Dear Friends:

Our political system is hopelessly broken: corporate elites control the state, white supremacy has been mainstreamed, and democratic institutions do not represent the people. This is not just a description of our situation; it is also a global problem. Many around the world, including anti-fascists, workers, anarchists, and others seeking radical change, are working on alternative models for democracy and finding incredible success. One that excites us is the Municipalism movement in Spain under the banner of Barcelona en Comú (Barcelona in Common). The movement is working to ensure that public institutions respond directly to the will of the people and not to the interests of a handful of corporate or political leaders working behind closed doors. Going beyond the simple act of voting, it is a “politics from below” that invites citizens into the direct democratic management of the city in order to ensure that public institutions are always accountable to the people.

Over the next year (or more) a number of us who find interest and value in organizing, reflecting, and, most importantly, acting on these ideas have decided to convene a series of talks and workshops on Municipalism and direct democracy. Our conversations begin next week at Beyond Repair. We welcome you to attend, add your thoughts, and become collaborators in this process.

We have invited artist / theorist Alan Moore to Minneapolis to discuss his research and work with the Municipalist and self-governance communities in Spain and Europe and the anarcho-art punk scene of late 1970s lower Manhattan. From his work as a founding member of Colab, whose project The Real Estate Show is one of the best-known artist squat actions in New York history, to his research on anarchist squats and collectivity in Europe, Alan’s broad and rich history with critically and creatively engaging space and its politics serves as a productive bridge for the many of us; artists, activists and thinkers whose work engages the social and political landscape of our day-to-day lives with each other.

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