A lot can be learned from the impressive legal work of Thomas Linzey, a fiercely creative attorney who has not only pioneered the rights of nature, but developed legal doctrines for “community rights” and more recently, “self-owned land.”
In order to close the circle, the commons must be that which helps to provide the minimum subsistence that guarantees a decent quality of life.
Only by considering our earth “as a whole” and creating a decision-making and governance system that allows meaningful participation by all its inhabitants can we create a future that will be successful and allow us all to thrive and flourish.
It is these commons-based transformations that allow overshooting systems to find new ways to work within the biocapacity of their own regions.
The Urban Commons Cookbook seeks to answer such questions as: “Which ingredients of a cooperative community project most help it succeed? What are urban commons and how do they fit into current activist and civil society debates? And what tools and methods do commoners need to strengthen their work?“
One of our slogans which we diggers promote is ‘reclaim and extend the commons!’ Yet we have been as surprised as anybody else that this extension and reclamation of the commons should take this form of mass community mutual aid.
Water is in the hands of large producers who have dried out our territory and compromised the lives of our communities. Ours is an extreme case: Chile has entirely privatised water, which means that theft is institutionalised. Chile has clearly prioritised extractive industries over the rights of communities to water.
Spaces like the Concrete Garden or Les Grands Voisins are amazing in that they enable us to see that another society based on social harmony and a different understanding of work is possible. But let’s make these spaces permanent, let’s not confine them to small bubbles that can burst. We should demand that any piece of land unused for long period be permanently given to the community.
By asserting that all of us collectively own the sky, we can begin to use the legal institutions surrounding property to protect our collective rights, charge for damages to the asset, and provide rewards for improving the asset.