An introduction to the GTA

The world is going through a crisis of unprecedented global scale engendered by a dominant regime that has resulted in deepening inequalities, increasing deprivation in old and new forms, the destruction of ecosystems, catastrophic climate change, ruptures in socio-cultural fabrics, and the violent dispossession of living beings.

However, there is an increasing emergence and visibility of an immense variety of radical alternatives to this dominant regime, contesting its roots in capitalist, patriarchal, racist, statist, and anthropocentric forces.

These range from initiatives with a specific focus like sustainable and holistic agriculture, community led water/energy/food sovereignty, solidarity and sharing economies, worker control of production facilities, resource/knowledge commons, and inter-ethnic peace and harmony, to more holistic or rounded transformations such as those being attempted by the Zapatista in Chiapas and the Kurds in Rojava. AlternativesAre activities and initiatives, concepts, worldviews, or action proposals by collectives, groups, organizations, communities, or social movements challenging and replacing the dominant system that perpetuates inequality, exploitation, and unsustainabiity. In the GTA we focus primarily on what we call "radical or transformative alternatives", which we define as initiatives that are attempting to break with the dominant system and take paths towards direct and radical forms of political and economic democracy, localised self-reliance, social justice and equity, cultural and knowledge diversity, and ecological resilience. Their locus is neither the State nor the capitalist economy. They are advancing in the process of dismantling most forms of hierarchies, assuming the principles of sufficiency, autonomy, non-violence, justice and equality, solidarity, and the caring of life and the Earth. They do this in an integral way, not limited to a single aspect of life. Although such initiatives may have some kind of link with capitalist markets and the State, they prioritize their autonomy to avoid significant dependency on them and tend to reduce, as much as possible, any relationship with them. also include the revival of ancient traditions and the emergence of new worldviews that re-establish humanity’s place within nature, as a basis for human dignity and equality.

The Global TapestryThe weaving of networks of Alternatives of Alternatives (GTA) is an initiative seeking to create solidarity networks and strategic alliances amongst all these alternatives on local, regional and global levels. It locates itself in or helps initiate interactions among alternatives. It operates through varied and light structures, defined in each space, that are horizontal, democratic, inclusive and non-centralized, using diverse local languages and other ways of communicating. The initiative has no central structure or control mechanisms. It spreads step by step as an ever-expanding, complex set of tapestries, woven together by already existing communal or collective webs, building on already existing and new alternatives to dominant regimes. It promotes or joins regional, national and global encounters, when the conditions allow for them, as well as close and synergistic linkages with existing organizations, like the World Social Forum.

A Global Tapestry of Alternatives is about creating spaces of collaboration and exchange, in order to learn about and from each other, critically but constructively challenge each other, offer active solidarity to each other whenever needed, interweave the initiatives in common actions, and give them visibility to inspire other people to create their own initiatives. It could facilitate people seeking transformative change going further along existing paths or forging new ones that strengthen alternatives wherever they are, hopefully eventually converging into a critical mass of alternative ways can support the conditions for the radical systemic changes we need.

A small group of activists from several regions of the world has started the initiative and will help facilitate its loosely knit structure as it takes shape in different parts of the world. The initial set of endorsers of this initiative (to which more will be added as we go along) will be encouraged to help link the Global Tapestry of Alternatives with similar initiatives around the world.