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Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

The Attempt to Shutdown UK Indymedia

Sheffield Indymedia | 29.04.2011 00:00 | Indymedia | Birmingham | South Coast

Some people involved with UK Indymedia have been talking about shutting down the UK IMC site for years [1], for a variety of reasons; an openly declared disillusionment with the original model of open publishing and wanting to move to pre-moderated newswires which don't allow comments on articles [2], a dislike of the political content that is carried on the UK site [3]; a desire to see the traffic, which the UK site gets, redirected to regional IMC sites [4] and perhaps other motivations. Those wanting the site shutdown have also blocked improvements being made to the UK Indymedia site [5].

However the activists who have been maintaining the UK IMC site are still committed to running a UK-wide Indymedia open newswire and are not prepared to see the UK Indymedia site shutdown. They believe that the UK Indymedia newswire provides a valuable service for articles and comments and it should be maintained. These activists are also committed to running UK Indymedia in a transparent and open manner and in the spirit of the initial Independent Media Centre. Prior to the UK Indymedia Network meeting in Bradford in December 2010 this group of IMC UK admins applied to the global New IMC process as an autonomous collective with a wish to continue running the UK Indymedia site. Clearly the UK Indymedia site isn't a New IMC, it's been going for a decade (the early IMC UK story is covered in the BeTheMedia article about the impending shutdown), the application was made to make it clear that there was a group of activists who were running and wanted to continue running, the IMC UK site, but with autonomy from the activists running the other Indymedia sites in the UK. The activists running the other Indymedia sites in the UK wanted to take the domain away from the UK Indymedia site and point it to the BeTheMedia site (at the time it was, it has subsequently been renamed).

"The report of my death was an exaggeration"
"The report of my death was an exaggeration"

This support for the UK Indymedia site was further expressed at the December 2010 Bradford meeting, by the people running the site, in a statement that was read out at the meeting [6]:

We are a group of long term Indymedia activists who have been helping run and maintain the UK Indymedia site for many years, we include activists from Wales, Scotland and England.

Indymedia UK covers global topics and parts of the UK not covered by other IMC sites in the UK, via the open newswire and we support this and want to continue doing this.

Disputes in the UK Network around the approach to controversial issues have crystallized into two approaches for dealing with them. We believe that the use of critical thinking, reason and evidence based research and source checking is the best approach, rather than simply censoring these topics.

Our aim is to maintain an open channel for information in a world where the ruling class controls the main flows of information via the corporate media, public relations companies and the like.

One aspect of the open publishing model, which was not foreseen, was the extent to which it could be used and abused for the purposes of disinformation. Our approach to this is not to close down open publishing but to take active steps to remove disinformation and expose the tactics and politics of those behind it.

Indymedia is not only a journal of the revolution, it is part of the terrain that the Empire's information war is being fought across.

With the convergence of the crises, which gravely threaten the existence of life on earth, climate change, Peak Oil, resource depletion, Imperial wars, Fascism, ecological and economic collapse and starvation, a radical alternative future is urgently needed, now more than ever. We want to help to enable humanity steer a course to a future of co-operation, peace, sustainability, equality, autonomy and non-hierarchical community.

We are committed to non-hierarchical, consensus based decision making. We wish to go through the New IMC process in order that we can be globally recognised as an autonomous collective, with our own independent site, UK Indymedia,

The UK Indymedia sites is, and has for many years, been well used by activists both nationally and internationally, to circulate reports, news, analysis, media and information that the corporate media doesn't cover. People know where to find UK Indymedia, it's at, we hold with Tim Berners-Lee, that "Cool URI's don't change" and believe the UK Indymedia site should remain on its current domains,, and We wish to be listed in the cities list as simply uk, rather than united kingdom. We think the UK Network should have it's own entry in the cities list. We wish to remain in and participate in the UK Network as a peer of the other collectives.

We are open and welcoming to new and existing activists who wish to join our collective on the basis on which it was founded.

Our Mission Statment and Editorial Guidelines only differ from the existing UK Indymedia ones in so far as references to "United Kollectives" have been replaced with references to "UK Indymedia".

When we fully gain our autonomy we wish to roll out long developed improvements to the UK Indymedia site.

