The idea: Connect communities not through discourse but through joint action that responds to the global political agenda. Our actions and/or campaigns will make visible that all commons communities share the idea of protecting spaces for non-exlusivity. („Protect Commons. Stop enclosure! Produce Commons, not commodities.“)
A starting point might be the „free trade“ treaties around the world (TPP & Co). Commons communities all over the world have decades of experience in these struggles. Free Trade Agreements are the instrument for converting all enclosures of the commons into multilateral law based on market-fundamentalist assumptions.
Other burning issues can be identified together with leading commoners. Whatever issue or action is choosen, it shall allow the different communities to easily connect with each other on their own terms.
Novel alliances to challenge TPP & promote the Commons
June 11, 2013
- Are you concerned with market-fundamentalism?
- Do you think, challenging market-fundamentalism (as in Free Trade Agreements) is essential for our futures?
- Do you think, that we need new alliances and a strategic upgrade in the way we challenge market-fundamentalist?
If your response is: YES –> JOIN THIS GROUP!
The idea to open this group came about as a way to jointly confront the new wave of free trade agreements. The Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty and its kin are a strategic and powerful enclosure movement that helps a few appropriating what belongs to many. Negotiations are usually kept secret, probably because the so called Free Trade Agreements promote anything but our freedom? This is the most fundamental reasons why so very diverse groups oppose them. They have been mis-rebaptized as “partnerships”. In fact, they are enclosure agreements.
We need to work together to develop a novel type of alliance among organizations specialized in trade-related issues, environmental and development organisations, Occupiers and digital commoners, social organizations and trade unions, indigenous people and geeks etc, to demand recognition for the thousands of alternatives that can be said to belong to the Commons Sector.
Using the awesome capabilities of new communication technologies to connect & collaborate, we can massively spread a strong message:
- There is no need for more global competition, relentless resource extraction, greater market concentration, and more restrictive corporate (intellectual) property rights.
- We can do better. We can put forward, promote and protect the Commons, a paradigm that consists of a huge variety of practical alternatives to free-trade principles.
If we look at the spirit of those agreements for the last 20 years, as embodied in the World Trade Organization, it remained the same. Beginning with NAFTA in 1994, all multilateral trade agreements have undermined and destroyed our commons in countless areas — seeds and farmland, human rights and democracy, nature conservation and culture, health (medicines) and public services. Let us build an international, light-weight, efficient communication network to convey a simple but powerful message from below. I invite you to
- start formulating the essentials of our message on this platform
- to translate it into a few languages (via Global Voices?)
- to build an online tool to connect the hundreds and thousands of movements and organizations that challenge FTAs in their specific regions and realms.
The solidarity of diverse participants around a unifying concern, the commons, can help amplify our political impact and set forth a positive, attractive alternative vision.
Some guiding questions for the text to start with:
- How do FTAs affect us in the different areas?
- What are the core issues to be addressed?
- Which are the most important campaigns to choose, and who are the most important campaigners on the different continents?
- What will be the sentence that fits on a T-shirt to promote the Commons as a world in which fairness and freedom thrive?