What's happening with Indymedia UK?Tagged as: consensus grassroots indymedia media organising radical_media take_over tech technology
Published by group: Indymedia London
You find it where it always was, it looks the same and uses the name, but it no longer is Indymedia UK.
On 1st May 2011, Indymedia UK had it's name and URL taken over by a number of volunteers calling themselves the ‘Mayday collective’. Although the site looks and feels like Indymedia UK, it is no longer the same project. It is now under the sole control of a faction of Indymedia UK admins. The volunteers from Indymedia London, as well as Bristol, Northern England, Nottingham, and other Indymedia UK volunteers, no longer have any access to it whatsoever, including some people who have helped maintain the UK site for the past 11 years.
Imc Notthingham article
Quick intro: What is Indymedia?
Indymedia UK is two things: It is a website, this is probably the part that you are most familiar with. It is also an organisation; the Indymedia UK network, which organises on email list and at network meetings, and makes decisions in consensus. The Indymedia UK network includes local collectives as well as unaffiliated volunteers, who all contribute their time and effort to the project. The UK in Indymedia UK stands for United Kollectives.
What the fuck happened?
On 1st May, the Mayday collective took control of the Indymedia UK url, indymedia.org.uk, and set up an identical copy of the Indymedia UK website (i.e. all the articles, images, everything that you see when you
look at it or publish something) on a different server, against the wishes of the rest of the Indymedia UK network.
In spite of this, it looks exactly like the Indymedia UK site and uses the name of Indymedia UK. Members of the Mayday collective have said publicly that it is their project and they do not wish the rest of the Indymedia UK network to be involved with it.
The United Kollectives are no more. To use some potentially loaded language: Indymedia UK has been hijacked.
The Mayday group is not Indymedia UK. They include a number of Indymedia UK volunteers. The largest part of Indymedia UK has been excluded.
Neither Indymedia London, nor anyone else who is participating in the BeTheMedia project left Indymedia UK. We are all part of Indymedia UK.
Contrary to how the Mayday collective presents their version of the story, we did not 'plot to shut down Indymedia UK'. Together with the Mayday collective, we agreed to archive the site and 'fork', split into two separate projects. We were not happy about this agreement. It was not what we wanted. It was a compromise. With the help of Seeds for Change, the only compomise the network could reach, after long lasting conflicts about how to run Indymedia UK.
The Mayday group claims to defend Indymedia UK. In fact the Indymedia UK website was up and running when they stole the url. In spite of the deadline of 1 May, Be The Media announced that we would wait another week before archiving the site, to try and figure out a way forward.
There was never any kind of agreement or consensus for Mayday to take over and run Indymedia UK. The compromise clearly stated that neither side would be allowed to use the url or name of Indymedia UK.
At Indymedia London we will continue to work locally, and with other Indymedia collectives in the UK and globally. We hope we will be able to focus all our energies back on the actual media production soon, to bring you news from the streets of occupied london...
We'll see you in the streets!
Please note: due to flamewars happening already in comments on the Mayday run UK site, we have turned off additions on this article. If you have any questions or wish to get in touch, you can do so on our firstname.lastname@example.org">public mailing list or the private contact list.