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UPDATE: Commons conference in Burnaby, Jan. 6-8

The Council of Canadians – along with the Pacific Centre for Alternative Journalists, the Simon Fraser University Institute for the Humanities, the SFU Public Interest Research Group, and the University of British Columbia Social Justice Centre – are organizing a conference called ‘Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons’ at the Bonsor Recreational Complex in Burnaby on January 6-8, 2012.

The outreach states — A crisis in capitalism is stalking the world. Ecological plunder, famines, displacement off the land and greed increasingly mark the battle lines between the rich and everyone else. Enforced homelessness, social service cuts, and environmental disasters are daily occurrences. But today we also see people in every corner of the world are rising up against these injustices, and we are inspired by this ‘indignant’ moment. But we want to understand what lies beyond our collective ‘no!’ to a future foreclosed by dispossession, debt and ecocide.

Communities around the globe have common cause, fighting for of safe food and housing, decent health, clean air and undeveloped spaces in nature. But these ‘commons’ have either been captured by the market or are at risk. The commons refers to relationships based on shared resources, collective management, networks of mutual aid, respect and dignity. Taking back the commons means reclaiming community control over the parts of our lives that have been colonized by governments, markets, and corporations.

Can we recognize, reclaim and create alternative social realities that the elite tell us cannot possibly exist? A gathering is being organized to help us answer those questions. This gathering will cover the themes of land, food, water, health, education, media, decolonization, migration and the history of the commons. The panel presentations include – Radical Squares: Reflections on the Global Indignant Movement; A Global Tradition: History of the Commons; Market Fundamentalism: Responding to the Economic Crisis; and Plunder of the Commons: the Ecological Crisis. Some of the roundtable discussions include: Beyond Public Ownership & Welfare; Autonomous Labour Organizing; Gender Liberation; Barriers to Collective Spaces; Our Safety & Their Policing; and Defending Land, Water & Future Generations.

CEOs are dreaming of owning everything on the planet — what are we dreaming of?

The gathering is free to attend but we do ask attendees to make contributions if they are able in order to offset the costs of organizing the event. Lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday. The venue is wheelchair accessible and on site child-minding will be provided.

For more details, go to http://commons2012.wordpress.com/.