Sheffield Indymedia also took the following proposal to the Bradford Meeting but this was ignored and not discussed (the Drupal aggregator is the BeTheMedia site):

  1. The Drupal aggregator should be called IMC UK Network, since it's the site of the UK Network, and it should be listed in the global cities list (which all IMC sites carry) as UK Network.
  2. The Drupal aggregator should use a domain name which isn't currently in use, eg:
  3. All UK IMC collectives which are members of the IMC UK Network should be asked to have a prominent link to the UK Network site and be asked to carry a feature article about the launch of the IMC UK Network.
  4. The IMC UK Network site should carry the Sheffield and UK open newswire feeds and the Alt-Sheff's iCal Calendar events feed.
  5. Northern IMC's Proposal about the Docs pages, (to remove the two pages and their history from the server at is rejected. It was felt that the questions and accusations raised have never been answered, and in the interests of openness it was best to leave the story online.

Following a long discussion, at the meeting in Bradford, a proposal from Yossarian, to divide UK Indymedia, was agreed as a decision to fork the project into and The agreement stipulated that neither group could use UK in their name and that on the 1st May 2011 the UK Indymedia site would be frozen and archived at with a splash page pointing to and [7]. Support for the group, from the group, in getting the sub-domain for running the continuation of the UK IMC site on was promised [8]. A couple of days after the Bradford meeting Sheffield Indymedia published a feature article about it, UK Indymedia to Fork on 1st May 2011.

Subsequent to the meeting in Bradford the group, who wish to continue to run a UK-wide Indymedia open newswire, agreed to call themselves Mayday Indymedia and applied to the global New IMC list for the sub-domain for the site [9]. A great deal of time was spent on this application in meetings and on writing documentation. The group has set up BeTheMedia and haven't applied for an sub-domain.

However the global Indymedia working group, who's job it is to propose new IMC's to be approved globally, was blocked from proposing Mayday by Bart from Linksunten IMC in Germany [10]. The main justification for Bart's block is that he considers that UK Indymedia has "betrayed" [11] it's users by tracking abuse of the site by the UK state — the Police posts from Gateways 202 and 303 [12]. Bart appears to consider that genuine activists might have been using the secure Government gateways and that they deserve to have their anonymity preserved [13]. Mayday Indymedia has committed to abide by the new point 4 of the the global Indymedia draft Principles of Unity which was recently proposed by Bart on behalf Linksunten IMC :

4. All IMCs, based upon the trust of their contributors and readers, shall utilize open web based publishing, allowing individuals, groups and organizations to express their views, anonymously if desired. To ensure privacy and anonymity, the logging of information about users shall be kept to the minimum. The logging of internet protocol (IP) information about users shall be kept to the minimum necessary to maintain control over the server (i.e. in the event of an attack). In the event that logging is necessary, details of the logging shall be made publicly accessible, including duration of logging, what information was stored, and actions taken as result of the logging. Collectives are encouraged to have a public policy on IP logging.

Sheffield Indymedia considers that tracking the attacks from the UK state to be justified self-defence which falls within the provisions of the above Point of Unity, the site was under attack. The posts from the Government IP addresses have stopped since the abuse has been exposed. Sheffield Indymedia long argued that the abuse from the UK state should be exposed, but exposing it was blocked by London and Northern Indymedia.

Linksunten IMC has also tried to get the / sub-domains taken away from the Indymedia Germany site and a splash page put up in it's place, this proposal was rejected by Germany Indymedia and Indymedia Buenos Aires and blocked by Indymedia Switzerland.

Since the global Indymedia network has been unable to provide as a sub-domain for the UK site to move to and the indication that, despite the UK site not having a * sub-domain to move to, there is going to be an attempt to shutdown the UK Indymedia open publishing and email lists on 1st May 2011, a block to the status quo being changed has been agreed by Mayday, Birmingham and Sheffield. Mayday Indymedia has sent the following statement to the global IMC process list about the situation:

We are, in effect, the stewards of the UK Indymedia open-posting newswire, we stated this at the UK Network meeting in Bradford in December 2010. This service is threatened by the way the Bradford agreement to fork the site is being interpreted by the BeTheMedia group (B) and within New IMC. We ask the global network to suspend any working-group actions that would interfere with our ability to operate the site until the issues are resolved, specifically the shutting down of lists or alterations to the DNS or any alteration the uk entry in the global cities list — we would like the current status quo to be maintained until the agreement can be completed properly.

Some points we would like to make about the current situation:

1) We are all long standing Indymedia volunteers.

2) Our primary aim is to run an Indymedia website for the UK that provides an open-posting newswire; we have demonstrated our commitment to this aim.

3) We have compromised by agreeing to move to a new Indymedia domain even though this will be disruptive for site users.

