Mayday Indymedia New IMC Application

This page has a copy of the New IMC application from Mayday Indymedia and also attempts to document the progress that is being made through the global New IMC process.

See also our other documents ImcMayday#Documents

Mayday Indymedia New IMC Application Progress

Following is a timeline of the Mayday Indymedia's attempt to pass through the New IMC process in an attempt to be awarded the mayday.indymedia.org sub-domain to host the www.indymedia.org.uk on for the 1st May 2011 deadline in the Bradford agreement.

December 2010

The original application which had been submitted to the global New IMC working group in the name of the autonomous UK Indymedia collective on 10th Dec 2010 was withdrawn on 11th Dec following the Bradford meeting fork agreement. Implicit in the fork agreement was that Group a, a.indymedia.org, later to become Mayday Indymedia, would have passed through the New IMC process by 1st May in order to have mayday.indymedia.org to move the www.indymedia.org.uk site to on 1st May 2011. Two members of the New IMC working group were present at the Bradford meeting, Jimdog and Bou, both from b.indymedia.org, the other half of the fork, later to called Be The Media.

January 2011

The UK Indymedia collective had arranged it's next meeting for January 2011, at it's 20th November 2010 meeting (though it was subsequently shifted a week) and it wasn't till this face-to-face meeting that the collective agreed to be called the Indymedia Mayday collective, other options had been considered, see the meeting notes.

February 2011

Following the January meeting, on 1st February the implications to any delay in New IMC applications from the UK was clearly spelt out by Chris:

it's hard to see how the decision to fork the UK IMC Network can proceed if any New IMC applications from the UK, made before 1st May, do not swiftly proceed since the agreement depends on these going through

The application was resubmitted on 3rd Feb 2011 in the name of Mayday Indymedia with a critical date having been added, 1 May, 2011.

Mayday Indymedia heard nothing from New IMC for 9 days, so an email was sent on 12th Feb 2011:

We requested on February 2nd that the new-imc application for uk-collective be reawakened, noting that we had updated the database record in the contact database. http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0203-u1.html

We haven't heard from the new-imc working group, and there don't seem to have been any objections on the new-imc list. It's now ten days on, so we presume the application should now be reawakened, and sent to the global process list.

Bart replied that day:

could you please send the renewed application form to this list?

...

I have a question to your collective and to the Sheffield collective. There has been a debate going on about IP logging and I'd like to know the position of both collectives on this subject.

The background is that I heard you want to continue using MIR in the future (correct me if I'm wrong) and IMC linksunten has published a communiqu\xE9 on this subject on the 31st of January [1]. Furthermore, IMC Nantes, IMC Northern England and IMC linksunten have proposed a privacy statement for the PoU which is currently pending on imc-process [2].

In the past, IMC linksunten has rejected the New-IMC application of IMC Binghampton in February 2010 [3] because (among other things) they temporarily wanted/had to log IPs. But IMC Binghampton only had technical issues and we welcomed them as a new IMC [4] as soon as these issues were solved. This time, I'd like to clarify this point before your application passes on to imc- process.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-communication/2011-January/0130-b8.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-February/0209-yu.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2010-February/0225-hw.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2010-June/0620-82.html

So the application was submitted again on 12th February 2011.

On Feb 15 Mayday replied to Barts questions:

The Mayday collective cannot answer your questions on behalf of Sheffield IMC.

Indymedia UK uses Mir, and the Mayday collective intends to continue running a largely similar site, using Mir, for the time-being (we have not made plans to change CMS).

The Mayday collective supports the Principles of Unity as currently stated.

Furthermore the Mayday collective approves of the 2005 Sydney IMC proposal to amend the Principles Of Unity, as reiterated by Nantes IMC in January 2011. We intend to operate in accordance with these proposals and thus our practice would also be in accordance with the Linksunten proposal of January 2011 [1].

We note, however, that the POU continue to exist only in draft form and have never been ratified. We think that this is unfortunate.

We hope this helps.

[1] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-January/0131-t1.html

The Sheffield Indymedia New IMC application is documented here.

On 16 Feb Bart replied, quoting the email he was replying to:

Furthermore the Mayday collective approves of the 2005 Sydney IMC proposal to amend the Principles Of Unity, as reiterated by Nantes IMC in January 2011. We intend to operate in accordance with these proposals and thus our practice would also be in accordance with the Linksunten proposal of January 2011 [1].
very well, I'm glad that we agree on this matter.
We note, however, that the POU continue to exist only in draft form and have never been ratified. We think that this is unfortunate.
Yes, we should maybe formalise this. Nevertheless, every IMC has to agree to them when going through the New-IMC process. So maybe this is only a bureaucratic question copied from "big politics"?
The Mayday collective cannot answer your questions on behalf of Sheffield IMC.
Sorry, I did not mean to suggest that the collectices are not independent from each other. I only wrote one mail as I wanted to ask both collectives the same question.

ps. Once again, I rejected your the copy to imc-process as my question to your collective was answered satisfyingly (at least as far as I am concerned) on the new-imc list where I posed the question.

On 16 Feb smush noted that Mayday didn't have a New IMC liasion. In order to pass through the New IMC process a new collective has to be guided through by a laision, the laision must be a member of the New IMC working group and not a member of the collective which is making the application. The two members of the working group from the UK, both Be The Media supporters did not volunteer for this role nor did they offer any support for the application during it's progress.

March 2011

Because there was no indication that anyone on the New IMC working group, was interested in being the liasion for Mayday, Mayday Indymedia approached behindthemask from Nottingham Indymedia (who was also present at the Bradford meeting and another Be The Media supporter) to ask if he would join the New IMC working group and take on this role in order to ensure that the 1st May 2011 deadline was met.

He accepted the invitation and on the 10th March behindthemask sent a roll call to the list to say he would like take on the liasion role:

I would like to assist the IMC Mayday collective to achieve IMC status.

On the 10th March he sent a further email about this:

I would like to put myself forward as liaison for the proposed Mayday IMC: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0212-cm.html

I believe their application was made some time ago and they are still waiting for someone to take on the role of liaison and I am happy to fill that role.

On 16th March smush asked:

thank you btm for offering to be the new-imc liaison person for the IMC Mayday Collective.

Are you - IMC Mayday Collective - for btm to be your liaison person?

The same day Mayday replied:

Are you - IMC Mayday Collective - for btm to be your liaison person? in solidarity smush (imc aotearoa)

Oh yes.

We're very grateful - we asked him to step up to the plate, and we were a little disappointed that nobody from the established membership of the new-imc collective had the time or energy to do the work. No matter - if btm is good enough for you, he's certainly good enough for us!

Thanks btm, and thanks smush. We're very pleased to see things moving forward.

BTM: if there's anything you want or need from us, you can get all of us on our mauling list, which you evidently know about. It's a public list, with public archives; so if you want to talk to us privately, you can email me, and I can forward your emails to the other collective members. But we prefer to do our business in the open, if possible.

The following day behindthemask asked Mayday:

I have read the Mayday new IMC application and would be interested to know more about how, specifically, Mayday IMC intend to do outreach and involve members from the very large geographical area that it intends to cover. I think the application should include some more detail on how this will be achieved.

Without wanting to drag up too much of the politics behind the collapse of the UK network, I would like to know how the Mayday IMC intends to maintain transparency (and users' trust) around the use of anti-abuse capabilities in the Mir CMS. I don't bring this up in order to re-open discussions of whether use of anti-abuse measures is or isn't appropriate, but merely to ensure that there it is clear to users of the site what the policy of moderators is.

On 20th March Bart emailed the list:

I learned from a mail forwarded to the public mailing list of the mayday collective [1] that there exists "some kind of collusion" against the collective and that I am suspected to be part of this conspiracy. Do you really wonder why you have had problems to find a liason when you backbite like this?

I'd like to know what is going on in UK. Unlike btm [2] I do want to drag up "the politics behind the collapse of the UK network" as long as it affects the New-IMC working group. I feel embarrassed that the new-imc process is treated as a bureaucratic evil which can be more or less ignored because "the agreement [to fork the UK IMC Network] depends on [any New IMC applications from the UK, made before 1st May] going through" [3].

I'd like to know from the mayday collective:

  • What collusion are you talking about?
  • Why do you think I am part of it?
  • What agreements have been made concerning New-IMC applications from the UK?
  • What are your plans concerning anti-abuse measures regarding the new POU 4? (cf. [4])

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-March/0318-vi.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0317-9g.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0201-tg.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-February/0209-yu.html

On 21st March Mayday responded:

Thank you for your email. Following an irc meeting this evening regarding your concern, we can state that the opinions expressed by Mr. D are not shared by other members of the May Day collective, therefore we have requested that Mr. D conciliates the points he raised on the May Day collective working list with yourself personally, since in that email he is not speaking as a liaison for the May Day collective.

We are concerned that you believe the reason the May Day collective have not found a new imc liaison (since our new-imc process began on the 3rd February) is due to some form of back-biting. One of the members of the May Day collective has reviewed every individual email sent to the imc-mayday-collective and the new-imc list, but prior to Mr D's email of the 18th March they found no emails which in their opinion could be interpreted as back-biting. Nor did they find any communications which would suggest that members of the May Day collective are treating the new-imc process with anything but the utmost seriousness. In light of this we invite you to raise any concerns you have, in the instance that there are any issue(s) which we have overlooked. In reply to the points you raised which we can collectively respond to, please find the May Day collective's responses below:-

Agreement made concerning new imc application

It was agreed at the Bradford UK Network meeting in December that following a successful new imc application by the May Day collective, the Indymedia UK network will be dissolved, the existing UK website (at www.indymedia.org.uk) is to be archived, and the project will fork into two separate projects with their respective websites, both of which will be linked to in a message on the website at www.indymedia.org.uk. The UK network expected that this work would be achieved prior to the 1st May 2011.

