A widening pattern of repression of social movements has taken shape around the world. Everywhere, space for dissent is shrinking rapidly. Governments and corporations alike are working to suppress and silence movements, organisations and individuals who organise against repression. This shrinking of public space threatens virtually all social movements. Around the world, the legality, physical safety, and public access of dissident movements and civil society more broadly are being threatened. This report examines the legal and political pressure exerted on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, a global campaign aimed at pressuring Israel to end human rights violations, launched in 2005 by a group of Palestinian activists.
Resistance to privatisation has turned into a powerful force for change. (Re)municipalisation refers to the reclaiming of public ownership of services as well as the creation of new public services. In recent years, our research has identified more than 1,400 successful (re)municipalisation cases involving more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries around the world.
The real-world examples in this book demonstrate that a political economy that curbs the power of big finance and serves people and planet is possible. The ideas shared here are timely and urgent—a call to readiness before the next financial bubble bursts.
During September 2011, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, public anger with the Great Financial Crisis boiled over right where it all started: Wall Street. The austerity measures taken in response to the crisis and the failure to hold bankers to account led a large group of activists to ‘occupy Wall Street’.
Support for public services and limits on private profit is at an all-time high in the wake of the pandemic. How do we ensure this prioritisation of public needs and goods becomes permanent? What are the best models of democratic and participatory public services? Join a webinar with trade unionists and activists in Italy, Nigeria and India advancing bold new visions for a public future.
Movements are important because they move. Political parties, like other so-called ‘intermediate’ bodies (for example, trade unions and even more so the institutions that, taken as a whole, constitute the democratic political context) tend to become sclerotic if not completely immobile pachyderms, weighed down by their organizational obesity. Here, I have a few comments to make about ‘movementism’ – seeing movements as sacred cows, the only valid political agents – which often becomes an excuse for laziness. Because if the aim is truly to change the world, it is not enough to comprehend emerging needs, call for these to be met, go out on street protests against those who want to thwart people’s aspirations. This is not to deny their validity, but to call for a more realistic and less triumphalist analysis, in order to identify their shortcomings.
The biological, chemical, social and political reality in which all humans beings live is changing our planet and our culture exponentially. This is the Anthropocene – a new geological age characterized by the critical impacts of human activities on the Earth’s systems. As the physical world around us is transformed, so too movements for social change must evolve if they are to have the structural integrity to survive the coming waves, winds and wars.
The radical citizens' movement and party, Barcelona en Comú, has a goal of democratizing the relationship between civil society and city institutions by transforming the traditional structures of political parties and creating new formsof democratic political participation. Through the study of one of the city's many neighbourhood assemblies, Zelinka examines whether it is possible for a political organization to be movement and institution at the same time and what kind of challenges, conflicts and opportunities emerge through this undertaking.
From Austria to Chile, Lagos to London, people are demanding policies that democratize economies and keep public resources in public hands. In just the last decade, more than 2,400 cities in 58 countries have brought privatized resources back under public control. Laura Flanders reports from Amsterdam at The Future is Public, a conference co-hosted by TNI that brings together hundreds of organizers, scholars, and government officials who are working to democratize their municipal and national economies.
Covid-19 has once again demonstrated the significance of safe, accessible and affordable water for all. It has also highlighted enormous disparities in service provision while at the same time dealing a blow to public water and sanitation operators around the world due to massive drops in revenues, rapidly rising costs and concerns about health and safety in the workplace. This book provides the first global overview of the response of public water operators to this crisis, shining a light on the complex challenges they face and how they have responded in different contexts. It looks specifically at ‘public’ water and asks how public ownership and public management have enabled (or not) equitable and democratic emergency services, and how these Covid-19 experiences could contribute to expanded and sustainable forms of public water services in the future.
In much of Latin America, the state does not protect its citizens. This is particularly true for the popular sectors, indigenous peoples, people of colour and mestizos, who are exposed to the onslaught of drugs trafficking, criminal gangs, the private security guards of multinational corporations (MNCs) and, paradoxically, from state security forces, such as the police and the army.
An outcry from city governments has helped shelve the European Commission’s power grab over services. The Commission has failed to install a Services Notification Procedure, which would have given it advance veto power over new laws by regional and local governments, and could have further limited local democratic initiatives in areas as varied as affordable housing, energy supply and waste management. The Commission should learn its lesson and support municipalities to enact social and environmental measures, respect their democratic right to regulate, and roll back obstacles that prioritise corporate interests over local residents.
A week after the US elections, TNI and the Institute for Policy Studies will host a conversation with US and global scholars and activists to analyse the election outcome and look at the global consequences of these unprecedented elections.
Towns and cities stand at the heart of the new public future. Between 2000 and 2019, there were over 1400 new cases of “municipalisation” or “remunicipalisation”, the creation of new public enterprises run by local governments or the return of privatised enterprises to municipal hands. This trend occurred across 2400 locales in 58 countries.
It may not be a new idea, but the speed with which the Green New Deal has gained traction in the US is remarkable. Potential presidential candidates are already embracing the call and it’s firmly on the agenda for the new Congress, with 40 Democratic members demanding a firm plan be drawn up.
Can a president institute radical popular change alongside structural inequality and a militarized elite? The Brazilian case suggests that a progressive political party requires more social movement mobilization, not less.