4) B group is claiming there was consensus on forking and going ahead with all changes on 1 May irrespective of our status at that time, we dispute this, the agreement was based on and — our understanding of the consensus was that the fork depended on us having an sub-domain to move to. If B group don't want an sub-domain that's fine, but our position is that we do, and at the Bradford meeting we agreed to the fork on that basis.

5) We are keen to proceed with the fork once we have achieved new IMC status.

6) We think forcing the site to move outside of Indymedia is unreasonable.

7) This can be sorted out fairly quickly — we can work together to resolve the New IMC issues — get New IMC status and an sub-domain and fork. However, a hold should be put on changes to the status quo to allow the New IMC process to progress.

8) We don't think mass expulsions from Indymedia is in the "spirit of Indymedia" — in addition to the UK newswire the site hosts several regional IMC's.

9) There is nothing preventing group B from launching their new site and advertising it on UK Indymedia in the meantime.

However because Mayday, Brimingham and Sheffield haven't been through the global New IMC process it has been stated by Bart, a moderator of the global process list, that these Indymedia collectives have no say in global decisions and cannot block the shutting down of the imc-uk-* email lists. Furthermore Bart is trying to get the rules of the New IMC list changed so that New IMC's can't post directly to the list, apparently because of the Mayday and Sheffield New IMC applications. He has also started rejecting emails to the global process list which point out that there is not a consensus in the UK for a shutdown, stating that this is a internal collectives' dispute and therefore has no place on the global process list, even though the global process list is where the decision about shutting down the UK IMC lists is to be made.

Sheffield Indymedia applied to the global New IMC process list in January 2011 and a process, which can be completed in a fortnight, has made no progress whatsoever. This is why the Mayday statement refers to "mass expulsions from Indymedia" — Sheffield Indymedia has been up and running since 2003, it's been an eventful 8 years which has included raids by the Police and invasions by the EDL. Concerns have been raised on the global New IMC list over two wiki documents from Sheffield, Some Notes about IMC Northern and IMC UK Disinformation Documentation, these are the two documents refered to in the last point of the Sheffield proposal which was taken to the Bradford Indymedia meeting, the Bradford meeting agreed "We will not worry about".

What will happen next is unclear, but if there are attempts made to shut-down the UK Indymedia newswire or the UK Indymedia lists without agreement then the status quo, which should apply when there is not consensus, would have been broken and point 6 of the global Indymedia draft Principles of Unity would have been ignored:

6. All IMC's recognize the importance of process to social change and are committed to the development of non-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian relationships, from interpersonal relationships to group dynamics. Therefore, shall organize themselves collectively and be committed to the principle of consensus decision making and the development of a direct, participatory democratic process that is transparent to its membership.

As would this aspect of the global decision making guide:

Everyone's opinion counts. Everyone belongs to some kind of minority. And every minority has particular concerns or needs that want to be respected, no matter what the majority opinion. It shall be the network's aim to promote this understanding and eliminate oldfashioned concepts of minority exclusion, top-to-bottom structures of decision making and bottom-to-top allocation of responsibility.

If the UK Indymedia open publishing newswire is shutdown without agreement then Sheffield Indymedia will support whatever necessary steps that have to be taken to keep the newswire up and running — it's a vital resource for the UK activist community and we don't want it shutdown.


[1] For example at the 2008 UK Indymedia Network meeting in London there was "talk of shutting down", the "Italian Option" was cited as an example to follow — shutdown for a number of years (subsequently to it being used as a "good example", by those wanting a shutdown, has been recreated as an aggregation site using the same content management system as UK Indymedia). In June 2010 a proposal to "stop the indymedia front page for 6 months" was made. Northen Indymedia was founded on the basis of "The United Kollectives are dead, long live the autonomous IMC’s" and their outreach material contained "IMC Northern feels that the UK experiment has failed" and Jimdog from IMC Northern has supported disinformation attacking UK Indymedia.

[2] The London and Northern Indymedia sites don't allow comments to be posted to articles, only "additions" can be posted to some articles, this appears to go against the Indymedia Global FAQ, "If you disagree with the content of a particular article that someone has posted on Indymedia, you may comment on the article through the "add your own comments" link at the bottom of each post." The Northern Indymedia Editorial Guidelines, "restrict additions to providing factual information relevant to the particular item being added to. Remember that this is a news medium, not a discussion forum."

[3] The debates on the imc-uk-moderation list about the content of the open newswire often spilled over into debates about features in which the politically differences were never properly discussed. Some of the most controversial examples of this follow.