Draft Principles of Unity point 4, and the May Day collective's plan for anti-abuse measures

The draft Principles of Unity point 4 was amended by IMC Linksunten in January 2011 to subsume the POU 11 proposed by IMC Nantes:-

All IMC's, 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.

All imc's shall be committed to protecting the privacy and anonymity of their users. 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.

In a previous email to yourself ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0216-oe.html ) we stated:-

The Mayday collective supports the Principles of Unity as currently stated.

Furthermore the Mayday collective approves of the 2005 Sydney IMC proposal to amend the Principles Of Unity, as reiterated by Nantes IMC in January 2011. We intend to operate in accordance with these proposals and thus our practice would also be in accordance with the Linksunten proposal of January 2011.

To elaborate, anti-abuse measures would be used only when the website is under attack, and we will post the time and duration of storing user agents in volatile memory on the moderation list, and what the outcome of the anti-abuse measures were. Furthermore, this policy would explicitly be stated in our editorial guidelines, and on the publish page. We also intend to educate users that their anonymity on the web is relative, that users should make the assumption that their communications are monitored upstream, and that tools like Tor can be used to reduce the likelihood of interception, but those tools are not without flaws.

We hope that this response is satisfactory to you. In the hope of making swift progress with our new imc application, we kindly request that you assist and help us in any challenges we may face in achieving new imc status. We look forward to hearing your response.

On 23rd March Bart emailed the list:

first of all: there has been no collusion by the new-imc working group against Mayday or Sheffield collective (or any other collective) that I am aware of. In my opinion, there are not enough activists participating in the working group but I think it's unfair to blame those who are active and try to help new collectives.

Both the Mayday and the Sheffield collective are related to the IMC UK split which is difficult to understand form the outside. I can really understand smush saying: "i fear, tbh, that anything related to UK stuff is beyond my capabilities and we really need some experienced new-imcistas helping there." [1]

I tried to give some support by explaining how the new-imc process works [2]. I reacted to mails by Jimdog [3], Mr. Demeanour [4] and Chris [5]. The consequence was that one of my mails has been added to a wiki by Sheffield without my consent [6] and the new-imc working group being suspected to conspire against Mayday [7].

I feel really uncomfortable with the pressure that accompanies these two applications. I won't accept that the Sheffield collective keeps my mail in a wiki which tries to document a conflict that I am not involved in. In fact, I cannot feel the solidarity and will to find consensus which should be a basis for all IMCs.

I still have concerns that the issue of IP monitoring is resolved by both collectives. I have asked a couple of questions concerning this topic and the answers are in my opinion not satisfactory as they lack a reflection on the trust that has been compromised by sentences like "In the early days of Indymedia UK, which recently celebrated it's 10th Birthday, site admins believed that they would never be able to gain the trust of posters, if the range of anti-abuse measures were made public." [8]

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0216-aq.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-February/0216-0a.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0213-mg.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0216-z9.html

[5] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0202-gg.html

[6] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkSheffieldNorthern

[7] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0320-dl.html

[8] http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/birmingham/2011/01/472560.html

On 24th March behindthemask emailed the list:

To elaborate, anti-abuse measures would be used only when the website is under attack, and we will post the time and duration of storing user agents in volatile memory on the moderation list, and what the outcome of the anti-abuse measures were. Furthermore, this policy would explicitly be stated in our editorial guidelines, and on the publish page. We also intend to educate users that their anonymity on the web is relative, that users should make the assumption that their communications are monitored upstream, and that tools like Tor can be used to reduce the likelihood of interception, but those tools are not without flaws.

That certainly satisfies my question regarding anti-abuse measures.

On 25th March Mayday emailed the list:

Apologies for the delay in replying to your email.

We discussed your question about outreach in our IRC meeting on Monday.

BTM wrote:

I have read the Mayday new IMC application and would be interested to know more about how, specifically, Mayday IMC intend to do outreach and involve members from the very large geographical area that it intends to cover. I think the application should include some more detail on how this will be achieved.

We intend to meet at least quarterly, in different cities or towns each time and to include some form of outreach at each meeting. Earlier in the year we met in Brighton, and organised a film screening there. This weekend we are meeting in London and will be leafleting some of the start points. We would also be available to speak to groups who are considering setting up. We are also open to other suggestions of ways in which we can expand our outreach.

On 27th March the Mayday collective had a face-to-face meeting and agreed:

We plan to send an email on April 1st to imc-uk-process

We agreed the following text:

We note that there is a month till the 1st May 2011 deadline for the agreement made at the last UK Indymedia collective meeting in Bradford [1] and that the Mayday new-imc application still hasn't been agreed at a global level. We are concerned if the application hasn't passed by this deadline that the agreement will be void, through no fault of our own.

Mayday Indymedia.

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/UkNetworkMeetingBradford2010Minutes

On 30th March behindthemask emailed the list:

I just wanted to confirm that my concerns about Mayday IMC's application have been satisfied by the collective's responses [1,2] to this list.

Are Bart's concerns[3] still outstanding, or can this application be passed on to imc-process?

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0324-lh.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0326-ad.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0323-g0.html

The same day Bart replied:

Are Bart's concerns[3] still outstanding, or can this application be passed on to imc-process?

in my last mail I tried to clarify my concerns and describe the unpleasent atmosphere that has been created by the urge to push this application forward. Unfortunately, my mail was rejected and I don't see that my concerns have been addressed.

I still have concerns about the IP monitoring. I can't see any reflection on the spying that has been done during the last ten years by IMC UK. I want to know what has been logged on the site that you want to continue with, what has been done with the data and why we should trust you that you won't do it again. "We agree with POU4" is simply not enough.

Another issue is the structure of the Mayday collective itself. I tried to find protocols of Mayday meetings but could not find any. I don't know how the collective is organised, I don't know how it works. For me, this lack of transparency is a problem and due to the first issue I don't trust you enough to ignore it.

Thus, I don't agree that you move on to the next step of the New-IMC process.

April 2011

On 1st April the Mayday collective had an irc meeting, these are the notes from it:

1. Anti-abuse measures

These were discussed and reference was made to the previous discussion at the meeting in Brighton.

We agreed that the site should state that temporary saving of latest posts IP addresses in memory was a possbility that we reserve the right to use, in self defence, when the site is under attack.

We can't change the site or the practice until we have our autonomy. Until then, it has to be status quo, because there isn't a consensus on changing the policy in the UK Network.

We agreed to have this on the agenda for the Sheffield meeting in May.

2. IRC meetings

We agreed that for this meeting and future IRC meetings we would post notes from them to the email list after the meeting.

We agreed to mention this in reply to Smush's email:

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0401-x7.html

But don't seem to have agreed on who would send a reply to him (perhaps our liasion might reply?).

We agree to rotate note taker alphabetically.

3. Email proposal to imc-uk-process

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0401-5h.html

The email was agreed apart from the last paragraph and there was no conclusion reached about what, if anything, to replace it with.

Following the meeting the an email was sent to Bart on list:

To recap, in the email the Mayday collective sent dated 21st March ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0324-lh.html ), we took steps to engage with you in a spirit of reconciliation by answering your concerns, and invited you to raise any further concerns you had. We anticipate that this was reassurance for you that the Mayday collective fully trusts the new IMC working group. You replied stating your further concerns regarding anti-abuse measures and the IMC UK fork ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0323-g0.html ).

In your email dated the 30th March ( http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0330-l7.html ) you stated that we had \x93rejected\x94 your previous email; we understood this to mean that we have not yet collectively responded to the email you sent last week. We apologise for the delay in responding to your concerns, however in the past week we have been pre-occupied with developing outreach material which we distributed at the anti-cuts protest on the 26th March, which was a mobilisation attended by over 500,000 people from right across the geographical area covered by mayday collective, and thus an important opportunity. We also held a face-to-face Mayday collective meeting on the 27th March where we discussed your email in detail and made the first draft of this response. We are sorry and will endeavour to respond more promptly to your future emails, and we hope you are able to offer the same assurances. We find it unfortunate that there is a scarcity of activists involved in the new IMC working group, however we appreciate that you are taking the time to look into our application in such detail.

Fork

Regarding the planned dissolution of the UK network and the website fork, the Mayday collective has members actively involved in three local collectives in addition to other volunteers who have contributed to IMC UK over the years but are not affiliated with a local collective. Furthermore, members from other local collectives with members not directly involved in the May Day collective have pledged support outside of the agreement at the UK network meeting in December 2010 in Bradford. Mayday collective members have also collaborated in feature writing with SchNEWS, (www.schnews.org.uk) a Brighton based activist news collective, and Corporate Watch (www.corporatewatch.org.uk), a research group supporting the campaigns which are increasingly successful in forcing corporations to back down.

The other group involved in the fork has developed a website to aggregate content, and includes members from four local collectives, in addition to other volunteers who have contributed to IMC UK over the years but are not affiliated with a local collective.

Anti abuse measures

On the 23rd March you stated:-

I still have concerns that the issue of IP monitoring is resolved by both collectives. I have asked a couple of questions concerning this topic and the answers are in my opinion not satisfactory as they lack a reflection on the trust that has been compromised by sentences like "In the early days of Indymedia UK, which recently celebrated it's 10th Birthday, site admins believed that they would never be able to gain the trust of posters, if the range of anti-abuse measures were made public." [8]

On the 30th March we held a quickly planned IRC meeting to discuss your requests, including anti-abuse measures on the Mir CMS. Here are the reflections of some Mayday collective members which were found to be common ground across the collective:-

\x93When I joined Indymedia, it was a long time before I discovered what the anti-abuse measures were for\x94.

