Commons: Reclaiming What Is Ours
The Commons is a documentary film about communities re-asserting sustainable futures using consensus, equity and shared resources – ancient Commons principles. The film shares the increasing privatization and destruction of commons, primarily in the United States. It also shows how many activists are re-taking commons, re-establishing communities controlling their own commons: maker spaces, land trusts, cooperatives, local food production and distribution, shared housing, free education, community centers – all as Commoners stewarding what they share.
During the making of the film, we found a re-awakening in progress. Tired of waiting for government, many Commoners are taking action to push back the tide of un-just privatization or the destruction of shared resources. Similarly, people are working democratically, money is being re-imagined, new schools starting, co-operatives launching – most – with the new idea of ‘Open Source’ deeply embedded in their planning. People are asking for sustainability, not destruction, sharing not privatization, and justice – not brutality.
Nine years in the making, we listened as 49 communities in the Americas, Europe, Africa and south Asia told us what has made their Commons work over the centuries.
We found that commons-based inspiration flows through people, especially young people, telling them not to settle for less than what they know is possible: to make that incredible future they see just ahead of humanity: vitality, goodwill, sharing – what Dr. Andreas Weber describes as ‘Enlivenment’ . We found there are already laws protecting the rights of Commoners. Many of these laws are the underpinning of our legal system itself.
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