One example was the London and Glasgow: Brown's 'Bombs'? feature article, this was blocked after it had been published, essentially for straying into the relm of 'realpolitiks'. The feature was allowed back up after a section about a rally, which was addressed by the police, was added.

A feature article, Indymedia UK and the Atzmon-Greenstein affair was blocked from the UK front page, for more on this see, the wiki page about the case and the Saying NO to the hunters of Atzmon blog.

There has also been a tendancy to cave in to legal threats when there was clearly no need to, an article from Craig Murray was removed, for a while, after a threat, a spoof of The Metro was pulled after a bogus threat. There also seems to have been a desire to not confront the state, which is illustrated by the attempts to keep the Government posts from the secure intranet gateways, 202 and 303, a secret, see footnote [13].

Another example is the issue of 9/11, in 2006 a feature article about a 9/11 protest in London was blocked from being published on the the UK front page, see the list discussion but it was published on Sheffield Indymedia. In April 2007 Yossarian said, "If the core of the project has shifted towards a 9/11 conspiracy-wire... then I'll very unhappily pack up six years of steady work and find another project.". Jimdog from IMC Northern said in June 2010 "I propose there is a blanket ban on all further 9/11 truth articles".

[4] See for example Yossarian's concerns about the Google ranking of the regional sites compared to the UK site in June 2010, "the site with its ten year history and millions of inbound links, will be seen by search engines as the "main" source for any articles, not the originating site (London, Bristol, Northern, or Notts)" and a comment from July 2010 (Mir is the content management system which runs UK Indymedia), "There are other collectives who have started their own non- mir sites and feel that Mir is a blockage to the effectiveness of these new non-mir sites and want to radically change to stop these blockage and flow of web traffic to their sites. This is the general positions of London and Northern, but some people are really pushing this and being confrontational about it. Jim Dog, Yoss being the most active."

[5] The redesign agreed in Nottingham in 2008 (see the static mock-up produced for the meeting), has been implemented at a template level (see the working demo site), but these improvements have been blocked from being deployed, see for example Jimdogs's email from June2010, "I wish to block any further changes being made".

[6] This statement, which had previously agreed, by those in support of UK Indymedia open publishing, was read out at the Bradford 2010 UK IMC meeting.

[7] See the notes of the UK Indymedia meeting held in Bradford in December 2011.

[8] See this email, "statements were made by members of London imc along the lines of 'we had better make sure we help you get through new-imc so the fork can go ahead'. These statements were made both before and after the fork was agreed - in other words, it was agreed on this basis."

[9] See the documentation of the Mayday New IMC application.

[10] See the emails from Bart on 19th April 2011 and 21st April 2011.

[11] See for example this email from Bart.

[12] See the Sheffield Indymedia feature article, Gateway 303: Police Disinformation on UK Indymedia.

[13] Bart has defended the right to anonomity for the posts from the UK Governments secure intranet exit nodes, and, on 19th April 2011 he said, "It may be true that some or even all of the articles and comments that have been flagged by the UK MIR system have been written by the police or other government agencies in order to provoke readers of Indymedia UK, to authorise repressive measures or to serve as proofs in court trials. But how can you be sure that all of them have been written by agents provocateurs?" and on the 21st April, "not all postings coming from the 303 network necessarily originate from agents provocateurs". A Full list of Gateway 303 and 202 posts to IMC UK has been posted to Sheffield Indymedia.

Sheffield Indymedia
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Hide the following 30 comments


29.04.2011 02:48

i do hope you lot bang yer heads together.



29.04.2011 04:15

This article is just such the perfect example of why the rest of Indymedia in the UK want fuck all to do with you lot.


any more you would like to add

29.04.2011 07:59

just to make sure that you spend the next years fighting and keeping the worthy feeling that you are in the right, rather than doing something useful

those who don't learn from history are doomed, just doomed


Long live IMC.

29.04.2011 08:03

I just don't see how halting IMC UK as a resource for publishing news or features fits in with anybody's interests!

Sure there is clearly government, police and nationalist disruption and exploitation of IMC UK and clearly most of that is depraved, dishonest and fundamentally weak, but how does closing IMC UK constitute fighting it?

IMC is hugely popular and has been hugely influential so it has to be expected that it will invite chronic disruption from those it has campaigned against. Gateway attacks were always going to happen, any seasoned campaigner knows that certain articles published have come from mainstream sources and have been politically motivated. The comments which follow articles have also been politically motivated. Its all part of the environment.

