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, and shows how many activists are re-taking commons, re-establishing communities controlling heir 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. People are working democratically, money is being re-imagined, new schools starting, co-operatives launching. Many – 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.
We made this film because people needed to know that action was already underway, and much more was possible, to reclaim sovereignty over their Commons: the shared spaces and places, the wealth of the land, oceans and atmosphere, the internet and the ideas that are the heritage of life itself. People needed to know that it is both possible and successful to have a new kind of ‘Commons’ democracy, a self-governance based on consensus, justice, sharing, sustainability and goodwill.
We found there are already laws protecting the rights of Commoners. Many of these laws are the underpinning of our legal system itself…But something deeper is happening
Everyone is restless – especially young people. Something inside us is calling for a better future – and people are unwilling to settle for the bleak future many fear. They understand deeply that the shared resources of the world are a human right, owned by all, not just a few – and that these resources are in peril.
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’
In many forms, people can see that vision of an amazing future for humanity – surrounded by the life of the planet.
Nine years in the making, we listened as 49 communities in the #Americas
and south #Asia
told us what has made their Commons work over the centuries.