Linking Opposition & Alternatives

cross-posted from matslats.net

Having kept an eye on the altcoins for a good while I wasn't initially impressed by the claims of Faircoin.

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Higher education is disintegrating under misguided neo-liberal reforms. Co-operative universities, member-run and member-led, are a solution. Educators, students and support staff would run this open, democratic educational commons. Keywords: co-operative, education, university, co-ops, multi-stakeholder co-ops
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[Editor's note: this is the second "Walk on the Bright Side" column by GEO founding member Len Krimerman.  The first one can be found here.]

More people are choosing the cooperative model to express their entrepreneurial spirit in the Northwest. The success of a co-op depends on many people and their efforts. Keywords: resident-owned communities, manufactured homes, worker coops
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Worker assistance programs and government funded co-op incubators have a poor track record for creating worker co-ops. More effective methods of creating worker cooperatives include converting existing businesses to worker co-ops and leveraging the institutional capacity of already existing co-ops to create new worker-owned businesses. Keywords: ESOP, conversion, worker assistance, economic democracy
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Let's try to get both a firm grasp and a large perspective on "regional co-operative/solidarity economic development," and what it has to do with “advancing the development of worker co-operatives.”

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Many people, including those in the labor and worker co-op movements, think that unions and co-ops are singularly mismatched.  Logic has it that worker co-ops don’t need to be unionized since workers own and manage their businesses, and that workers in labor unions just naturally aren’t entrepreneurial but rather are used to resisting “the boss.”  In addition, people may be familiar with large agricultural co-ops in the Midwest that fight with unionized workers, or with food co-ops that resist worker unionization.  

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Cooperative organizing, development, and technical assistance services are needed in upstate New York.  This void has been slowly—very slowly—shrinking for decades.  It is hoped that the creation and evolution of the New York Cooperative Network between 2011

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In order to create a fully cooperative society, co-ops of all varieties need to reach out to other, similarly-aligned groups, such as racial, social and climate justice movements. Groups such as Solidarity NYC and the Southern Grassroots Economies Progect (SGEP) are already working along these lines. Len Krimerman suggests adopting an 8th co-operative principle to address this reality. Keywords: solidarity economy, co-ops, regional development, social development
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In Ferguson and St. Louis, solidarity economy activists are coming together with social justice advocates to create innovative ways of fighting for justice in their communities. Keywords: MORE, Decarcerate St. Louis, cooperatives, poverty, #BlackLivesMatter
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Barcelona en Comu (Barcelona in Common) political party associated with Podemos, wins the municipal election. Includes video of speech by mayor-elect Ada Colau. commons new economy solidarity economy politics
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This Swedish documentary film on worker-owned cooperatives considers some of the most common criticisms of cooperative businesses and confronts them with real life experiences from worker owners from the US. Worker co-ops, cooperatives, solidarity economy
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Following last week’s feature on the start-up co-op New Hope Farm, this post continues our series on the 2014 Worker Coop Academy (WCA) in Oakland, California by focusing on “converter” co-ops On the Spot Massage and Sarana Community Acupuncture. Converters are businesses or organizations that have existed as conventionally owned entities but whose owners want to transition into a cooperative.

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A documentary film by Dario Azzellini and Oliver Ressler about the factory RiMaflow in Milan, Italy, which has been recovered by the workers after the former owners engaged in a fraudulent bankruptcy. The facility used to make auto parts but is now run as an open factory and is owned and controlled by its workers as a worker cooperative.
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Damanhur Ecovillage in northern Italy provides a model of a new civilization and society based around cooperation and solidarity.
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Co-author of Building Co-operative Power and GEO Collective member Michael Johnson discusses the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives and some of the many worker co-ops of the Connecticut River Valley. He also provides an overview of the contents of the book and a history of how it came to be written.
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