If you are going to have a completely free and completely anonymous resource to publish to then you are going to have an explosion of trolling. You are going to have an explosion of those posting 'troll-type' comments because they know the general public are easily averted and disgusted by trollling.

The fundamental and most effective anti-trolling measure that one can take, is authority of content. If content is authoritative, then the trolls just look infantile and obstructive.

IMC needs to be finding and encouraging authoritative content, not simply shutting down.

Politics of longevity

Enough space for everybody

29.04.2011 08:54

IMO there is enough space for everybody and although I would like to see changes to Indy UK's working practices, I do not think that those involved and their projects should be sidelined. I think it is time to ask 'whose interests are served by a split and continued antagonism within the wider indymedia uk community?'

I would like to add that the above article, although heavy going, does meet with my personally experiences of arguing for maintaining original principals, such as comments rather than factual additions only.


Don't feed the trolls

29.04.2011 09:56

As well as trolling from the 303 gateways, it's always been clear to us that imcuk receives a lot of trolling from certain actors who want to see the site shutdown. This is self-evident in the comments on this article too. Make up your own minds where this is coming from and who it seeks to benefit.

IMC admin

Stop indy censorship

29.04.2011 10:06

My problem here is if you make a comment that doesn't fit the party line i.e. radical anarchist, it gets deleted. There should be more diversity of opinion allowed.


Confused about Sheffield's position here

29.04.2011 10:19

Hi Sheffield IMC

I am a little bit confused about your collective's position here. For example you state that:

"If the UK Indymedia open publishing newswire is shutdown without agreement then Sheffield Indymedia will support whatever necessary steps that have to be taken to keep the newswire up and running — it's a vital resource for the UK activist community and we don't want it shutdown."

However the Bradford minutes (which can be found here: - the link given in the article doesn't work) state that:

"decision agreed at 18:59:
We accept to archive, and and as static html with a banner on top of each page that says along the gist of "this a archived version of the site For a active version of this page go to , there is also the aggregator at .
There will be splash page at / that links to the archive site, site and
We agree that henceforth noone can call themselve Indymedia UK, UK
network and UK collective anymore.
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"

"decison at 19:18:
Everything has to be done by the first of May, but should be done earlier."

These were consensus decisions at a meeting at which 3 members of Sheffield Indymedia were present.

So several of your collective agreed to a decision to shut down UK Indymedia by 1st May.

It should also be noted that, despite your attempt to portray this as an attempt to close down open publishing, the Mayday collective has a new domain name registered: which says it is due to launch on 1st May. It seems obvious that you could transfer the open newswire to that domain on 1st May thus avoiding the need to shut down the open newswire.

As the Bradford minutes note, "We agree that it's great that there is a national site, and that goes through new imc with a different site and name", a process that is happening, that I am acting as your liaison for and that, as far as I can see, all the local IMCs want to see you get through. It is just taking longer than everyone hoped.

To portray the slow workings of a global IMC process as a conspiracy to shut down Mayday is incorrect. There is no reason why what was the UK open newswire can't run at from 1st May.

To portray what has been happening as an attempt to shut down UK Indymedia is correct and it is a process that your own collective consented to.


good luck, and here's to UK IMC and all the regional ones too

29.04.2011 10:43

This is sad, but I'm glad you've written this (thanks for all the detailed links and references - it must have taken you ages!).

I hope no-one takes down UK IMC or the lists - that would be such an abuse of process, and it sounds like there's lots of that going on already.

Some comments are either choosing to ignore or don't realise that UK IMC includes lots of the people from regional ones who want to set up BeTheMedia, so this whole sorry story is confused by people who oppose something existing still being part of it (& it's lists). I think. So don't blame the writer or UK IMC for all that's gone on, that's a gross simplification.

People should relax - I'm sure that's hard with lots of email-based conflict over years, and UK IMC being criticised for not changing when those changes are blocked! - and let a UK IMC continue to exist, as well as the aggregator site, if people reliably want to keep running it and improving it. There's a time to let go, and try to accept and eventually respect other viewpoints.


deleting trolls

29.04.2011 10:52

You surely mean: people you disagree with?

An recent example would be criticism of the black bloc. All comments and articles criticising it were censored, all articles and comments supporting it were displayed.

When I mean all, I do mean 100%. I find it impossible to believe all the material was classified as trolling. That in itself clearly shows that indymedia moderation is hugely biased from personal viewpoints and is a corruption of power.


What happens next?

29.04.2011 11:37

Is Indymedia globally going to do anything?

