Linking Opposition & Alternatives

This video was recorded during the fall of 2015 at a grantee gathering held by the Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) in Greensboro NC.

The theme of the gathering was Big Ideas That Guide Our Work. This video is Ed Whitfield, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of F4DC, introducing the gathering and talking on "The Power of Ideas and the Idea of Power."

 

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Victims of labor trafficking are finding new dignity and safety in their work - through Damayan Cleaning Cooperative. The first Filipina migrant worker-owned cooperative in the US recently opened in New York. [For more about Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, see the article Filipina Trafficking Survivors Launch a Co-op -ed.]

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[Editors note: We're excited to announce two new ebooks from Las Indias, a trans-national, egalitarian community.  These books were translated from the original Spanish by Level Translation and are now available in English for the first time.  Below you will find a short excerpt and a preview chapter from each book.  If you would like to download a copy (in .epub, .pdf, and Kindle-compatible formats), just click the buttons below--you can even make a contribition to help Level and GEO keep bringing you these i

 

First, the Village

Yes, dear Readers, there is a place filled with Public Hope, a place in Spain far more tangible than Kris Kringle or Santa Claus.

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As worker-owners, we’re used to doing things ourselves. We start businesses, figure out democratic decision-making, and confront systemic issues that deny wealth to communities. We’re tenacious and self-governing, so why limit our influence to our workplaces? As our movement grows—and it is, rapidly—we’re innovating faster than the law can keep up, often operating in gray areas that can be as uncertain as they are productive.

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[Editor's note: this is the fourth installment of GEO founding-member Len Krimerman's new memoir. You can read the preface and introduction and the first two chapters here, here, and here. Look for chapter four next Monday.]

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[Editor's note: this is the third installment of GEO founding-member Len Krimerman's new memoir.  You can read the preface and introduction here, and chapter one here.  Look for chapter three next Monday.]

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The challenges for 2015 are the same ones we've failed as a movement to find solutions to, or even act on, for a very long time: climate change and the neoliberal politics of austerity. The co-operative movement needs to work internationally to stop oil companies extracting, and governments and corporations burning fossil fuels for profit, and it should be a part of the international campaign against rich elites profiting from wrecking the climate.

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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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