Saturday, October 30th @ 12:30 pm EST / 18:30 CEST

The Transnational Institute of Social Ecology hosted an international conference dedicated to social ecologist Murray Bookchin’s legacy, exploring social ecology and its future development. The conference took place on October 30 and 31.

On Saturday, October 30th, Ben Price, Community Organizer and author of  “How Wealth Rules the World: Saving Our Communities and Freedoms from the Dictatorship of Property,” presented his paper on Municipalism‘s Escape from the Colonizing Imperatives of Empire in the U.S at TRISE’s conference dedicated to #100yearsMurrayBookchin

Municipalism‘s Escape from the Colonizing Imperatives of Empire in the U.S.


Efforts to expand municipal activism in the U.S. are fettered by a constitutional framework at the national level that ignores the existence of local, community governance, and by state constitutions that methodically elevate administrative state law above local governance and the protection of basic rights. But revolutionary municipal organizing by CELDF, for nearly two decades, has challenged legal dogmas like Dillon’s Rule, which subordinates local institutions utterly to the authority of the state, and the legal fiction of corporate “personhood.” By drafting and enacting community bills of rights that recognize peoples’ right of local community self-government — that is, the authority to use municipal institutions for local purposes and reject the legal status of municipalities as mere tools of convenience for the state’s exercise of power at the local level — activist organizers have assisted communities to separate municipal jurisdictions from hegemonic control. The authors suggest that future research into such strategies for expanding the principles of social ecology in the U.S. will benefit by an alignment of CELDF organizing efforts and TRISE’s international network with front-line communities implementing the vision set out by Murray Bookchin. Using local law-making to engage in democratic, peaceful civil disobedience, residents of municipalities in the U.S., who are engaged in the CELDF-initiated “Community Rights Movement,” go so far as to legislate the supremacy of human and civil rights over the synthetic rights attached to corporate property and, on that basis, ban toxic and oppressive corporate behavior the state permits but which, in the judgement of the affected community, would violate locally-established rights — not only for municipal residents, but also for local ecosystems. Bookchin recognized that social ecology will advance the cause of social and environmental justice by activating communities on many fronts. Uniting parallel efforts can actualize social ecology’s goals. 

TRISE Conference: Day 1
TRISE Conference: Day 2

TRISE is a transnational network of intellectual activists founded in 2013. They seek to be a resource to all those concerned with real democracy. Their aim is to work across the entire Urban Question with both ecology and the development of urbanization as our main interests. Our activities are focused on research, education and training.

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