Is BeTheMedia going to run to the bourgeois courts and the corporate media? It would be very telling about where their true loyalities lie if they do!

UK Indymedia is clearly used, important and useful, let's hope more activists get involved with trying to keep the site up and running.

The BeTheMedia site newswire (tiny right hand column) really doesn't compare to the UK one and it shows how much time they have for open publishing, you can't even post comments at all on the site, how can anyone think this is a better resource for activists then UK Indymedia?



29.04.2011 11:50

Did you ask this question on their email list?

Following the links in the article above I came across this, it seems clear what the Sheffield position is, they don't appear to want the UK site shutdown:

Sheffield IMC supports the position of the Mayday Collective with
regard to the proposed closure of both the site and
its associated mailing lists, necessary to maintain the site, on May
1st 2011 and BLOCK these proposals. The BLOCK will remain until IMC
Mayday gain full IMC status when the proposals will be reviewed by
Sheffield Indymedia.


Does anyone have a shorter version of this?

29.04.2011 17:56

Like, maybe a paragraph? I've got better things to do than read this and get lost in what seems like petty politics, but somehow feel this is rather important...



29.04.2011 18:56

Sheffield's position is quite strange. They say they are blocking the proposal to shut down UK Indymedia, but there is no proposal. The proposal was made in Bradford last year and was agreed in a consensus meeting including members of the Sheffield collective, at which point it became a decision, as recorded in the undisputed minutes of that meeting.

So Sheffield and Mayday cannot block any proposal. The collectives can either honour the decision that was made or they can break the agreement.


one attempt at a summary

29.04.2011 22:05

"The collectives can either honour the decision that was made or they can break the agreement."

Neither collective is in a position to honour the decision that was made in Bradford, as it happens.

The decision made in Bradford depended on all stages being completed by May 1, and those stages included the mayday collective, as it's now called, having an domain to move the site onto. This is stated in the minutes as part of the agreement.

The collectives and indymedia vols now called Bethemedia promised their support to what is now mayday collective to get through new-imc process and therefore have the domain to move onto in good time. These promises were made in recognition that the agreement would not stand if new-imc and the new domain were not granted by May 1. There was talk of the prospect of 'global clusterfuck' in this event, which everyone claimed to be committed to avoiding.

The promised support for the application did not materialise, and some very untoward things happened in the way mayday collective's new imc application was dealt with. Eventually, the application was proposed by btm, but blocked by one of new-imc, bart. btm requested that the block be removed, this was refused... so, May 1 is nearly here and the application is still unresolved.

Bethemedia is trying to force through the rest of the agreement without this prerequisite being in place. If this happens, the uk site will be pushed off an indymedia domain and the mayday collective members effectively 'expelled' from indymedia, in spite of being a collective which maintains an active indymedia site. This is a very serious state of affairs.

Whatever bethemedia might say, the mayday collective is not breaking the agreement made at Bradford. The agreement has failed for reasons out of the control of the mayday collective and therefore needs to be revisited.

Mayday collective has, in the face of the repeated threat by bethemedia to force the shutdown of the uk site regardless, blocked this threat in self-defence and asked for the status quo to remain until the issue of new-imc status and the domain are resolved, which needn't take long with a bit of goodwill and co-operation.

That's it in a nutshell, from where I'm standing.


10 years

30.04.2011 00:48

Well I've been visiting and posting for around 10 years or so now. I'd certainly be dissapointed if the site just died - though I visit much less frequently than I used to. On the other hand, I'm certainly much less likely to be bothered to visit a new site - so I agree about keeping it going. But perhaps something new can be done, the technology used by this site is ageing pretty badly now. And the recent infiltration/police windups on this site call for some radical overhauls.


Please avoid distorting the issue

30.04.2011 09:14

me, I don't know who you are, but you are very badly distorting things here.

"The decision made in Bradford depended on all stages being completed by May 1, and those stages included the mayday collective, as it's now called, having an domain to move the site onto. This is stated in the minutes as part of the agreement. "

It was assumed that Mayday would be a new IMC; it wasn't part of the agreement. The problem with the agreement was that no one considered what would happen if Mayday didn't get through the process (something, incidentally, which would have been a lot more likely if they'd pulled their fingers out sooner). That doesn't mean that the essential part of the agreement, UK closing because *no one can legitimately claim it as their own domain*, doesn't still stand. Now, if Mayday had come to the rest of the UK network asking for more time because they'd not got through the new-imc process in time, they would have had mine and probably a lot of other people's support. However, instead they decided to make a lot of arrogant and belligerent statements about how they are the stewards of the UK site and they were going to carry on running anyway. This is why we feel that we have to hold you to the agreement that you made.

