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Beyond Elections Redefining Democracy in the Americas 2008 :: The Progressive Torrents Community
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Beyond Elections Redefining Democracy in the Americas 2008


DownloadStats updated less than 30min ago


1.13 GB

Date/time added:

2015-02-20 20:59:08

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structures can help communities thrive, as average citizens take
responsibility for their own destinies.
~ Jason Stone, [46]Resource Center of the Americas
"Beyond Elections proves that democracy can and should be more than
casting a ballot every four years. This empowering documentary gives
hopeful and concrete examples from around the Americas of people taking
back the reigns of power and governing their own communities. Beyond
Elections is a road map for social change, drawing from communal
councils in Venezuela and social movements in Bolivia to participatory
budgeting in Brazil and worker cooperatives in Argentina. The film
gracefully succeeds in demonstrating that these grassroots examples of
peoples power can be applied anywhere. Particularly as activists in
the US face the challenges of a Obama administration and an economic
crisis, this timely documentary shows that the revolution can start
today right in your own living room or neighborhood." ~ Ben Dangl,
editor, [47]Upside Down World & [48]Toward Freedom
What is democracy? Freedom, equality, participation? Everyone has his
or her own definition. Across the world, 120 countries now have at
least the minimum trappings of democracy - the freedom to vote for all
citizens. But for many, this is just the beginning not the end.
Following decades of US-backed dictatorships, civil wars and
devastating structural adjustment policies in the South, and corporate
control, electoral corruption, and fraud in the North, representative
politics in the Americas is in crisis. Citizens are now choosing to
redefine democracy under their own terms: local, direct, and
participatory. In 1989, the Brazilian Workers Party altered the
concept of local government when they installed participatory budgeting
in Porto Alegre, allowing residents to participate directly in the
allocation of city funds. Ten years later, Venezuelan President Hugo
Chavez was swept into power with the promise of granting direct
participation to the Venezuelan people; who have now formed tens of
thousands of self-organized communal councils. In the Southern Cone,
cooperative and recuperated factory numbers have grown, and across the
Americas social movements and constitutional assemblies are taking
authority away from the ruling elites and putting power into the hands
of their members and citizens. Beyond Elections is a journey that takes
us across the Americas to attempt to answer one of the most important
questions of our time: What is Democracy?

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