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(en) US, Boston, Proposal For a "Really REALLY Democratic Bazaar"

From <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>(http://blackteasociety.org/bazaar.html)
Date Thu, 6 May 2004 08:13:44 +0200 (CEST)

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Summary of a vision for the Bazaar:
We envision the Really Really Democratic Bazaar (RRDB) as one
action among many throughout the DNC mobilization. Our hope
is to create a scenario in which people are invited to demonstrate
their positive visions: creating space for collective sharing,
strengthening, and supporting a culture and economy of
solidarity. We propose that such a scenario can be created by
facilitating a large, permitted, public gathering space at which
many people can share their visions and practices in the form of a
free, celebratory, open-air public "market." This would be a
market in which we are truly free to give, receive, and to work on
our own terms. A market in which we can fulfill our needs
collectively, working together in communities of care and mutual
support. A market that values both cultural and ecological

This "solidarity bazaar" would be a great opportunity for us to
create a space in which we can 1) share the alternatives that are
practiced within our movements with a larger public (Food Not
Bombs, medics, independent media, collective living, models of
directly democratic organizing, alternative energy and
transportation, etc.); and 2) invite people and organizations from
outside of our movements who are working toward
solidarity-based alternatives to share and celebrate their work
while connecting it to the work of many others.

The idea (and also the name) comes from our experiences
participating in the Really REALLY Free Market Bazaar in
Miami. Here's how it might
work: A working group would create the general framework,
including a permit for the space, getting the word out, creating a
site design, and other logistics.

The substance of the bazaar would actually be manifested,
however, by the self-organization of affinity groups, individuals,
local organizations and communities. The bazaar challenges us
all to move from being passive observers to being active
participants. Everyone would be invited and encouraged to come
set up a booth at the bazaar that expresses their visions and
practices of a better world.

These booths could range from the extremely elaborate to the
astonishingly simple, they would be spaces in which people could
offer gifts of all kinds;
share food, stories, art and ideas; barter goods and services,
receive and give thanks; and demonstrate our diverse opposition
to the empire by proclaiming that other worlds are already being
created. Here are some examples of possible booths:

- Free schools, skill shares, DIY
- Bike maintenance/repair
- Anti-oppression/anti-racism workshops
- Silk screening, costume making
- Food Not Bombs and other yummy offerings
- Giving out tokens of appreciation, redefining value, giving out
seeds, books, stickers, cloth, handmade items, herbal teas,
clothes, visual art, music, fairy $, hugs, potted plants
- Street music, storytelling, poetry, spoken word, drama, clowns,
puppetry, people in costumes, acrobats, contortionists, stilt
walkers, fire eaters
- Free box
- Mobile pirate radio (bike-powered?)
- Mobile composting toilets (like "Give a Shit for the
- Community currencies
- Ritual spaces
- Piñatas, puppets and other forms of street theatrics

One element that made the "Really REALLY" in Miami work so
well was that every group was entirely responsible for the
creation, set-up, and take-down of their own booths. This allowed
for incredible spontaneity, creativity and flexibility at the event.
Autonomy was manifested at every level and the results were
more powerful than any single group could have imagined or
organized alone.

Written by the Midnight Quilting Circle (Maine) on the
Bl(A)ck Tea Society* web site.

If you are interested in working with the bazaar contact
* The Bl(A)ck Tea Society is an ad-hoc coalition of anti-authoritarians
organizing in the Boston area and beyond to resist the Democratic National
contact: nodnc04@hush.com

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