\x93I did not understand the implications of the anti-abuse measures\x94.

\x93The anti-abuse measures and the unspoken policy of secrecy pre-dated my involvement.\x94

Since the beginning of the Indymedia UK network, many local collectives across the UK have shared a CMS, the current CMS being Mir. The decision to implement anti-abuse measures on the Mir CMS, allow usage of those anti-abuse measures, and to not inform the end users of those capabilities was not a decision taken by members of the Mayday collective. Upon becoming a member of a collective and gaining admin to a CMS, members are expected to respect the status quo of the UK network, and any changes to that status quo require a consensus to be sought. Members of the Mayday collective had raised concerns about the secrecy, firstly at the UK network meeting in Nottingham in 2008, and most recently in proposing a feature to make the anti-abuse measures public in 2010, unfortunately consensus was not reached on either occasion. Ultimately, we would like you to appreciate that members of the Mayday collective should not be held responsible for the creation of a scenario pre-dating their involvement, especially given that some of their members proposed full transparency.

On the 30th March you stated:-

"I want to know what has been logged on the site that you want to continue with, what has been done with the data..\x94

The anti-abuse measures when switched on record the IP addresses and user agents of the most recent posts in volatile memory, but are not written to disk. When switched off the data is lost permanently. This feature has historically been used when the website is under attack. Mir allows filters to be configured to automatically either hide or flag posts originating from particular IP addresses and user agents. These have been used to block or flag users who have been discovered to persistently abuse the website.

Structure of the Mayday collective

On the 30th March you stated:-

Another issue is the structure of the Mayday collective itself. I tried to find protocols of Mayday meetings but could not find any. I don't know how the collective is organised, I don't know how it works.

The Mayday collective has regular IRC meetings and has face to face meetings every three months. These are organised on the publicly accessible imc-mayday-collective list and in IRC. At the beginning of our meetings we create an agenda, and during meetings we have discussions on each topic and use consensus decision making. Minutes are posted to the publicly accessible imc-may-day-collective list. If you require any further information regarding our organisation and structure it would be helpful if you could assist us, for example providing us with links to documented protocols drafted by other Indymedia collectives.

Next stage

We are willing to provide you with any answers and information you request relating to our new IMC process, and will endeavour to do so promptly. We hope that you are also able to engage with us promptly to improve our application, in which case we are confident that we can work together to achieve new IMC status before the 1st May 2011. We once again request your support in assisting us with any challenges we face in improving our new IMC application.

In response, on the same day Smush emailed the list:

Kia ora tatou,

thank you Mayday collective - it was good to read your response to Bart's email.

in terms of Bart's use of the word 'protocol': When Bart writes: "I triedto find protocols of Mayday meetings but could not find any" - i think he means 'minutes'. Correct me if i'm wrong here Bart! ('Protokoll' in german is 'minutes' in English).

Bart, there are some minutes posted here http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-March/0330-x1.html of a Mayday meeting 27th March. They don't reveal a lot about the collective, given that they are quite brief etc. But they are minutes none the less.

Bart, when you write about "the structure of the Mayday collective itself", could you maybe clarify what information you want from the group so that they can respond. Are you, for example, interested in if the makeup of the Mayday collective reflects the diversity of the local community (e.g. in realtion to gender-, sexual-, spiritual-, and/or cultural-identity)?

i would like to know from both the Mayday collective and from the liaison (btm) where you think you are at in terms of the new-imc process. Have a look at https://docs.indymedia.org/Global/NewImcHowTo - - there are 8 steps/points before we get to an internal new-imc proposal (and pass if no-one blocks). i see some of you are getting frustrated on your email list about this new-imc process and obviously you seemed to have set yourselves a deadline to complete this task. But are you, in your respective views, satisfied that you have completed the first 8 steps?

Thanks in advance for answering my question.

This was followed on the same day with an email from Bart:

sorry about the my wrong translation. Indeed I meant minutes when I did write protocol, thanks smush.

During a New-IMC process it's normal that we read the public mailing lists and public wikis try to find out about the structure, plans and decisions of the collective who wants to become part of the Indymedia network. It's one possibility of getting to know a new collective.

Another one are mails by the New-IMC liaison or by the collective itself in which the progress of the organisation process is documented. I think your mail from 13:11:35 today is a step in the right direction and we should continue this path.

On the 5th April Bart sent a further email:

I have more time now and so I'd like to respond in more detail. I think it's necessary for a collective which wants to go through the new-imc process to document its organisational status and progress. There are different ways to do this, the most common are public mailing lists and wikis. I'd like to ask BTM to help the Mayday's new-imc process by documenting it in more detail.

IMC linksunten, for example, documented its one year new-imc process in numerous Indymedia articles [1] and a public wiki [2]. (I mention this because you asked for an example and I am part of this IMC, not because I want to suggest that this is the only or the best way to do it.) Only after we've been affiliated to the Indymedia network we started to work on a website. So it's not a prerequisite to have a website before going through the process, as the new- imc process is mainly about organising.

I see that you are in a hurry but I'd like ask you to slow down a bit. The structure of your collective, your way to make decisions, the way you work is not transparent as you have documented nearly none of your f2f nor your IRC meetings. I think it's a better and more solid way to first organising and documenting the progress and then becoming part of the network. It also helps new people to get in touch with your collective if they can find a well documented history of your IMC. The new-imc guide that smush mentioned [3] really helped us to form a collective.

I still think that the wiki Sheffield maintains [4] is a really bad example of a wiki documenting a new-imc process as it focuses on conflicts rather than progress. I think the wiki and the reactions to the criticism show a blatant lack of solidarity. As I learned that members of the Sheffield collective are also members of the Mayday collective I'd like to ask the Mayday collective on its point of view about this issue.

[1] http://de.indymedia.org/2008/09/226255.shtml

[2] https://www.autonome-antifa.org/imc

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0401-x7.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-January/0122-lv.html

On the 5th April Chris responded to the concerns Bart has raised about two Sheffield Indymedia wiki pages:

Myself and a number of other UK Indymedia activists have endured numerous unsubstantiated public attacks and personal abuse over the last few years from a number of Northern Indymedia activists.

This is on-going, in the last few months we have been called "Fuckers" and refered to as "the soiled underpants and to foil hat brigade" [1], previous baseless accusations have included ones of "personal off-list abuse, spamming and mounting a denial of service attack" [2].

The unsubstantiated allegations have not been withdrawn, explained or apologised for and, as a form of self-defence, I started documenting these attacks on a couple of wiki pages [3].

Attempts at mediation with the people making the unsubstantiated public attacks has failed, most notably when a supporter of IMC Northern started a process in March 2010 [4] which was supported by myself and the others who were suffering from the attacks.

At the Bristol UK Indymedia meeting in April 2010, in reference to this, it was noted that there "is also a mediation process ongoing dealing with more personal issues" [5].

However the two people, from Northern Indymedia, who had been making the bulk of the unsubstantiated public attacks, refused to take part in this process [6].

Sheffield Indymedia has discussed this matter over many meetings, at our meeting in December 2010 we agreed that "the questions and accusations raised have never been answered, and in the interests of openness it was best to leave the story online" [7] and in March 2011 that:

Those pages will remain until the parties making those false accusations and slurs account for their actions. This, we feel is reasonable. [8]

That numerous unsubstantiated attacks on other activists have originated from Northern Indymedia was known at the time of their New IMC application and one of the wiki pages was pointed to [9], yet they passed the process.

There seems no reason therefore, that the two IMC's whos supporters were the victims of the unsubstantiated attacks should have their New IMC applications delayed because Sheffield Indymedia has agreed that the documentation of the attacks from the Northern Indymedia activists shouldn't be deleted.

So, can things please be progressed with the Sheffield Indymedia application, this was submitted on 18th January 2011 [10] and there appears to be no issues raised with it apart from the matter of the wiki pages, but nobody has said they will block because we have chosen to document the attacks we have suffered.

Furthermore can those who think that the Sheffield wiki pages should hold back the progress of the Mayday Indymedia New IMC application please respect the autonomy of Sheffield Indymedia and address your concerns to Sheffield Indymedia not the Mayday Collective.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0213-az.html

[2] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkSheffieldNorthern#Crazy_summer_days

[3] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkSheffieldNorthern https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkSheffieldDisinfo

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-northern/2010-March/0326-69.html http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-northern/2010-March/0326-hw.html

[5] https://we.riseup.net/imc-uk/imc-uk-network-meeting-17-april-2010-minutes#northern-indymedia-new-imc-application

[6] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-network/2010-July/0712-i1.html http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-network/2010-July/0712-f3.html

[7] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-sheffield/2010-December/1208-6d.html

[8] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0321-fe.html

[9] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2010-March/0301-yj.html

[10] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-January/0118-u4.html

On 8th April the Mayday collective had a irc meeting, these are the notes from it pertaining to the New IMC application:

8 members of the collective attended this meeting.

(2) NEW IMC: REPLIES TO SMUSH, BART AND LONDON

After some discussion it was agreed that a single reply could be sent to Bart and Smush to deal with points raised in their emails.

Smush's email: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0401-al.html

Bart's last email: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0405-m7.html

Radicale volunteered to draft a reply to bart and smush. will post to list once draft is ready. [ draft is now here: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0408-au.html ]

We discussed the London-imc email sent to global process and communications lists: revised version here: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-communication/2011-March/0330-21.html

We already have a draft response, which has been agreed except for the last paragraph: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0401-5h.html.

Discussed inappropriateness of London-imc sending this email to two global lists but not to uk-process.

