The Commons Movement is a political, ecological and cultural movement to reclaim the Commons. Its central principle is that the resources of the earth – the Commons – are the collective responsibility and property of all. This includes control of the means of production of wealth and culture.
While new technologies offer activists new tools to use for union activity, it is important to conceptualise cyperspace as space, and to understand activity taking place there as being in a new realm with its own possibilities, ethics and practice.
What does Wikileaks mean for trade union activists?
It is important to see Wikileaks not as the isolated project of the maverick cyber pimpernel Julian Assange, but as part of a much wider cultural and social movement to free information from state and corporate control.
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) offers powerful, free tools for trade unions and their activists, and a serious attempt should be made to adopt them, and to defend the freedom of the Internet. In the UK, this includes working to repeal the Digital Economy Act.
I think there’s a natural link between the Open Source software community and the labour movement. There is certainly an ideological congruence: Open Source proves that people can work together to build complicated and sophisticated products without bosses and mechanisms for workplace discipline.
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