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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Second General Meeting For Freespace In Ottawa

What: General Meeting For Freespace In Ottawa
Date: Wednesday August 28, 2002
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Dundonald Park
Contact: Derek @ drek@magma.ca  or
shawn. @ digitalindependence@hotmail.com

This is a call-out for those who think a better world is possible.

We want to create a network of progressive people and projects interested in 
the creation of "Freespace" in Ottawa, where individuals can strive to live 
economically and politically self-sufficient together.

It is not possible to bring about a just and equal society free from fear 
and want within the context of capitalism. And unless we bring about such a 
society, we believe human beings and the world we live on will descend -- 
possibly incrementally, possibly convulsively -- into barbarism, tyranny and 

We have an opening now to bring into being a new social world, because the 
old one is increasingly, obviously, blatantly, destroying us all. Through 
the creation of Freespace, we believe we can empower ourselves, in our 
lives, and in our communities. The Freespace would act as a convergence 
space for the progressive community in Ottawa.

We are action-oriented, but realize that planning is essential. Below is a 
very preliminary draft to inspire us. We wish to hold regular meetings to 
discuss and develop these plans.

"Everyone's organized except the people"
- John Gardner


We reject the notion of private property. By purchasing land through a 
"Community Land Trust", we can free ourselves from the feudal system of rent 
and mortgages. On this reclaimed land, we can strive to live economically 
and politically self-sufficient together. We think it is essential to have a 
mix of urban and rural Freespace.


The free meeting space will be where direct participatory democracy takes 
place. It will be a place to converge and build communities. It can also 
host community events such as coffee-houses, speakers, movie screenings, as 
well as musical and artistic gatherings.


We want to provide a space where the community can drop-off unwanted items, 
or take items that they want, without monetary transactions.


We want to provide project space (office and commercial) for progressive 

Projects can include a wide variety of activities, including community 
services and businesses such as a health food cafe or restaurant, a health 
food store, a daycare, an alternative school, an alternative health clinic, 
a bike garage, computer and internet services, arts and crafts, and even 
solar power generation.


We want to offer Freespace for projects that will provide lodging, for both 
residents and travellers, as well as shelter for the abused and homeless.


We want to offer Freespace for community gardens and community kitchens. For 
this, we need the participation of individuals and groups who are skilled at 
maintaining gardens and preparing healthy food.


We want to minimize our interaction and involvement with what we consider 
non-ethical businesses. To accomplish this, we will research autonomous 
zones, communes, and collectives worldwide, and promote and support the 
establishment of an alternative marketplace  -- a trade network based on the 
ethical treatment of humans, animals, and the environment.


In banks we no longer trust. Through a Mutual Credit Union, we can promote 
an international grassroots currency know as "Hours", based on time and 
mutual credit. It will be backed by the services provided by the Freespace, 
as well as the community land trust.

With our own source of financing and credit, we can gradually reduce our 
(voluntary) dependency on capitalist profit-motivated financiers.


What's the incentive for investment, when there's no monetary profits to be 

We believe that not all people with dollars are capitalists, and that profit 
does not have to be monetary. We believe that the creation of a thriving 
community Freespace, and the security it will bring to us, will be a 
valuable and satisfying "return" from our investments of time, energy, and 


We need to investigate legal issues such as community land trusts, deed 
restrictions, securities commission regulations, as well as municipal, 
provincial and federal taxes.


We believe an atmosphere of complete involvement will keep away the 
freeloaders. Nevertheless, we need to think about how we will ensure the 
right type of people are involved, and how we can handle free-loaders and 

We recognize that no single kind of decision-making process makes sense for 
every situation. But we must agree on a decision-making process that will be 
used to decide on a decision-making process.

As we progress, we will fine-tune what our version of consensus will look 
like, develop our strategies for conflict resolution, and establish ground 
rules for acceptable behaviour.


We recognize that, to avoid burning out, we need to have fun throughout the 
process of planning, building, and creating.

"It's not my revolution if I can't dance to it."
- Emma Goldman


This meeting will be happening at the same time as the weekly potluck in the 
park hosted by the garden spot and manufacturing dissent. You're welcome to 
partake in either or both of these events.

For more info on the weekly potlucks:

Cooking up a Revolution:

Weekley potluck held on Dundonald Park:

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