Discussed whether responding at all would somehow legitimise an email which was out of order, and whether not responding would be taken as tacit agreement with the contents of the email. There was a suggestion to reply stating that London's email was out of order. We have yet to reach consensus on action on this.

(3) EDITORIAL GUIDELINES AND MISSION STATEMENT

We had already agreed these as imc-uk collective. Revisions have been made to take account of our change to becoming the mayday collective and are now here:

https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMaydayEditorialGuidelines https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMaydayMissionStatement

The current versions were agreed by all present as acceptable working documents for the time being which we would hope to review and improve on in the future.

(5) NEW-IMC LIAISON

Agreed we need to try to improve communication with btm re. new-imc process, progress etc. - we've only had email contact so far.

Radicale has btm's phone number. Proposal to phone btm and suggest a meeting in irc. Agreed. Radicale agreed to do this on Friday 8 April and find out when btm might be available for a meeting.

(6) AOB - HOW TO GET OTHER GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN MAYDAY COLLECTIVE

Discusssed this in relation to new-imc requirements. Joining mayday collective is not an attractive proposition while the fork is happening, but we need to think more about how to involve more people afterwards and how to do effective outreach across our whole geographical area.

On 9th April Bart emailed the list:

I'd like to continue the discussion about "anti-abuse measures".

On 23.03.2011, I wrote: [1]
I still have concerns that the issue of IP monitoring is resolved by both collectives. I have asked a couple of questions concerning this topic and the answers are in my opinion not satisfactory as they lack a reflection on the trust that has been compromised by sentences like "In the early days of Indymedia UK, which recently celebrated it's 10th Birthday, site admins believed that they would never be able to gain the trust of posters, if the range of anti-abuse measures were made public."

On 01.04.2011, Radicale answered: [2]
On the 30th March we held a quickly planned IRC meeting to discuss your requests, including anti-abuse measures on the Mir CMS. Here are the reflections of some Mayday collective members which were found to be common ground across the collective:-

\x93When I joined Indymedia, it was a long time before I discovered what the anti-abuse measures were for\x94.

\x93I did not understand the implications of the anti-abuse measures\x94.

\x93The anti-abuse measures and the unspoken policy of secrecy pre-dated my involvement.\x94

Since the beginning of the Indymedia UK network, many local collectives across the UK have shared a CMS, the current CMS being Mir. The decision to implement anti-abuse measures on the Mir CMS, allow usage of those anti-abuse measures, and to not inform the end users of those capabilities was not a decision taken by members of the Mayday collective. Upon becoming a member of a collective and gaining admin to a CMS, members are expected to respect the status quo of the UK network, and any changes to that status quo require a consensus to be sought. Members of the Mayday collective had raised concerns about the secrecy, firstly at the UK network meeting in Nottingham in 2008, and most recently in proposing a feature to make the anti-abuse measures public in 2010, unfortunately consensus was not reached on either occasion. Ultimately, we would like you to appreciate that members of the Mayday collective should not be held responsible for the creation of a scenario pre-dating their involvement, especially given that some of their members proposed full transparency.

It's good to hear that there are people who do not agree to the use of the IMC-UK MIR system as spyware. Nevertheless, I find it hard to believe that the quotes above are "common ground across the collective". I talked to a member of your collective who is admin on IMC-UK and who defended the spying. He believed that it was a just cause to monitor users for the sake of retaliation against the cops. To be honest: I do not trust your reassurances as they lack reflection on the betrayal against the users of IMC-UK.

On 30.03.2011, I asked: [3]
I still have concerns about the IP monitoring. I can't see any reflection on the spying that has been done during the last ten years by IMC UK. I want to know what has been logged on the site that you want to continue with, what has been done with the data and why we should trust you that you won't do it again. "We agree with POU4" is simply not enough.

On 01.04.2011, Radicale answered: [2]
The anti-abuse measures when switched on record the IP addresses and user agents of the most recent posts in volatile memory, but are not written to disk. When switched off the data is lost permanently. This feature has historically been used when the website is under attack. Mir allows filters to be configured to automatically either hide or flag posts originating from particular IP addresses and user agents. These have been used to block or flag users who have been discovered to persistently abuse the website.

How come that SchNEWS was able to present a list of articles posted by a certain IP? Who collected this data? What did they do with it? Do further dossiers exist? Are the person responsible for this betrayal designated admins of mayday.indymedia.org?

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0323-g0.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0401-jj.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0330-l7.html

On the 12th April the Mayday collective had a irc meeting:

Discussion of the new IMC application and improvements to it

draft diversity statement discussed and proposed to be put on our wiki:

https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday

Document the stages of our new IMC application

Update the https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday wiki page with details of how to get involved in the IMC Mayday collective.

Discuss and document a collective response to https://docs.indymedia.org/Global/MembershipCriteria and https://docs.indymedia.org/Global/PrinciplesOfUnity

proposal to finalise the draft of mayday imc's 303 statement

Honouring the Bradford Network meeting between Groups A and B

The agreement made in Bradford stated that we would be supported through the new imc process and that our successful new imc application was dependent on the fork happening. Both groups agreed this agreement and group B (bethemedia) said they would help us through new-imc so that the fork could happen.

We therefore object to the closing down of imc-uk mailing lists on the basis that this deal hasn't been honoured yet.

we agreed we would not take up a temporary DNS

We will reply to London's email where they attempt to change the terms of the deal brokered in Bradford.

On 17th April a further irc meeting was held:

An emergency IRC meeting was held to discuss the consequences and strategy if Bart from new-imc BLOCKs Mayday's new-imc application, which seemed likely given the slanderous tone of Bart's unsupported by any evidence accusations that members of the Mayday Collective were involved in 'spying' on the users of IMC UK and that this was an act of 'betrayal' by un-named members of our collective.

Only 4 members could attend the meeting and so no actions were sanctioned, instead we discussed:-

The consequences of the proposed closure and archiving of the UK site on May the 1st along with the e-mail lists needed to run open publishing on indymedia.org.uk.

The contents of the "splash" page were read.

Some points about the design of our new site were discussed, e.g. the need for a new banner.

What could be done to ensure that Open Publishing on a UK wide site could be maintained on an "indymedia.org" domain.

What lists needed to be set up in order to continue supporting open publishing UK wide on an "indymedia.org" domain.

What e-mail responses were needed in order that Mayday could pass through new-imc to become a fully constituted IMC within the global network with an "indymedia.org" domain.

Various drafts in response to on going issues with our liaison and new-imc were discussed and edited accordingly, with the new drafts sent to members of the Mayday Collective off list and on the various 'docs' pages.

Various strategies and scenarios were discussed, but no actions were sanctioned.

On the same day a reply to Smush was sent:

We have organised and undertaken three IRC meetings since we received your last email. We have taken your suggestions on board regarding creating more detailed meeting minutes. We decided that the best course of action would be to condense future IRC scripts into key discussions, proposals, and decisions. The minutes would then be posted to the imc-mayday-collective email where amendments can be made by all other collective members. In order to provide full transparency, we will also post links to all the meeting minutes on the IMC Mayday collective wiki page here: ( https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday ) so that all the meeting minutes are easily accessible without it being necessary to navigate the imc-mayday-collective email list archive.

All Indymedia collectives are autonomous, and therefore have the freedom to operate independently. The Mayday Collective intends to respect the autonomy and decisions of Sheffield Indymedia, and focus on the task at hand which is the Mayday Indymedia new IMC application.

New IMC process stages

You asked us to document the stages of our new IMC process. We have created a wiki page at https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMaydayOrganisationalStatus and have documented our progress through the new IMC process.

Once again, thank you for taking an interest in our new IMC application.

The following day, 18th April, behindthemask emailed the list:

It has been some time now since Mayday IMC proposed their new IMC to this list [1]. The application seems to have reached an impasse, due to Bart's objections [2]. In order to try to facilitate the process through which Mayday achieve IMC status, I would like to try to clarify Bart's position.

Bart, are you blocking Mayday's application as it stands? If so, could you please elaborate why exactly that is and what the collective can do to overcome your objections? I will take what I think are the most important objections from your most recent email [2] and ask you to clarify what you mean by them.

"I do not trust your reassurances [regarding the use of anti-abuse measures] as they lack reflection on the betrayal against the users of IMC-UK."

Is this sufficient to make you block the proposal? If it is, what will be sufficient for you to withdraw that?

"How come that SchNEWS was able to present a list of articles posted by a certain IP? Who collected this data? What did they do with it? Do further dossiers exist? Are the person responsible for this betrayal designated admins of mayday.indymedia.org?"

I would like to ask Bart to clarify whether the answers to these questions will be critical in deciding whether Mayday become an IMC or not. If they are, I would request the Mayday collective to respond to these questions.

I hope that people will be able to respond quickly in order to get this process moving again.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-February/0203-u1.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

And Bart replied that day:

I probably found the answer to my question concerning the list of articles from a certain IP by reading the Mayday wiki [1] which was linked in the last mail by Radicale [2]:

"(12) The UK Mir site uses an IP filter all the time to flag posts made on the website. This filter can be controlled from the Mir admin interface and can be accessed by all Indymedia UK Mir admins. It filters 'posts' to the website from IP addresses which have been manually and independently added via the web interface."

I think my questions [3] are critical for the Mayday application. I have chosen the word "betrayal" carefully because based on my current knowledge the UK Mir website has been used as a spy tool without notification of the users. If this is true then (even the old) POU 4 has been violated:

"4. All IMC's, 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."

If this is the case then from my point of view there mustn't be a "keep it up" but a thorough and transparent analysis and reflection on what has happened and who is responsible for it. Up to now, I cannot feel the willingness to do so.

I try to condense my concerns to a single question: If you try to bury the past then how can we trust you in the future?

