Building the Common(s): Social movements, Tools, and Initiatives (Commons charters, Community kitchens and Citizens´ Rescue Plan)

Thursday, February 14.
16 Beaver street #6

6:00 doors

6:30 – 8:00 Part 1: Intro to the context of today’s commons inquiry w/ discussion on The Great lakes Commons Initiative (Bradley) & Madrid City Commons Charter (Lopez).

8:00 – 9:30 Part 2: Dinner – Revolutionary Love & continuing the inquiry: Reclaiming a common(s) in the city/community kitchen/building meshworks of mutual aid in the city/Citizen’s Rescue Plan.

Making Worlds invites you to a discussion with individuals currently participating in the development of commons charters: Isidro Lopez (Observatorio Metropolitano-Madrid-Spain) and Alexa Bradley (Great Lakes Commons Initiative). We will learn about these two projects, as well as explore the potentialities of Commons Charters, and the concept of the commons in general, as useful tools for social movements.Essentially commons charters are documents created by communities seeking to take back control of their livelihoods. The most famous is The Magna Carta’s often overlooked Charter of the Forest written in 1066 by the commoners of England demanding their right to use the land for their common needs: grazing, wood for cooking, peat for fuel, and fishing rights to name a few. In recent years, different initiatives throughout the world have recovered this kind of documents, as is the case of the Carta de los Comunes (Madrid, Spain), and the Great Lakes Initiative (US-Canada).The conversation will include also a presentation of a Community Kitchen projectIsidro Lopez will discuss his involvement with Observatorio Metropolitano and the “Carta de los Comunes”, a Commons Charter for the city of Madrid (Spain) elaborated collectively in 2011.Alexa Bradley will discuss her current work with the Great Lakes Commons Initiative, a broad organizing effort to catalyze a cross border citizen movement to put human need, ecological survival and democratized decision making at the center of the Great Lakes governance.

Related Articles:
Carta de los Comunes (in Spanish; Madrid)
(free download – a donation is recommended – at the bottom of the page)

The Great Lakes Are Declared a Commons (
A diverse group of activists from both sides of the border declares the lakes a common endowment

Further Reading:
On the Commons: A Public Interview with Massimo De Angelis and Stavros Stavrides. by Anarchitecture (two perspectives interweaving theories on the commons, with practical examples, propositions, and analysis.)

Crises, Movements and the Commons. by Massimo De Angelis.

A Tale of Two Conferences: Globalization, the crisis of neoliberalism and question of the commons.  by George Caffentzis

Two Charters, Chapter 2 from “The Magna Carta Manifesto” by Peter Linebaugh

Defending, Reclaiming and Reinventing the Commons by Maria Mies & Veronika Benholdt-Thomsen

The Spanish Model by Isidro López & Emmanuel Rodríguez

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Former Conversations:

Beyond Good and Evil Commons
A seminar with Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis, & David Graeber

Making Worlds Commons Coalition is a collaborative effort by OWS and other groups and individuals to explore the utility of the commons in creating a better world.