At the core of the issue is the great satan, money. The conflict stems from debts incurred by IMC UK during coverage of the G8 summit in Scotland this July. With three seperate Indymedia centres, broadband provision, satellite truck, photodesk, video suite and radio studio, the total cost ammounted to somewhere in the region of 5,000 pounds.
Good value some say but others have claimed that they weren't consulted and question why their local collective should have to pick up the tab. The ensuing flame-fest has raised serious questions about communication and accountability within the network. As the accusations fly the question is whether the network will come out stronger as a result of the painful soul searching or will it be permanently wounded and hasten the call for increased or total autonomy occasionally heard from some of the regions.
The global network is not immune to these battles and bares the scares for all to see. Brisbane Indymedia was killed out of the network in late last year over apparent failure to uphold the principles of unity of the Indymedia Network. http://docs.indymedia.org/view/Local/BrisbaneCrisisResolution
Disagreements are natural with such a large and diverse movement. Back in 2002 the global Indymedia network was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Ford Foundation in response to a proposal submitted by a few volunteers. What could have been a boon to the expanding network ended up spawning an international conflict. With no agreed process for reaching consensus on whether to accept the money or how to distribute it. The bitter arguments became too much for the network to bear and the grant was returned. A volunteer at the Urbana-Champagne IMC, said that the debate threatened to, "create fissures in the network that would take years to fix."
Without a doubt, the most infamous and embarrassing Indymedia squabble was the one that led to San Fransicio collective splitting up and forming two competing websites. The conflict provided much ammusment for the right wing trolls. http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=9565
Is the UK network now going through a similar incident, only time will tell. Thr arguments over the G8 debt represents just one of many disagreements driving a wedge into the fragile network. Other disagreements include the thorny question of how to deal with the unsustainable workload of keeping the newswire free from inappropriate content and what to do about the trolling of the comments section. With no network wide consensus some of the regional IMCs are talking about implementing their own solutions which some say are the start of a slippery slope towards a fractured network.