"Bethemedia is trying to force through the rest of the agreement without this prerequisite being in place. If this happens, the uk site will be pushed off an indymedia domain and the mayday collective members effectively 'expelled' from indymedia, in spite of being a collective which maintains an active indymedia site. This is a very serious state of affairs."

Not really. None of the people involved in the Mayday collective is part of a collective that has gone through the new-imc process, so none of you are technically part of the Indymedia network at the moment anyway. The new-imc process is there for a reason: to ensure that collectives uphold the Principles of Unity of the network (one of which is a commitment to consensus decision-making). Mayday will, rightly, have to demonstrate that it is committed to these principles before it can call itself Indymedia. At the moment the UK site is being run by people with no apparent accountability to the global network.

"The agreement has failed for reasons out of the control of the mayday collective and therefore needs to be revisited."

An agreement cannot fail for reasons out of control of the parties involved. An agreement can only fail if one of the parties fails to stick to it.

"Mayday collective has, in the face of the repeated threat by bethemedia to force the shutdown of the uk site regardless, blocked this threat in self-defence and asked for the status quo to remain until the issue of new-imc status and the domain are resolved, which needn't take long with a bit of goodwill and co-operation."

This looks to me like the Mayday collective are holding UK Indymedia for the ransom of acceptance into the Indymedia network. I take it the comment about goodwill and co-operation is ironic?

"I'd certainly be dissapointed if the site just died"

The site doesn't have to just die. The Mayday collective using this argument is dishonest. They can easily move it onto their domain. At the moment they are trying to force their way into the global Indymedia network by holding this domain hostage.

No one wants to see the UK site die, but give some consideration to the implications of allowing this Indymedia hostage taking situation to proceed.


Do you mind enlightening us?

30.04.2011 09:59

Is this a completely closed argument or are ordinary readers and users of this site entitled to understand what's going on?

What is this dispute all about? I'm not talking about the process issues of who agreed what at which meeting or who can read what information off which server or what the mechanical relationship is is between UK and Global; I'm asking about the POLITICS?

Are there ideological tensions between the Uk/Sheffield people and the Northern/Global people and, if so, WTF are they?

Come on, this feels like an argument being conducted in code by an elite.


Different Views of the Bradford agreement

30.04.2011 10:08


Clearly btm our views differ about the Bradford meeting I attended as part of the UK-Collective formed in Oxford to represent the voices of those activists that had been marginalised in the push to 'improve' the UK site and which represented more than a third of the people at the Bradford meeting. Our initial position if you remember was not to give up the UK name and our wish was to continue running the UK site as it was then and is today, a 3 column open publishing site and not a robot aggregator.

We went to Bradford as it said in our statement, in a spirit of co-operation to work within the UK Network as a peer of the other collectives.

This was not acceptable to the people who wanted to replace the site with a robot and so they suggested the split into (and this is key IMO) and

The only way "a" can or could get an domain was by going through new-imc process, the agreement was founded on this I would never have given assent to the agreement without our group getting an domain, we were assured by your side that it would be a synch given that 2 people on your side are members of new-imc.

The promised support given by your side never materialised and so you've acted in bad faith AFAIC, you promise but don't deliver, you're good at fine words but no good at actions it seems.


The docs pages

30.04.2011 10:40

I've been reading the new-imc indymedia lists and the lengthy attempts by mayday imc to get through the process - they seemed to have had to have made a much bigger effort to satisfy the likes of Bart.

I think the crux of this that hasn't been mentioned is the muted calls to delete a docs page that documents the abuse of indymedia uk imcistas by someone called jimdog from northern imc. I can't remember the address of this docs page, but it's generated a lot of controversy.

divide and rule?

2% - you are taking the piss

30.04.2011 10:57

"The promised support given by your side never materialised and so you've acted in bad faith AFAIC, you promise but don't deliver, you're good at fine words but no good at actions it seems."

I have stood up and joined new-imc in order to become a liaison for you when you were having difficulties with that, I have proposed your application against my better judgement out of a desire to see you through the process. Please do tell me what more I could have done?

I cannot and should not attempt to override the concerns of other new-imc members about your collective's prior activities and whether they were within the spirit of Indymedia's Principles of Unity. That is for your collective alone.

