Defending the Global Commons


February 17, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

The first group of protestors at Occupy Wall Street publically delivered 23 complaints, outlining the ways in which corporations control our daily lives. Number four asserted, “They have poisoned the food supply through negligence and undermined the farming system through monopolization.”

HARVESTING JUSTICE: Transforming the Global Food Supply Chain - Food Sovereignty

February 8, 2013

By Tory Field and Beverly Bell

“Over a half-century ago, Mahatma Gandhi led a multitude of Indians to the sea to make salt in defiance of the British Empire’s monopoly on this resource critical to people’s diet. The action catalyzed the fragmented movement for Indian independence and was the beginning of the end for Britain’s rule over India. The act of ‘making salt’ has since been repeated many times in many forms by people’s movements seeking liberation, justice and sovereignty: César Chávez, Nelson Mandela, and the Zapatistas are just a few of the most prominent examples. Our food movement – one that spans the globe – seeks food sovereignty from the monopolies that dominate our food systems, with the complicity of our governments. We are powerful, creative, committed and diverse. It is our time to make salt.”

Urgent Petition to Protect the Amazon

February 6, 2013

Cross-posted from Vital Systems


Dear friends,

There's an indigenous community in Ecuador that lives in a part of the Amazon where there are jaguars and more animal life than the whole of North America! It's an incredibly pristine, remote area and the whole ecosystem has been preserved. But the government is threatening to go in and look for oil.

Zero Waste: Including Grassroots Recyclers in Buenos Aires, Argentina

January 12, 2013

By Cecilia Allen and Maeva Morin

The story of waste management in Buenos Aires illustrates how cartoneros, or grassroots recyclers, have won legal and financial support from the city government. As recently as 2001, waste picking was illegal. Since then, cartonero cooperatives have organized themselves, educated residents on the environmental benefits of recycling, and lobbied the city government for a cleaner approach to waste management with allied environmental and social organizations. The result: an about-face in the city’s approach to waste, including separating at source and giving waste pickers exclusive access to the city’s recyclables.


January 7, 2013

By Beverly Bell
January 7, 2013

In the high desert outside Taos, New Mexico, I drove down a dirt road that parallels the Rio Grande and saw the thick haze of a forest fire. To see the spectacle, I quickly reversed my planned course and drove as close as I was able. Across a long line of mountains, red flames flicked up like snake’s tongues amongst dense black ropes of smoke. Where the blaze had worn down, thinner smoke wisps arose above charred, black land.

Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Systems in the Americas

December 3, 2012


We know you care about what you eat, how it was produced, and who was harmed or who benefited in the process. Everywhere, people like you are reclaiming the food system from multinational agribusiness and putting it back in the hands of small farmers, low-income families, farmworkers, guardians of Native culture, and health-conscious communities. Read about these efforts in Other Worlds’ new 140-page book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agricultural Alternatives in the Americas. The result of five years of research and interviews from throughout the hemisphere, the book describes strategies to win food justice and food sovereignty. An appendix and popular education curriculum offer hundreds of concrete ways to learn more and get involved.



November 29, 2012

Cross-posted from The Indypendent.

Issue #181

In the overlapping wakes of Hurricane Sandy and the reelection of a President who boasts of adding “enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the earth,” a divestment campaign led by is under way across the country. The target: fossil fuel companies.

The day after the election,, led by long-time environmental writer Bill McKibben, kicked off a 22-city Do the Math divestment campaign. After having some provisional success in winning the denial of a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year, McKibben and are pivoting from lobbying elected officials to calling on schools, churches and government pension funds to sell off fossil fuel stocks. is modeling its effort on the South Africa divestment campaign of the 1980s that helped bring an end to apartheid.

Icelanders Vote to Include Commons in Their Constitution

November 29, 2012

Cross-posted from On the Commons.

By Jessica Conrad
November 2012

81 percent want resources not privately owned to be declared national property

In late October, Icelanders voted in an advisory referendum on whether their country should adopt a draft Constitution that would replace principles established in 1944. The ballot included six yes-or-no questions on a range of policy changes, but one question in particular caught our attention:

In the new Constitution, do you want natural resources that are not privately owned to be declared national property?


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