[Imc] [toya at riseup.net: [Imc-communication] center of the global indymedia network in urbana????]

Brian Hagy bhagy at urbana.indymedia.org
Sun May 22 19:29:46 PDT 2005


hi stacy,

i've answered some of your questions through the email.


On Mon, 23 May 2005, stacy wrote:

> Hi Brian,
>
> Thanks for replying to some of the concerns.  I'm wondering if someone can speak
> on behalf of UCIMC, instead of just personally.
>

the uc-imc works on concensus.  the steering group, which besides the 
general membership, is authorized to provide feedback on behalf of the 
uc-imc.  the steering group however can only meet every two weeks (we're 
all volunteers, and have active lives outside of imc work).  so, since 
this controversy, we've had one meeting and at it we started to address 
this. it's in a subcommittee, to make recommendations at the next steering 
meeting which will be (unfortunately) next thursday (june 1).  so, that's 
why no response has come on behalf of the uc-imc yet.  it's not that 
we're not actively addressing this.  it's just unfortunately a matter of 
scheduling.


> I don't think anyone has a problem with UCIMC having the bank account that holds
> money for the imc network. What we are upset about is UCIMC making public
> statements about its relationship to the network without consulting the network.
> This came up during the ahimsa seizure also.
>

the statement was not made on behalf of the uc-imc, but rather an 
individual from the uc-imc speaking from his own views.  the uc-imc has to 
my knowledge never consensed on such a statement.  and, even though this 
is from me, i really don't think we'd ever even attempt to claim such a 
thing in a public forum.

> Also, I'd like to emphasise the point that bht made about the inactivity of
> UCIMC on global lists in general.  I know of one request from Burma IMC for
> funds which has been ignored for months now.

i follow the global lists, when i can.  as i said, we are all very active 
people here.  maintaining emails is pretty difficult.  however, i don't 
recall seeing any request from Burma for assistance with funding.  again, 
that's probably due to my overwhelming inbox.  if they were calling for 
general support from IMC's in general, please if someone can resend that 
email, especially to imc at ucimc.org (so we can get it directly).  however, 
if they were asking for support from the global finance list, then they 
need to address the folks on that list, because only the global folks on 
that list are empowered to make the decisions for the money from the 
global network.

>
> But my main concern about UCIMC is that the 501(c)3 status is an entry point for
> the US government to control the network.  Given its size, political leanings,
> and popularity, I would imagine this is something they would be very interested
> in having some levers over.  If the global network becomes too dependent on that
> status, the government can yank it at any time, if they feel the network is
> engaged in activities they don't agree with (to put it mildly).
>

given the US's attitude, i agree.  it would be good for the global to have 
more than one source.  but, that's a discussion for imc-finance, and not 
an easy one to solve.  fortunely, the laws governing 501(c)3's protect us 
from being "controlled" by the US.  however, true they could yank our 
not-for-profit status, as a means of control.  however given the global 
nature of the imc, it would be fairly difficult for them to do that.  not 
saying it's impossible, of course (heck they've declared war on concepts, 
for god's sake!)

> Can you tell me why it is necessary to have the 501(c)3 in order to hold the
> global bank account?  Why can't the bank account be a personal one, which
> rotates around the planet every year?  If the decisions are made by the finance
> collective anyway, the money could just as well be in a shoebox in a closet in
> the Canary Islands.
>

very interesting questions.  the 501(c)3 status in not for the bank 
account.  it's for the grant writing, and for people who want to donate to 
the global imc and get a tax break from it.  the bank account itself is 
here because back in the day when the uc-imc was handed the responsibility 
for it, no one else was organized enough to monitor the accounting (or at 
least if another imc was organized, wasn't willing to handle it).  i 
agree, it would be useful to have a rotating bank account (the dynamics of 
that would be difficult to maintain, because of bookkeeping 
responsibilities), and even more it would be useful for the global to have 
multiple accounts, so if one gets shut down by the US gov't, then there 
are other accounts still active.  however, that sort of thing requires 
committment and organization, not the easiest thing to have happen on a 
global scale by volunteers.  still...definitely worth bringing up on the 
imc-finance list.


> I would very much appreciate it if someone could answer these issues on behalf
> of UCIMC.
>

sorry i'm not answering on behalf of the uc-imc.  however, these emails 
are getting to the uc-imc list, and will be addressed as soon as they can 
be.  we are taking these concerns very seriously.

