Archive for the 'enclosures' Category

The World Turned Upside Down

Friday, October 27th, 2006

zapataguitar.jpgThanks to Leon Rosselson for providing material to compile this post!

Perhaps the best song written about enclosures and struggles for commons. It talks about the struggles of the ”Diggers” who reclaimed the king’s land as a commons for all. It was composed by Leon Rosselson in 1975, taken into the charts in 1985 by Billy Bragg and also performed by Dick Gaughan, Chumbawamba and Attila the Stockbroker among others (according to Wikipedia, although I think that Chumbawamba’s version is a late XIX century song with the same title). To put this song in the context of other “Digger” songs check here.

The song, “The World Turned Upside Down,” by English folksinger Leon Rosselson, weaves many of Gerrard Winstanley’s own words into the lyrics. Gerrard Winstanley (1609 - September 10, 1676) was an English Protestant religious reformer and political activist during the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. He was aligned with the group known as the True Levellers for their beliefs, based upon Christian communism, and as the Diggers for their actions because they took over public lands and dug them over to plant crops.

Click play to hear:

1) Leon Rosselson presentation of the song at a radio show on www.radiobritfolk.co.uk.

2) The song itself, sang by the author

For the lirics and some quotes from Gerrard Winstanley writings click (more…)

Water commons and water enclosures - rough notes 1

Friday, October 20th, 2006

Here are some late and rough notes of my trip to Durban and Johannesburg in March this year and on my visit to some communities in struggles around issues of water and electricity. I was there primarily to attend the five days colloquium on Economy, Society and Nature organised by the Center for Civil Society and others in Durban, South Africa (see also previous post: Toxic tour: Durban, South Africa). After the first two days of more theoretical talks on primitive acccumulation, environment and financial crises, South Africa neoliberal policies, and so on, we hear stuff from the ground . . .the mike goes around among the participants coming from many communities in struggle around Durban and other areas in Southern Africahall.jpg . . .water is here a major issue, the anger is spoken up and the private companies insults exposed, the details revealed, the water restriction coins shown. . .the effects of enclosures on the doing of the people revealed: . . .when we talk about water restriction, meters, and the capital measure imposed on the body, not only do we mean imposing water-poverty on communities. . . we also mean a change in rhythms, sociability, a re-disign and re-engineering of what is to be in relation to the other

. . .if the water comes down drop by drop because of the restrictions, women cannot easily do “multitasking”: hold that child, while preparing soup, while washing that other child hence . . .more work . . . (more…)

Livelihoods in times of war

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

video_button_white_dred.gifHere is a video collage of news clip appeared on he internet in the past month. You’ll find palestinian and lebanese fishermen stranded on the shore, lebanese people starting reconstruction without government intervention, lebanese managers blaming Israelis for bombing their forniture and milk factories as a competitive move, and empty palestinan household refrigerators. Enclosures pass through war . . .

Toxic tour: Durban, South Africa

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

D. is a big man, proud of his leadership qualities, and proud of being able to kick the asses of shell and bp corporate directors . . .he takes us to Durban south, where he leaves, and breathe the shit coming out of the refineries, down there in front of the block of flat where we leave him after the toxic tour . . .refineries pouring shit that kids breathe, aunties breathe, mothers breathe, fathers breath . . .they build houses, I mean their houses, right on top of the ridge with a view to the refineries . . . .chemicals fly up, right in their lungs . . .and the pipelines they got to replace not long ago was a great victory,rottenpipe.jpg the damn rusted pipeline that crossed the ridge in between the the refineries valley and the harbor, . . .leeking its shit in the hearth, so much shit, that it appeared one day through the house floors, and even in the swimming pools of those who had one . .. black waters, swim in the shit . . .reparation?, yes, reparation! . . . houses sandwiched in between oil depots, the common condition of detritus, (more…)