The 1100th Movement

Let's all head to the tipping point axle and hang ten.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Battle for the Commons

In the days of Henry VIII, after his excommunication, the common-laws of Europe underwent a process known as the Reception, in which laws founded on precedents gave way to Roman civil law. The only nation to resist the Reception was England. That is why only nations once linked to the British Empire use common law today. It was the English habit of writing everything down and keeping it, that preserved the integrity and continuity of common-law.
Civil law is by definition subject to changes depending on who controls the law-makings powers at any given time.
NAFTA, GATT, the Prosperity and Security Partnership are all forms of Reception designed to undermine and destroy common-law.
The battle for the Commons is going to be fought over one issue: water. If water becomes a commodity common-law is dead. I have been waiting for twenty-five years for the moment of crisis, the time to act, the fight to pick, the line in the sand. For me it has come. I attended a meeting called by the newly created Wellington Water Watcher's about the renewal and extension of Nestles' permit to remove 3.6 million litres of water a day from the common aquifer that supplies Guelph and smaller communities to the south of us.
This battle needs to be fought on all fronts, locally, provincially, nationally, internationally. Guelph is a funny place, it is large town masked as a city with a reputation for a vibrant arts and activist community. It has a sense of destiny.
If we win this fight, we will unify a movement that will change the world, that will focus the fight for water rights in Africa and elsewhere in the Third World.
Resist the Reception, help Preserve the Commons. "Build it and they will come."

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