[Imc-communication] imc-belgium disaffiliation proposal and where it is heading or isn't heading
peaceworx at riseup.net
Sat May 14 11:03:44 PDT 2005
Dear belgian media activists & others
reading the last mails, I think we won't be able to work on (y)our issue
>From my point of view, the facts/accusations have been said a lot of
times in different variations. Why try it again and again???
Wouldn't it be of better use and purpose for all of us, if we try to
collect the point where there is agreement and where there is disagreement?
I found this proposal (imho first mentioned by Denis) very useful,
therefore I also proposed it again:
Find a group of people who are willing to get in dialogue with the imc's
in belgium and gather
1. Informations about how big the motivations (and needs) are for going
into real-life mediation
2. The points of agreement and disagreement (what s disturbing us most
and what would be important for us to change in the future...)
This is imho the only possibility i see, to move ourselves out of this
So I'd like to ask, who would be willing to work on this issue (I guess
it would be helpfull, that there are no imc-volunteers from belgium in
that group, because of 'neutrality')?
I'll also send a link to this mail to the resolve-list, which once was
started for diskussions about the issue of on line conflict resolution.
Perhaps there are also some people, who might be of help and are
neutral/and yet uninformed about the belgium conflict.
So I please beg you not to continue with this mutual accusations and
things we already know (or should know).
Let there be space for clarifying the individual and/or collective
positions and interests and give this kind of verbal peace a chance.
I think there will be a bunch of people, who like to gather the
different points of interests of the different imcs in belgium, for
getting a better picture of the situation.
(I could imagine a wiki-page would be suitable for this).
And after the deadline of the alternative proposal (from imc-germany) on
7th of June, we can have better look at the situation.
So far for now.
& please answer to this mail or contact me directly, that we may have a
on-line-mediation-preparation-working-group (or whatever you want to
call it) until, next Friday, the 20th, ok? Perhaps it might be possible
for the "o-l-m-p-w-group" to use the resolve-list for communicating on
bruno at indymedia.be schrieb:
> Hi Chekov,
> We choose not to reply to these false accusations anymore. We believe it
> is impossible to have a constructive conversation with this tone of
> voice, let alone find a consensus.
> Furthermore you write:
> "Are we happy to have collectives in our family who go around slandering
> other members and accusing them of the most serious crimes without any
> truth? If the .be collective is telling the truth, then at the very
> least, we should demand that the local collectives stop spreading these
> untruths and accept the existence of the .be collective, on pain of
> We think the word "truth" should be replaced by "evidence", the first
> time you write it.
> And for the record: no, we are not happy with that. As we've written
> countless times, the .be collective is not in the slightest way run by
> an "ultra-authoritarian sect", as you put it this time. And no, our
> is not located at the ptb/pvda offices at all.
> We would indeed very much appreciate it if the local belgian collectives
> would stop their slandering towards the .be collective. For instance
> the slandering
> that is taking place at http://liege.indymedia.org/news/2005/05/4446.php.
> liaison imc-belgium
> Chekov Feeney wrote:
>> Hi folks,
>> I might as well share my own opinion on the Belgian matter, since I
>> have gone to the trouble of looking into it in some detail. Although
>> I don't think that this opinion is likely to lead anywhere in
>> particular, for the sake of honesty, I might as well share it.
>> If one or other of the sides is largely telling the truth, then we
>> should take sanctions against, and mediation is not appropriate or
>> sufficent. From a careful examination of the facts, it is very clear
>> to me that the .be collective is run by an ultra-authoritarian sect,
>> a sect whose principles are so repugnant to the principles of
>> indymedia that it is almost beyond belief. The indymedia office is
>> housed in the offices of this sect, who proclaim that "stalin was the
>> greatest personality of the 20th century, the greatest political
>> genius". Unless there is an extremely improbably reversal of this
>> situation, I fully support disafilliation.
>> Unfortunately, it seems that the widespread agreement among European
>> Indymedias on this matter has been irreversibly blocked at this stage
>> and thus disafilliation is not an option at the moment. Having said
>> that, as a compromise, I reluctantly support the German proposal.
>> There will be a general meeting of indymedia ireland next week to
>> discuss this among other things, but there appears to be a consensus
>> in favour of disafilliation at the moment and I am sure that we will
>> also support the compromise, unless it is too blocked by some
>> far-flung node in the network. I should also add that I think that
>> the decision making mechanisms in the network are, in my opinion,
>> absolutely crazy and completely dysfunctional. I have never involved
>> myself actively in global decision making before, mainly because I
>> knew how dysfunctional it was likely to be built on such poor
>> foundations, but I never feared it was quite so bad as to be
>> incapable of preventing such an obvious travesty.
