Conference on the Commons - Vancouver Jan. 6-8, 2012

Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons: A Community Gathering

A crisis in capitalism is stalking the world. Greed, ecological plunder, famine and displacement off the land increasingly mark the battle lines between the rich and everyone else. Enforced homelessness, social service cuts, and environmental disasters have become regular occurrences. But today we also see people in every corner of the world rising up against these injustices. 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.

Fighting for safe food and housing, decent health, clean air and undeveloped spaces in nature have long given common cause to communities around the world. The “commons” refers to relationships based on shared resources, collective management, networks of mutual aid, respect and dignity. But these commons have either been captured by the market or are increasingly at risk of it. 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 this question. The gathering will cover the themes of systemic crisis, economics, land, food, water, health, education, media, ecology, decolonization, migration and the history of the commons.

Join Us!

OPENING PANEL: January 6th at SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC - Coast Salish Territories

CONFERENCE: January 7-8th at 2012 at Bonsor Community Centre, 6550 Bonsor Ave., Burnaby, BC - Coast Salish Territories. Map:

Panel presenters: Nefertiti Altán, Silvia Federici, George Caffentzis, Ian Caplette, Dave Bleakney, Glen Coulthard, Arthur Manuel, Claudia Medina, Farah M Shroff, Harsha Walia and Cease Wyss.

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