[WSMDiscuss] Launch of RED website, call for your contributions!

Ashish Kothari chikikothari at gmail.com
Sun Jul 30 00:51:18 CEST 2017

Dear Jai,

Many many thanks for a considered and helpful response. The constructive 
criticism is most welcome, and we hope we can do justice to these points 
in the message we will put across when we launch the site, and in 
further communications. All three additional points, or points of 
elaboration, are welcome.

On the 2nd of your points, this is what we are attempting through the 
Vikalp Sangam process in India ... connecting the practical and everyday 
lived experience with conceptual, ideological, ethical perspectives that 
emerge from them, or that connect to key alternative ideologies that 
exist out there. This is through tools like the note 'In Search of 
Alternatives'. It is a rather imperfect attempt, but nevertheless an 
explicit one! And so we do hope we can do it also through the RED site 
and processes that go into it.

I am not fully clear of your reference to the 'uncivil', but if you mean 
workers, indigenous peoples, fishers, those of different sexualities, 
and so on, yes the RED site needs to be not only open but especially 
welcoming of these. It would be a failure if it got stuck to 'NGOs' or 
those in the formal 'civil' spaces. But perhaps I am not fully 
understanding your reference to uncivil?

Indeed collaboration between the WSM list and this site (and its related 
RED list) would be most welcome and useful. How precisely to do this, we 
should discuss ... at the very least I guess to pick up things from each 
other and highlight them.

Pl. also contribute one or more pieces yourself ... perhaps a short one 
to start with, based on the books you have just brought out?

THe list of forums and websites (of which I was aware of only a few) is 
most useful, we will happily look at them to see what connections can be 

Yes, pl feel free to circulate to other lists, and they can respond 
directly to me and Pallav.

Once again, many thanks!


PS, on your rather kind remarks re. the 'balance' we manage to keep 
connections amongst various circles and see them as overlapping and 
intersecting ... I am not so sure we manage it so well! But on this, it 
would be good to collectively reflect at some point. Next month we are 
doing a self-assessment from a 5-sphere perspective (ecological, 
political, economic, social, cultural) to see what our points of 
strength and more importantly, weaknesses, are. We will use a 
preliminary tool 'ALternatives Transformation Format' that we've worked 
out partly based on the Vikalp Sangam process ... I'd be happy to send 
this to anyone interested!

Ashish Kothari
Apt 5 Shree Datta Krupa
908 Deccan Gymkhana
Pune 411004, India
Tel: 91-20-25654239; 91-20-25675450
Twitter: @chikikothari

