Strategies for Change

Institutions & Structures: 
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by Josh Davis

In her recent blog post about this year's Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, Pamela Boyce Simms made this observation about the value and limitations of the kinds of "in-the-streets" protest and civil disobedience that are the bread-and-butter of many activists.

Naomi Klein has an interesting article in the latest issue of the Nation, Daring to Dream in the Age of Trump. I recommend it. Much to appreciate, disagree with, and discuss. I want to focus on two features of it, one I find quite surprising and one that is so typical and so disempowering of the Democratic Left.

Let me start by summarizing why I wanted to go to Cuba now. My learning objectives were the following:

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This Development Studies seminar titled "Transformative Politics and the Solidarity Economy" was given by Professor Michelle Williams and Dr Vishwas Satgar (School of Social Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) on 2 February 2016 at SOAS University of London.

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Cliff Martin and Len Krimerman discuss ways the cooperative movement can better engage youth, and how the Young People's Action Coalition is fostering the next generation of cooperative and social justice leadership. Also discussed is solidarity economy organizing in rural contexts and responses to the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential elections on the US solidarity economy movement.
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[Editor's note: this is the first of a two-part conversation between Cliff Martin and Len Krimerman that was originally recorded as an episode of the GEO podcast.  Unfortunately, the recording quality was quite low, even by our standards, and we didn't feel comfortable subjecting listeners to it.  So we're presenting the conversation in text form, below.  Thanks to Rob Brown for doing the transcription.]

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Putting the Grocery Back in the Grocery Store: The Story of the Clifton Market from Greg Olsen on Vimeo.

 

A short video documenting the origin and inception of the Clifton Market, a food cooperative in Cincinnati, Ohio.
 

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Bellowing out in the songs of eco-village choirs and reverberating down city streets through the chants of the 99%, the call for a new economy echoes out over the dying gasps of late capitalism.

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Once upon a time, the world was infinite. The edges of the map simply defined what was known, not all that was. Then it became common knowledge that the earth was round, and “the world” started to become something finite.

[Editor's note: Ramsey Kanaan founed AK Press as a teenager, after discovering punk rock and anarchism.  In 2008 he co-founded PM Press.  In this talk and the following Q&A session, Ramsey discusses how a core group of 30 organizers successfully catalyzed a mass-movement in the UK to resist the poll tax, under Margaret Thatcher. The presentation was filmed by JJ Noire.]

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At an informal weekend gathering in Cabot, VT in the summer of 2016, we were asked to guide a group of strangers on making a decision together. The decision to be made was which topics the group would devote our precious time together. We started a first go-around, following the standard Sociocratic process. It seemed easy. Our facilitator made a proposal and we all seemed to be on the same page.

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A Brief Preface

Several weeks ago I sent this essay to the Next System Project, encouraging them to respond to it or provide feedback of any and all sorts. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet heard back from them, but I’m still hoping they will eventually weigh in.

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Josefina Luna of CERO discusses relationships between cooperative consultants, developers and worker-owners with Josh Davis, in the seventh installment of the GEO podcast.

Dania Flores-Heagney of Access Consulting co-op provided interpretation services.

 

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This presentation was part of the "Alternatives to Capitalism: The Solidarity Economy Perspective" event run by The Institute for Solidarity Economics & STIR Magazine on October 18, 2016.

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