> Cheers,
> Stacy
> IMC-Sydney volunteer
>

brian



> Quoting Brian Hagy <bhagy at urbana.indymedia.org>:
>
>> Ugh.
>>
>> Ok, for yet, the fifteenth billion time......
>>
>> The U-C IMC fiscally sponsors the Global IMC network.  The Global IMC
>> network is an "entity" unto itself, of which all autonomous IMC channel
>>
>> through.  One could consider the "cities list" which runs down the left
>>
>> hand side of most IMC websites to be the Global IMC (as well as the
>> www.indymedia.org website itself).  Just because any autonomous IMC is
>>
>> part of the network, doesn't mean that autonomous IMC IS the Global
>> Network.  The Global Network is the thing (space, entity, system,
>> whatever) created when IMC's interact.  It's the www.indymedia.org site.
>>
>> It is it's own identity.  So, yes Portland and SF and Belgium and every
>>
>> IMC are related to it, but they are NOT the Global IMC.  They support it
>>
>> by allowing it to access their features for articles to be posted on its
>>
>
>
>> newswire. They interact with it by being on its email lists (so that
>> folks
>> from all imc's don't have to join every imc's email lists in order to
>> communicate with each other).  The Global IMC is separate from all other
>>
>> IMC's.  If anything the Global IMC is the umbrella for all IMC's.  It's
>>
>> central only due to its ability to be central for communication between
>>
>> all imc's.  Think of the US Congress.  Congress has representatives from
>>
>> every state in it.  But, that doesn't mean Florida is the US Congress,
>>
>> even though it's a part of it.  Congress is the communication point
>> between the states.  I apologize for not using a non-United States
>> reference, as i'm not sure what it would be.  I'm open to suggestions.
>>
>> People sometimes want to donate money or resources to the IMC movement,
>>
>> but not necessarily a particular IMC.  So, what do they donate to?  The
>>
>> Global IMC network.  There are listservs for the Global IMC, such as
>> imc-communication, imc-finance, imc-tech, or any other listed under the
>>
>> global lists heading on the www.indymedia.org's mailing list page.  The
>>
>> imc-finance (which is made up of representatives from theoretically all
>>
>> imc's, but that's probably not true) make all decisions for the
>> fundraising and allocations of funds.  The 5% the u-c imc gets (and that
>>
>> number, please note is a maximum percentage from sliding scale, and is
>>
>> completely negotiated with whoever contacts us for fiscal sponsorship),
>>
>> is usually written on top of the full amount the grantee asks (if
>> someone's trying to get a $100, the IMC writes the grant for $105, for
>>
>> example...so the full $100 requested is still delivered).  if that's not
>>
>> possible, then the amount is renegotiated, and many times waived.  the
>>
>> money the u-c imc requests is to cover the expenses of writing the
>> grants, and the costs of the lawyer (etc) if something happens to the
>> project (as fiscal sponsor, if something goes wrong with the project,
>> the
>> u-c imc are the folks who have to take the heat).  Most other fiscal
>> sponsors take a larger percentage in order to cover lawyer and admin
>> costs.
>>
>> You proposed a rotating finance system, sharing the responsibility.
>> Fine.
>> Go ahead and set up the proposal.  I'm sure we wouldn't mind having the
>>
>> anger fired at us right now distributed to others.  Of course,
>> imc-finance
>> (global) would have to then continously be seeking more fiscal sponsors,
>>
>> which may or may not be useful, since the uc-imc would only be accessed
>>
>> once every couple years or so.
>>
>> You mentioned we're paternal in how we support others.  What did you
>> mean
>> by that?  We typically only support others when they ask for help.  We
>>
>> don't just randomly choose some IMC to support, or actively solicit
>> fiscal
>> sponsorship proposals.
>>
>> speaking for myself, yet again,
>> brian
>>
>>
>> On Sun, 22 May 2005, deva wrote:
>>
>>> It is also an error to think of UC as fiscal sponsor as applies to the
>> US.
>>>
>>> Portland IMC part of the network in the US and is not fiscally
>> sponsored by
>>> UC imc. It is offensive that UC would represent itself as fiscal
>> sponsor for
>>> the network, even in the US.
>>>
>>> Just this sort of attitude is what makes people nervous about having a
>> UC IMC
>>> be a fiscal sponsor. Perhaps these relationships need to be
>> reconsidered.
>>>
>>> deva
>>> portland imc contributor
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On May 19, 2005, at 11:04 PM, Brian Hagy wrote:
>>>
>>>> in our steering meeting we had recently, it was even pointed out that
>> it is
>>>> an error to think the U-C IMC as a fiscal sponsor of the GLOBAL IMC
>> since
>>>> our not-for-profit status only applies to the US.  We can perhaps use
>> it at
>>>> the request of other non-US IMCs to get money or resources to them
>> from US
>>>> sources, if so desired.  Our not-for-profit status can be a tool for
>>
>>>> others.  If it is something other than that in the eyes of the world,
>> then
>>>> it needs to be brought to our attention.  It is not meant to be a
>> power or
>>>> control mechanism over any IMC.
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> IMC-communication mailing list
>>> IMC-communication at lists.indymedia.org
>>> http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-communication
>>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> IMC-communication mailing list
>> IMC-communication at lists.indymedia.org
>> http://lists.indymedia.org/mailman/listinfo/imc-communication
>>
>
>
>
> -------
> Pred quote of the week:
> \"Isn\'t open publishing wonderful, Imre? OPEN publishing is OPEN. O-P-E-N.
> To anybody and their opinions about anything. No copyright to worry about,
> no permission required. Open Publishing. O-P-E-N. Maybe if I say it enough
> it\'ll sink in. O-P-E-N. O-P-E-N.\"
>> From http://conway.cat.org.au/~predator//imre.html
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