On 28/07/17 7:03 PM, JS CACIM wrote:
> Friday, July 28, 2017
> Greetings Ashish !
>             This is mostly just to warmly congratulate you and Pallav 
> – and Kalpavriksh ? – on this initiative, and to appreciate your 
> taking up this mantle.  It is also wonderful to see how you are 
> progressing – and managing to progress, which is no mean feat -, step 
> by step; from Kalpavriksh, to the Vikalp Sangam, and to the Radical 
> Ecological Democracy blog space, and now from there to a RED 
> interactive webspace….  (and where, as I’m sure you know, ‘red’ in 
> Spanish also means… network !)
>             (Even though you have asked us, if we have responses, to 
> not reply all – ie onto the list - but only to you and Pallav, as 
> list admin I am selfishly also posting this on WSMDiscuss in the hope 
> that this might open up some discussion on the list of your initiative !)
> In fact, I guess that even this is in fact an incorrect picturisation, 
> because as I understand it, you are not ‘stepping’ from one to the 
> other, but always also remaining in each circle, and so where they are 
> in a way, either concentric circles, ever widening, or overlapping 
> circles… ecologically interconnected.  Personally, I am astonished how 
> you are being able to successfully manage this marvellous and fine 
> balance ( I have always found this not just difficult but just about 
> impossible), and so I seriously do hope that you and your colleagues 
> will at some point reflect (critically !) and write about how you are 
> managing to do this.  (And share that with us, on this list !)
> Without wanting to make this message too long, I also want to say that 
> as I see it, what you are attempting and aiming at, as summarised in 
> these questions, is so similar to what we at what is now World Social 
> Movement Discuss also want to do; the questions you list out are also 
> so appropriate to what this list is about – and so where I anyway, 
> would like to hope that there might be ways in which we could even 
> collaborate across our respective initiatives (such as, as a minimum, 
> each of us tapping each other’s archives ?).  Let’s talk about this, 
> and about ways in which we could make this work.
>             Having said this, there are also a couple of comments I 
> would like to make, which I hope you will read in the spirit of 
> critical embrace that I offer them :
> First, I think it would be very useful if you were to consider adding 
> three aspects that I think are, I think, implied in what you say here 
> – but, I feel, always need to be spelled out (in your own words, of 
> course) :
> One, to not just report and inform etc but also to always keep a 
> critically awareness of the larger context within which what we are 
> reporting on is taking place, and to critically reflect on that;
> Two, I suggest, and related to the first point, to look not only at 
> ‘movements from below’ – which is what comes across in your questions 
> - but also at what some have called ‘movements from above’, and at the 
> interrelationship, and to therefore always attempt developing a 
> structural (and dialectical) perspective on things that are happening, 
> and unfolding….; and –
> Three, to add / spell out ‘communalism’, ‘casteism’, and ‘racism’ to 
> the forms of power that you want to overcome.  (I know that these 
> could be considered to be included within your saying “other forms of 
> concentration of power”, but… I think that in the world we live in, 
> it’s useful not to be silent on these but to also spell them out.)  
> And also what some people call the ‘intersectionality’.
> And second, if you don't mind my saying this, to somewhere and somehow 
> make clear that you want / RED wants to not only hear from the ‘civil’ 
> world, and from so-called ‘civil society’, and to know about ‘civil’ 
> initiatives and so on, but also from those who are challenging the 
> civil world, from outside and also sort of ‘from within’…; from those 
> I term the ‘incivil’ (and / but where I see that others are also 
> beginning to use this term and perspective).  At the moment, I feel 
> that your call – and even if using terms such as ‘transformative’ - is 
> still too ‘civil’, and too much addressed to the ‘civil’ world.
>             Again, I hope you will not mind my making these comments, 
> and may even find them useful !
>             Let me end by being more obviously constructive, and in 
> response to your request, suggest a few other forums that I think RED 
> shares space with and might want relate to, some civil and some incivil :
> The initiative in Abya Yala [‘South America’] named Crisis de 
> Civilizacion Y Paradigmas Alternativos [‘Crisis of Civilisation and 
> Alternative Paradigms’]; contact the list admin Roberto Espinoza at 
> ayamtai08 at gmail.com <mailto:ayamtai08 at gmail.com>
> Ecosocialist Horizons, at www.ecosocialisthorizons.com 
> <http://www.ecosocialisthorizons.com>
> Indymedia, at https://indymedia.org/or/index.shtml
> Interface, at http://www.interfacejournal.net/
> Open Movements : The ISA47 platform on www.opendemocracy.net 
> <http://www.opendemocracy.net>
> New Socialist, at http://www.newsocialist.org/
> Peoples Studies, at www.peoples-studies.com 
> <http://www.peoples-studies.com>
> Rabble, at www.rabble.ca <http://www.rabble.ca>
> Resistance Studies Initiative, at www.resistancestudies.org 
> <http://www.resistancestudies.org>
> Waging Nonviolence, at https://wagingnonviolence.org/
> Yes magazine, at www.yesmagazine.org <http://www.yesmagazine.org>
> You may also find some of the following of interest – the list of Web 
> Pages and Blog spots from the first of my two current / forthcoming 
> books, just copied and pasted in :
> http://barrikadazapatista.wordpress.com/
> http://chiapas.indymedia.org/
> http://contralarepresion.wordpress.com/2010/06/
> http://detodos-paratodos.blogspot.com/2009/03/concluye-el-encuentro-de-mujeres-mama.html 
> http://dignarabia.ezln.org.mx/
> http://enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx/
> http://lahorasexta.podomatic.com/
> http://mujeresylasextaorg.wordpress.com/
> http://revistarebeldia.org/
> http://rinconzapatistazac.blogspot.com/
> http://union-rebelde.blogspot.com/
> http://zapateando.wordpress.com/
