Proposed IMC Name (required):
Northern England IMC
Proposed Indymedia URL (required):
Current URL (if any):
Our internal documents are worked on through crabgrass (as the imc servers were confiscated at the time of our forming)
No one specific city
Northern England including but not exclusive to North and West Yorkshire, Humberside, Durham, Tyneside
Contact Name (required):
Nab and anyone on the imc-northern-contact list (currently marker and libjf)
Technical Contact Name:
Jimdog (and again anyone on the imc-northern-contact list.)
all of the groups at northern-indymedia.org/groups. We have also received much support from a diverse range of groups, including climate camp, the 1in12 club, the common place, zna amongst many others in the north of england.
Please write an introductory statement about why you want to participate in the Indymedia Network.
We are an autonomous collective that grew out of attempts to revive the former Leeds/Bradford IMC in the summer of 2008. At a meeting of the UK Indymedia network in October 2008, it was confirmed that none of the former members of the previous Leeds/Bradford IMC collective were still active, and so in effect we were forming a new IMC. We advertised our intention to set up a new collective both to those who still remained on the imc-leeds mailing list, and through a series of media activism skillshares in the region which enabled us to seek new and motivated members to resurrect the newswire which still remained unmaintained on the uk site.
Our desire for autonomy and effective, non-heirarchical collective organisation has been of fundamental importance to us in every stage of resurrecting Indymedia coverage in this region. There has also been much discussion as to how we can best provide an open news platform for the use of grassroots campaigns in this region.
The consensus reached through these discussions was to rename ourselves imc Northern England. This is intended to be a deliberately vague name as it reflects the fact that a large number of users of our current site are posting reports from outside areas that would have any natural identification with Leeds or Bradford, though we are their nearest imc.
By using the neighbourhoods feature of the new site we are creating, which is the same as that developed by imc London, we hope to empower small local campaigns from a wide geographical area as we can provide them each with a neighbourhood specific newswire whilst also allowing their news to reach a wider audience.
We have also pledged to use this as an opportunity to do a lot of outreach to these areas and hold at least alternate meetings outside Leeds in order to get more people involved in the Indymedia collective process, who may not previously have had the confidence or numbers locally to do so. We have met in Leeds, Bradford, Scarborough and we would very much like to hold a meeting in York.
By becoming imc Northern England we seek to compliment and not replace the existing city based imc’s in the region and fill in the current gaps of coverage between the areas that provide news for imc’s manchester, liverpool, scotland and the current leeds/bradford. We also pledge to encourage any area that develops a desire to set up their own imc in this area to do so, will fully support them with this and make every effort to have positive and productive engagement with them for the benefit of the global Indymedia movement. We have shared news, resources and technical help with imc-nottingham during the climate swoop and would happily do the same with other imc’s in the north (or beyond).
What kind of resources can you contribute, in terms of server/bandwidth/technical and organizing skills?
we are hosted by an autonomous tech collective and will do all we can through fundraising and engagement to support and develop their activities. Several members of the collective are active in organising local tech skillshares and this will provide a good way to develop the skills of other collective members who wish to get involved with the technical process. At least one member of the collective is involved with the development of the Hyperactive cms that we will be using. All of the members are active in other projects and many are part of social centre collectives which can provide spaces for meetings.
What kind of outreach have you done to bring together a diverse group of people?
Through a series of media skillshares and meeting with local activist groups we have a good level of diversity in the types of campaigns we are involved with. We also represent a good spread of age and gender diversity. We have also prepared the resources to and held various outreach sessions in the region, including a solar powered, mobile ‘be the media’ centre which has been used at locally happening events and campaigns in Leeds city centre, Hyde Park and on demonstrations and events in Bradford. We have a series of posters which explains who we are, why we are here and how to get involved.
How does the makeup of your collective reflect the diversity of the local community (e.g. in relation to gender-, sexual-, spiritual-, and/or cultural-identity)?
We have quite a good gender diversity amongst the active collective members. Our ongoing outreach work will enable us to identify if and how we should represent spiritual beliefs better, though it does currently reflect well those of the local activists we provide a media platform for. In terms of cultural identity, we have members who are part of a good variety of social networks. There is work to be done however to outreach to the various minority ethnic groups in the region and try to engage them within the collective process.
If your group currently does not represent the diversity of the local community, particularly in relation to groups who are underrepresented in mainstream society and denied access to vehicles of expression, what steps will be taken to address this on an ongoing basis?
various members of the collective are active in local social centres that provide free support and english lessons to a wide variety of ethnic groups. We seek to engage with these groups and try to get involvement with translating the site into the various languages that are used in this region. We believe that this will enable us to better explain who we are to these groups and seek their involvement in the collective process to the benefit of everybody in the region. We will also actively seek out and invite participation from all groups that are campaigning in a way compatible with our mission statement.
What steps will be taken to involve individuals in workfields new to them? What measures will be taken to overcome a gendered work division?
By continuing our tech and mobile media activism skillshares, and holding meetings in a wider variety of places, we can support people to develop their existing skills and support them to learn new ones. We will also seek to discover what specific skills new members have and encourage them to share those with the group and find ways to incorporate them effectively into the process of our imc. We commit ourselves to always guard against operating with a gendered work division and will make redressing any imbalances of this kind our highest priority should this happen in the future. Our technical collective members represent both genders at present but this is an area which often has a male imbalance. To guard against this happening in the future, we will discuss ways to encourage more equal participation in this part of the process, perhaps with the use of the tech skillshares we help to provide.