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday303Statment

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0417-gb.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

And sent a PS:

ps.

If this is the case then from my point of view there mustn't be a "keep it up" but a thorough and transparent analysis and reflection on what has happened and who is responsible for it. Up to now, I cannot feel the willingness to do so.

One of the reasons for my doubts are mails [1] which suggest to brazenly disregard the New-IMC process:

I'd like to suggest we also attempt to bypass the non-functional new-imc group by asking imc-process to approve us before 1st May.

Chris

The same day behindthemask replied:

Thanks for your quick response Bart.

If I understand your email correctly you would like to see a "thorough and transparent analysis and reflection on what has happened and who is responsible for it".

I think that this would be a useful document for the prospective Mayday IMC to draw up - for critical self-reflection and to explain their perspective to site users and other IMCs. I'm thinking that something similar to Nottingham IMC's statement [1] would be appropriate.

[1] https://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/921

And also on 18th April Mayday blocked the closure of imc-uk email lists due to concerns that the fork agreement couldn't be completed in time:

The Mayday Collective notes the various emails from nab [1], Bristol IMC [2] and London IMC [3], and from Listwork [4].

1. We object to the closing down of lists that we are using for newswire moderation. We suggest that closing the uk-process list on May 1 appears to be premature, since the fork agreement seems unlikely to be completed by that date. We block the closing of the uk-moderation, uk-features, and uk-process lists.

2. At the Bradford meeting it was agreed that the fork of Indymedia UK would be conditional on the successful new IMC application of the Mayday collective. Therefore if IMC Mayday does not achieve new IMC status by the 1st of May, then the fork will not happen. If the new IMC application of the Mayday collective is not successful by the 1st of May, we are not willing to move to a temporary URL on May 1. We are therefore blocking the proposal that any changes should be made to the UK Indymedia site, until such a time as our status as an IMC has been properly resolved.

The omitted footnotes were sent in a subsequent email on the same day:

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2011-April/0411-nj.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-tech/2011-April/0411-g5.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2011-April/0411-1v.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2011-April/0408-u9.html

The following day, 19th April Chris replied to Bart:

On Mon 18-Apr-2011 at 04:58:43PM +0200, Bartolomeo wrote:
mails [1] which suggest to brazenly disregard the New-IMC process:
I'd like to suggest we also attempt to bypass the non-functional new-imc group by asking imc-process to approve us before 1st May.

Is the New IMC group functional?

The Sheffield application [1] was made 4 month ago and although Sheffield Indymedia has been up and running almost 8 years now there has been no progress made with this application as no New IMC member has come forward to be a liaison. The process doesn't appear to be working for Sheffield.

The suggestion to go straight to imc-process was originally made due to fustration with the lack of progress for Indymedia Cairo who didn't have a liasion. their application was submitted on 13th March 2011 [2] and on 7th April they wrote to new-imc:

It seems since no one jumped forward to be our liaison, I see no other way than following the steps ourselves without a "helper", so we will be writing to IMC-Process and IMC-Communication and waiting for their response.

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0407-ou.html

The quote Bart forwarded to the New IMC list was written in this context -- if no progress can be made on new-imc with New IMC applications then perhaps the New IMC process isn't working.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-January/0118-u4.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-March/0314-gb.html

And he sent a subsequent email to the list:

On Sat 09-Apr-2011 at 08:30:26PM +0200, Bartolomeo wrote:
It's good to hear that there are people who do not agree to the use of the IMC-UK MIR system as spyware. Nevertheless, I find it hard to believe that the quotes above are "common ground across the collective". I talked to a member of your collective who is admin on IMC-UK and who defended the spying. He believed that it was a just cause to monitor users for the sake of retaliation against the cops. To be honest: I do not trust your reassurances as they lack reflection on the betrayal against the users of IMC-UK.

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 gateway-202.energis.gsi.gov.uk and gateway-303.energis.gsi.gov.uk 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.

http://nottingham.indymedia.org/articles/921

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:

INTER-NETCU http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news755.php

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 Expos\xE9 http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/birmingham/2011/01/472560.html

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

Gateway 303: Police Disinformation on UK Indymedia http://sheffield.indymedia.org.uk/2011/01/472575.html

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 http://sheffield.indymedia.org.uk/2011/01/472619.html

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
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

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 \x96 the use of sophisticated software to drown out real people on web forums \x96 is on the rise. How do we stop it?
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/feb/23/need-to-protect-internet-from-astroturfing

We consider that the filters to track the postings from the UK state constitute legitimate self-defence of independent media.

How come that SchNEWS was able to present a list of articles posted by a certain IP?

SchNEWS didn't publish the list of articles and comments from 202 and 303, this was done on UK Indymedia.

Who collected this data? What did they do with it? Do further dossiers exist? Are the person responsible for this betrayal designated admins of mayday.indymedia.org?

What "betrayal" are you talking about? The "betrayal" to abide by the attempts of London Indymedia to hush up the Police abuse and keep it secret from activists?

The same day Jimdog from Be The Media emailed the list:

Not getting involved with this, I'm on this list to work, however just needed to clear up an inaccuracy:

The proposal to publish those articles was also blocked by Northern England imc (not just London) as insufficient protection was offered to a server admin who, after taking legal advice, was identified as being in a vulnerable position should it be published as it was proposed (and subsequently published). We also asked for it to be made clear that the practise of ip filtering applied only to the UK site in order to lift our block.

And Bart sent a futher email:

I think I should explain what I mean when I am talking about betrayal. I am neither talking about insufficient surveillance of admins by admins [1] nor about the circumstances under which the spying on users done by indymedia.org.uk has been revealed [2]. I am talking about the spying itself.

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?

You are talking about legitimate self-defense but from my point of view flagging all postings coming from a certain IP which is known to be a state-run exit node of some obscure network is an abuse of anti-abuse measures.

Furthermore, I think it is highly questionable to publish a list of articles and comments originating from a certain IP without being sure none of these postings has been written by activists using the government network. Because they go to school or because they are in hospital. I can think of a lot more reasons why activists could use an IP belonging to a government network.

I have found none of these considerations in your argumentation. Did you choose to ignore them or did you not even think about them? But as we are now talking about it: why are you sure that all postings flagged as 303 by indymedia.org.uk have been written by agents provocateurs?

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0418-05.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0419-a8.html

And Chris replied:

On Mon 18-Apr-2011 at 04:24:34PM +0200, Bartolomeo wrote:
I have chosen the word "betrayal" carefully because based on my current knowledge the UK Mir website has been used as a spy tool without notification of the users. If this is true then (even the old) POU 4 has been violated:
"4. All IMC's, 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."

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

http://www.robtex.com/dns/gateway-303.energis.gsi.gov.uk.html

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.

I try to condense my concerns to a single question: If you try to bury the past then how can we trust you in the future?

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 http://www.indymedia.org/en/2011/01/945189.shtml

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.

And Chris replied again:

On Tue 19-Apr-2011 at 01:59:44PM +0200, Bartolomeo wrote:
why are you sure that all postings flagged as 303 by indymedia.org.uk have been written by agents provocateurs?

Because we were following them as they were posted, have spent a lot of time thinking about them, have studied them and furthermore have noted that they stopped as soon as the whistle was blown on them.

these postings has been written by activists using the government network. Because they go to school or because they are in hospital.

What evidence do you have that there have been any legitimate posts originating from gateway 202 or 303? If these were posts from teachers or hospital staff why have they stopped? And why have the (lame) appeals for government employees who use these gateways for activist activity failed to generate a response?

Of course, over the years, we did consider all possibilities, here an anecdote which reflects this:

One Friday morning, a couple of year ago, I was checking the UK IMC web site and saw that a new article had just been published that was hopless in terms of the information it contained:

4th July - Shut Kingsnorth Milli-Band | 26.06.2009 07:29 | Climate Chaos | South Coast https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/433178

There was no information about who had called the demo or why or the times, also it had come from gateway-303.energis.gsi.gov.uk -- why were the police posting about a demo at a power station? Perhaps some copper really did want their grandchildren to have a habitable planet to live on? I, briefly, gave them the benefit of the doubt...

So I did a bit or googling and found out that it was a protest called by Greenpeace, so I posted this as a comment and promoted it, so that the article made some sense:

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/433178?c=all#c226819

I also chatted with another admin about this odd post -- what were the cops up to?

Then it all became clear, when they posted a comment to their own article:

"No - stuff that - SHUT the place"

"Let's not all stand around like lemmings - lets shut the place!"

"Bring ladders and wire cutters."

https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/06/433178?c=all#c226820

They were posting about the protest, which hadn't been on Indymedia before they posted about it, in order to incite illegal activity. Perhaps to encourage more heavy policing of the event, perhaps to justify their existance, who knows...

So, the article and both comments were hidden -- we are not interested in playing their games.

And due to some IMC admins wanting to hush up the police posts to the site and the fact that they were being tracked I have been prevented from publically telling this story till now, and it feels good to be free to tell the truth at last!

http://sheffield.indymedia.org.uk/2011/01/472575.html?c=on#c263459

There are several other stories about the 202 and 303 posts which we can't go public on because the activists involved don't want the private information that the police posted about them, which was removed from the articles and comments, being made public, but surfice to say there is no doubt that information only available to the police was posted to UK Indymedia from these Government gateways.

And Chris replied again:

On Tue 19-Apr-2011 at 12:26:57PM +0100, JimDog wrote:
The proposal to publish those articles was also blocked by Northern England imc (not just London) as insufficient protection was offered to a server admin who, after taking legal advice, was identified as being in a vulnerable position should it be published as it was proposed (and subsequently published).

This admin was offered the opportunity to step away from their role as a server admin but they declined to do this.

