responses to this current situation to see how a small group of leaders maybe just 2 people in the UK are trying to manipulate a co-ordinated response to this direct action.

And they're acting very police, very rules based, showing their true colours, they appear to think the Global Network is some kind of authority and they present credentials of status to the global authority it's fucked up.

I hope for the sake of this site that global isn't an authority and trust it is what it claims to be, a non-hierarchic and consensus based organisation. If it turns out to be an authoritarian group then IM is fucked anyway and we get booted, well so what? At least we know huh? I don't want to be part of something that claims to be anti-authoritarian, non hierarchic and consensus based, but is in reality a top down bunch of patronising we know best dear types. Then we the users will know if IM is a fake or not and that it needs to be moved on from or not. So this situation is a litmus test for the global network, we'll see in the way this pans out what's real activism and what's not. If you see this site re-branded as BTM or a splash message with "Dear reader Indymedia has been divided by the forces of darkness" then you know we've lost and Indymedia is penetrated and fucked.

When BTM thought they had the "power" they were quite happy to push the kill switch knowing full well that effectively this would eject a committed bunch of UK admins out of IM. There are in my opinion a bunch of heartless ruthless and calculating individuals that work by the Machiavellian maxim of the ends justifying the means, meaning so long as they get their google juice they don't care who they fuck over in the process, confusing to site users? we don't care, we know what's best for site users and were gonna give it to them if they want it or not. And now they're trying to say we consented to our own suicide, would that have been a rational thing to consent to? That still may happen of course as a global process of arbitration begins, but we acted rationally non hierarchically and with consensus when we took the Direct Action we took. We will see in the coming months what IM is really made of.

BTM loves to act victim It loves to spread fear and hate about committed activists, they even develop conspiracy theories that this has all been the plan of a single crazed actor who as luck would have it held the dns.

If you don't like what's happened and want your news editorialised and aggregated then there's BeTheMedia vote with your feet.

Please also note that the Direct Action we have taken has resulted in very little disruption to this site's users

This is my personal take on this, and may not exactly coincide with other members of mayday and BTM members will be saying who's 2% calling a sheep? but hey ho its an open publishing site.

Join a mailing list we need all the support from users we can get, we mean users and not abusers




Vote with your feet?

09.05.2011 23:01

Sod BTM. I've already seen the way a bunch of non-activists, 2-minute wonders, geek-boys, easily manipulated cowards and power-obsessed manipulators, and a passive-aggressive cop-friendly nut-job behave at Northern Indymedia. After a ruthless coup, a small clique of non-activists set up a shite-looking site and have been manipulating local news ever since. Thank fuck that they were stopped from giving Indymedia the kiss of death nationally and that the cat is out of the bag about their (and London's) nefarious activities.


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