[IMC-Process] SUMMARY: Belgium Discussion

GarconDuMonde gdm at fifthhorseman.net
Wed Jun 8 17:21:37 PDT 2005

Summary of the Belgium debate : 7 April - 7 June 2005
*****************************   *********************

The IMC-Germany proposal [3 and quote at the end of this mail] was
supported by 8 IMCs and only blocked by the current
belgium.indymedia.org collective. The conclusion consistent with
previous similar examples is that the IMC Germany proposal should be passed.

1. This is based heavily on the Indymedia Documentation Project [1]
summary of the debate, which in turn includes only summaries from
collective liaisons. Reference is also made to other contributions to
the discussion on imc-process; there was also a lot of discussion on
imc-communication [2].

2. This document has not been translated YET - but translations are
requested, please, and this has been posted on

   * 07 Apr 05: Proposal by IMC-Liege - request for the disaffiliation
of Belgium from the Indymedia Network:

The deadline was set at the 28 April 05 (3 weeks). 8 IMCs supported the
proposal, 7 IMCs blocked the proposal, several IMCs made statements or
offered alternative proposals.

   * 06 May 05: IMC Belgium offered a counter proposal. This was blocked
by Germany, amongst others, who made a counter-proposal.

   * 20 May 05: Germany repeated their proposal, attaching a deadline of
7 June [3, and see quote at bottom of mail]. This suggestion was for:

	1. http://belgium.indymedia.org becomes a static page linking to
 	all Belgian IMCs equally.

	2. the current belgium.indymedia.org collective rename
	themselves using either a locality or topic or similar. This new
	name is used for a new indymedia subdomain and treated equally
	to the other collectives.

	3. the current belgium.indymedia.org collective stops presenting
	themselves as "Indymedia Belgium" as they do not represent all
	of belgium.

This was accepted by:

   * Houston IMC, who suggested the static page should include rss feeds
- http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-process/2005-May/0511-bm.html

   * IMC Liege -

   * IMC-Lille supports the idea of a syndication site -

   * IMC-Paris supports "the proliferation and diversity of imcs" and
agrees that belgium.indymedia.org collective should change their name -

   * IMC-Nantes -

   * IMC-Toulouse -

   * IMC-Pittsburgh, who also offer to host the static page -

   * Melbourne, who also quote a precedent in the case of Philipino
IMCs, Manila and Quezon City -

This was only blocked by the belgium.indymedia.org collective [4]. They
also sent another email which stated: "We prefer local mediation but do
not oppose to other proposals." [5] And in that second email, they
raised a number of questions that could possibly be used in mediation.

Most other conflicts that have occured either within or between IMCs
have been resolved at local or regional levels. The only similar
precedent on the imc-process list is the Brisbane disaffiliation in the
last half of 2004. In that scenario, the only block was from Brisbane -
the IMC under discussion [6].

A precedent was also set on IMC-Proces with discussion over Philipino
IMCs, as pointed out by Takver on behalf of Melbourne IMC [7]. At that
time, the name change was accepted by the incoming imc.

First, to clarify: this proposal is *not* to disaffiliate an independent
media centre from the network, but merely to change the name. 8
different IMCs have supported this view, a number of others supported
the complete disafilliation of the collective. For comparison, the
initial disaffiliation proposal was opposed by almost as many imcs as
supported it; the only opposition to the name change comes from the
current belgium.indymeda.org collective.

Thus, the conclusion consistent with the Brisbane discussion is that the
IMC Germany proposal should be passed. This conclusion is also
consistent with the end result of the Philipino IMCs.

[1] http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Global/GlobalIssues2005Belgium r1.16
- consulted 8 June 2005 01:00 GMT

[2] http://lists.indymedia.org/pipermail/imc-communication/ - see the
archives of April, May and June of 2005.

[3] IMC Germany proposal:

[4] IMC Belgium block of Germany proposal -

[5] Belgium issue: What are the problems to be solved? (by IMC Belgium)-

[6] Brisbane IMC disaffiliation proposal - summary -

[7] Melbourne description of Philipino precedent -






<start quote>
The web site the "http://belgium.indymedia.org/" URL points to is going
to be a *static* page on which *all* IMCs in Belgium are linked
*equally* until the conflict is solved and a new rule on how this domain
is used has been found.
This does not mean, that the subdomain is given away for ever, but that
it remains temporarily "neutral"! <br>
Proposed Procedure: The static site should be administrated by an
non-belgium imc-collective. The discussions about the design of the site
can be done in June, so that the site would work in the beginning of July.

The current Indymedia.be collective will choose a new name (based on
locality, topic or similar). The new name has to clarify that this IMC
is on the same level as the other belgium IMCs and is not in competition
with them. The renamed IMC will (on request) be assigned a new subdomain
according to this name ("NAME.indymedia.org"). This IMC is linked on the
static site equally.

The indymedia.be collective will quit presenting themselves as
"Indymedia Belgium", because it is undoubtfully proven, that it does not
represent all belgium indymedia activists and collectives.
This will last until a new solution is possibly found.


BLOCK of the proposal of the indymedia.be collective
We think that it does not bring us any further towards a solution, if,
during a possible attempt of mediation, the belgium.indymedia.org domain
remains to be used as it is used now. The indymedia.be collective would
still be the collective representing "Indymedia" in Belgium and in fact
would be in a higher hierarchical position than the other collectives.
This aspect spans across the whole _profile_ of the indymedia.be
collective, doesn't matter on what URL.

In our opinion, the indymedia-be-collective, as they do in the moment,
do not represent Indymedia in the whole country of belgium.
<end quote>

This was excerpted from

This was a complex debate involving several proposals and
counter-proposals.  In order to ensure clarity and that we have fairly
summarised the debate, we suggest that any major omissions or
clarifications should be made within 48 hours of the first translation
being posted, otherwise the decision described above will take effect.

On behalf of the imc-process-facilitation team,


love and solidarity,



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