> http://zeztainternazional.ezln.org.mx/
> http://www.capise.org.mx/
> http://www.cedoz.org/site/
> http://www.chiapasmediaproject.org/
> http://www.coloquiointernacionalandresaubry.org/
> http://www.contralaimpunidad.org/index.php
> http://www.encuentroindigena.org/
> http://www.europazapatista.org/
> http://www.nodo50.org/pchiapas/chiapas/documentos/caracol/caracol.htm
> http://www.radioinsurgente.org/
> http://www.radiozapatista.org/IIEncuentro.htm
> http://www.radiozapatista.org/index.html
> http://www.serazln-altos.org/index.html
>             In critical solidarity – as always !  A luta continua !
>             Jai
>  PS : May I also forward your post onto other lists ?
>> On Jul 27, 2017, at 7:30 PM, Ashish Kothari via WSM-Discuss 
>> <wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net 
>> <mailto:wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net>> wrote:
>> Dear Friends,
>> Our new initiative, the launch of the Radical Ecological Democracy 
>> website is just a couple of weeks away. Through this website we hope 
>> to engage people around the world on the practice and notion of 
>> transformative alternatives: initiatives that can challenge and 
>> ultimately replace the currently dominant structures of patriarchy, 
>> capitalism, statism, and other forms of concentration of power that 
>> have institutionalized dire inequality all around the world and 
>> thrown it into a severe ecological emergency. We are thrilled that 
>> many of you have already become a part of this journey by sharing 
>> your expertise through articles and discussions for the site, and 
>> hopefully many more of you will consider contributing stories, 
>> perspectives, poetry, art pieces, or other forms of expression to 
>> enliven and diversify. We also want this website to act as an 
>> international bulletin board for the exchange of news, announcements, 
>> appeals and general shout-outs on issues that you think are important 
>> for the people frequenting this site to be aware of, with a focus on 
>> transformative alternatives. So, if you have a contribution to make 
>> on any of the following points then please write to us:
>> -- Is there a grassroots initiative towards alternatives in your part 
>> of the world which is gaining momentum and which the rest of the 
>> world needs to know of?
>> -- Is there a people's movement attempting alternatives, which is 
>> being suppressed by the state or corporate interests, or facing other 
>> threats and needs support … and any related protests/movement actions 
>> that need publicity?
>> -- Are there any events (conferences, workshops, festivals, meets) 
>> relevant to transformative alternatives coming up, and need to be 
>> publicized?
>> -- Are there any stories of people's triumphs which the world should 
>> know about and draw positive energy from?
>> -- Are there any mistakes in the practice and conceptualisation of 
>> alternatives, which need sharing so that they're not repeated elsewhere?
>> -- Are there other websites and forums that are similar to this one, 
>> and need to be linked to (as also not duplicated!)?
>> Let us know if you want a committed audience to be aware of what's 
>> happening in your part of the world. Obviously, we'll make sure that 
>> no unwanted, trivial or irresponsible item features on the website 
>> (and if by oversight it does, pl. tell us to take if off!).  Please 
>> send your contribution to Pallav. Also, spread the word among your 
>> colleagues and comrades and encourage them to contribute. We hope 
>> that through this effort we can join hands (and feet, minds, and 
>> hearts!) to do our bit in laying the foundation of a new narrative.
>> In solidarity,
>> Ashish Kothari / Pallav Das (dpallav at gmail.com)
>> P.S. : some of you would be familiar with the precursor to this 
>> website, the bloghttp://radicalecologicaldemocracy.wordpress.com; 
>> this site is an attempt to fully upgrade that initiative into a more 
>> active, interactive forum. As this initiative is currently completely 
>> voluntary, we also welcome any financial contributions that you can 
>> make or can point us to, from sources that will not compromise our 
>> basic orientation towards justice of all kinds.
>> PS 2: For those interested, we coordinate a website for similar 
>> articles/stories, news/events on alternatives in 
>> India:www.vikalpsangam.orgorwww.alternativesindia.org.
>> -- 
>> Ashish Kothari
>> Kalpavriksh
>> Apt 5 Shree Datta Krupa
>> 908 Deccan Gymkhana
>> Pune 411004, India
>> Tel: 91-20-25654239; 91-20-25675450
>> http://kalpavriksh.org
>> www.vikalpsangam.org  
>> www.iccaconsortium.org
>> http://ashishkothari51.blogspot.in/  
>> Twitter: @chikikothari
>> ________________________________________
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> ______________________________
> Jai Sen
> jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
> www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net>/http://www.openword.net.in
> Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, 
> Canada,on unceded Anishinaabe territory(+1-613-282 2900)
> *Recent publications :*
> Jai Sen, ed, 2016–_The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us 
> Move ?_(forthcoming in 2017 from New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA 
> <http://www.cacim.net>*
> Jai Sen, ed, 2013 –_The Movements of Movements : Struggles for Other 
> Worlds_, Part I/./Prefinal version of Volume 4 Part I in 
> the/Challenging Empires/series. New Delhi : OpenWord.*Prefinal version 
> 1.0 available 
> @http://www.into-ebooks.com/book/the_movements_of_movements/*
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017a –*_The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes 
> Us Move ?_*.Volume 4 in the/Challenging Empires/series (New Delhi : 
> OpenWord and Oakland, CA :PM Press).*Available for pre-order atPM 
> Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>*
> *&*
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017b –*_The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking 
> Our Dance_*.Volume 5 in the/Challenging Empires/series (New Delhi : 
> OpenWord and Oakland, CA :PM Press)
> */CHECK OUT/**CACIM*@www.cacim.net 
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