[IMC-Process] PROPOSAL BLOCK: indymedia.be disaffiliation

L.Ross lrossimc at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 27 14:06:50 PDT 2005

Cleveland, Ohio, USA Indymedia

(español debajo)


The disaffiliation of an indymedia center from the
network should require the highest levels of scrutiny.
 As such, we strongly discourage setting precedent for
an ad hoc disaffiliation process when time hasn’t been
allowed for a proper review of the facts (not
speculation, insults, or rumors), it is difficult for
distant imc’s to evaluate the conflict context, “red
baiting” tactics could result in abusive and
destructive disaffiliation, and basic standards of
fairness have not been met.  Our collective cannot
endorse a proposal when we do not have sufficient 
reason for such a drastic approach, and will always
support alternative methods of resolution when the
expulsion of a functioning imc collective is


1)  Disaffiliation of a functioning imc collective is
one of the most violent measures we can take as a
network. Liege imc is asking every network member to
support the active expulsion of a local collective 
that has been approved by process and producing
alternative media for years.  This could be any one of
us, and should carry with it the highest standards of
scrutiny.  We believe the burden of proof for 
disaffiliation should be on whomever proposes such

2)  When reviewing the evidence available to
imc-process, it can be difficult to decipher fact from
rumor, speculation, insult, and pretext.  After
reading what is available to us, we feel the “facts”
insufficient to warrant our support of such a violent
action.  We strongly encourage a fact-finding process
that can help people better evaluate the situation.

3)  If the people of Cleveland, Ohio, USA were
undergoing a similar conflict, we would have serious
reservations that the people of Oost Vlaanderen,
Belgium would be able to fully understand the depth or
intricacies of our situation.  We think it would be
unfair to ask them to judge our situation, as in this
case we believe it would be unfair for us to judge
their situation, particularly when well-documented
“evidence” for any position is lacking.

4)  We question whether imc-process was ever intended
to have the authority to disaffiliate an indymedia
center.  While process has been established to create
an imc, it should be discussed whether the terms of
existence for imc’s are best applied locally or by the
entire global network.

5)  We are strongly opposed to the “red smearing”
which is offered as process.  In the US, such tactics
have been used by police and provocateurs to disrupt,
divide, and destroy activist movements.  The
disaffiliation process occurring presently is eerily
similar to the way the Leftist unions were thrown out
of the CIO labor federation in the US in 1947 at the
beginning of the Cold War.  Stereotypical “red” 
behaviors -- purging rival groups, bully methods, etc.
-- are strikingly similar to the accusations being
directed at Belgium indymedia (indymedia.be).  This
should give us all pause for reflection lest hystory
is repeated.

6)  We do not believe this proposal to take away the
name of Belgium Indymedia from one group and give it
to a rival group passes the basic test of fairness. 
It cannot be expected that all indymedia collectives
will be without conflict.  We do not think it is fair
to set a precedent whereby a departing group may
reclaim an imc through back-door methods without
reasons that extend beyond interpersonal conflict.

7)  We discovered this conflict relatively recently
because it is taking place in relative darkness and we
are sure many others do not know about it either. 
There are issues of fairness, process, and evidence
that need to be evaluated publicly, and the entire
network must have adequate time to form well-educated,
independent decisions.

Because of the reasons outlined in 2) - 7), we do not
believe the burden of proof explained in 1) has been
met.  We fear such a relaxed standard for
disaffiliation without the knowledge of many imc’s
would leave the indymedia network vulnerable,
jeopardizing our existence.  We thus BLOCK THE
PROPOSAL of Liege imc to disaffiliate indymedia
Belgium (indy


We support alternative forms of conflict resolution,
particularly local mediation.  We hope for a
cooperative spirit, however if disaffiliation is
pursued, we support a fact-finding project so that the
network may better evaluate the accusations being
made.  We support postponing any action until network
imc’s are more involved and informed, and this process
be carried out more openly.  We support separate but
equal imc’s in Belgium until the conflict is resolved.
 We urge those interested in a syndication site to do
so without destroying an existing imc project.

