To All Local IMC's:

The following document is a draft of the Principles of Unity for the entire IMC network. This document was based on principles culled from 18 months of at large interaction on the IMC Process list serve. Those principles were discussed and debated among approximately 70 IMC members from around the world at the Press Freedom Conference in San Francisco on April 27-29, 2001. A working group was formed to present the draft document to all of the local IMC's for feedback.

Although this post is in English, the document has been sent to translations and other languages will be posted as soon as they are available. If you have a specific language request, please let us know.

We are hoping to reach network-wide consensus on this document by mid-July. In order to do that, we ask that one spokesperson from each local IMC facilitate this effort by presenting this document to their group, gathering feedback and reporting that feedback to us (e.g. one spokes from IMC Boston sends one email to the Unity list with concerns, objections or suggestions raised by that local). PLEASE SEND ALL CONCERNS, OBJECTIONS OR SUGGESTIONS TO IMC-UNITY@INVITRO.CAT.ORG.AU BY JUNE 15, 2001.

After June 15, the working group will spend two weeks incorporating the local feedback and will repost the document on June 30, 2001. Final comments from local IMC's should be sent to the above address by July 15. Spokespersons from all IMC's will meet via IRC (and telephone when necessary) for final consensus within the week following (exact date to be announced). The results of that meeting will be posted by the Unity working group by July 25.

This document is a work in progress and an attempt to state the basic principles for which we all stand. As such, please take time in your local meeting to read, debate and discuss it. All bracketed items are part of the priciples of unity but have been specifically identified as in need of further definition, clarification and "wordsmithing." Please feel free to contact the working group with any questions. We welcome and look forward to your input.


1. The Independent Media Center Network (IMCN) is based upon principles of equality, decentralization and local autonomy. The IMCN is not derived from a centralized bureaucratic process, but from the self-organization of autonomous collectives that recognize the importance in developing a union of networks.

2. All IMC's consider open exchange of and open access to information a prerequisite to the building of a more free and just society.

[3. All IMC's respect the right of activists who choose not to be photographed or filmed.]

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.

5. The IMC Network and all local IMC collectives shall be not-for-profit.

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.

7. [All IMC's recognize that a prerequisite for participation in the decision making process of each local group is the contribution of an individual's labor to the group.]

8. All IMC's are committed to caring for one another and our respective communities both collectively and as individuals and will promote the sharing of resources including knowledge, skills and equipment.

9. All IMC's shall be committed to the use of free source code, whenever possible, in order to develop the digital infrastructure, and to increase the independence of the network by not relying on proprietary software.

10. All IMC's shall be committed to the principle of human equality, and shall not discriminate, including discrimination based upon race, gender, age, class or sexual orientation. Recognizing the vast cultural traditions within the network, we are committed to building [diversity] within our localities.

-- PseudoPunk - 14 Jun 2002
-- BrianSzymanski - 27 Nov 2003 added anchors for #1 #2 #3, etc. to ease linking to specific principles.
-- MarkB - 20 Apr 2005 corrected year 2000 to 2001
-- AnthonyG - 25 Oct 2006 - Closed all the anchor tags
-- GeorgeMathousalix - 30 Jun 2007 - Added greek translation
-- AnarchoKiddy - 20 Jul 2007 - Added Russian translation

-- SimonShine - 22 Jul 2008 - Added Danish translation, sorted the list alphabetically and added the language name in the list.

-- TxopiTxopi - 06 Jan 2011 - fixed the link to basque translation.

-- BartOlomeo - 28 Mar 2011 - Changed POU4
Topic revision: r15 - 28 Mar 2011, BartOlomeo
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