There appeared to be no way forward, there were no suggestions about what "protection" this admin needed and their legal advice was never presented so could never be considered.

Therefore I welcomed the publication of the story by SchNEWS.

We also asked for it to be made clear that the practise of ip filtering applied only to the UK site in order to lift our block.

There was never an issue here -- nobody was claiming that this applied to any site other then the UK Mir site.

It's interesting to note that a default install of Hyperactive will result in users details, OS, Broswer, screen resolution (if they have javascript enabled) etc being written to the database -- London and Northern use Hyperactive.

And Chris replied to Bart again:

On Tue 19-Apr-2011 at 01:59:44PM +0200, Bartolomeo wrote:
from my point of view flagging all postings coming from a certain IP which is known to be a state-run exit node of some obscure network is an abuse of anti-abuse measures.

We have had our servers taken and our homes raided by the police that use this gateway, it is in no way abusive of our legitimate users to track the abuse of which originate from the state, it is legitimate self defence and the tracking of this abuse falls within what is allowed under the new PoU 4:

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.

https://docs.indymedia.org/Global/PrinciplesOfUnity

And Chris replied again:

On Tue 19-Apr-2011 at 12:26:57PM +0100, JimDog wrote:
Not getting involved with this, I'm on this list to work

The first Northern New IMC application contained:

By becoming imc Northern England we seek to compliment and not replace the existing city based imc's in the region and fill in the current gaps of coverage between the areas that provide news for imc's Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Scotland and the current Leeds/Bradford. We also pledge to encourage any area that develops a desire to set up their own imc in this area to do so, will fully support them with this and make every effort to have positive and productive engagement with them for the benefit of the global Indymedia movement.

http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2009-June/0626-ru.html

You have not offered to support or assist with Sheffield Indymedia's New IMC application (Sheffield is in Northern England), rather you are assisting a IMC, Siberia, in another country, so your claim to be "Not getting involved with this" and being "on this list to work" don't add up for me.

And on the same day, 19th April, behindthemask proposed Mayday Indymedia's appication be passed to the imc-process list:

Given Mayday Indymedia's well-documented and thorough new IMC application [1] and adequate responses to my queries, I would like to propose that the Mayday collective become a new IMC.

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday

And on the same day Bart blocked it:

Given Mayday Indymedia's well-documented and thorough new IMC application [1] and adequate responses to my queries, I would like to propose that the Mayday collective become a new IMC.

from my point of view, the New-IMC application is not well-documented as the Mayday collective started to document their (mostly virtual) meetings not even a month ago (except for one meeting in January) [1]. I explained in more detail why I think this is necessary [2].

I asked quite a lot of questions about the anti-abuse measures applied by indymedia.org.uk [3] and I am not satisfied with the answers. I asked for a thorough and transparent analysis and reflection on the 303 case [4] and did not even receive a response from the collective yet. I consider the Mayday draft on this topic [5] to be insufficient.

I welcome the contributions by some members of the Mayday collective in the last two days [6]+[7]+[8] but the discussion is still ongoing, at least I have more questions and some of my questions have not been addressed at all. I am deeply worried about some of the answers as they foreshadow that the abuse of these measures could continue in the future.

Therefore I BLOCK the application of the Mayday collective until the above issues are resolved.

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0405-sc.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0418-ey.html

[5] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMayday303Statment

[6] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0418-05.html

[7] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0418-s1.html

[8] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-mayday-collective/2011-April/0419-tp.html

The following day, 20th April, behindthemask responded to Bart's block:

from my point of view, the New-IMC application is not well-documented as the Mayday collective started to document their (mostly virtual) meetings not even a month ago (except for one meeting in January). I explained in more detail why I think this is necessary.

As you will be aware from reading the documentation, the Mayday collective is older than its name. The Mayday collective were previously the UK collective [1] and there is a link to their documentation and minutes of meetings on the Mayday page. The change was one of name and circumstance, and nothing else.

Mayday's members are geographically distant from one another. That is why it has been difficult for them to have many face-to-face meetings and why IRC meetings have dominated.

The members of the UK collective have all been centrally involved in running the UK Mir site, and have been members of local collectives, for a number of years. I think it is unreasonable to treat the Mayday collective, with their long experience of being involved in Indymedia collectives, in the same way as a genuinely new IMC.

For all of these reasons I ask you to reconsider the completeness of Mayday's documentation. I think what they have provided is reasonable given the circumstances of their inception. I am asking you to withdraw this objection.

I asked quite a lot of questions about the anti-abuse measures applied by indymedia.org.uk and I am not satisfied with the answers. I asked for a thorough and transparent analysis and reflection on the 303 case and did not even receive a response from the collective yet. I consider the Mayday draft on this topic to be insufficient.

I tend to agree that a more reflective account of these events from Mayday would make a better document. I have asked for the collective to produce this and I am confident that you will see one soon. I hope that you will then withdraw your block.

I am deeply worried about some of the answers as they foreshadow that the abuse of these measures could continue in the future.

I would ask you to substantiate your very serious accusations about the Mayday collective's 'abuse' or intention to 'abuse' IP monitoring, 'betrayal' of site users and use of their CMS as 'spyware' [2] or to withdraw them.

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkCollective

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

Bart replied to behindthemask in an email dated 21st April:

As you will be aware from reading the documentation, the Mayday collective is older than its name. The Mayday collective were previously the UK collective [A1] and there is a link to their documentation and minutes of meetings on the Mayday page. The change was one of name and circumstance, and nothing else.

[A1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkCollective

it's true, I don't know how to classify the Mayday collective in terms of length of existence. I asked questions about the past of the collective [1]. The answer was that the Mayday collective was formed only half a year ago [2]:

The Mayday Collective has only been in existance a short time, it was originally constituted as the IMC UK Collective in November 2010 [B1] and renamed following the December 2010 UK Indymedia meeting in Bradford.

[B1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcUkCollective

I explicitly asked if the admins who are responsible for the flagging of UK IMC postings by IP addresses were designated admins of mayday.indymedia.org but I did not get an answer yet [3]. Responsibility for anything before the end of 2010 was denied [2] by a member of the Mayday collective:

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

Of course I know that members of the Mayday collective have long experiences within the Indymedia network. I'd like to honour this experience but it comprises responsibility for one's own actions in the past.

I would ask you to substantiate your very serious accusations about the Mayday collective's 'abuse' or intention to 'abuse' IP monitoring, 'betrayal' of site users and use of their CMS as 'spyware' [C2] or to withdraw them.

[C2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

Although I pointed out [4] that not all postings coming from the 303 network necessarily originate from agents provocateurs (which btw. is no news [5]) one member of the Mayday collective answered [6] that he considers flagging all postings from that network as "legitimate self defence" in accordance to POU4 [7]. Actually, he even asked [6]:

What evidence do you have that there have been any legitimate posts originating from gateway 202 or 303?

This reverses the necessity of legitimisation: not the one criticising the tracking of users needs evidence that the measures have covered users who did not abuse OpenPosting. The opposite is true: the admin who compromises the anonymity of users needs evidence that no legitimate users have been tracked. There does not seem to be any such evidence and this suggests a violation of POU4. This is one reason why I am talking about betrayal: users of indymedia.org.uk thought that the website was maintained according to the POU which guarantee anonymity. But it was not.

Futhermore, the same admin suggests [8] that this pratice was not only legitimate in the past but that is also legitimate in the future:

the tracking of this abuse falls within what is allowed under the new PoU 4

Therefore, it is highly plausible that mayday.indymedia.org would continue spying on its users. There does not seem to be any consciousness for the great responsibility that must come with great power.

Another important topic to be discussed regarding the Mayday New-IMC application - perhaps the most relevant topic in respect to the New-IMC process - is the process of decision making. As stated in POU6 [7] every IMC must "be committed to the principle of consensus decision making and the development of a direct, participatory democratic process".

The 303 story has been leaked to SchNEWS [9] which was a breach of a block within UK IMC and a violation of POU6. I think it is a problem when a member of a group which is based on consensus decision making welcomes [10] a disdain of this fundamental principle.

More importantly, the decision to flag postings coming from certain IPs has not been taken by consensus. Some UK moderators (who are also admins of MIR due to the lack of any permission management [11]) did not even know about it [5]:

If you look at the list of posts published, the earliest comments date back to August 2008. This means some admin has been keeping information about Indymedia contributors for at least 29 months. It is unclear where this information was kept. Other UK Indymedia admins were not aware of this happening.

This lack of information has been confirmed by IMC Nottingham [12]:

In 2009, one of our collective came across articles and comments flagged as having come from Gateway 303 and asked Mir techs about what was going on. Those asked were open about the filters that were in place to identify such posts and hoped that the suspected police posting would be exposed some time in the future.

Who turned on IP flagging without informing the UK IMC collective? Who is responsible for this abuse of power?

[1] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0418-ey.html

[2] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0419-lr.html

[3] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0409-zf.html

[4] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0419-qx.html

[5] https://northern-indymedia.org/articles/1313

[6] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0419-yj.html

[7] https://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/PrinciplesOfUnity

[8] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0419-1e.html

[9] http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news755.php

[10] https://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0419-sa.html

[11] https://linksunten.indymedia.org/en/node/33099

[12] https://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/921

The block from Bart had ended the chance that the Mayday New IMC application would be completed by the 1st May 2011, critical date that was contained in the application.

On 26th April Nottingham, London, Bristol and Northern the Be The Media collectives all published the same feature article at the same time all announcing:

On 1st May 2011 Indymedia UK will give birth to two new projects. The Indymedia UK website will be archived, it will stay were it is now, but you won\x92t be able to publish news. In its place there will be two distinct projects: Mayday will provide a non-regional site with open publishing and Be The Media will present the best of radical news across the regions, including Bristol, Northern, Nottingham and London.

