Something that has never occurred in history before is happening. People from different cultures, different belief systems and social circumstances are uniting around the world for a new kind of democracy.

In the last decade, a movement of movements’ has sprung up on every continent, from Chiapas to Genoa, Seattle to Porto Alegre, Bangalore to Soweto. The movement is a web of interconnected strands, of recurring themes and discernible patterns. Autonomy. Participation. Democracy. Diversity. The reinvention of power. The importance of creativity and subjectivity. Access to the commons’ ñ whether water, public space, software, seeds or the manufacture of medicines. And constant questioning and innovation.

‘The idea of a revolutionary movement that genuinely listens is itself a paradox. Yet the idea of listening is central to many of these movements. The movement is characterised by the ability to admit to being wrong, to stop and question everything; by the desire to dissolve the vertical structures of power and replace them with radical horizontality and real popular participation; by the willingness to listen, the wisdom to grow, the commitment to transform. Getting lost without a path’ might even be an important part of the process. Making mistakes, having profound doubt, perhaps for sustained periods ñ this is part of learning to walk.
‘So let’s have the courage, let’s have the heart that lies in the roots of the word courage, le coeur, the courage to demand nothing for us, but everything for everyone; the courage to keep the spaces that this movement of movements has created radically open, rebelliously inviting, and profoundly popular. For when we’ are truly everywhere, we will be nowhere ñ for we will be everyone.’

This edited extract from We are Everywhere published by Verso is copyleft’ and can be reproduced for non-profit purposes.
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