Really Really Free Market
The Really, Really Free Market (RRFM) movement is a horizontally organized collective of individuals who form a temporary market based on an alternative gift economy. The RRFM movement aims to counteract capitalism in a proactive way. It holds as a major goal to build a community based on sharing resources, caring for one another and improving the collective lives of all. Markets often vary in character, but they generally offer both goods and services. Participants bring unneeded items and food, as well as skills and talents such as entertainment or haircuts. A RRFM usually takes place in an open community space such as a public park or community commons.
Origins and spread
The first known Really, Really Free Market took place simultaneously in Miami, Florida, and Raleigh, North Carolina during the anti-globalization protests against the FTAA in 2003. The idea of a "Really, Really Free Market" emerged from a visioning ritual by members of the Pagan Cluster in Austin in preparation of the FTAA Summit in Miami, November 2003. Members of the Green Bloc picked up the idea and made it real. Participants from the SouthEast Anarchist Network (SeaNET) held demonstrations using the Really, Really Free Market to protest the G8 summit in 2004. . The idea quickly spread across the United States.
The movement has emerged in diverse places such as North Carolina (many cities); New York City; Reno, Nevada; Cottage Grove, Oregon; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Des Moines, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Austin, Texas; San Diego, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Belfast, New York; Tallahassee, Florida; and Yellow Springs, Ohio as well as Capital Park in Detroit on the third Sunday of January, April, July and October. RRFMs occur in the San Francisco Bay Area as well. Kingsport, TN has a RRFM in Glen Bruce Park beside the Public Library from May to September. North Carolina has an especially vibrant RRFM movement, with markets appearing in cities such as Carrboro, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greensboro and Greenville.
In addition, Rockford, Illinois, New York City; Greenville, North Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Wilmington, North Carolina; Carrboro, North Carolina; Washington, DC; San Francisco, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Athens, Georgia; Louisville, Kentucky; .
Toronto, Ontario; Shepherdstown, West Virginia; and Indianapolis, Indiana are home to monthly Really Really Free Markets. Bloomington, Illinois has a Really Really Free Market monthly April-September.
RRFM has also spread outside of USA and Canada. Activists in countries like Australia, England, New Zealand, Russia, Malaysia, Taiwan, South Africa, Canada, and others claim to have organized RRFMs.
RRFM in Russia
The first Russian Really Really Free Market was organized in Moscow in 2008. The original name of RRFM was changed to “Freemarket” or “Absolutely Free Fair”. Since that time the idea of RRFM has spread widely across the Russian Federation. Recently participants of the movement arrange regular meetings in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ivanovo, Yekaterinburg, Perm, Belgorod, Kirov, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Yaroslavl, Vologda, Volgograd, Tolyatti, Volzhsky, Petrozavodsk.
Due to the often harsh Russian climate the RRFMs usually take place indoors, but summer time meetings often occur in public parks, yards of apartment houses or city squares. In Ivanovo, for instance, the very first free fair was held in Yesenin Square on 19 June 2011, but as winter set in, the RRFM meetings were moved to the reference room of the Regional Public library.
Participants bring unneeded things, either household goods or one off items. RRFMs are also usually accompanied by master classes in handiwork (mehendi, hair dressing, making stencils for textile printing, etc.), lectures on social and ecological problems and the collection of secondary raw materials and charity fundraising in aid animal shelters. RRFMs also focus on providing participants with hope and opportunities to connect with like-minded people.
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- Give-away shop
- Diggers (theater) – a group of early adopters of the free-store concept
- DIY ethic
- Mutual aid
- Direct action
- Pay it forward
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