[Payment-discuss] Payment-discuss Digest, Vol 2, Issue 24
sheri at speakeasy.net
Thu Feb 15 21:26:14 PST 2007
i believe bmedia is correct in saying that the discussion around
501c3 or nonprofit status is also connected to this money
discussion. i don't think that it would do us good if all we ever
discussed was whether to pay people or not within indymedia. we will
have this many imcs thinking this way and this many thinking that way
and we will not have resolved this conflict. we will have a better
picture of who thinks what, but we also are pretty narrowly defining
however, i think we are treading far from the clear ground of
understanding when we start to say that the ucimc is a corporation.
please. there is a big difference between using the legal structures
that we currently operate in to receive certain benefits that have
been partially described already on this list, and those of for
profit corporations which serve their shareholders at the expense of
their workers, the planet and the future.
i have worked within nonprofit structures that had a legal structure
that required them to have a board and a president and a chair, etc.,
but all the while, the real decision-making was happening in working
groups and via some form of consensus-based decision-making. this is
admittedly not easy to do and maintain and the pacifica example is
our example of caution (where a board took over a community-based
media network)....but that is no reason to think that what we are not
doing in the course of all that is to create new forms within the old
structures. this is also like the phoenix rising.
ucimc has raised money on behalf of the global network for years now
and it is a direct result of their nonprofit status that they have
done this as easily as they have. IF people had a problem with this
at any point, they could refuse to receive these funds. but no,
people take the money because they can use it for good. and it this
fact that we must also acknowledge.
probably the last 30,000 USD that came through the global bank
account was given to indymedia because someone could make an
anonymous tax-deductible donation. (yes of course people could still
make a donation to some bank account to indymedia but this does make
it easier for people who have 10,000 or more to donate....)
there are dangers and valid concerns with being a 501c3 and with
paying people. but no more than there are concerns for other imcs
who may be operating in certain ways that others might find
distasteful as well - the way they treat newcomers or outsiders or
people who think differently than they do. there are local imcs
throughout this network who are operate as small fiefdoms. and
please don't act as if this surprises you. it's true. this has been
the case for a long time. it has to do with power and the
centralization of power even at the local level. people don't like
giving up or sharing control. i would say that there are more checks
and balances in a structure like ucimc than there are in other
completely autonomous collectives who act as though they do not have
to abide by any of the principles of unity or membership criteria
that they don't like. i've heard enough stories over the last 7
years to write a small novella about these things.
none of these stories ever really made it to the indymedia internal
headlines. maybe because as long as it wasn't moving into a
widespread mode that might effect other local imcs, it needn't be
raised up. and because we all hold such a strong value around local
these things upset me as much as it upsets some of you to hear that
some people are being paid to do "indymedia" work.
On Feb 15, 2007, at 6:01 PM, bmedia at riseup.net wrote:
> i have a couple of thoughts on this:
> Quoting Michelle Shumate <shumate at uiuc.edu>:
>> A club or any association who wants to have official status
>> under Illinois state law must be incorporated
> yes. probably. i guess i'm just questioning the wisdom of seeking
> "official status" at all. which brings me to this....
>> However, I would note that our designations under tax code and IL
>> state laws
>> seem to be tangential to the issues that this list was set up to
> perhaps. but i think this is an important facet of the conversation.
> i'm mindful that this sounds like an axe grinding against UC. the
> truth is, though, UC has taken some turns that lots of well-meaning
> NGOs have taken. in my opinion, these are illustrations of traps that
> the system lays out for us, in order to keep us from making too many
> waves. i do not want to see the rest of indy fall into those traps. i
> guess that's my interest in this conversation.
>> This forum was set up to talk about payment of individuals for
>> work and other issues of payment. [snip] Payment of individuals
>> does not
>> automatically lead to these statuses, as these statuses don't lead
>> to the
>> payment of individuals.
> i think the connection is that it seems to only be those IMCs who have
> followed the corporate model that seem to have any interest in paying
> people. it seems like a package deal. so while payment of individuals
> does not automatically lead to these statuses, the evidence suggests
> that these statuses encourage a desire to emulate corporate
> structure...leading to a desire for payment for this work.
> Payment-discuss mailing list
> Payment-discuss at lists.indymedia.org
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change
something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete…
We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” – R.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Payment-discuss