>> Full text
>> The proposal for mediation
>> Throughout this dispute, the constant refrain from the international
>> network seems to be that the matter is a purely Belgian dispute and
>> that the best possible solution is a mediated one. To my mind this
>> is a gross abnegation of responsiblity on behalf of the network. We
>> are essentially washing our hands of the problem and telling them to
>> sort it out themselves. Where is our solidarity? Our sense of
>> active involvement and principle in the collective agreement that
>> binds our network?
>> To state the facts of the case briefly. The 'local' Belgian
>> collectives have claimed that the indymedia.be site has been taken
>> over by an authoritarian sect.
>> The indymedia.be collective has claimed that this is a smear against
>> them and is not accurate.
>> There are 3 broad possibilities of what the truth might be.
>> 1. The 'local' collectives are more or less telling the truth.
>> 2. The .be collective is more or less telling the truth
>> 3. Passions have got inflamed on both sides and people are saying
>> things that they don't really mean.
>> Now, it is only in case 3 that I think that mediation and a local
>> arrangement to partition indymedia in Belgium is appropriate. If the
>> local collectives are telling the truth, then it is very much a very,
>> very serious matter for the global network. Even if they were able
>> to come to some local agreement to share the URL, are we really
>> saying that we would be happy to allow a collective to be part of our
>> family that is actually a front for an ultra-authoritarian political
>> party? Do we really take our principles so lightly that as long as
>> the Belgians stop bothering us, we don't care how profoundly our POU
>> is ignored and dragged through the mud? To my mind, if the local
>> collectives are largely telling the truth, we should exclude the
>> collective from the network at once, regardless of whether they can
>> come to a local agreement in Belgium. If, on the other hand, the .be
>> collective is telling the truth, then it is also a serious matter for
>> the global network. Are we happy to have collectives in our family
>> who go around slandering other members and accusing them of the most
>> serious crimes without any truth? If the .be collective is telling
>> the truth, then at the very least, we should demand that the local
>> collectives stop spreading these untruths and accept the existence of
>> the .be collective, on pain of exclusion.
>> Therefore, before we opt for mediation, we have a duty to examine the
>> truth of the claims on both sides. To simply say that mediation is
>> always the best answer, is simply to wash our hands of the problem
>> and to abandon our Belgian comrades without the tiniest bit of
>> solidarity. However, it is often the case that the truth of
>> particular claims is difficult to establish for sure when dealing
>> with foreign countries and languages. If this was the case, then we
>> should appoint some sort of delegated team to carefully examine the
>> evidence and talk to all sides and report back to us. However, in
>> this case, I do not believe that there is any need for this. I have
>> spent the last few days reading up on the various documents and about
>> the various parties involved. I speak French and a friend has
>> translated some documents from Dutch. My conclusion is that it is
>> incredibly, astoundingly, mind-blowingly obvious what the truth is
>> for anybody who cares to take any time to look into the matter. I
>> base my conclusion on three main points.
>> 1. The comrades from the local collectives have put together a very
>> full account documenting the takeover by the PTB at:
>> http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Local/BelgiumSituationEn Although,
>> some of the claims are poorly documented and should not have been,
>> included, I find the essence of the argument to be very persuasive
>> and full of information. The responses at
>> http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Local/ImcBelgiumSituation are highly
>> tendentious, misleading and often clearly dishonest, in my opinion.
>> Furthermore, the Dutch collective has detailed a further series of
>> facts against the .be collective, which are even more persuasive still.
>> 2. All of the collectives and individuals within the IMC who speak
>> the relevant languages and have investigated the matter closely have
>> come to the same conclusion. I think it is highly improbable that
>> all of these comrades would be deceived or would be conspiring
>> against a genuine IMC. The swedes, the French, the Dutch and even
>> the German proposal for mediation includes the note that "These
>> volunteers with direct experiences and talks tend more to the
>> disaffiliation". I now add myself to this list of IMC-istas who have
>> come to the same conclusion. Not one single outside IMC-ista has, to
>> my knowledge, reached the opposite conclusion. The disafilliation
>> has only been blocked by two collectives who admit not to know very
>> much about the situation.
