Radical Democracy: French National Meeting of Inhabitants Power 2022

Proposal abstract

We want to organise the second gathering of a National Meeting of Inhabitants Power from the 27th to the 29th of January (Les rencontres nationales du pouvoir habitant). It is the second year we organize this gathering to create debate and discussion on different subject crossing municipalism, commons, feminism, ecology, decolonialism, food, energy, housing. We invite activists, other municipalist movements, organizations, and searchers from France and Europe. This year we chose to discuss the major axe of radical democracy.

Who we are

Nantes en commun is a reapropriation movement of the city by their inhabitants. We hold a local autonomy and popular ecology project built by groups of inhabitants that worked in their neighborhood or on daily themes. We are a municipalist movement who intends to seize the institutional lever like other levers among others in order to deeply transform our system. We applied for the municipalist elections and we made 9%. For 2 years we put into application outside of the institutions our propositions : a movement to reapropriate the energy supply and production (by building a local and renewable supplier organise by the users). We opened a building to organise ourselves with the “chapeau rouge”, we built a food cooperative near Nantes and soon a canteen. We have two feet : Building our local autonomy by creating our own production methods, and win the local power to give it back to the inhabitants.

What we want to do and how we will do it

To give you an idea of the program we plan for now : –> Friday evening round table 1 : Facing the actual crisis should we radicalise democracy ? –> Saturday morning round table 2 : Radical democracy : an overview from middle-age until now –> Round table 3 : “Democracy of the commons” : the local scale is it the privileged echelon for radical democracy ? –> Round table 4 : For an ecofeminist radical democracy ! Parallel to those round tables, each of the speakers will develop their ideas in smaller workshops on more precise and practical topics. We will finish the day with a popular ball to express our body after thinking too much ! About the process of organisation : we are all volunteers in Nantes en Commun (about 30 persons giving more than 3 days by week) and remunerated with food we grow ourselves, and soon electricity we produce ourselves (water mill). We use auto-organisation like a daily process, by creating circles around tasks. There are two persons working on the organisation of each round table, a logistic team and a communication team. We choose together the main orientations and coordinate ourselves once a week and then we apply it : people who do things decide for it. We are inviting people to talk about the Rojava experience, the Chiapas, the Chili movement of constitution, municipalists movement from Lille, The Union of the limousine Mountain, Camarades from municipalists movement in Naples, Barcelone. Ecofeminists activists from Bure anti-nuclear movement, French historians, and searchers… And more. We wish to gather them to draw the outlines of the different strategies around radical democracy and bridges we can create between our experiments. We expect to gather 500 persons again this year during the 3 days. We wish for the third edition that it will be in another city !

How much money do we need and what for?

We demand 3000€, i.e. to pay the transport and meal fees part of our guests. 1364€ to rent the place for the event during 2 days 1000€ estimation to feed the speakers and volunteers 2500€ to pay the transport and hostel for people we invite from far away of Nantes 1500€ of location for technical material sound and light, and technicians. 500€ on communication, flyers, posters and decoration 3500€ musician group for the ball = 10 364€ We fund part of the event by a free price at the entrance, a bar at a low price inside, free price for the food with activists canteen and concerts we organise before to collect money.

Why / How does it contribute to /reflects the municipalism principles

We hope this gathering will help us to continue developing the political strategies to build our own radical democracy locally. Getting to know more of democracy history in cities, what does it mean from different perspectives and approaches. And continue to build link between differents activists and municipalist groups in France and Europe. The strategy we try to build during these discussions is creating a deep link between radical democracy, commons (and our own means of subsistence, food, energy, housing..), and municipalism by creating our own institutions and taking back the city hall at the same time.