What constitutes "incitement" and what should be hidden as "incitement" and what how is an "incitement" guideline going to be worded?

Hidden documents

Please add the latest at the top of the list:

  1. I missed that one ... and that too“Burn the fuckers in their cozy HP, their rich enclaves, their police state enclosures… Now where is my blasted shotgun” — hidden by Chris
  2. Well put — hidden by mark, ?incitement to letter bomb — “Think home visits, paintsripping executive cars, arson, threats and letter bombs.”
  3. Today was the start of the Great Miners’ Strike of 1984/85.hidden by Mark — Incitement to murder: “No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with.”
  4. wowhidden by Chris“when are we going to attack them properly… this kids stuff makes us look like baby wankers… we need to go to the next level not baby stuff”
  5. Puppies rescued, home visits for top Barclays executiveshidden by Chris“we paid a visit to your daughter… SHE IS NOT SAFE

Incitement guideline

I wonder whether we could root this in our ethos so that we’re not just avoiding legal threats but also pro-actively developing a concensus amongst ourselves about what we think is acceptable for the site? So for example we could have —

Minimum Standards

Here we say what we think must be done to keep us out of court, or successfully defend ourselves against charges of incitement.

Our Desires

Here we say what consensus we have reached about the desirability and/or acceptability of posts that incite others to action. Hopefully this would have an emphasis on affirming the importance of direct action and a positive statement about our role in inspiring people to take control of their own lives using direct action techniques, hedged by something about “proportionate responses” or “thoughtfulness”. We could say how seriously we take these responsibilities.


  1. Terrorism Act 2006, regarding “encouraging terrorism” and “dissemination of terrorist publications”

Possibly a small point, but 3. is a threat not incitement. Incitement suggests trying to get someone else to do something (presumably something illegal), in this case the implication is that the author will be the one carrying out any illegal act.


Hmm, dunno, the original article contained the womans home address:


Ah, hadn’t realised that. Possibly both.

I think there’s a case to be made for both threats and incitement to be hidden. Perhaps there should be (very similar) guidelines for each?


Been looking for guidelines on other Indy sites. None from the (admittedly small) sample I’ve looked at seem to have guidelines on threats/incitement. Does anybody know of any that do?


Bristol mention it on their legal page – – Look in the section titled “Legal Editing of Articles”.

On the “our desires” bit I would strongly support removing personal threats. Even without any legal problems I would be uncomfortable being involved in a project that was happy to leave up threats of violence against individuals.


I too would like it to be made clear that threats of violence are unacceptable, regardless of the law. The definition of violence I use is the World Health Organisation one, “Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation.”


What if a threat is more of a rhetorical device rather than being direct/personalised?

For instance, I’m not so sure that the quote associated with the Miner’s Strike can be really considered as incitement to murder – “No man (or woman) has a right to scab so long as there is a pool of water to drown his carcass in, or a rope long enough to hang his body with.”

I see it more as an example of our culture of resistance towards scabs. Fwiw I really don’t have an issue with this statement.

I think it’s useful discussing ‘incitement’ but I’m not so sure it fits in with what we’ve experienced as an imc. I think the context we find ourselves in is different from what happened on imc bristol’s newswire and the outcome that followed.


Phunkee: if you would like to speak to one of the widows of the men who have been murdered for (allegedly) being scabs, as I have, and check that it’s OK with them for us to use this “rhetorical device”, go right ahead. Let us know how you get on.


I dislike the implication that Indymedia should accept a pacifist critique of violence. Quite apart from anything else, I don’t think it reflects the perspective of most of our readership and I suspect it isn’t reflective of most within the collective. I for one believe that political violence is justified and at times a necessity. I have no problem with Iraqis attacking US/UK forces, anti-fascists beating up BNP activists, strikers attempting to physically prevent scabs crossing a picket line or activsts fighting with the police, for instance. My guess is that most of the people who use Indymedia share these positions. It would seem perverse, that being the case, if we felt we should hide articles articulating these sorts of views.


I don’t see anyone implying that we should “accept” (adopt) any particular critique, and I don’t think it would be sensible to argue for a hegemonic editorial line in a democratic group like this. We’re talking about whether incitement and/or threats are acceptable and/or desirable in a news medium. The reason I introduced a definition of violence here is to start to explore where the line is to be drawn between incitement to actions that we can all feel comfortable with and incitement to actions that only some of us feel comfortable with in order to form a consensus.


Well Mark, any of us could equally point to the well-documented case of a militant miner murdered by scabs during the miner’s strike. Or for that matter, the indiscriminate use of force and violence by the state. I don’t think there’s a fence to sit on here really, particularly for a radical media project like indymedia.

I also object to the prospect of using a definition of violence from the likes of the World Health Organisation, for the same political reasons potemkinvillager has outlined.


To me, saying that the other side uses violence has no bearing on what our view on violence should be. Our view on violence should come from our values about what is reasonable and right.

So how about hearing some alternative statements that might be proposed for indy uk?

  • I believe the PGA hallmarks talk about “maximising respect for life” – is that something folks might sign up for?
  • another view would be “being prepared for self defence is wise in some situations, but there shouldn’t be calls to attack people” – this might mean that fighting back against cops would be ok, supporting the iraqi resistance would be ok, holding a picket line would be ok, but chasing after and attacking bnp people would not
  • “it’s fine to call for ‘wrong-doers’ to be attacked, but not to attack their relatives”

and whatever statement is chosen, we will still have room for argument, for interpreting the context of statements and campaigns etc.

So what statements would people be happy with?


Heres one that hasn’t been hidden – and whose sentiments I absolutely agree with:

“I’d also like to commend the decommissions and encourage others to smash up weapons factories and uphold the laws that the british injustice system won’t”. (215925)

I wouldn’t feel comfortable hiding it, and yet it is direct incitement to attack property – whereas 2 does not actually suggest that anyone kills scabs.

Theres more likelihood of an indymedia reader taking action against an arms factory after reading 215925 than killing a scab after reading Mozaz’s diatribe imo.


Mark: could you please back up your claim about the murdered scab please?


I’m not wasting any more time on this; you folks do what you want.