Oct 08 2010

This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons

KPFK Fund Drive Day 4
this land is our landThe restaurant chain, the International House of Pancakes or I-HOP for short, is suing another I-HOP, the International House of Prayer, for trademark infringement. The International House of Prayer was established in 1999 as an evangelical Christian ministry, while the restaurant chain began in the 1950’s. The website address for the famous pancake house is ihop.com. The prayer house can be found on the internet at ihop.org. The Pancake corporation’s lawsuit claims that the identical acronym and similar website address are causing its brand “great and irreparable injury and confuses the public.” What is likely more confusing to the public is how the phrase “International House Of” can become the private property of one company. But we have grown accustomed to trademarking, copywriting, and privatization that allows corporations the right to claim ideas, and objects that were once considered common property. The Happy Birthday song is copyrighted, making public performances subject to a royalty fee. In Vermont a small beer brewery named one of its beers the “Vermonster”, in honor of its state. Last year it was sued for copyright infringement by the large energy drink company “Monster”.

Now, a brand new documentary released earlier this week by the Media Education Foundation called “This Land is Our Land”, makes the case for reclaiming The Commons, and awakens audiences to what we are losing as ideas, and even the air we breathe and the water we drink, become the private property of corporations. This Land is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons, is narrated by David Bollier author, blogger, and activist for commons based policy. The film gives a history of the commons in the United States and explains how values shifted and a movement to privatize everything from medical research to natural resources overtook our nation. Finally, the film offers examples of ways people around the world, and here at home, are reclaiming the commons. This Land is Our Land is our thank you gift to you.

GUEST: Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, physicist, author, and founder of Navdanya. Her books include Water Wars; Privatization, Pollution, and Profit, Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, and her latest, Soil Not Oil. A winner of the Right Livlihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Prize, Vandana Shiva is one of the most well known international advocate for the protection of our commons.

Dr. Vandana Shiva will be speaking on Sunday October 17th at 6:30 pm at 5000 Clark Avenue, Lakewood, CA 90712 at an event called The Seeds of Hope. Suggested donation is $100 per person. Vegetarian meals will be available upon request. The event is organized by Friends of Navdanya

Navdanya has brought to light the plight of the small and marginal farmers, and issues of farmer suicide and environmental sustainability. Dr. Shiva has improved the lives of millions of small farmers through education and has been instrumental in helping us realize how many of the same challenges faced in India are being felt by farmers globally.

Dr. Vandana Shiva will be sharing her experiences and ideas on sustainable solutions for social and environmental justice in India.

Find out more at www.friendsofnavdanya.org, and click on the October 17th event link or contact our Treasurer, Shashi Mahajan at (310) 544-2667.

Special thanks to South Central Farmers for their generous and ongoing support of Uprising and KPFK!

Visit South Central Farmers online at: www.southcentralfarmers.com

To see their produce boxes and join their CSA to begin your own produce box subscription visit: www.southcentralfarmers.com/scfcoop/shop/

One response so far

One Response to “This Land Is Our Land: The Fight to Reclaim the Commons”

  1. VNVN Nationon 15 Jan 2013 at 10:04 am

    Good film