Sheffield Indymedia blocked the fork from proceeding on 24th April:

Sheffield IMC supports the position of the Mayday Collective with regard to the proposed closure of both the indymedia.org.uk 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.

12 members of the Mayday collective met in irc to discuss the matter on 27th April, the notes of this meeting:

This meeting was attended by 12 people and it was devoted to discussing and fine tuning a statement to be sent to the global imc-process list, the only decisions made in the meeting was around this statement so there isn't much else to add apart from the statement, which follows.

There was a discussion about what to do in the event that the imc-uk-* lists are shutdown without agreement -- it's not clear that they will be as Scotland might block the shutdown.

There was also a discussion about what might happen if BeTheMedia decised to break the UK Indymedia site by switching off open publishing and archiving it without agreement.

No decisions were reached on these items, we will wait to see what BeTheMedia decides to do.

The follwoing text to be sent to the imc-process list once it's been translated.

Indymedia Mayday Statement to the Global IMC Process List

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 [1]. This service is threatened by the way the Bradford agreement to fork the site [2] 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 \x97 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 a.indymedia.org and b.indymedia.org \x97 our understanding of the consensus was that the fork depended on us having an indymedia.org sub-domain to move to. If B group don't want an indymedia.org 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 \x97 we can work together to resolve the New IMC issues \x97 get New IMC status and an indymedia.org 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" \x97 in addition to the UK newswire the indymedia.org.uk 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.

[1] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMaydayFoundingStatment

[2] https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/UkNetworkMeetingBradford2010Minutes

https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/ImcMaydayGlobalForkStatement

And then the following day the statement was sent to the list.

On 29th April Sheffield Indymedia published a feature article, The Attempt to Shutdown UK Indymedia, which concluded with:

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 \x97 it's a vital resource for the UK activist community and we don't want it shutdown.

On 30th April, the eve of the deadline, an additional block to Mayday Indymedia's New IMC application was issues by Nick:

This application is sufficiently far outside the realm of new-imc applicaitons described here: http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/NewImc

that I can't let it pass. I think it is already blocked, but I am sending this one because it was for a different reason.

And also Scotland Indymedia blocked the fork implementation deadline of 1st May for 3 weeks:

IMC Scotland wishes to delay the proposed closure on 1st May 2011 of both the indymedia.org.uk site and its associated mailing lists, necessary to maintain the site, and BLOCK these proposals. The BLOCK will remain until at most 3 weeks time, 21st May 2011, when it will automatically expire unless reviewed and reinstated by IMC Scotland again, once IMC Scotland meet fully to discuss issues in light of any further internal discussion, external developments & especially when IMC Mayday gain full IMC status.

May 2011

At around 00:20am on 1st May 2011 Be The Media started to archive the UK Indymedia site, and London Indymedia announced:

Indymedia UK Forked

Following the Bradford agreement, we have made the changes to the UK Indymedia site that are required for the fork.

However, as there is no indication that Mayday have kept their part of the agreement, we have not yet turned off publishing. In line with the agreement, there will be no more features published on Indymedia UK. We are concerned that Oxford Indymedia, who were expecting to find a home on the new Mayday site, may become homeless.

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.

Now that Indymedia UK no longer exists, we ask for all Indymedia UK lists to be closed down immediately, except for imc-uk-moderation, which will be closed on 8th May, or earlier when publish is turned off. This is in line with a decision made at the last Indymedia UK meeting, where Mayday, Birmingham and Sheffield delegates agreed. There were no Indymedia UK meetings after this. No one but the Indymedia UK network can decide about the closure of the Indymedia UK lists.

Minutes of the last Indymedia UK meeting: http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2010-December/1211-v5.html

Imc London for group B, Imc Bristol, Imc Norhtern England, Imc Nottingham

In the early hours of 1st May the Mayday collective migrated the site to a new server and repointed the DNS into order to prevent the UK Indymedia newswire from being shutdown. A longstanding member of IMC Sheffield, who is also a moderator of the global imc-communication list sent the following to the imc-uk-process list in response to the "Indymedia UK Forked" email:

it seems to me that the Bradford consensus decision is invalid on two counts if it was the intention, deliberate or otherwise, to expel Group A from the global network.

a) If it was always the intention of the Bradford consensus to denounce Group A and expel its members from the Indymedia network then Group A would never have agreed to this and therefore the so-called "consensus decision" is insecure, or

b) if it was never the intention to excommunicate Group A then the "consensus decision" must also now be invalidated (as moving forward will result in the proscription of Group A), and the global network needs to work quickly to establish the Mayday collective as a new IMC.

I believe that either of the above options calls into question the validity of the decision reached in Bradford.

A fork signifies - by the very image suggested by the implement if nothing else - that two projects would go forward. A fork without two halves is merely a spike, to labour the metaphor.

On 2nd May Jimdog emailed the list:

Sorry for the strange email. I need to ask advice as to whether there has ever been a precedent for a *.indymedia.org address to be granted for a group that has not passed through the new-imc working group (excepting those that were granted before this working group was set up of course).

The reason I ask is that on 1st of may, the mayday collective who were recently blocked by this working group took control of the domain name and site for www.indymedia.org.uk, removed any access to these resources and logins for everybody else in the UK network who is not a member of their collective and so have effectively 'stolen' all of the resources of the UK Indymedia Network.

In an earlier irc conversation with a member of the mayday collective it was stated that they will not hand back these resources or implement the compromise agreement reached in the UK network last year until they get the domain name mayday.indymedia.org

I am at a loss for what to say and so need advice. My understanding is that they would not be able to get this URL without going through this working group (irrespective of the fact that I imagine no-one would wish them to be able to get a URL in this manner anyway). I need a definite position though in order to assist any future negotiations with the group. If I have a definite precedent and/or decision made here then I can categorically state one way or the other whether this would be possible.

I'm not entirely sure what to do as I had never imagined this scenario occurring. Any advice would be very helpful.

On 3rd May 2011 btm announced his intention to stand down from his role as liasion:

Due to the complex situation that everyone from the UK has been plunged into due to rival claims for the UK Indymedia domain, I feel that I can no longer continue to act as liaison for the Mayday collective.

However, as I do not want them to be without a liaison I will continue to act as liaison until a new volunteer comes forward to take on the role. I would appreciate it if another member of the working group would volunteer to be Mayday's liaison soon.

And the same day Bristol Indymedia emailed the imc-process list:

the hijacking of indymedia UK

uk.indymedia.org and indymedia.org.uk are no longer under the control of the volunteers who have maintained UK Indymedia since its inception. A faction within UK Indymedia, Mayday, composing of individuals who are not members of any full IMC, and who currently have a new-imc application which has been blocked, have taken control of the DNS for the domain of indymedia.org.uk, pointed it to a new server and deleted the access of all non-Mayday volunteers from the system.

This includes expelling the access of volunteers from accredited imcs including Bristol, Northern England, London and Nottingham [1] along with individuals not associated with any collective and members of Oxford Imc, a group currently going through the new-imc process.[2]

Bristol Indymedia asks that the global Indymedia community request that control of the domain indymedia.org.uk be handed over to the Global IMC DNS working group as a neutral party not involved in the current conflict forthwith.

Following this unprecedented and unfortunate action we also propose that all members of the Mayday group have their admin privileges, membership of key lists such as tech-lists, listwork, control of documents servers, indymedia server root accounts and the like be revoked pending resolution of the situation.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-tech/2011-May/0502-b9.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-tech/2011-May/0501-4l.html

On the 5th May Chris replied to an email that Jimdog has sent to the list but which the moderators hasn't allowed though:

On Wed 04-May-2011 at 05:02:30PM +0100, JimDog wrote:
Since there is a current proposal on the imc-process list that members of your group be suspended from all access to indymedia resources whilst investigation into the acquisition of all of the UK network assets is taking place, I feel it would be inappropriate to assess the application of Sheffield (consisting primarily of the same members as the mayday collective) at this time, though other members of this working group may feel differently of course.
Can you clarify if you are now blocking the Sheffield IMC New IMC application before we even have a liasion?

And on the same day, Bou from Be The Media left the working group and behindthemask asked Nick to explain his block and suggest a way forwards.

Also also that day London Indymedia emailed the imc-process list:

Request for immediate emergency action

Following the recent events that have occurred as part of the long-standing UK conflict, London Indymedia requests the global Indymedia network to take immediate action to remove all technical privileges from Chris (a.k.a. chrisc), the principal tech volunteer from the Mayday Collective, pending further investigation. This includes access to traven, chavez, sarai and list master passwords, indymedia 'cacert' certification, as well as any other privileges we may not be aware of.

We expect this to be done within 24 hours, and we request that confirmation of such actions is sent to imc-tech.

As a reiteration, please note that this is an emergency action until such time that the global network has made a definite decision on how to deal with the events outlined below.

Background

There has been a long standing conflict within the UK network. An externally facilitated meeting came to a consensus to 'fork' the project on 01-May-2011. [1]

During the last few weeks before this deadline, the 'Mayday' collective (a.k.a. "group A") claimed the decision was invalid and refused to work with other members of the network to implement the fork (see the various imc-uk-* lists). In the early hours of 01-May-2011, a static html page was placed on the front of www.indymedia.org.uk indicating that a fork was going to happen. [2] The site was not archived, however, as several of the regional collectives within the UK had not finalised what would happen to their sites.

