Windows Onto a New Era

FinkNewEra12952842485-85.4_57The New Era windows factory in Chicago is a worker-owned cooperative. There are thousands of cooperative businesses in America and around the world, but New Era is remarkable in that it emerged, phoenix-like, from exploitative corporate ownership into an effective operation based on equal rights and consensus decision-making.

Astra Taylor chart the story of how the original company’s owners pretended to close down the factory and sack the entire workforce, only to try and take the machines to another, more profitable location. The workers, inspired by Argentinian horizontalidad factory occupations and the Basque Mondragon Co-ops, refused to leave, took over the factory and eventually managed to buy the facilities for a song and set-up New Era.

Read the full article by Astra Taylor >>


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From Tents to Debt: Striking for Democracy

The Occupy Wall Street encampment at Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan covered with tentsIn the aftermath of the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, Astra Taylor was part of a group of activists that set up Strike Debt. Intending to raise $50,000 to buy up what they considered unjust and unnecessary medical & educational debt, they ended up with $700,000 which they used to abolish millions of dollars of debt. Heather Smith interviews Astra about the campaign. The two discuss democracy, anarchism and the challenges of building coherent momentum for enduring change out of the highly diverse eruptions of Occupy and similar anti-capitalist movements.
Read the full interview here >>>
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