The Cleveland Indymedia Collective
Elle, Andypie, Jesse, Ian, Tyler, Jeff, Dana, Patrick,

elle ross
liason for Indymedia Cleveland



La desafiliación de un CMI debe requerir el escrutinio
más grande. Por eso, nosotros desalentamos con fuerza
crear un precedente para una desafiliación ad hoc --
sin una examinación de hechos (solo especulación,
rumores, insultos), sin contexto del conflicto para
CMIs distantes, con tácticas de "red baiting" que
podrían conducir al proceso abusivo y sin estándares
básicos de la imparcialidad. Nuestro colectivo no
puede apoyar una propuesta cuando no tenemos
causa para una acción dramática. Nosotros apoyaremos
alternativas siempre cuando una desafiliación se


1) Una desafiliación de un CMI es una de las acciones
más drásticas que nosotros puede hacer. CMI-Liege
están solicitando todos en la red para apoyo para la
desafiliación de un colectivo que se ha aprobado
para cmi-process, un colectivo que ha estado creando
los medios por años. Ese acción debe requerir al
escrutinio más grande. Nosotros creemos que hay una
'carga de la prueba' para CMI-Liege o quienquiera
peticiones una desafiliación.

2) Cuando nosotros leimos la 'evidencia' contra
indymedia.be en cmi-process, es dificil separarse los
hechos, las rumores, la especulación, los insultos, el
pretexto. Después de que leamos el evidencia, nosotros
creemos que no existe suficiente evidence para
justificar la desafiliación de CMI-Belgium. Nosotros
apoyamos un proceso del exploratorio en este

3) Si la gente de Cleveland, Ohio teníamos un
conflicto similar, no creemos que la gente de Oost
Vlanderaan podrían entender completamente las
intrincaciones de nuestra situación. Creemos que sería
injusto para preguntarlos a juzgar nuestro situación.
Por eso, creemos que nosotros no podemos juzgar
CMI-Belgium (particularmente sin evidencia bien

4) Nosotros preguntamos si cmi-process tiene la
autoridad para un desafiliación.

5) Nosotros somos aterrados en la táctica de "red
smearing" en cmi-process. En los Estados Unidos, esta
táctica es utilizada por el policia y los provocateurs
para interrupción, división, y sabotaje de los
movimientos izquierdas. Este proceso de desafiliación
es similar a la expulsión de uniones izquierdistas de
federaciones de trabajo en el EEUU en 1947. Nosotros
todos debemos pensar sobre esta conexión histórica.

6) No creemos que esta propuesta para dar el nombre de
CMI-Belgium al grupo rival de indymedia.be pasa la
prueba de la imparcialidad. No podemos contar que
todos en Indymedia puedan existir sin conflicto. No es
justo que un otro grupo puede robar el nombre sin
causa (más allá de conflicto interpersonal).

7) Creemos que habría más oposición a este plan si
había un plazo más largo y más exposición de la
propuesta. La imparcialidad, el proceso y la evidencia
deben ser evaluados en público.

Por estas razones, en #2 - #7, la 'carga de la prueba'
in #1 no se proporciona. Por eso, nosotros bloqueamos
la propuesta de CMI-Liege para la desafiliación de
CMI-Belgium (indymedia.be).

Nosotros apoyamos formas alternativas de resolución
del conflicto, incluyendo la mediación local. Nosotros
apoyamos muchos CMIs separados e iguales en Belgica.
Nosotros apoyamos un sitio de web del sundication en
Belgica sin la destrucción de CMI-Belgium.

L. Ross

IMCista   ((( indymedia.org )))

"I advocate revolutionary changes... an end to capitalist exploitation, the abolition of racist policies, the eradication of sexism and the elimination of political repression. 
If that is a crime, then I am totally guilty." 
-- Assata Shakur

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