[IMC-Seattle] Re: Clarification of 'Stop web publishing...' proposal

Laury Kenton webshiva at mac.com
Wed Nov 17 12:55:44 PST 2004

Hi Brandon --

Sorry to be hounding you on this issue, but your response still isn't making sense to me.  If you aren't a "big fan of the proposal", why are you proposing it?  It seems to me that if "10 activists" have been talking about the topic, they should step out of the shadows, make the proposal and represent the position at the meeting.  Standing up would be a commitment to the will of the organization.  If the vote goes against them, I would expect those activists to accept that there is a collective, roll up their sleeves and start work. 

IMHO, we have a collective.  Unfortunately, we currently have a collective that puts power in the hands of the talkers rather than the do-ers.  As a result, other than talking, we rarely get anything accomplished.   IMHO, the answer to this problem is the passage of the Organization Structure document.  It clarifies a series of outstanding issues:  1)it removes the previous hierarchical organizational structure that only gave lip service to working group autonomy, 2) it redefines membership as coming out of the Seattle Principles of Unity and working group participation, 3) it requires members to treat each other with dignity (and explicitly says that members who intimidate or harass other members will be expelled), and 4)it outlines an organizational decision-making process that will help us end years of gridlock.

This is a structure that will encourage new people -- and old volunteers -- to begin participating. As I wrote previously, we have a small (but growing) web community. Unlike a lot of other Seattle progressive sites, we have been able to gain a diverse base.  Members of the indigenous community as well as other people of color utilize the open posting process. Shutting down the website is essentially silencing everyone who is participating. 

I can't address your concerns about whether there is trust among all the members.  This isn't an issue for me.  I understand that it is an issue for older volunteers.  However, part of the "work" to be done during the hiatus was to do the mediation necessary to move forward.  The link you included is pretty clear:

[E]veryone agrees to enter into
conflict resolution of some sort with other IMC folks who request it. If
such a request is definitely refused, that person’s refusal can be
interpreted as a lack of desire to participate in future Seattle IMC
organizing. Everyone agrees not to complain about others to third parties.
Whenever one hears such complaints from others, s/he will remind the
person of these obligations.

Old members who feel that there are unresolved issues from the past should work to resolve the problem. Shutting down the organization until you feel better shouldn't be a valid alternative to mediation.  

Sorry if that sounds blunt.  I just wish people spent as much energy in trying to build the Seattle IMC as they do trying to kill it.  

-- Laury


On Wednesday, November 17, 2004, at 00:46AM, brandon <brandon at faloona.net> wrote:

>Laury Kenton wrote:
>> Would you clarify your proposal to "Stop web publishing until there is 
>> a collective"?
>I'm not a big fan of this proposal, but after roughly 10 activists (imc 
>and allies, mostly techs) suggested as much to me, I started to 
>appreciate the momentum behind it. It merely asks the tough question: If 
>we don't have a collective, we should we pretend that we do?
>The hiatus of Feb 2004 was an attempt to completely stop so that we 
>could continue more intentionally, and with less interpersonal conflict. 
>One of the consensus decisions made at that meeting was to apply as a 
>new imc when the hiatus was over.
>| "At the end of this 3 months, organizational
>| work can begin to re-imagine/re-launch the
>| Seattle IMC. An element of that process will be
>| the Seattle IMC going through the IMC network's
>| new IMC process."
>This new proposal has some similarities but is quite different. It is 
>intended to force us to do some housecleaning. It would prioritize the 
>collective over the website. It would not prevent anyone from working to 
>improve the Seattle IMC in the meantime.
>There are two questions:
>- Do we stop web publishing while we are without structure, trust and 
>critical mass? (proposal one)
>- Do we clarify our organizational structure and apply as a new IMC? 
>(proposal two)
>Proposal one can be adopted along with proposal two, or either could be 
>adopted. I'm personally hoping that a committed group of volunteers 
>comes together that trusts each other, wants to clarify how we function, 
>and is ready to rebuild the trust we have squandered with the global 
>network. If that group exists, great! Let's get to work. If that group 
>does not exist, I feel like the website should be archived (yet left 
>online) until a functional collective demands it back.
>Imagine the beauty of adopting this proposal, clarifying our membership 
>policy and consensus process, asking for (and incorporating) direction 
>from the community, and then re-launching the website once we have 
>completed our MIR implementation!
>> On Tuesday, November 16, 2004, at 06:55PM, brandon 
>> <brandon at faloona.net> wrote:
>>> ++++++++++++++++++++++
>>> +++ Proposal one +++
>>> ++++++++++++++++++++++
>>> Stop web publishing until there is a collective
>>> The Seattle IMC, as of November 2004, even considering the hard work of
>>> specific individuals, is not a functional organization.
>>> Open-publishing and editorial feature publishing on the website will be
>>> halted immediately and resumed when, and only if, a functional
>>> collective emerges that meets the standards of the IMC global new-imc
>>> working group.
>>> Membership Criteria:
>>> http://archives.lists.indymedia.org/new-imc/2001-May/000155.html
>>> http://newimc.indymedia.org/
>>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>>> +++ End Proposal one +++
>>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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