Later that same day, control of the DNS was seized by Chris. In doing so, he 'locked' all the other Indymedia volunteers out of the DNS control and redirected the domain to a server that no one outside the Mayday collective has access to. [3] As a consequence, the site is no longer under the control of our trusted sysadmins. [4]

The Mayday collective also disabled all Admin and Moderator logins for everyone not part of the Mayday collective. [5]

Our viewpoint

These actions mean that we currently can not trust Chris. We believe he has abused his technical powers for political ends. We are concerned that he has access to 'sarai', the indymedia listserver - and that, therefore, there is potential to access private list archives of other UK collectives. We do not know what other infrastructure he has access to beyond those listed above, but believe he should not occupy any positions of trust within the Indymedia community.

As a reiteration, at this point we request emergency measures. They are to last until the global network has had time to investigate events and make a decision on how to proceed.

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2010-December/1211-v5.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-April/0501-c4.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-tech/2011-May/0501-3i.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-tech/2011-May/0505-nz.html

[5] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-uk-process/2011-May/0502-og.html

On 6th May Bart emailed imc-process on behalf of IMC Linksunten proposing an additional block on Mayday and Sheffield on being allowed through the global New IMC process, with a 2 week deadline:

There have been doubts [6] about the commitment of Mayday and Sheffield collectives to POU6 [7] (consensus decision making). After the recent developments these doubts have unfortunately been confirmed. Therefore we don't think those collectives should become affiliated IMCs.

[6] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0421-qh.html

[7] https://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/PrinciplesOfUnity

And also on that day Bart emailed the imc-process list on behalf of his IMC linksunten:

we have agreed on the following mail before we learned about the latest mail from IMC London [1].

We support the demands of IMC Bristol [2] and IMC Germany [3] to request that the control of the domain indymedia.org.uk be handed over to the global IMC DNS working group. The Mayday collective has stolen [4] the domain of the now dissolved UK Indymedia network of which Mayday was only a faction and they have expelled the rest of the network from the UK site. We are angry and think this behaviour is unacceptable.

We also support the withdrawal of all privileges concerning Indymedia infrastructure and all Indymedia resources for all members of the Mayday collective. This comprises root access and admin privileges on Indymedia servers, membership of global working groups, control of infrastructure and the like.

Regarding the question asked by listwork [5] we think the Indymedia UK mailing lists should be deactivated since the former UK network has ceased to exist.

There have been doubts [6] about the commitment of Mayday and Sheffield collectives to POU6 [7] (consensus decision making). After the recent developments these doubts have unfortunately been confirmed. Therefore we don't think those collectives should become affiliated IMCs.

We would like to point out that one member of the Mayday collective has root access to (at least) the listwork server. We don't trust this person as he has abused his powers as a tech volunteer. We think this person should lose root access for all global Indymedia servers and especially to the listwork server as we are worried that he might use the sensitive data he has access to as a weapon against other Indymedia volunteers.

Therefore, we propose:

1) root and admin access of the listwork member in question to all global Indymedia servers are suspended immediately and all global listwork passwords are changed to prevent abuse until a decision has been taken

2) root and admin accounts of the listwork member in question to all global Indymedia servers are deleted and the listwork member quits the listwork working group with a deadline of two weeks time

[1] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-May/0506-5t.html

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-May/0503-ar.html

[3] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-May/0505-ns.html

[4] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-tech/2011-May/0502-um.html

[5] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2011-May/0502-v8.html

[6] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/new-imc/2011-April/0421-qh.html

[7] https://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/PrinciplesOfUnity

And on 8th May Northern Indymedia also emailed imc-process:

A proposal that control of the DNS entry for the domain indymedia.org.uk be handed to the stewardship of the global DNS working group made by IMC Germany has passed the deadline for consensus on this list.

We recognise that this process should begin immediately, but the details of the handover will take a little time to administer. We are also aware that IMC Oxford (currently preparing new-imc application) are heavily affected by recent events in the UK and so time is needed to inform them of changes taking place. We therefore propose the following:

* That a deadline of one week from today is made for completion of the handover of the domain indymedia.org.uk to the global DNS working group

* That the IMC Oxford collective are informed at all stages what is happening throughout the process and given chance to participate

* That should the deadline pass without the domain being handed over, all further access to global indymedia resources including mailing lists, irc, docs.indymedia.org and DNS is denied to the group currently holding the domain (the mayday collective) until this handover has taken place

New IMC Application Form

When this page was created the following was taken from this email and the original application, it has since has some corrections made to it.

Proposed IMC Name (required):
mayday

Proposed Indymedia URL (required):
mayday.indymedia.org and md.indymedia.org

Current URL (if any):
www.indymedia.org.uk and uk.indymedia.org

Country:
United Kingdom

Contact Name (required):
Jack

Email (required):
imc-uk-collective@lists.indymedia.org

Technical Contact Name:
Chris

Email:
chrisc@indymedia.org

Supporting Groups:
IMC Oxford supports this application. We hope to add more groups (inside and outside of indymedia) soon.

Please write an introductory statement about why you want to participate in the Indymedia Network.

We already do participate in the Indymedia Network; all of our present members have been Indymedia volunteers for several years. However we have never gone through the new-imc process, because when our site began, there was no such process. We believe it will strengthen our collective to go through the process. Also, since most other collectives in this region have gone through the process, our present condition is an anomaly.

This collective has been formed as a result of decisions taken by the entire UK Network in Bradford in December 2010.

It is important that the site be maintained by a properly constituted collective that has regular open meetings and transparent membership, and this application is being made in pursuit of that goal.

What kind of resources can you contribute, in terms of server/bandwidth/technical and organizing skills?

We use and help administer the Mir server called Traven, and our members made a significant contribution to the purchase price of that server. Traven is shared by many Mir collectives around the world. Our bandwidth is purchased from Riseup. We have an established network of mirrors. A number of us are capable of administering a Linux server.

What kind of outreach have you done to bring together a diverse group of people?

Our group is not nearly as diverse as we would like. We are geographically scattered, and we recognise that we face challenges in terms of outreach. However, we hope that once our collective is properly constituted we will be in a better position to recruit and support new members. We believe that we cannot reasonably expect new members to join us until the fork of uk indymedia is successfully completed. Nevertheless, unlike most new imcs, we are in the position of already looking after a busy newswire which is used by diverse individuals and groups and we therefore already have the potential for recruiting new collective members. We propose to add an invitation to our publish page for site users to get involved with mayday indymedia. This will be put in place once the fork has been completed, reaching out to existing site users who may be interested in becoming more involved in the collective running of the site.

Many marginalised groups and individuals have engaged with our newswire over the years and continue to do so. Some of them have also written features for our middle column and our topic subpages. We will invite these groups and individuals to our mailing list with a view to meeting physically as part of our ongoing outreach. In just five days this month (April 2011), news items posted directly to the uk site we are currently looking after have included the following topics: anarchism; anti-nuclear; animal rights; anti-fascism; anti-cuts; feminism; environment; deaths in custody; social centres; unemployment; benefits claimants; health and disability; surveillance; freedom of speech; ocean defence... and the following geographical locations: locations across Britain and Ireland including: Brighton, Cardiff, Lampeter, Cambridge, Rossport, Glasgow, Birmingham, Oxford, Sheffield, Portsmouth, London, Dublin, and elsewhere including: Ivory Coast, Yemen, Nigeria, Venezuela, Italy, Palestine, Europe, US. This sample indicates that the site we intend to continue under the name 'mayday indymedia' has the potential to generate a diverse collective membership with diverse interests.

Members of the collective will be promoting the open newswire and the mayday site in their local communities. To improve inclusivity, collective members will commit to outreach work with interested parties both within and outside of their local areas.

We intend to make the site work better for people using mobile devices.

How does the makeup of your collective reflect the diversity of the local community (e.g. in realtion to gender-, sexual-, spiritual-, and/or cultural-identity)?

We are from a variety of backgrounds, but do not reflect the cultural, sexual and spiritual diversity of the general population. We have members from Wales, Scotland and England.

If your group currently does not represent the diversity of the local community, particularly in relation to groups who are underrepresented in mainstream society and denied access to vehicles of expression, what steps will be taken to address this on an ongoing basis?

Our collective uses open mailing lists and public meetings for organising. We intend to organise public events such as film screenings to accompany our public meetings, and hope by this means to draw diverse groups of people into our activities. We intend to hold our public meetings in a different city or town each time. We aim to encourage minority groups to use our site to publish their news and we will offer support to enable them to do this.

We aim to extend the involvement of marginalised groups through collaboration on features, inviting groups to meetings, and outreach at events and protests on an ongoing basis.

We propose to add an invitation to our publish page for site users to get involved with mayday indymedia. This will be put in place once the fork has been completed, reaching out to existing site users who may be interested in becoming more involved in the collective running of the site.

Members of the collective will be promoting the open newswire and the mayday site in their local communities. To improve inclusivity, collective members will commit to outreach work with interested parties both within and outside of their local areas.

We intend to make the site work better for people using mobile devices.

We have a diversity statement (currently in draft: LINK ImcMaydayDiversity).

What steps will be taken to involve individuals in workfields new to them? What measures will be taken to overcome a gendered work division?

We plan to have training and skill-sharing sessions where there will be the opportunity for existing and new members to learn new skills. For example, we hope to organise training and discussion for new people who are not familiar with consensus decision making and to explore ways of avoiding non-transparent hierarchies in apparently horizontally organised structures. We also plan to organise technical training sessions to share skills and build technical competence across the collective. We intend to work collectively on aspects of writing, site maintenance etc., enabling less experienced members to participate in the work of the collective in a supportive environment. We hope to be able to offer of one-to-one 'buddying' by women members of the collective for new women joining, to encourage them to learn new skills, especially technical skills in a supportive environment.
Topic revision: r18 - 08 Jun 2011, NaB
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