The pre-history of Northern Indy can be examined on the long defunct IMC-Leeds mailing list. The first formal call to form a new collective and the minutes of the first meeting reflect some of the issues we wanted to address: empowering our communities by facilitating autonomous publishing, returning control of resources to accountable local people and helping campaigns to produce their own media output were recurring themes.
After months of hard work, the collective was able to launch this website on August 1st 2009. With help from comrades in other parts of the world and a herculean effort by one much-missed local geek, Northern Indy was born amongst omens of spatial confusion, clashing sound-systems, revelry and dirt at the Hyde Park Unity Day celebrations.
Highlights of the last few years included cooperation with autonomous tech projects & hackspaces locally (common place, 1in12) and farther afield (hacktionlab); an off-shoot radio project (radio interference); manifestations at temporary social centres, high profile public events (Leeds Engage and Change, Bradford Mayday, York Peace Festival) and political mobilisations (Climate Camp, counter-edl).
The project has many assets that might attract people interested in running an independent media centre; our server is rented from the tachanka collective with whom we have enjoyed an excellent supportive relationship; our software is custom-built by media activists with privacy and security in mind; we curate a large archive of copyleft user-generated media; and best of all, we have the goodwill and respect of many people in the communities we serve.
We hope that reading about this project will have inspired you to want to keep it going, and even to improve it in ways we haven't yet imagined. The few of us who are involved at the moment are feeling like we have had our fun, and now we want to see someone else have a go. We'd like to stay involved in a small way if there are lots of other people around, but none of us want to carry on doing it with just the small group we have now. So, this is your cue to get involved.
If you ever thought to yourself "wow, independent media is cool but someone else is already doing it" then now is the time to step up, because if you don't, we're going to have to shut down. What that would mean is that sometime soon we would disable publishing here and mothball the website, to serve as an archive but with no new content allowed. We think that would be very sad, and we hope it won't come to that, but we're telling you loud and clear so you won't be shy in stepping forward: if you don't make this work, it's going to stop working, so get in touch NOW if you want this project to carry on. The easiest way to get in touch and volunteer is to subscribe and post to our mailing list.