Here is a really helpful post by Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo on her visit to Cuban worker cooperatives:
A mix of grey- and pastel-toned buildings on San Rafael Street in central Habana stand in stark testimony to part of the effects of a cruel U.S. embargo on life in Cuba. I was standing on the street looking for a textile co-op.
I was part of a 28-member tour organized by the Center for Global Justice to Cuba to study worker cooperatives and socialism… [continue]
Ajowa Nzinga Ifateyo (2017). Visiting Worker Cooperatives in Cuba: Muy Complicado. Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO) http://geo.coop/story/visiting-worker-cooperatives-cuba-muy-complicado
The Capitalism Nature Socialism journal has a review of the Catalan Integral Cooperative that might interest those seeking to create a cooperative system in DC:
…the Catalan Integral Cooperative (CIC) provides us with what I think is the most surprising and inspiring demonstration of what can be done and what we need to do.
In George Dafermos’ recent report, “The Catalan Integral Cooperative: an organizational study of a post-capitalist cooperative” (2017), we learn that while only begun in 2010, the cooperative now involves many hundreds of people and many productive ventures, 400 of them involving growing food or making goods. Although there are far more activities than those within the CIC, its annual budget is now $480,000.
…These people have not waited for the government to save them, they are taking control over their own fate, setting up their own productive arrangements, food supply systems, warehouses and shops, basic income schemes, information and education functions, legal and tax advice, technical research and development, and even an investment bank. Best of all is the collectivist worldview and spirit, the determination to prevent the market and profit from driving the economy, and to establish cooperative arrangements that benefit all people, not just co-op members.
…Among the principles stated in Dafermos’ report are:
*A focus on social justice, equity, diversity, mutual support, cooperation, inclusion and solidarity, and the common good
*Focusing on the transformation of the whole of society, not just on securing benefits for members of the participating cooperatives
*People contribute according to their capacity to do so
*Getting rid of materialism; and aiming at satisfaction with “non-material living standards” and toward a sufficiency that does not seek accumulation as an end
*Applying resources directly to meeting the needs of people in the region
*Above all, getting rid of capitalism, where the long-term objective is “to be an organizational platform for the development of a self-sufficient economy that is autonomous from the State and the capitalist market”
In celebration of 2019, I am going to update the CoopDC Directory! Please let me know about any new or planned cooperatives of any type. Or feel free to let me know any updates about cooperatives in the DMV.
Please share this post widely. Thank you!
Happy New Year!
At a meeting, I received a flyer saying that a ANC 6D07 Candidates Forum would have a discussion “led by members of the Arthur Capper Capitol Quarter Community Timebank.” I looked around the web and found them as the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg Community Village TimeBank, part of the DC TimeBank.
What is a timebank? TimeBanks are pretty great. I was paid once through timebank credits. Here is what the DC TimeBank says:
At its most basic level, timebanking is simply about spending an hour doing something for someone else in your community. That hour goes into the timebank as a time credit. Then, you have a time credit to redeem by having someone else do something for you. It’s a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections.
Timebanks are revolutionizing communities like New York, Madison, and Los Angeles, and they’re growing across 34 other countries on 6 continents. Read about the Dane County TimeBank’s Community Justice Initiatives here. There’s no better time to build one in DC.
The DC TimeBank can serve as a tool to organize around different initiatives including education, food and wellness, prison reintegration, immigrant worker cooperatives, and others. If you’re interested in leading or helping with one or more of these initiatives, email us.
To learn even more about timebanking, check out TimeBanks.org!
From the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research about the floods in the Indian state of Kerala this summer:
The Chief Minister of Kerala – Pinarayi Vijayan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – said as the flood waters receded, ‘Our aim is not merely a restoration of the State to pre-flood times, but to the creation of a new Kerala’. Karat had mentioned the long tradition of community building and cooperative activity in the state. One of those institutions is the Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society (UCLLS), one of the world’s largest construction workers’ cooperatives (about which, please see this book from LeftWord Books written by Kerala’s Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Isaac and Professor Michelle Williams). UCLLS has already deployed its teams for rehabilitation work across the state. But more than that, the cooperative says that it will support the restoration needs of homes in Meloor and elsewhere – rebuilding homes and offering medical support. Two hundred volunteers, in twenty teams of ten, will begin to work immediately.
For further info, see: https://www.dc1968project.com/blog/2018/9/6/7-september-1968-