IMC-UK Network Meeting 17 April 2010 - MInutes

Edited minutes of the IMC-UK network meeting held in Bristol on 17 April 2010.

These minutes are boiled down to the decision points in my notes (and a little bit from memory). They are not complete as there were a few things towards the end that I didn’t catch. If anyone can fill those last points in, please feel free. —Yossarian
I am completing from my notes. Also feel free to complete. — Ana

See also: – several people have asked for the detailed notes on docs to be anonymised, as they do not feel what they said is being represented correctly, or where not present, but others talked about them. It seems like this would be q fairly urgent thing to do.

Next network gatherings

The next one to be in London within 3 months, in July before the kids’ holiday, and the following one in Leeds in 6 months time.

Northern Indymedia New-Imc Application

There has been quite a bit of argument around the question of the Northern Indymedia collective’s application to become a full member of the global Indymedia network. After an objection on the new-imc list, which has decision-making power to accept or reject applications to become part of the global network, it was agreed that new-imc would wait on the decision of the imc-uk network meeting, as imc-uk is closer to the conflict and can more easily sort things out.

After quite a bit of discussion, Tom (Bristol Indymedia) made a proposal that the UK network supports the application of Northern Indymedia to new-imc. Out of roughly 20 people present, 4 people who felt that they have been attacked by Northern Indymedia people abstained. The rest of the meeting agreed with the proposal.

The proposal passed. Tom said he would help organise a meeting to talk about mediation issues on the side.

The 4 people who felt attacked met with a representative from Northern who has taken their concerns back to a Northern Meeting. The main points were clarify if specific emails came from one member of Northern or from the collective as a whole and to look again at Northern’s initial publicity material. There is also a mediation process ongoing dealing with more personal issues.

Netiquette Guidelines

Mara proposed to postpone this as there was no agreement on what these guidelines should be and she proposed it as a yes or no question.

UK Server Seizure and Other Legal Matters

This was mostly a discussion of the server seizure in Manchester last year. Police have given back bits and pieces of the equipment seized but they still have the lot. Two people are going to use their personal/professional contacts to try and get some legal advice.

Proposal passed to set up a wiki with information on how to deal with police seizures.

Agreed to give a chance to the whole network i.e. all collectives to consider and discuss any action before it is taken.

People from all collectives to subscribe to the legal list. Collectives to discuss legal matters in close lists or face to face.

Syndicated UK Front-page

For several years now, it has been generally agreed that a syndicated front-page which can include RSS feeds from all imc-uk collectives would be desirable. This is the fourth meeting in a row which has expressed such a desire. The meeting came away with a commitment to a working group which could try and get such a system running, on whatever platform can do the job. Chris was of the opinion that Mir could work but only one person, who is not based in the UK, can add the necessary code. Mick and Ekes are working on a Drupal-based solution.

The basic idea was that as a first step, people working on the syndication site should just copy the existing imc-uk design to whatever extent they can, so that the page looks mostly like it does now but with features and newswire items from imc-bristol, imc-london, imc-northern, and imc-scotland inserted into it.

People interested in helping out should get in touch with the geeks on imc-uk-tech.

What is the UK Network?

This obviously entailed a lot of soul-searching and proposals. The following was stated as facts:

  • There are people working only on the UK site who are not part of collectives.
  • There are collectives that are not part of the UK site (otherwise known as the MIR site)
  • There are collectives that are not active/operative any more, although the word “operative” may need some clear definition.
  • Some collectives have gone through the new-imc process, others have not. IMC UK has not gone through this process because the process had not been created when IMC UK was born 10 years ago.

After quite a bit of discussion, the following was agreed:

  • questions about the basic political nature of the network are fairly fundamental to what we do and it would be a bad idea to try and figure it all out in the short time available.
  • the network is a network of collectives. There was opposition to the proposal to form a “uk collective”.
  • collectives or other groupings who wish to make proposals about how they think the network could change to function better should make concrete proposals and send them to the imc-uk-process list. Yossarian notes: the meeting made no mention of where the proposals should go, but tradiationally I think it would be the process list so let’s say they go there unless anybody has any objections to that.
  • it was agreed that the next network meeting will be in London in roughly 3 months time. Therefore, it was decided that proposals should be sent at roughly the half-way point, six weeks after Bristol and six weeks before London. This will give the various active collectives time to read the proposals and formulate a response before the next network meeting.
  • deadline for making proposals for the next network meeting to consider is 6 weeks before such meeting to allow all groups to discuss them.
  • to document how uk network works now – although there was opposition, or willingness to focus rather on how we want it to function
  • proposals need to come from collectives about how they would like indymedia uk to function.
  • the proposed syndication site will come from how we define that uk indymedia is.
  • no one expressed desire to eliminate the uk newswire or the features.
  • a working group will work on these bases.

other proposals from ana’s notes, these things were not agreed:

  • to remove from the site groups that are not active i.e. it is only the unmanaged newswire rolling
  • all local collectives to go through the new-imc process

proposals passed:

  • the following lists should have at least a liaison from all collectives: contact, legal, network, process, propose
  • deadline to add items to the agenda for next meeting is 6 weeks, unless those items are proposed only for discussion and not for decision. For decisions, all groups need to discuss and come informed, and if a group feels strongly about something, it needs to let people know beforehand.