I'm also interested in you talking about '[my] side'. When we left the Bradford meeting, Nottingham people were a bit uncomfortable with being lumped into Be the Media by default. We were happy to work with any group that we saw affinity with, which at that time included both [soon to be] Mayday and Be the Media. The activities of Mayday since that date are increasingly demonstrating that it is not a collective that it is possible for us to work with.



30.04.2011 13:32


Nope I ain't taking the piss I actually trusted that we'd get support through new-imc, more fool me.

It seems like Bart can go around accusing people of betrayal and using spyware without any evidence to support it. Bart is accountable only to himself it seems. If you were genuinely supporting then you could have said to Bart hey Bart these people don't spy on activists and they haven't betrayed anyone, let their application through so the fork can continue. Instead you capitulate you're not even sitting on the fence btm you are on their side your actions clearly demonstrate this. As I say its peoples actions that count for me i.e. what they actually do and not their rhetoric.

So there you are in the last comment going on about how great you are to even bother to help us through new-imc, yet your action in supporting the defamation of the Mayday Collective by Bart speak volumes.

I really wish you'd get your head out of the sand btm



30.04.2011 14:25


From my reading, you are being disingenuous at least, and getting into such detailed replying that loses all of us and reads as just twisting words so that you are the true righteous heirs over the other contenders!

I hope that some people can continue to run a UK IMC website (without having to call it some nonsense Mayday name) and that others can continue to run regional IMC sites, and the BTM aggregator site can also be developed, and all linked together.

Everyone, stop trying to blame everyone else. I know bad behaviour has gone on from all sides, but it really doesn't help to try and battle out who is more wrong/right, who's to blame etc. And don't get caught up in all the details - there's no point and it loses everyone else. Use your time and energy for something much more important - the future.

Take a deep breath, think back to why you all were motivated to put so much energy and time into the IMC idea in the first place, realise you're all on the same side, though it doesn't feel like that, and then reflect individually on how to move forwards, to support each other in doing what they want to put their energy in to.


Link to the docs pages

30.04.2011 14:51

Here's a link to the docs pages that the deletion of is conditional to Mayday imc going through imc process. Read how certain individuals have maliciously attacked UK imc-istas in an attempt to divide the UK network and shut the site down:

This all started just after the last server seizure by the cops. You join the dots..

WE are all IMC UK!

the paranoia is so thick

30.04.2011 16:02

Mayday could do themselves an enormous favor by taking it down a few decibels, both in the way they interact with bart and by reconsidering posting bullshit stories like this one.

The "plot to shut down Indymedia UK" does not exist anywhere except inside Chris's head. His decision to scream it out on the Indymedia UK website is both deeply unfortunate and an excellent indicator of why their new-IMC process has run aground.


No Big Deal

30.04.2011 20:30

As I understand it Indymedia UK has split into two groups.

One, Be The Media wants a more focused site based on local news from a handful of UK locations and no UK site. Their main site 'bethemedia' simply collects news stories from those local sites but you can't post directly to it.

The other group, Mayday Indymedia, think the UK site is a useful resource and intend to continue with it but under a different name. (The news stories on this site will still be here).

Pretty much everyone agrees on everything although the shut down of this site (although the Mayday group were reluctant about it). This was planned for tomorrow (May 1st) but seems now stalled.

Unfortunately due to a hold up in the Mayday group getting through what is called the New IMC process this looks likely to be delayed a little while longer. Once this happens all will go ahead and there will be two Indymedia groups in the UK that operate autonomously.

In other words all of this is simply about the date of the proposed change from one group into two. Nothing more which now looks unlikely to happen tomorrow as planned.


Indymedia UK is closing

30.04.2011 20:38

@ Meter

"The "plot to shut down Indymedia UK" does not exist anywhere except inside Chris's head."

No no no. You've got it completely wrong. The plan is to shut this site down and although the contents will be archived it won't be a live site like it is now. This is really happening.


What about the users?

09.05.2011 14:12

Do any of the users of the site get a say in this? Why not just keep the site as it is under the current URL, as people obviously want that, and make a separate site for the aggregator thing?



09.05.2011 14:15

That is what Sheffield proposed to the meeting, read the article above, some domain names were suggested:

This proposal wasn't even considered.


really unimpressed

10.05.2011 14:50

I'm really unimpressed by this. This site has been a major resource for me when setting up projects and seriously I seriously question the motives of people who do not back exposing posts from government departments and wish to censor what is meant to be an open news feed. I think the further away from the control of any groups who behave like this the better, clearly we are to real for indymedia!

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