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The best way to beat rampant globalization and save your community is through a healthy local democracy. That’s one conclusion to draw from an article in The Guardian titled “The growth of local power is a bright spot in seven bleak years of Bush”.

“Any bleak picture you may have of the American hinterland as a vast sprawl of big-box stores, soulless suburbs and mindless consumption isn’t wrong,” Rebecca Solnit writes in the Dec. 28, 2007 edition, “but is incomplete.”

As one example of this people vs global power struggle, the author of Hope in the Dark: The Untold History of People Power adds “More than 500 mayors from around the country have vowed to make their cities comply with or exceed the Kyoto accords, even while the federal government stalls.”

She goes on: “Eating locally, starting community gardens in the inner city, supporting and spreading farmer’s markets, growing organically, promoting bicycle use, creating denser, more alternative, transport-friendly housing, increasing solar and wind technology, and building greener are all proliferating parts of the contemporary landscape

“Portions of New Orleans, for example, are being rebuilt to be energy efficient, use alternative energy and generally be green. Detroit is full of community gardens and experiments with local economies. As Los Angeles becomes a more and more Latino city, it develops more neighbourhoods of small businesses and lively pedestrian life.

She argues that “decentralised direct democracy is on the loose, and that’s the rest of the
good news. Globally, as the nation-state becomes increasingly less meaningful – a provider of positive goods and more and more just an army and some domestic enforcement - people are withdrawing to shape and support more localised forms of organisation and power. To the extent that it’s part of that civilised and localising world, the same is true of the U.S.”

For the full article, visit http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0„2232678,00.html. For information on CUPE’s Global Justice Fund, click on the logo on this screen.