>> 3. What is much more persuasive even than the above two strong
>> points, is that the Belgian PTB are quite open and forthright about
>> being Stalinists. When I first read the various accusations of
>> Stalinism against this party, I assumed it was exaggeration. In
>> Ireland people often call the various trotskyist, leninist and social
>> democratic parties 'stalinist', but we don't have any 'real life'
>> stalinists. I was absolutely amazed to read on the PTB's website
>> such claims as
>> "Staline a été la plus grande personnalité du XXième siècle, le plus
>> grand génie politique" - "Stalin was the greatest personality of the
>> 20th century, the greatest political genius"
>> See: http://www.ptb.be/international/index.phtml?section=A1AAABBUBD
>> For a page full of flashing pictures of Stalin (and evidence that
>> they are quite insane) see:
>> And from their "cardinal principals"
>> * "The theory of Lenin about the party of the Bolshevik type, a
>> formation of the organised and disciplined vanguard of the working
>> class maintains all its meaning."
>> * "The proletariat needs the state of dictatorship of the proletariat
>> to reduce its class enemies to silence"
>> These are equivalent to saying "yes we do believe that we should do
>> all those things that we are accused of and we are happy to admit it"
>> These people are ardent supporters of one of the most authoritarian,
>> blood-thirsty and murderous psychopaths that the world has ever
>> seen. A political ideology that is entirely and utterly opposite to
>> everything about indymedia and our POU, but is entirely and
>> completely consistent with everything that our Belgian comrades say
>> about them. And we are apparently happy for an indymedia to be run
>> from their offices! For them to drag our name through the blood so
>> that they can raise money and attract recruits to their lunatic
>> party. I protest, object and express my outrage and disgust in the
>> strongest possible terms.
>> I think that this whole affair is something that our network should
>> be ashamed at. Our Belgian comrades have been alerting us to this
>> disgrace for years now and we have basically told them to piss off
>> and sort it out themselves, because we didn't want to trouble
>> ourselves with difficult questions. We are derelict in our
>> responsibilities to our prinicples and we have failed our comrades in
>> their practical need for solidarity. We have demanded that they come
>> to an agreement with the enemies of everything that is indymedia and
>> we have sat back while the masters of manipulation and deceit have
>> laughed in their faces. I include myself and my indymedia Ireland in
>> that. Even throughout this discussion on the imc-communication list,
>> the Stalinists have been treating us like complete idiots. They have
>> time and again lied bare-facedly about what was said only 5 minutes
>> ago. Only today, they had the amazing cheek to claim that the German
>> proposal for a compromise had been blocked ! Earlier they tried to
>> claim that one of the Belgian collectives had been blocked from
>> supporting the disafilliation by trying to pass off one of their
>> members as a local collective member on the basis that he had posted
>> to the newswire. They even claimed that the Liege collective had
>> no problem with their newswire, when it clearly was not the case
>> . They think that they can take advantage of our loose structure
>> and treat us as if we were absolute idiots - and so far they have
>> been right.
>> To sum up my conclusions. We should exclude them from the network
>> immediately. We should beg the forgiveness of our Belgian comrades
>> for our lack of solidarity in their time of need and we should salute
>> their fortitude in keeping going despite the well-resourced party
>> that has led a smear campaign against them. We should do everything
>> possible to let it be known in Belgium that indymedia has absolutely
>> nothing to do with the PTB and that any of our supporters there
>> should instead support the local collectives. Anybody who cares about
>> our network should contact our comrades in Cleveland and Canarias to
>> try to persuade them to remove their block and to inform them of the
>> full facts of the matter. We should try to reclaim the dignity and
>> honour of the indymedia network.
>> That is pretty much all I have to say on the matter until I report
>> back to imc-process with the decision of ireland.
>> 1 of indymedia ireland.
>> To anticipate the mud that might be thrown as a result of expressing
>> this opinion, I should let you know the following.
>> 1. This is not red-baiting, or any anti-communist witch hunt. I am a
>> proud communist, but of the libertarian variety - a variety which is
>> consistent with indymedia's principles.
>> 2. This is not a diatribe against the involvement of political
>> parties in indymedia, I support the involvement of members of parties
>> and we have had many in Ireland. I have also debated this position
>> with members of imc-uk in the past who take the opposite position.
>> 3. I do not personally know anybody involved in the dispute and have
>> never met any of the Belgians or any of the others who have expressed
>> an opinion. My conclusion is based on a love for the principles of
>> (this was immediately blocked on process by houston)
>> IMC-communication mailing list
>> IMC-communication at lists.indymedia.org
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