All Things Co-op: The Co-op Wars

[S06 E10] New

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In this episode of All Things Co-op, Cinar and Kevin talk with Erik Esse, the producer of the new documentary The Co-op Wars. The Co-op Wars traces the history of the food cooperative movement in the mid to late 1970s in Minnesota's Twin Cities. The rapid development of the food co-op network in the area prompted a split between anarchist "hippies" and Bolshevists who styled themselves as the “Cooperative Organization” and set about taking over the People's Warehouse by force. The film provides powerful lessons for cooperative organizations and activists today. As Erik and the ATC guys dissect the film and its implications, they touch on the role of traditional politics, the limits of "third-worldism" in the first world, the mainstreaming of co-ops, the potential influence of COINTELPRO, and much more.


About our guest
: Erik Esse is a long-time cooperator, having worked in marketing for North Country Cooperative Grocery in Minneapolis and Central Co-op in Seattle and as an organizer of the US Conference of Democratic Workplaces (birthplace of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives). He has worked in the sustainable agriculture movement with the Land Stewardship Project and the Local Fair Trade Network, where he helped organize the first Farmworker Conference for Fair Trade. He has also worked in the indie film world with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and FilmNorth.

 
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