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Gary Burrill
| January 16, 2016

'We have to make sure that economically we're free': Worker self-management in Jackson, Miss.

Ajamu Nangwaya participated in the recent Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy 2013, speaking about the potential for worker self-management in the City of Jackson, Mississippi, following the historic election Chokwe Lumumba as mayor. This article, Part 1 of 2, is based on Ajamu Nangwaya's presentation to the conference, and is part of our ongoing focus on labour and workers' issues this week on rabble.ca.

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An open letter to all Mountain Equipment Co-op members

Photo: JPDaigle / flickr
Members of Mountain Equipment Co-op are making an appeal for democracy and transparency.

Related rabble.ca story:

The C is for co-operation, not corporation: An open letter to MEC members

Photo: JPDaigle / flickr

We are among the three million members of Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada's largest consumer co-operative. At most other stores, we're just consumers, but as members, we're also owners, and we all have an equal share. If you live in Canada, there's a one in ten chance you're also a member-owner. If you've ever shopped at MEC, you are a member-owner. 

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Winnipeg's A-Zone: An autonomous success story

Photo: http://a-zone.org/

I've done some pontificating in the last little while about the importance of alternative community spaces.

I think they are essential because of both their vibrancy and their ability to act as agents for intersecting all sorts of activist organizing. I think we need that epicentre, in order to effectively harness the various webs of struggle and bring to life a culture of organizing that reaches beyond the day to day mundanities.

 This isn't to romanticize the concept, stripping it of the blood, sweat and tears it takes to sustain both the energy and the finite resources demanded by it all. It's not easy, but Winnipeg's Albert Street Autonomous Zone collective (A-Zone) has been struggling with this since the 1990s.

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Canada's co-operative movement is on the rise

Photo: ontario.coop

As an American co-op activist, I've always looked up to the much more robust and successful Canadian co-op movement. In 2011, I was finally able to meet many of the people behind Canada’s movement when I visited Winnipeg.

I came to the city in order to share Co-opoly: The Game of Co-operatives with my co-op allies up north. (Co-opoly is a project of the worker co-op I am a member of -- The Toolbox for Education and Social Action.) During this visit, though, I was amazed to learn all that the Canadian movement truly had to offer my fellow American co-operators.

 A growing movement

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Report from international summit in Quebec City: 'The Amazing Power of Co-operatives'

Approximately 200 youth take part in the Future Cooperative Leaders Program.

Last week's International Summit of Co-operatives (subtitled "The Amazing Power of Co-operatives") was clearly designed to put the co-operative model front and centre on the world's economic policy agenda. The Summit, held in Quebec City, did just that.

2012 is the UN-declared International Year of Co-operatives, and this conference was in many ways the Year's marquee event -- for the world.

For me, active for many years in Ontario co-ops, it was an opportunity to rub shoulders with an amazing and diverse group of committed co-operators. And to deeply savour the scope and potential the co-op model has. 

As the catch-phrase for the Year says: "Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World."

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An open letter to MEC members

Members of MEC are reacting to a proposal to give its board control over the co-op's elections.
Members of MEC are reacting to a proposal to give its board control over the co-op's elections.

Related rabble.ca story:

Democracy and the value of co-operation: An open letter to MEC members

Members of MEC are reacting to a proposal to give its board control over the co-op's elections.

The board of directors of Mountain Equipment Co-op has introduced a Special Resolution, requiring approval by at least 75 per cent of voting members, that seeks to give the board power to choose which candidates appear on the nomination ballot according to criteria that the board itself defines. We are writing on behalf of scores of concerned MEC members across Canada, and we ask that all MEC members please read the following before deciding how to vote.

Why we care

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