From Mutual Aid to Food Co-ops – Community Organising in a Time of Crisis
Tuesday, 15 September, 7pm
The Jago, 440 Kingsland Rd, Dalston, London E8 4AA
The event will be live streamed on facebook.com/CooperationTown.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, Cooperation Town worked with affiliated groups around the UK who were setting up mass food distribution operations in their local areas (Cooperation Kentish Town delivered 12 tonnes of groceries; Cooperation Birmingham prepared and delivered 15,000 hot meals).
These projects existed outside of the new mutual aid networks which sprung up at the beginning of lockdown. They were concerted efforts to create an emergency response parallel to the state and charity-run food banks and to the networks of volunteers picking up groceries from supermarkets. Collectively, we proved that we can provide for each other without relying on capitalist supply chains.
While lockdown is coming to an end, the crisis is far from over.
How do we rise to the challenge of developing a lasting, sustainable, anti-capitalist alternative, informed by cooperative principles?
Cooperation Town calls to divert resources from food banks (in fact, we want to abolish them all together!) into an autonomous food distribution system, owned and democratically run by its users. We want to utilise the endless surplus created by overproduction and tackle needless waste.
Mostly, we want to help drive a new wave of working class community organising by creating accessible resources to demystify the process and a supportive infrastructure to help us face these challenges together. In short: we are building a network of food co-ops!
Have you been organising around food in your community? Join us for a conversation about the challenges, opportunities and methods we can share moving forward.