[Imc-communication] Re: [IMC-Process] Imc-belgium block of german RENEWED PROPOSAL (Belgium-Case)
quinten at indypgh.org
Mon Jun 6 11:59:22 PDT 2005
On Sun, 5 Jun 2005, han at indymedia.be wrote:
> So apparently mediation is only an option. Taking away the url seems
> to be the most important thing.
You can't have a mediation or negotiation that has one party in a stronger
position than the others -- it needs to be neutral. Holding tight to the
URL belgium.indymedia.org while mediation happens means that it would be
in IMC Belgium's best interest to stall and drag out the mediation as long
as possible. It would be a show of good faith to give up the URL at least
As an outsider to the conflict, it does indeed seem that giving up the URL
is the most important first step.
> 3. According to the German proposal imc-belgium doesn't represent
> all belgian imc-activists. Indeed we don't. In another text we
> made already clear that there are different visions on Indymedia
> in Belgium. Those differences are visible on the website (lay
> out, structure, topics,...)but also in the way of working. In
> fact we never had the ambition to represent anybody else than
> ourselves. It is already hard enough to reach consensus in our
> own collective. But if you follow this logic: we have a lot of
> volunteers from Liège, Ovl, Wvl and Antwerp who are not
> represented by the imc-liège, imc-ovl, imc-wvl or imc-antwerp.
> And what about the provinces and towns who wouldn't be
> represented at all? Should they now move to another province?
> And what about indybay.org? Should they stop utilizing this url
> because they don't represent all the cities in this area? Are
> all the collectives in the US represented by us.indymedia.org
us.indymedia.org is mostly a syndication site, and yes, it does represent
all of the US IMCs in that fashion. The case is the same with
> 4. As a precedent forbidding a national collective to use a
> national url would make the global network extremely vulnerable.
> It is a green light for everybody who doesn't agree with the imc
> of his region: start a more local imc and force the
> national/regional collective to give up the national/regional
Oddly enough, there haven't been that many major conflicts of this kind.
They could all be counted on one hand, so I see no problem with dealing
with them on a case by case basis.
> 5. According to the German proposal Belgium.indymedia.org should be
> administered by a non-belgium imc-collective because the actual
> imc-belgium collective doesn't represent all belgian
> imc-activists. How can a non-belgium collective 'represent' all
> belgian imc-activists? Who will and can decide the constitution
> of such a collective?
I believe that the IMC Germany proposal is to have the new site just point
to the existing sites. It doesn't have to represent any Belgian
collectives at all -- it will let them represent themselves. I don't see a
need for a new collective.
> 6. Imc-germany wants us to choose a new name based on locality,
> topic or similar. We are a belgian national collective covering
> all kinds of topics. We should choose a name that is not in
> competition with other imc's. Well, we are not in competition
> with other imc's. Imc is not about competition. What is going on
> when indymedia activists start using such strange notions? There
> are indeed different visions on indymedia in Belgium but this is
> not about competition. All these visions are valuable. We find
> it also strange that imc-germany proposes us to focus on a topic
> or a locality. Asking our collective to change its way of
> working and it's composition even before any mediation took
> place can never lead to a healthy solution.
You could always keep a URL that suggests the idea that you are national
in a more neutral and less hierarchical way. Unfortunately, it is natural
in the Western world today to think in hierarchies. If someone sees
"belgium.indymedia.org" and then wvl.indymedia.org, they assume that
belgium.indymedia.org is in control of wvl.indymedia.
> 7. An url is not some symbolic idea. It is a real material thing.
> The Belgian collective uses this url since may 2000. Google
> counts 67.000 links to a belgium.indymedia.org link.
It is easy to solve this problem technically -- requests for old URLs will
get sent the "conflict" explanation page, and then a redirect link to the
new URL can be provided.
> 8. In july 2004 the local imc's already tried to obtain the
> belgium.indymedia.org. Their proposal has been blocked in
> september by several imc's. Was the whole desaffiliation
> procedure only a strategic manoeuvre to get the url? We are very
> relieved that this painfull procedure has been ended. But we
> still have a lot of questions about this method of ad hoc
> inventing and adapting rules and procedures in order to obtain
> what one wants.
> 9. We would like to iterate our call for mediation. We are open to
> discuss all options but without preconditions or strings
I think it's clear that mediation won't work if there are not some
compromises made beforehand. By all means provide a counter-proposal, but
stalling like this is not going to help anybody, just get them frustrated
when you fail to respond reasonably to reasonable proposals.
More information about the IMC-communication